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LMunro

New AST & Uncooperative tenant

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Hi,

I have a rather complicated situation whereby my letting agent has not complied with all the necessary paperwork when taking on a tenant 12 months ago. We wanted to serve a section 21 as it is now a periodic tenancy, but have been prevented from doing so because of these mistakes. The tenant is being very difficult and abusive even though we have sacked the agent and are trying our best to resolve the mistakes. We would like to start a new 6 month AST (at a slightly reduced rent to make amends) so that we can make sure everything is correct and above board, giving us the chance to re-serve a section 21 four months in. My question is, what do we do if they refuse to sign a new AST? It would seem in their interests as it will reduce the rent, but I'm not sure they'll co-operate.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

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Why do you want to grant a new tenancy first? If its because the deposit wasn't protected correctly on the first tenancy granting a new one doesn't wipe the slate clean.

If you can give full details we can advise better.

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There were two mistakes. The gas safety had lapsed, I think mostly due to the fact that a new boiler had been installed a year before and they hadn't altered when they thought it was due. There is one in place now, but it was a few months late. Also, the deposit wasn't protected in time. I know it is a complete mess, but I just want to try and put everything straight. I was hoping that if I started afresh I could re protect the new amount of deposit and move forward. If I can't do that then I really don't know what else to do.

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If the deposit wasn't protected correctly you need to return it to be able to serve notice.

If you want the tenant out make sure the following is in place first then serve a s21

Epc

Deposit returned (and documented)

valid gas cert

S48 (Unless correct on AST)

Latest version of the "How to rent guide"

Just post them to the tenant with proof of postage and accompanying letter stating "please find enclosed replacement copies and latest versions of the below documents for your records" and list them.

Then serve the s21 correctly on the tenant a couple of days later.

If the agency is as fault because they didnt do something they were supposed to do as part of the service you paid for I would also write to them, list the mistakes and put them on notice you will be recovering your losses from them when the final figure is known and advise them to contact their insurance company.

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Thanks for this. The one sticking point for the tenant seems to be the gas safety. If it doesn't cover when they moved but is valid now until April 19,  will the section 21 still be valid? I'm happy to return his deposit and I have all the other paperwork, I just don't want to get tripped up again by the lack of gas safety on day 1.

 

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Boiler Replacement

Read the response from Melboy in the above linked thread and see how that fits in with your boiler instal and gas inspection dates. If there are other gas equipment in the property they would need to be covered by a certifiacte anyway.

 

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Another quick question. We are going to refund their deposit, but can we hold back the arrears that they owe? Or will this just muddy the waters further down the line if they refuse to move out (as I suspect they will). 

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My view,

if you withhold any amount of the deposit you still hold a deposit.

If you are able to reach a demonstrable agreement over the amount you are due so that the deposit is 'cashed in' and you proportion the amounts each will get from it, then maybe you might be able to show that the deposit has been returned.

Where is the deposit held? If with the DPS then as I remember this is done at the closing down of that deposit, I can't comment on the other schemes.

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Someone will be along shortly to provide further advice on the deposit you hold.

In the meantime, for the future, in order to minimise the risk of you being out of pocket due to rent arrears you should :

1. Take out rent guarantee insurance and /or

2. Insist on your tenant providing a home owning guarantor.

 

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Just because you have returned the deposit it doesn't negate the fact there maybe arrears or dilapidation's. It just means you have to go down other routes to reclaim them after you gain possession such as MCOL.

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