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About Trenners

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  1. Hi Mel, Not in Tenerife at the moment although I did use some of my letting agency profits to finally buy a place in the sun ... so I will be off soon. I didn't get a reply from this poster ... so I must assume he has given up .... which is a shame .... Hope you are keeping well .... maybe see you out at the Principe Bahia in Tenerife over the winter? Best Wishes Mark
  2. Hi Malcolm, My advice is ....don't give up ....... Creating a letting agency takes time ..... but it can be achieved ...... I should know ... as, after 10 years of being a landlord, I established my own letting agency (which I have subsequently sold for a very substantial 6 figure sum). You need to think very long and very hard "what makes you different from the other letting agents" and "why would a landlord choose you over the competition". You need to have a compelling proposition ..... but most importantly ........ being different makes you unique .... which means you sell on your difference rather than on price. Then you need to go where landlords go ....... you need to position yourself as the local expert ....... you need to connect with your future customers ....... I used to write a landlord column for the local newspaper (in the Property Section) ... and I used to blog on some of the Landlord web sites (including this one occasionally) ....... it's about demonstrating to your customer that you are expert at what you do ..... If you would like to chat to me about my experience (of setting up my own letting agency from scratch) then please reply to this post .... and I will make contact with you ....... All the best Mark
  3. Hi My advice is to stop sending emails and organise a council of war meeting with the tenant at your property ASAP. It's clear he hasn't got the rent at the moment - which is probably why he is avoiding you. You need to agree a repayment plan with him .... explain that if he keeps to the repayment plan then you will take no further action otherwise you will evict. You could also ask that the rent be transferred to you directly from his employer out of his wages ... including any additional amount to contribute towards the arrears he owes. If he is a reasonable tenant then he will agree to all of the above ... and if he is bad at managing his money then getting the rent paid directly from the employer should mean that he should not fall into arrears again in the future. However ... If he doesn't agree to the repayment plan and he doesn't agree to direct payment from his employer .... cur your losses and evict. In fact ... It might be worth letting him off the rent arrears in return for the keys of tour properry back. Good luck Trenners
  4. Hi Mel Yes ... I'm back and I've got a bottle of sherry reserved for you. Thanks for your help. Best wishes Trenners
  5. Hi The way I see it is .... you've had good tenants for a number of years ... they are splitting up now .... but they have assured you that they will continue to pay you the rent ...... They are fully communicating with you .... and they seem decent enough people to me .... HOWEVER ..... a single mother with a couple of kids will be fully entitled to Housing Benefit as long as the HUSBAND is removed from the tenancy agreement ..... if his name remains on that agreement ... then the Council are absolved of any responsibility ..... Given that the tenants have been so open and honest with you ... and given they have been good tenants to date .... I don't see the problem with removing the husbands name from the agreement so that the wife can then claim Housing Benefit (to top up her part time income) and pay you your rent. I appreciate the legal argument of "jointly and severally liable" etc etc ... but we are talking about decent tenants who communicate with their landlord ...... IMO .. the most likely reason for this tenancy to fail in the future is because the landlord failed to help the single mother claim the benefits that she was entitled to. In summary ... take the husband off the tenancy! Trenners
  6. Hi everyone (and thanks for the name check Melboy), The reason why I got into letting property to DSS tenants ... and then helping other landlords let their property to DSS tenants as well .... is to minimise the void periods and thereby maximize my rental income and minimize costs (caused by advertising, tenant vetting, voids etc). If a property is void for 6 weeks a year (I think that is the industry average although mine are never empty that long) then the landlord loses 12.5% of their annual rental income whilst the property is empty. If you rent out to a DSS tenant ..... or indeed a family who has pets .... or a DSS tenant who has pets ..... AND you can find a reliable one (not always the easiest) THEN .... you can enjoy ZERO voids for years and years and years. OK - some of my DSS tenants run off with the rent .... if they do that then I kick them out .....and some of them leave lots of junk in my property BUT as long as the damage caused or the cost of removing the junk IS LESS than the 6 week industry average void that I was expecting anyway ..... I AM MAKING MORE MONEY than the average landlord by renting to my DSS tenants! Some of my DSS tenants (together with their pets) have been with me for 7+ years .......... and many of them will be with me for another 7 years to come ..... what's not to like about the DSS and their pets! <grin> All the best Trenners
  7. Trenners


    Hi tipster, I think that is wise ...... but you still need to protect that deposit as well - do it tomorrow - because the head of housing will not be as sympathetic when he finds out that you have been a rogue landlord and broken the law. I'm based in Wiltshire .... if by chance your Council is Swindon or Wiltshire or Gloucestershire ... let me know as I have some excellent relationships in those Councils. Send me a personal email to: mark@mlettings.com if I can help you further ... Good Luck (again) Mark
  8. Hi I think this comes down to a simple question. Was the flat clean when you moved it (I assume YES). Is the flat at the same level of cleanliness now that the tenancy has ended (I assume YES again) .... in which case the flats doesn't need cleaning - irrespective of what dodgy clauses might have been added to the tenancy agreement after you signed it. If the landlord tries to make a deduction for cleaning (when the flat is indeed as clean as when you took possession) then you need to reject this claim - in writing - and, if the landlord still refuses to refund all of your deposit, then you need to request that the landlord cleaning claim be sent to arbitration. Basically - when you moved it I am assuming your landlord protected your Security Deposit in a Government approved scheme. Did he protect it? If so - he should have told you what scheme he used and you should have a copy of the protection certificate. If he didn't protect the deposit - he broke the law and you are entitled to 3 x the amount of the deposit as compensation. Citizens Advice can advise you more on how to sue your landlord if he has broken the law. Assuming he protected the deposit - then you can request that the dispute (over cleaning) between you and the landlord is referred to the Government approved Deposit Protection company's arbitrator. This is totally FREE OF CHARGE. The Landlord has to prove to the arbitrator (beyond doubt) that the property is less clean now than it was when you moved into the property. 99.99% of all landlords I know would not be able to prove this point. Also .... over 80% of cases that get referred to the arbitrator .. award in favor of the tenant (because the landlord is not able to prove that their deposit deduction is either valid or fair). In summary - confront the landlord. Demand the Deposit Protection Arbitrator is involved ... and collect your deposit back! Good Luck
  9. Hi LHA - and a request to pay it directly to the landlord - is completed as part of the standard Housing Benefit Form (assuming you are entitled to receive the LHA benefit directly because your tenant is deemed "vulnerable"). A licence agreement can only be used to establish a tenancy within an HMO if the landlord, himself, is RESIDENT within the property. If the landlord doesn't live at the HMO then an Assured Shorthold Tenancy must be used. If you use a licence and you don't live at the property (which I assume you don't) ..... and you end up in Court for illegal eviction ... the Court will almost certainly rule that the licence was, in fact, an AST. In other words - if it looks like an AST, if it smells like an AST, It is an AST .. even if it says LICENCE at the top of the page! There is also something known as an LHA "Sharing of Information" form that the tenant completes to give the landlord permission to discuss the tenants HB claim with local benefit officers ... is this the form that you are asking about? I don't get the connection between claiming LHA and sharing information with the Police! Hope the above helps.
  10. Trenners


    Hi Tipster, The way to resolve this is not, in my opinion, through Section 21 or Section 8. Section 21 can't be used anyway (because you failed to protect the deposit as previously discussed. More on this in a moment. Section 8 is an absolute minefield and I would strongly recommend you do not follow this route. Why? Well S8 involves going before a judge, in a court of law, where the astute tenant (who clearly knows her rights) will plead that you are the evil landlord (who has been horrible to her and hasn't protected her deposit and she is vulnerable etc etc) and she is the victim .... and there is every chance that the judge will award AGAINST you ... meaning that you will go through the entire process and not get what you want (an eviction order). So ... what do I recommend. Three options as far as I can see. 1) PAY HER TO LEAVE. Offer to write off ALL the rent arrears, refund ALL of her deposit, pay ALL of her removal expenses. This might cost you a few hundred pounds + DEPOSIT .... but this would be the cheapest option. 2) CALL A COUNCIL OF WAR WITH THE HOUSING DEPARTMENT AT THE LOCAL COUNCIL. Ultimately the Council have a duty of care towards this tenant (because however bad a tenant is .. the Council have a duty to provide accommodation for the tenant and her children). Get a meeting with the Head of the Homelessness Department to discuss your predicament. If you are having difficult getting the meeting - contact the Councillor responsible for Social Housing and tell him you are having a huge problem with your DSS tenant and - if he doesn't get involved (and arrange the meeting) - then you are going to the MEDIA to warn other landlords how the Council put problem tenants into local landlords properties and then don't help when things turn sour. You must get this meeting ...... it is really important that the Council help you to re-house her. 3) PROTECT THE DEPOSIT. You have broken the law. That is a fact. You must protect the deposit, pay the fine if need be, and get this whole episode (from your perspective) onto a proper legal footing. By protecting the deposit and paying the fine ... you are demonstrating that you are doing everything you can to conduct yourself in a legal manner. In summary - If the tenant will talk to you ... PAY HER TO LEAVE. If she won't talk to you ... you MUST involve the Council at the highest level, involve the local media (newspaper .... and go on local radio on the morning chat show to warn other landlords about the Council) .... and PROTECT THE DEPOSIT ... because your failure to follow the rules is not going to disappear ... and it is very likely that if you don't get the deposit protected you may NEVER get a possession order! Good Luck ... you are going to need it!
  11. Hi waspie, I am much more sympathetic to your plight than, perhaps, some others on the forum. I totally agree that a Housing Association should demonstrate a clear duty of care to their tenants - not least because they are providing housing accommodation to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. I know that legislation does not demand periodic inspections ...... but that doesn't mean you should endanger the lives of your tenants (by not ensuring the accommodation provided is both safe and fit for human habitation). I am an accredited landlord with my local Council - and have been for many years - and all of my properties have periodic inspections every 5 years and are inspected by Environmental Health. I am not a great fan of LEGAL action (as the only people that usually benefit are the prosecution and defence lawyers) .. but I do think you need to do something to put pressure on the HA .... so here is what I would do :- 1) Demand a meeting with the Director of the Housing Association so that they can explain themselves to you. 2) Make a huge media issue of this very newsworthy - local interest - story. Get the local newshound to write a piece entitled "THE HOUSING ASSOCIATION NEARLY KILLED MY DAUGHTER" .... get a picture ... get the local radio involved ... get the council involved. Involve your local MP. 3) Demand a meeting with the local Council Member who is responsible for Social Housing and also the Director of Social Housing within the Council. The Council Member may not ultimately attend the meeting (too busy etc etc) .. but he will get you access to the head man at the Council. Involve Environmental Health as well. Invite the Housing Association to the meeting as well. At the meeting you want an explanation on why the Housing Association (utilised by the Council) endangered the life f your daughter .... and you want to understand what safeguards have been put in place to stop this from ever happening again. Hope some of those ideas help ...... I have no time for dodgy landlords that endanger their tenants lives ... and even less time for badly run Housing Associations who take advantage of vulnerable people .....
  12. Hi Stressed John, If it looks like a deposit, if it smells like a deposit ..... then it is a DEPOSIT irrespective of what the paperwork might say ... or what your "dodgy landlord" might say ...... The best way to get action from a landlord ... is to hit him where it hurts ... "IN THE WALLET" ...... If it was me ... I would refuse to move out of the property ... or remove my possessions .. or return the keys ... until he refunds MY DEPOSIT .... If he won't refund my deposit ... I will stay at the property until I have exhausted the rent payment (ie: used up all the deposit as rent) ...... I would even take this course of action if I had to move somewhere else .... in other words DON'T RETURN THE KEYS UNTIL YOU GET YOUR MONEY. This threat - which you should be prepared to carry out - would mean that the landlord could not re-let the property and would have no options open to him ..... so the property is going to be occupied (by you and your possessions) but earning no rent! To try and remove you - the landlord would have to apply to the court to gain an eviction order against you ... but he wouldn't be able to apply to the courts because he did not protect your deposit (and he has to provide a copy of the deposit protection certificate as part of this application process). If he threatens you with "sending the boys around" .... that is harassment - call the police and report him to the local Council who will prosecute .... if he enters the property or changes the locks or removes your possessions .... that is illegal eviction and the Council will prosecute him for this as well! Call the Police if any of this happens - because whilst you have the keys and your possessions are in the property .... it is your HOME and you have lots of legal rights. My point ..... the WORST thing you can do is peacefully walk away from this tenancy and return the keys to the landlord. Once he has got your keys - you can kiss goodbye to your deposit. Legal action is a route you could follow ... but to be honest ...... involving lawyers only ever benefits lawyers (first and foremost) ... and rarely fixes the underlying problem ...... or gets your money back. I am sympathetic to your plight and I will do anything I can to help you run this "dodgy landlord" out of town. Good Luck.
  13. I often fit new bathrooms at my rental properties whilst the tenant is in situ .... and the solution is really easy! You find out when the tenant is going on holiday for a week ... and you arrange for the bathroom to be replaced whilst they are away on holiday by using a reliable builder / plumber that you trust and know will get the job finished to a high standard within the allotted time period (ie: 1 week). Hope that helps Trenners
  14. Hi axil23, If the tenant has given you a DEPOSIT and you have not protected it (in a Government approved scheme) then you have broken the law. I assume you have not protected it? If the tenant takes you to court and proves that he gave you a deposit and you did not protect it ... the judge will award THREE TIMES the deposit as compensation to the tenant ... meaning you will be forced to pay the tenant £750. This really really really is not worth fighting ..... I urge you to give the tenant his £250 back before this turns into a horrible, legal, can of worms ........ which you will probably lose. I don't condone the tenants action ... but it's not worth the risk. Mark
  15. Hi Axil23, Give him his deposit back .... and move on ... life is to short arguing with time wasting tenants over £250. It's not worth the stress, it's not worth the hassle, it's not worth your time. Instead, focus on finding another tenant asap that will appreciate your lovely property and appreciate you as a landlord. Good Luck
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