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Everything posted by Lyndon

  1. You can access Land Registry online and with a credit card payment, find the registered owners of the B2L. Armed with that information visit the agent if possible. The agent should have both your names on any agreements with them and on the AST with the tenants. Have you anything in writing from your wife that sets out that you have the B2L and she has the other? If not then you may have to wait until the divorce sorts this out. If she is not co-operating then it looks as though you may have to use a solicitor.
  2. Wildhayleys Firstly the advice given to you was probably not meant to patronising but, had you explained your position and reasoning, then I would certainly say that this is a question your employer should have been able to answer. I suspect that you are referring to the current tenant under a recent AST rather than a sitting tenant in a protected tenancy but as a newbie you may have used the wrong phrase. We all make mistakes when we start - that is how we learn. If the agreement to use the deposit as rent was in writing then it may be taken in lieu of rent BUT if it has not been protected as Mortitia points out, then the tenant may decide to claim 3x the deposit from the landlord. A S21 notice may not be issued if the deposit is not protected when required to do so but the tenant may be issued with a S8 notice for rent arrears. As for being a "mere admin assistant" don't knock the admin assistants! They are often invaluable to the company and I started in Lettings as one and now own my own company.
  3. Step 1: Check that the agent is a mmber of the Ombudsman Scheme or you will be wasting your time since he has no control over agents who are not members. If the agent is a member of NALS then they must be member of the Ombudsman Scheme. Th other points have been covered more than adequately by the others however there is one point that has been overlooked. The OFT use the "no pets" clause as an unfair term depending on the type of property and the landlords' situation, so I would be wary of using that as one of the complaints.
  4. Lyndon

    Broken Window

    Indeed everything is stacked against the landlord in a case like this. However, have you thought about carrying out the repair and then suing the tenant in smal claims court? Just a thought.
  5. As far as the remaining occupant is concerned the term is "DUMPED". Where people over the age of 18 move into a property ALL should sign as joint and several liability so that if one does leave or do a runner, the others remain liable for the FULL rent. If the agent is managing the property then it is normal practice for the agent to retain the AST since the majority of landlords do not want to be bothered with the paperwork. Do nyou trust your agent? If not then get a copy of the AST as soon as possble.
  6. The agent should not charge you for lodging the money with the DPS since that is a FREE service costing the agent nothing but a couple of minutes time online! The money leaves the agent and is deposited with the DPS. If the money has not been deposited with the DPS then you need to start legal action against tne agent immediately because ultimately YOU are liable to pay the deposit back to the tenant. Is it possible for you to visit the agent in person and find out what is going on?
  7. I am with Speedtwin on this. Turn it on its head. The landlord gives two months notice because he needs to move into the property. Imagine how you would feel if that notice was five days less than the notice period required. The tenant refuses to move out . . . would you be happy to pay for a hotel for five days befoe you could move back in?
  8. Change your solicitor! You are responsible for protecting the deposit whether the money initially came from the tenants or not! Had the agent gone bust and the money lost, you would have to reimburse your tenants. What would your solicitor's response be to that? Tenants can sue the landlord OR the agent for failure to protect the deposit. You can, if sued by the tenants, sue the agent for their failure to act on your behalf and I suggest you contact the agent regarding this. Is the agent a "Managing" agent? If not then they have no authority to issue a new AST without your consent.
  9. A rent increase does NOT create a new tenancy. CHANGING THE TERMS DOES! You will then have to re-protect the deposit as per the legislation since you have created a new tenancy. In practice you need not refund the deposit unless you are using the DPS. If the tenants are "model tenants", why change the terms?
  10. Your action was understandable but would be considered unlawful. Had you issued an Abandonment Notice you would have covered yourself since it would have advised the tenant that you had reasonable grounds to believe the property had been abandoned and given a contavt number for access by the lawful tenant.
  11. Having read the link, my brain hurts! There are so many grey areas and unanswered questions. What was the exact offence, how long ago was it. how old was the "offender" etc etc.? The advice to approach the tenant direct is wise advice. Something along the lines of, "I have been told something about you and a Schedule 1 offence. I do not wish to judge you, but would appreciate knowing this from your viewpoint." I was tempted to say "your version" but that implied that they would not be telling the truth. You should know this tenant. Are the good payers? Have they been there long? Have other tenants complained about them? Are there any children in the building that may be at risk? On balance you may decide to ignore the allegation. but if you are unhappy just say nothing and issue a S21.
  12. An AST can be for any period of time under or over six months so your agreement is an AST. However had you signed an AST for just two months then no court would grant possession until six months had passed. Unfortunately the reverse is not necessarily true for landlords. You need to refer to the original AST for the terms regarding the extension and the provision of the second landline. Where tenants request items as a condition for taking a LONG let, include a clause that they pay initially and you reimburse after _ _ months or vice versa. I would never recommend agreeing to extra items for a short term let.
  13. No AST should be between the agent and the tenant. Ever! The agent is just that, the landlord's agent. They may well sign on behalf of the landlord but they are "invisible" in the AST in the eyes of the law. Even where the property is managed and rent paid to the agent rather than the landlord. If that is the case and the agent becomes insolvent, then the landlord need to issue a Section 48 Notice as soon as they are made aware. As of the deposit, hopefully you have been advised of how the deposit has been protected? If with the DPS then the money is helf by them and safe. If not then it may be lost and you will not only have to protect it, but account for it. So much for deposit "Protection" which only works in favour of the tenant!
  14. Whichever option you decide, please put it in writing to the tenants, even if just by email. Not necessarily formal just something along the lines of, "Just to confirm that as per our discussion on _____ I have agreed that _____ will redecorate your rooms in ____colour making access arrangements directly with yourselves. It will be your responsibily to remove your belonging and to protect them from potential paint splashes. Neither the contractor nor myself will accept any liabilty for damage caused to your belongings." This will give them the opportunity to query any part of what has been agreed as well as emphasising that the work is being done with their agreement while they are in situ.
  15. Which contract are you referring to? The one between you and the tenant or you and the agent? Read your contract with the agent and act according to its terms when giving notice. If you seek to break those terms then you can rightly expect "argy bargy" from the agent! After all, you expect your tenant to abide by the term of his contract with you.
  16. I am unaware that the EHO have any authority to specify the type of heating. Unless the legislation has changed it refers only to the ability to heat a room to a specified temperature. If in doubt take it to this REHO's line manager. Don't be afraid of challenging them.
  17. Balance the cost of a gas safety against the potential fine which may include imprisonment. As crumple says, if your tenant takes umbrage . . . . It is a gamble. Now the question to ask yourself is, "How lucky do you feel?".
  18. The NRL1 is simply an application form to receive rent without tax deducted so estimate the rent you will receive in the coming year. Without it any agent will have to deduct tax at standard rate. So the sooner you fill it in the better.
  19. How long has the property been on the market? Is the property the type that appeals to the lower end of the market? Did the agent mention this scheme when you first intructed them? Should you make it clearer to the agent that you are after a higher standard of tenant from them? As an agent my first duty it to my client, the landlord. I would not put someone into a property that I would not be willing to put into one of my own. There are rare occasions where a landlord wants a tenant desperately and will accept a "less than ideal" tenant just to get some rent in. I tend to take Mortitia's line in those cases, namely can they provide a Guarantor? Why do they not have a deposit. Moving someone in just to stop a property being empty can be a wrong decision. It is not just mariage where you "marry in haste and repent at leisure"! Perhaps the landlords' version would be, "Let in haste, Evict at THEIR leisure"? From a brief look at their website and from recalling similar schemes that were offered to our company just when tenant deposit legislation came into being. The principle is not that the tenant cannot afford a deposit, rather it is an option where the TENANT pays an insurance company who then reimburse you where you would normally make a deduction from the deposit. You need to go into this very carefully. See a sample policy and check the exclusions and terms very carefully. In short, unless you need this tenant that badly, choose another tenants and make it clear to the agent that you expect a more professional tenant next time.
  20. Hi Mortitia In all our lets since the legislation came into force I have had just ONE tenant ask to see the EPC on the viewing. She was Australian and I believe that they are standard over there which would explain it.
  21. Hi Rickin9 The LA is, at last, doing the right thing by issuing S21. Any payment of rent will not affect its validity but the agent should give you a copy so you can check it has been issued correctly. What the agent MUST NOT DO is accept any rent after the expiry date of the S21 or the court could decide a new tenancy has been created. Glad to see that they are accepting liability though. Make it clear that you expect them to pay ALL court costs and you expenses as well. Even though it was a mistake, you should not be out of pocket because of it. To Fyldeboy, what is LBA? Not heard of that abbreviation before.
  22. Let them go periodic. Much less fuss and bother. Why risk pushing them into going? I have tenants in one of my own flats that have been there for over three years. They started on a six month tenancy! The law states that tenant need only give landlords two month's notice and the landlord must give the tenant's two month's notice. These cannot be increased via an AST since they are part of Statute Law.
  23. I am with Chestnut on this. If I read your posts correctly the judge has stated that you are attempting to gain possession using a S21 notice, but you said you issued a S8 notice. So where does the S21, referred to by the judge, come into it? Not sure but you may have a claim against the bathroom fitters for allowing her to move in without checking with you first. A long shot but if you are seriously out of pocket then it is worth considering. To get her out and quickly you need a solicitor with experience of Housing Law. Do not just select one out of yellow pages. Good luck!
  24. Thank you Chestnut. I am on this forum in dual capacity as a landlord and as a letting agent . I have never pretended to know everything and I too occasionally need advice in both roles! However I did find it personally offensive to read that quote above from Fred. It would be similar to a tenant saying the same about all landlords. Is it any wonder now that this government want a register of all landlords and a website where tenants can post UNREGULATED comments? Perhaps our agency is unusual but I treat all properties as if they were one of mine. Where there is any doubt about a prospective tenant I ask myself if I would be happy to rent one of my flats to them. If the answer is no, then that is my recommendation to our client landlord. I accept that there are agencies who treat landlord with little or no respect. We have a mix of UK and non-resident landlords and they vary from a FREE tenant find service through to full management and even that ranges from landlords who want to do their own repairs to those who just want a statement every month leaving everything else in our capable (yes, Fred, CAPABLE ) hands! Properties, landlords, tenants and agents are all different and should be treated as such.
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