I want to self manage. What do I need to do?

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    I want to self manage. What do I need to do?

    Newbie landlord, and new to forum. Can’t find a way of starting new topic. However, I had a LA manage a property. Without going into detail, a lot of things were not done and current tenancy lapsed into a periodic. After a lot of wrangling it has been agreed that we would part company and I would not be charged the contract cancellation fee of over £500.00. Tenants are happy staying and had agreed a rent increase with LA and a back dated tenancy. I want to self manage. What do I need to do? I know I need to contact tenants and ask for next months rent to be paid to me. I know that I need to agree a new fixed term tenancy for the rent increase and give them notice of rent increase. They hadn’t had notice from LA but nevertheless agreed. My problem is.... Do I need to do the rights to rent checks and take up references or just ask the LA for copies. Both the tenants have secure jobs and I know where they work. What happens to the deposit. If it is with the TPS does it automatically transfer over. Do I need to let TPS know? If the LA has it, do I ask for it to be transferred to me/TPS.
    Also, they are the second tenants in the property. When first tenants moved in, check in inventory and photographs were taken and signed for. At checkout, there was no comparison with photos and just a written report done and deposit returned without any recourse to me. When new tenants moved in a written conditions report was signed, no photos etc. If I now take over self managing, I have no photos for comparison except the written condition report (not a brilliant one) and original photos. I don’t want to inconvenience the tenants with new inventory etc. There are no written inspection reports available for current or previous tenants. It was all done verbally apparently. My worry is that previous tenants had changed light fittings etc and this may not have been picked up by LA. No permission was sought from me by previous tenants via LA. What else did the LA not pick up.
    Sorry for the long post.

    well you are starting out the right way by asking for advice. However, you are starting out late because you should have started learning all you could about letting property the minute you became a LL. Using an LA usually only works out well if you are clued up enough to manage the agent. Otherwise, you won't have a clue (as you've experienced) what they're doing right or wrong.

    For example, when you say the "current tenancy lapsed into periodic" you imply that there's something wrong with that. It's actually better for you as a periodic. You do not need to issue a new tenancy to raise the rent. You just need to give a month's notice if the rent is pcm if the tenants agree. These are things you need to learn by joining a landlord association, doing their courses, getting a book on letting property and reading about these things on the forum.

    You have a right to ALL paperwork from the LA in regard to tenants they have found for you who are still in your properties. That is a legal right and you can simply email them to ask for it. If they refuse, politely emphasise that you will raise a formal complaint to them and eventually to their redress scheme if they persist in withholding it.

    I don't believe any inventory can be done in a satisfactory way in the current situation unless you agree a new AST and start again at which point I would strongly suggest you hire a proper inventory clerk to do it as doing it yourself with no experience is likely to make it a complete waste of time if there's a dispute and a complete waste of time if there isn't one.

    Others will have to advise re the deposit as I'm not sure it won't be unprotected at some point during a transfer. I'm wondering if a new AST might cover this, the inventory and the rent increase all in one go - although doing it yourself with no experience leaves a lot of things open to being done wrongly.


      Thank you for your wise words. Yes, naively, I thought having an agent would mean I wouldn't have to worry so much about it. They also came highly recommended. It was only after I had been in these sorts of forums that I realised they may have not been providing the service that I thought they should be. It worried me that everything they did was verbal, and always a delay in anything that was asked of them, I was always chasing things. Apparently, I'm not the sort of landlord they normally get. I was led to believe I was a pest. It's when I challenged that it was agreed we part company at no cost to me. I now have all the documents I requested and am satisfied that all the checks were done and appropriate paperwork issued. They have agreed to transfer the deposit to a custodial account in my name once tenants give permission which they have agreed. And yes I have found a good inventory clerk and would use them.
      I didn't realise that a periodic works in my favour instead of a fixed term. Please can you explain why?

      They are good tenants, pay rent on time, neighbours like them, and appear to look after the house; I didn't undertake an inspection, just first impressions when I went to have a chat with them about managing myself. So I don't won't to upset them but I want to protect myself at the same time as being a good landlord.
      And yes since posting, I have done a huge amount of reading various threads and posts and convinced myself that I needed to go on a course. I need to learn so much. I don't want to rely on the adage of learning from my mistakes before it is too late.


        a periodic works better for you because it's more flexible. If you need to, you can give 2 months' notice whereas with a 6 month fixed term, you can't give notice until 4 months in and then have to wait until the fixed term expires before your tenants (might) leave. I'm assuming you're in England, BTW.

        While some might say that it means the tenants are locked in for the fixed term if you keep issuing new ASTs. But a tenant who wants to leave will get their way eventually despite any fixed term. For example, imagine a tenant lost their job with 8 months of a 12 month fixed term left. They can't pay rent, you demand they pay for the remaining months if they want to leave, they refuse and the relationship goes down the pan. However this ends, it won't be pretty. The alternative is to agree a deed of surrender and thus the fixed term really is fairly pointless as a guarantee of rent.

        Letting an AST go periodic also means you don't have to re-protect the deposit, something which has serious consequences if you get it wrong. Nor do you have to re-issue paperwork such as the How to Rent booklet (if a new edition has been published). In fact, once the fixed term expires, apart from renewing insurance and the gas certificate each year, there's not a lot you have to do except keep an eye on rent payments and maintenance issues. Depending on the tenant, that might mean almost no work at all.

        You don't want to rely on learning from your mistakes, no. You're right about that. But you will make mistakes and so do be prepared in advance to simply chalk them up to experience and learn from them. Don't beat yourself up about it.

        We've been managing multiple properties through letting agents for the last 6 years. Once we return to the UK later this year, we'll take over almost all of them ourselves because we need to maximise our income from letting to live off it. I'm sure we'll make some mistakes too even though we're pretty experienced. That's life.


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