Rental arrears, out of contract do we still have to repair dishwashers etc

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    Rental arrears, out of contract do we still have to repair dishwashers etc

    Hi guys

    I have a tenant , who is due to move out in 3 weeks time when his contract runs out , but he has not paid rent for the last two months and refuses to answer calls and emails chasing the rental arrears. But he has just emailed the maintenance dept wanting us to repair various things which he has broken or have broken down.. Are we by law still required to fix these whilst he is in arrears and not responding to calls. He has also just asked for an extension to his contract for another few months via email so he obviously does not have anywhere to go to and we have new tenants supposed to be moving in two weeks after he vacates the property . Does anybody have an idea of what my rights are regarding the repairs and what happens to the new tenants if they can’t move in. Thanks very much.

    #2
    Anything you have responsibilities to repair still need fixing, regardless of rent bring paid or not. What will judge think if this gets to court , apart from anything else.

    Why do you think he's going? He doesn't need any extension, the tenancy continues as periodic as long as he stays, rent paid or not.

    Are you sure you responsible for fixing white goods?
    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...

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      #3
      Rent arrears does not affect your duty to do repairs. Infuriating as it is.

      There is never any guarantee that a tenant will move out at end of contract so I would think about issuing a S21 notice now just to enforce that he won't be getting an extension. This will probably be one who goes in his own time with plenty of rent debt.

      If he does not leave then no one else can move in. Are you some sort of letting agent?



      Freedom at the point of zero............

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        #4
        If he's a tenant on an AST with a fixed term that expires in 3 weeks time, if he hasn't served notice and stays in the property, he will start a new periodic tenancy automatically.
        This will happen whether or not you give him an "extension".

        You still have the same obligations to repair things that you had before he stopped paying rent.

        If your new tenants cannot move in, you are obliged to compensate them for any losses that they incur as a consequence (which they, in turn, are bound to keep to a minimum).
        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


          #5
          Interlaken,

          Hi there

          No not at all, just a first time private landlord. Just worried about the legal side of things And potential loss of earnings. , the law just feels very wrong on things sometimes.

          Comment


            #6
            Agree with Interlaken, I'm not an expert but I'd be tempted to file an S21 and a S8 and make sure that the tenant is aware that you will be persuing him/her for the outstanding debt via court or moneyclaim depending on the level of debt.

            Make the tenant aware that his/her obligations do not end when they leave the property.

            Along with the others I think you should expect the tenant will not be leaving and you probably want to start explaining things to the new occupiers. If you have not already signed the new contract hold fire.

            You still have to repair but my view would be the judge will take a view depending on the impact, for instance hot water and toilet would be primary concerns, dishwasher would come further down the line as it's not a basic requirement.

            If you are not confident in taking it to court yourself then entrust an expert quickly, some advertise on this forum.

            Just my view and I have no legal training

            All the best and hope things work out

            Comment


              #7
              Get trained - eg NRLA courses.

              1988 housing act swung power massively in favour of landlords.

              If that sensitive to loss if earnings this is probably not the role for you. I've two properties not paying rent due to covid19, undoubtedly others with many more

              Most years I make money from lettings but not always
              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


                #8
                You need to serve notice asap, otherwise the rent owed will become greater. You have a duty to repair/fix broken items, if it is proved it was the T who has caused it due to negligence then you can claim the cost of repair from them, proving it is the hard part.

                My advice is to serve notice, then write to the tenant to ask them to call you concerning the issues, make a list of them, or arrange to make a visit to the property to see the items. You then make a priority list on each of the items giving the T when you can arrange an engineer/ builder/ trades person to examine and quote for the works an when their availability would be. This would help you with evidence that you were going to fix the problems so eliminating the T's defence that you didn't do anything.

                Be prepared to have the T stilling living there rent free for upto 6-9 months before you get possession.

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