Threats from local authority

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    Threats from local authority

    This is my first time using this site and I class myself as an amateur as I only have 1 property let. I manage properties for some family members too so do come across a range of issues.

    I work for the local authority and I naively though letting my first property to the council would be a good idea. I was paid an incentive to take on their tenant but I manage the property myself.

    The tenant has been in my property for a year and is in receipt of housing benefit to pay the rent. She has never paid the full rent as she has £100 a month to top up from herself that the HB doesn’t cover.

    Her arrears have not accumulated to 2 months arrears so I cannot start possession proceedings.

    Even worse than her not paying her full rent is the condition of my property.
    the house was immaculate when I let to her but now it is covered in mould, I have had 2 separate companies to assess the property for them both to state it is caused by the tenants lifestyle i.e not putting heat on frequently, drying clothes on radiators, not opening windows etc. The mould is on windows, walls, curtains and blinds and many of tenants possessions.

    The tenant believes it is down to the property as the surveyor hasn’t told her directly she is causing the issues.

    The tenant called her housing officers who have threatened legal action against me unless I repair. In actual fact there is nothing to repair. I’m at a loss with how to deal with tenant or housing officers. I have a report from damp surveyor and although they do state this particular damp and mould is caused by lifestyle they also have quoted £0000s to fit vents to counteract the problem.

    I do do not want nor do I have the money to have the vents fitted.

    The tenant is causing non stop issue and complaining constantly to housing officers.

    My question is to anyone who has been in a similar situation with council and how to deal with them and tenant?

    Thanks in advance

    #2
    Serve a s21.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
      Serve a s21.
      The notice from the local authority invalidates the section 21, as a revenge eviction.

      Comment


        #4
        Op doesn't say she has been served a notice.

        Comment


          #5
          Threatening legal action sounds like a notice to me.

          Comment


            #6
            Perhaps op will clarify?

            Comment


              #7
              Has OP done any LL training eg with NLA/RLA or read topics on this Forum?
              Nuff said.

              Comment


                #8
                This thread needs posting as a sticky as a warning to others.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Nolandlord View Post

                  In actual fact there is nothing to repair.
                  Are you sure? We have had some really heavy downpours recently - are you really certain that the roof is ok, flashings secure and there are no faulty drainpipes?. Are the companies you engaged to report in the Damp Proof Course line of business because I understand they will check that you have a DPC installed and then say in their report that it must be something else causing the damp, which is not helpful? Did they comment on anything else to investigate in the house?
                  I have found that the best way to deal with damp properties is firstly to look at the property when it is raining and see where the water goes. Does any run down the walls or gush out of gutters. When was the roof checked?Are the flashing around chimney in good order? You can use a damp meter to check the walls to detect moisture before and after rain. If you detect more moisture on the chimney breasts then this indicates that the chimney flashings have failed..

                  You need to take this seriously as mould can cause respiratory problems and because of this I would ask the Council to rehouse the tenants. If they did this you would have the benefit of an empty house to investigate the real cause of the problems and remove the risk to health from the mould. Whichever way this goes you need to budget for some repairs or modifications or your house will be in effect unlettable.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    But what can he do if the tenants don't open the windows.

                    even if you fit the world's most expensive extractor fan in still never going to be as effective as opening the window for 10 minutes after a shower.

                    in saying that may be rude to get path to the issue of repair get an extractor fan installed report to the Council that this is what you have done maybe is going to cost you a couple of £100 and then you can serve the S21

                    in fact I think I you have to wait six months I if they have issued a repair notice but if it's just an awareness notice then you can still issue S21

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I assume the council have visited the property? I most certainly hope so in view of threats of legal action!!

                      Have you forwarded the surveyor's report to them where it states the tenant is responsible for the mould? This would be my first (and final) port of call. I certainly don't see why you should spend thousands of pounds for something that isn't your fault. I know I wouldn't!

                      Also the quicker you're shot of this tenant the better!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thank you all for replies.

                        to clarify the council are threatening to start court action if I do not repair the property. I have not been served with any formal notice as yet. I am worried that if I do nothing I will be served some sort of notice. That is the reason I have used two separate companies to assess, Since they both said the same sort of thing I started to question whether it is something I need to repair.

                        I haven’t served a section 21 before but I have heard they are unsuccessful as judges tend to give tenants opportunities to pay back arrears, maintain property etc?


                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Nolandlord View Post
                          Thank you all for replies.


                          I haven’t served a section 21 before but I have heard they are unsuccessful as judges tend to give tenants opportunities to pay back arrears, maintain property etc?


                          No, that's section 8.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by AlexR View Post

                            Are you sure? We have had some really heavy downpours recently - are you really certain that the roof is ok, flashings secure and there are no faulty drainpipes?. Are the companies you engaged to report in the Damp Proof Course line of business because I understand they will check that you have a DPC installed and then say in their report that it must be something else causing the damp, which is not helpful? Did they comment on anything else to investigate in the house?
                            I have found that the best way to deal with damp properties is firstly to look at the property when it is raining and see where the water goes. Does any run down the walls or gush out of gutters. When was the roof checked?Are the flashing around chimney in good order? You can use a damp meter to check the walls to detect moisture before and after rain. If you detect more moisture on the chimney breasts then this indicates that the chimney flashings have failed..

                            You need to take this seriously as mould can cause respiratory problems and because of this I would ask the Council to rehouse the tenants. If they did this you would have the benefit of an empty house to investigate the real cause of the problems and remove the risk to health from the mould. Whichever way this goes you need to budget for some repairs or modifications or your house will be in effect unlettable.
                            Are you saying the council would house my tenants if there i I form them my property is effecting the tenants health? Wouldn’t they just force me to make good the issues?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Nolandlord View Post

                              Are you saying the council would house my tenants if there i I form them my property is effecting the tenants health? Wouldn’t they just force me to make good the issues?
                              If the council have asked for work to be done they have the power to force you to do it. I never got to locking horns with the Council so I can't advise other than try to reason and negotiate. When I had this situation as a landlord with one of my properties I would have moved the tenants if I could, and sorted the problem in the property as I would maintain it is very difficult to do with the tenants there.- I couldn't realistically do this as a small landlord but you could ask the council to do it . It has the benefit of moving the tenants on and allowing you to deal with the root problem (which is what the council want) .

                              I have had this problem in three houses which were all terraced properties built in the 1900s.The symptoms were exactly as you describe- mould on walls and even clothes. In each and every case water was getting into the house through roof,gutter and/or drainage problems. The only way I got rid of the mould was to empty the house of tenants and repair all of the above issues.

                              For sure tenants need to open windows,heat the house etc but it is possible that they are not the root cause of the problem, but are definately adding to them

                              Comment

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