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fleming

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About fleming

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  1. I would suggest you learn as much as possible about how to do a good inventory, or pay a good company to do one. Any photos have to be signed by the tenant and landlord on each page, same with inventory. If you don't already have a tenant, I strongly recommend checking them in and out at the beginning and end of the tenancy. This means taking the time to go round the property and getting them to sign that they agree with your inventory.(Allow 1hr for this if unfurnished property) With the introduction of Tency Deposit Scheme in April, this will be even more important as an aid to sorting out any disputes over use of the deposit at the end of the tenancy. I used Rentchecks and they saved me from allowing a couple with over £3.000 of CCJs to become my tenants. I also feel that one month's deposit is not enough, although this is what I charged in the end. It is becoming more common to accept 1 1/2 months deposit. This way, if the tenant doesn't pay the last month's rent, you still have a bit of money for repairs. You cannot stop a tenant from cancelling a Standing Order but it still better to have one set up so the rent goes straight into your account each month. Allow 3 days for it to clear so don't panic if the rent isn't in your account on the due date. It also means you have an official record of what rent has been paid.
  2. fleming

    Section 21

    We had our suspicions that our previous tenant had someone else living with her.Only the tenants named on the Agreement were issued with the court papers and the premises were vacant when the bailiff arrived, so I hope this will be the case for you too. The bailiff serves the Warrant for Possession of the Property and I assume any 'hangers on' have to clear out at the same time. Hope it all goes ok.
  3. Can't comment on the whole of your question. It really depends on the terms of your contract with the Agent. There must be other landlords out there who have faced the same situation.
  4. Thanks Trenners for pets clause. As for Ladylea, I think if you had just had the previous tenant we had, you would not even be suggesting 'chilling out'!!
  5. Hi Mark, I wondered if you would respond to this one. Yes, I would like a sample pets clause. I have a feeling the tenant won't need to use much of the £600 current deposit at the end of the tenancy anyway, but at least if she doesn't pay for professional carpet cleaning herself, I can use the pets clause to justify deducting the costs of any pet-related cleaning/repairs.
  6. Our current tenant (since July) is looking after the property well and paying rent on time. The first quarterly visit to check the property went well, but I discovered afterwards that they have two dogs. I was told in July they had no pets and no plans to have pets. The tenancy agreement states that pets are not allowed unless permission granted (which will not reasonably be withheld) When the Agreement comes up for renewal in January, I wish to charge an extra £100 deposit which I have been told is a standard procedure if a tenant has animals. I may be anticipating a problem where there is none, but what do I do if the tenant refuses to pay the extra deposit? I am reluctant to lose an otherwise good tenant for the sake of £100, but don't want to appear a 'soft touch' if I let her stay on without the extra deposit. The house does not smell of dogs and the only current damage seems to be loosened panels on a fence and a patchy lawn. Comments welcome.
  7. Even DSS aren't THAT slow!!!!
  8. I know we are in danger of re-entering the 'do-we-or-don't-we-rent-to-DSS-tenants' arguement again. Personally I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. If you do, then it's much better to be paid direct. Yes, the rules have changed re landlords being chased for over-payment of DSS (I successfully countered a claim by our tenant's council) Our tenant's DSS should have been stopped two months before she was evicted. Fortunately for us, we had ignored our agent's pleas to let the tenant stay on(!) as the overpayment did not come to light for several months. The point being that the wheels of the DSS machine grind VERY slowly and because of the Data Propection Act it is very difficult to get information from the council. Go into this with your eyes opened!
  9. Suggest you contact the Law Society.
  10. Hi! We went through the same scenario this time last year. I am assuming you have an assured shorthold tenancy agreement for 6 months. Unfortunately, this means you cannot evict the tenant before the end of the six month period, even if she is not currently paying rent. A minimum of 2 months' notice must be given and there are numerous rules which must be adhered to to ensure this is done properly. If she is still in the property after the notice expires you need to apply for a court order using the accelerated procedure. If all your paperwork has been submitted correctly, the judge will set a date for eviction. The tenant has the right to appeal to extend the time up to 6wk. If the tenant still has not budged, then you need to apply for a Warrant for Possession which is served by a bailiff. So be warned that even under the 'accelerated' method, a tenant can string things out and remain in the property legally for at least another 2 months from the end of the tenancy agreement. You could try the Small Claims Court to get any rent owed, but I have no experience of this. Our tenant had so many debts, we decided we'd never see any money!
  11. My sister rented a room in a house occupied by the owner and one other tenant. She did make use of the whole flat but other than that did not have anything in common with the owner and tended only to sit in the living room if the owner was out. The owner lamented the fact that the flat was no longer like a family , as previously all 3 occupants had got on well together. The point I am trying to make is that it is very unlikely you will find a tenant who will feel comfortable using the living room as their own , as they will feel they are intruding in your space. Only if a property is rented by everyone on an equal basis would the living room be used equally. I would suggest only having non-smokers as tenants and hope you get some rent from this guy soon. Perhaps he is creeping aroung quietly so as not to be a nuisance (or draw attention to the fact he is living there for free!)
  12. I think Trenners must have a very sympathetic council. Our experience has certainly been that the council would not rehouse our tenant until notice was served, taken to court ('accelerated' procedure) and then a bailiff arranged. So I would agree that their rehousing policy is at the landlord's expense and only delays the inevitable outcome.
  13. Hope you are ready for a steep learning curve as a new landlord! Just one comment to modify what Linda said. You DO need an inventory if a property is unfurnished. You will be surprised at how much is in an 'empty' house! The first inventory will take quite a while to prepare, but thereafter can be adapted. An inaccurate inventory is worthless. If you are managing the property yourselves, then use the inventory to 'check in' and 'check out' the tenant at the beginning and end of the tenancy. Both of you sign the 'Inventory and Schedule of Condition' at the time thus saving hassle and disagreements. Do not give the tenants keys until they have signed tenancy agreement, paid deposit and one month's rent (cash or cleared cheque) and you have both gone through the inventory & signed it on the first day of the tenancy.
  14. Hi davie. I agree with Webb that it depends what was in the contract. I am probably too late with this advice, but you will probably find it is easier to deduct cleaning costs if you have paid a professional to do it. Although in theory you can claim for all damage or missing items, it is often difficult to prove which would come under reasonable wear and tear(which you can't claim) and willful damage (which you CAN claim) In an earlier topic a few months back, I asked if I was being unreasonable with what I was claiming. We had an Agent who was making out that certain damaged items could not be claimed. We argued our case, but at the same time removed any item from our claim that could count as wear and tear (EG. missing doorhandles, electric bulbs) We had paid for a professional cleaner which was accepted without question, but had problems claiming for our own time and effort to clear rubbish, tidy garden, wash windows and repair plastic roof. I would advise you to obtain receipts for work done professionally, as far as is possible within the constraints of how much deposit is available. I certainly think it is reasonable to pay a professional if a property is left particularly dirty. Expect to do a certain amount yourself between tenants without getting financial recompense. Incidentally, if you let an unfurnished property, then you should expect a few scrapes on the walls as the tenant moves furniture in and out ie. this counts as wear and tear.
  15. I agree with Trenners that if you have already a signed agreement with the agent, then you should honour that agreement. There are pros and cons with letting to 3 individuals but you do need to ask yourself "Will they try to bend any other rules while they are tenants?" If these tenants wanted to avoid agent's fees then they should have looked at the private ads section! Having decided to go to an agent this time round, you need to stick with it, unless you find someone privately who has not made contact with the agent and there is no sneaky clause in the contract covering this. Gas inspections on an annual basis are mandatory and the tenant should be given the relevant copy of the report. Electrical reports are not compulsory as far as I am aware but our previous agent insisted on older properties being inspected as you would be legally liable if anything went wrong. The report will state when the next inspection is due. Ours says 5yr. Hope you find a suitable tenant soon.
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