Tenants calling housing officer

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Tenants calling housing officer

    Hello,

    I am not a professional landlord, I have one property which I rent out after I met my now wife. Therefore I feel completely out of my depth on an issue that has recently arisen and I am hoping to get some advice from more knowledgeable people.

    I have had tenants in the property since August 2014. We signed a new assured shorthold tenancy contract in August 2015. I have heard very little from the tenants during their time. I had a complaint around three years ago about mould around windows and I discovered that they were drying clothes indoors without any ventilation in the property. I educated the couple on how important ventilation is, bought them a humidity meter, offered them a dehumidifier and thought everything was resolved.

    On Monday I received a call from a housing officer from the council stating that he had inspected the property twice and had decided that the property has a category one and two category two hazards and that I have 42 days to rectify the issue. He also informed me that the bathroom extractor fan has not been working for a few years (there is no window in the bathroom). This is the first time I have heard anything about any of this.

    I will admit that I have been very remiss in inspecting the property and have not been there since I spoke to them about the mould around the windows. This is certainly one of those lessons hard learnt!

    My question – Looking at the pictures the housing inspector sent, I would say the tenants have let the property get into such a bad state that it is going to cost me a lot to fix (new bathroom ceiling, etc). I am in agreement that the work needs completing but I do not want not do it if the existing tenants are going to be there afterwards because they have caused all the damage in the first place. From my research I believe I can serve notice on them because the contract was signed in August 2015. Is this correct?

    Thank you very much in advance

    #2
    You are correct that the notice won't fail as a result of the retaliatory notice regulations.

    On the other hand, you should probably get the work done and do your job properly.

    Despite your preamble, you are a professional landlord - you're a landlord and get paid for the service you provide.
    You're just not a very good professional landlord.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      And just to add the usual question. Did you take a deposit, and if so, was it protected properly in a government scheme?

      Comment


        #4
        I would say most of the fault lies with you. I think most councils would expect you to check every 3 months, and you cannot rely on tenants to inform you of problems. In fact, they generally try to do their best to avoid contact with landlords, or at least the owns who are my neighbours seem to do so. Drying clothes with windows closed is very typical tenant-like behaviour.

        The fact that they have got involved now makes me think they are playing for being rehoused by the council, but the council will do their best to avoid that, both by getting you to fix the defects and by insisting they go through the full process of eviction, right through to the bailiffs, which can take the best part a year, during which they may well prosecute you for the defects.

        Whilst it is perfectly true that the law considers you to be providing accommodation for gain whether you are letting out an inherited flat, or a quoted company or housing association, I do find that the the accidental, amateur and professional distinction, as commonly made, is useful in predicting the likely amount of professionalism to be shown, rather than the amount that should be shown.:

        accidental - inherited the property, working away, etc.
        amateur - typical buy to let landlord who things of themselves as an investor.
        professional - housing associations or the new breed of developers who build to rent and do the renting

        Many of the landlords here might be best described as semi-professional.

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you for your replies. It is much appreciated. I am totally accepting that some of the blame sits with me for not inspecting the property and as I have said that is a lesson learnt the hard way. I am not a rogue landlord and will make sure the property is repaired. It is really hard to see your old home which was beautiful now being in such a state, which could so easily of been avoided.

          The deposit was deposited immediately into the DPS and is still there.

          It is interesting that you mention council housing. I have had some reference request from various councils for them, so know they want social housing. I have also learnt from the housing officer that they now have two children in a small two bedroom flat. I suspect that I am being used as a pawn in their attempt to get social housing.

          I do not want to evict them because they are nice people who pay their rent on time, I just want to be sure they will look after the property once I repair it and do not play silly games to get their social housing.

          Comment


            #6
            I think you need to wise up here!

            Comment


              #7
              Two children in a small two bedroom flat is pretty normal, at least in London, for rented property.

              Comment


                #8
                Tenants often don't report issues with properties simply because they're scared the landlord will evict them if they do.
                It comes up high on most surveys of tenant concerns.

                Which is ironic in this case...
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  "I do not want to evict them because they are nice people who pay their rent on time, I just want to be sure they will look after the property once I repair it and do not play silly games to get their social housing."

                  Hi BadgerBrian - I'm a tenant so thought I would give you my perspective. I pay my rent on time too - that doesn't make me a nice person though, it just means I'm fulfilling my side of the contract. What makes me a 'nice tenant' is that I treat the house like a home, keep the landlord updated on any issues, fix what I am comfortable and confident with myself but if needs be speak to the LA or LL to get things fixed properly. I'm flexible for inspections, access etc. It greases the wheels and I have had minimal issues with the LA and none with the LL, and have accepted an annual rent increase for the last 6 years. and even then, while 'nice', I don't think I should be given any special treatment for doing so, just maybe treated with a bit of courtesy.

                  That said, should I find out that either or both do or have done anything wrong in the tenancy, or if they do anything antagonistic, then relations would easily break down and given the opportunity to reclaim any money from them I would take it - its the nature of the business and the nature of people - especially when it comes to financial matters.

                  Please don't be fooled by the 'they are nice tenants' angle - they have treated your asset (they don't see it as your family home) extremely badly and are leveraging that to get a council property which is likely cheaper and/or better for them. They will (and have) throw you under a bus for their own gain.

                  Use the advice of the landlords here to help you get them out at the first instance - hopefully your next tenants will be better!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hi BadgerBrian One Q arises the last AST was Aug 15, it is now Jun 18 nearly 3yrs. As a good LL you have been getting GSC every yr. How has that been happening you just been sending someone there and accept the cert remotely. I normally attend the site to supervise the gas man to make sure the eng do not be mingle with the appliance. That gives me the reason to enter the property and visual it.

                    Leason learnt

                    I am in similar situations to your. I was not a so called professional LL but agree with
                    jpkeates not a very good professional.

                    That aside
                    1. As you have been given the improvement notice you wont be able serve S21 for 6moths now. And you have to rectify the damage they have noted down before giving the S21. Seek professional advice once you have done the job. As you have probably read the notes you have right of appeal on the schedule of works. If you want to appeal on something you believe is not right you can. Or to avoid further delay you can just bite the bullet and go ahead just like I did. My work has costed me over £4k in the last 3yrs so far. I am out of the improvement notice period now and am going through S21 as my last AST was in Mar 14 I can go through the accelerated eviction.

                    1a. Is the property to have HMO licence of some sort. Find out from your local council website.

                    2. Very important note to take. The tenants are not nice if they are doing this to your property. They complained to the council and not you for a reason. They know the rules more than you. They are giving you rent on time and no arrears so that you cant serve them S8 for rent arrears. The S8 can be served even if you got an improvement notice.

                    ​​​​​​​If money will be no object for you think of going via the
                    thesheriffsoffice they look ok as per TV program. But be prepared to pay unto £2k to them.

                    ​​​​​​​So please STOP thinking of these tenants now, and START thinking about yourself...

                    Apologies in advance but The above line was written in anger toward you. You are nice so you start thinking everyone else is nice.

                    My tenant has been in for 9yrs paying rent every 2wks without break for good part of first 4yrs. In the meantime I had to look after disrepair, blocked sink due to fat, oil going down the drain. The tenant was told on many occasions how to clean the pans/dishes with tissues before washing in the sink. Despite that because she wanted to be rehoused she kept doing the right opposite so I ended up getting the BG drain and boiler contract so that they can go and clean the drains when ever it blocked up. Believe me it is cheaper than getting someone in every month or so. As the tenant was stuffing the flat with clothes as a hoarder the shower area is full of clothes which gather steam and hence will collect moisture with no window like yours guess where the water vapour is going to gather(despite the extractor fan working). The tenant not listing to me to empty the area the mould collected on the celling/tiles and damaging the shower area, and she complains to council. For god sake I gave her money once to help her out, been patient while she sorted her HB out at one point and gave her the short fall so her account doesn't go into overdraft. I could go on with 9yrs of history.

                    It still didn't click to evict as that the tenant might be homeless after the eviction. The tenant has now reassured that she will not get homeless by getting pregnant. As not to tarnish all the tenant in the same way I have had a tenant who decorated the flat(painted and cleaned) to their spec before moving in and professionally spring cleaned it before leaving no cost to me. If I have to give them the flat for half the price I will. Even though I am getting slightly higher rent now. So they are out there we just have to look for them.

                    The team on this forum is good, I joined RLA who have been immaculate in helping me over the phone with every step from Nov last year.


                    THINK OF YOUR SELF AS A PROFESSIONAL WHICH YOU ARE. GET RID OF THESE TENANTS and get the right tenants in even if it means it could take some time like mine sometimes 4 months. See the prospective tenants at viewing times and don't let the agent put you down unless you live so far you cant visit the property at all. The least you should then do is interview the tenant who want to move in to your property. Don't let them move in next day in a hurry. This could be your down fall. Only get professionals in.

                    ​​​​​​​I hope I gave you food for thought.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by vandamme View Post
                      I like this tenant who treats his rented property as his own for the duration of the stay. No wonder he is there for 6yrs.

                      Top marks!!!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Singhno1 View Post
                        Hi [B]BadgerBrian 1. As you have been given the improvement notice you wont be able serve S21 for 6moths now. And you have to rectify the damage they have noted down before giving the S21. Seek professional advice once you have done the job. As you have probably read the notes you have right of appeal on the schedule of works. If you want to appeal on something you believe is not right you can. Or to avoid further delay you can just bite the bullet and go ahead just like I did.
                        The tenancy predates the block on retaliatory eviction, so the improvement notice shouldn't affect the s21.

                        It would almost certainly affect a s8 notice.
                        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                          The tenancy predates the block on retaliatory eviction, so the improvement notice shouldn't affect the s21.

                          It would almost certainly affect a s8 notice.
                          As mine was periodic and pre Oct 15, I was still told to wait until the notice expires so that it doesn't have any complications.
                          I would get professional advice on this before giving S21 one or at least give S21 on terms of gaining possession himself so no costs. Then seek help before suiting the court forms for possession.

                          I am learning everyday!!!

                          PS I am not legally qualified to give legal advice. Any advice is mine alone.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            If the tenants are now in an SPT and that arose after the Deregulation Act came into force then the legislation may apply. I think I read that retaliatory evictions apply to s19 & s20 HA 1988 ASTs, which I think include SPTs.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by DPT57 View Post
                              If the tenants are now in an SPT and that arose after the Deregulation Act came into force then the legislation may apply. I think I read that retaliatory evictions apply to s19 & s20 HA 1988 ASTs, which I think include SPTs.
                              Not in Shelter Legals view....
                              http://england.shelter.org.uk/legal/...f_section_21#2
                              Retaliatory eviction


                              This restriction only applies to ASTs granted (or renewed) on or after 1 October 2015. It does not apply to a statutory periodic tenancy that arises on the expiry of a fixed term that began before 1 October 2015.
                              - they tend to be correct...
                              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                              Comment

                              Latest Activity

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X