Why would a landlord want to do this?

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    Why would a landlord want to do this?

    Thought I would ask to see if anyone knows of the benefit to doing this?

    Not one of my tenants, but a friend who rents from another landlord. The tenancy is through an agent and the landlord has never been to the property. However, totally unannounced he arrives and asks if my friend could sign over the property for a month. This includes Gas, Water, council tax etc...

    in exchange, he will tell the agent not to charge one months rent. He will also pay the utility bills for that month. After which time he will transfer everything back to the tenant.

    ???

    He said there is a financial benefit for him to 'appear' to be living at the property for 1 month.

    What's that all about???

    I can only think it is someway to evict?

    #2
    He's in trouble with his mortgage company most probably! He's got a residential mortgage that's at a better rate than a buy to let mortgage. Its terms dictate that he has to be living in the property, he can't rent it out to tenants.

    Now he's been caught out, or fears being caught out, so he needs to pretend he's living there. In other words he's looking to commit mortgage fraud... Or rather, to continue committing mortgage fraud, since he already is by having made a false application.

    Comment


      #3
      How is it proposed that the tenant "sign over" the property to the landlord?
      I'm not aware of any kind of "signing over" mechanism that would be available to someone, even if the whole idea didn't sound very dodgy in the first place.
      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


        #4
        Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
        How is it proposed that the tenant "sign over" the property to the landlord?
        I'm not aware of any kind of "signing over" mechanism that would be available to someone, even if the whole idea didn't sound very dodgy in the first place.
        Yes I Questioned this and it appears to be all the utility bills plus council tax. All seems very dodgy to me. Just trying to work out the financial benefit to landlord? the mortgage fraud would make sense?

        Comment


          #5
          Maybe benefit claim if he has a wife and now trying to make out they are separated?

          Comment


            #6
            On the fiddle. Spend £3 with land registry get name of lender & inform status of property.

            Suspect tax fiddle, mortgage fiddle, mail/post fiddle amongst others.

            Grass him up to HMRC (report tax fiddle)
            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


              #7
              Originally posted by OneSmallStep View Post
              the mortgage fraud would make sense?
              Having one month's worth of utility bills and council tax wouldn't prove residence for a mortgage lender looking to see if someone's letting on a residential mortgage.

              There are tenancies where the landlord includes the utilities and council tax in with the rent - they're very unusual outside shared properties and in the current economy, probably suicidal, but having some bills in their name isn't going to help the landlord prove anything to anyone.

              You could transfer the council tax with a phone call without the tenant's consent (or even knowledge) for example.

              It sets off immediate alarms simply because its such an odd request.
              I've never even heard of a similar request - and at some point you think you've heard of everything.

              But I can't deduce the point.
              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


                #8
                In theory could also be an attempt to evade (or avoid being caught evading) additional rate SDLT.

                Sounds more like fraud on the part of the LL to me than an attempt to evict.
                There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by doobrey View Post
                  In theory could also be an attempt to evade (or avoid being caught evading) additional rate SDLT.
                  I don't see how a month would help with a fraud, it's just not long enough.
                  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


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                    I don't see how a month would help with a fraud, it's just not long enough.
                    You know that, but daft landlord may not.....
                    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


                      #11
                      Utilities companies may be easier to switch, but the council's takes time to change over the details, so 1 month may not be long enough. I would tell your friend to deal with the agent, as both you and the LL would soon be in a mess. If your friend signs "over the property" assuming it means surrendering the property, your friend could become homeless at the end of the period......

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by ash72 View Post
                        Utilities companies may be easier to switch, but the council's takes time to change over the details, so 1 month may not be long enough. I would tell your friend to deal with the agent, as both you and the LL would soon be in a mess. If your friend signs "over the property" assuming it means surrendering the property, your friend could become homeless at the end of the period......
                        Hi, Did consider it could be interpreted as some form of surrender. Have advised them to say no and wait to see what happens. All very strange.

                        He's coming around again in the next couple of days for an answer so might have an update. Thanks for everyone's thoughts and ideas.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          We all know this is dodgy as hell, its such an odd request that it only appears to benefit the LL, what is the tenant getting out of this ??? The tenant could be party to fraud, and as such would end up with a criminal record, thus causing him or her issue in the future (jobs/visit to the USA).

                          I would tell him where to go, i deal with dishonest and scummy people daily, this request sounds exactly the kind of thing they would attempt to do.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Hudson01 View Post
                            We all know this is dodgy as hell, its such an odd request that it only appears to benefit the LL, what is the tenant getting out of this ??? The tenant could be party to fraud, and as such would end up with a criminal record, thus causing him or her issue in the future (jobs/visit to the USA).

                            I would tell him where to go, i deal with dishonest and scummy people daily, this request sounds exactly the kind of thing they would attempt to do.
                            completely agree.
                            Just really intrigued as to the benefit to landlord?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Another twist.

                              Landlord visited again. Very surprised that the tenant wouldn't agree to the idea. Said he would be left with no option but to evict which he doesn't want to do. Coming back in a week to see if tenant has changed their mind.

                              Advised tenant to speak to Shelter. No fault eviction due to a bizarre situation.

                              Comment

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