Does this tenants behaviour sound suspicious to you?

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  • Does this tenants behaviour sound suspicious to you?

    Hi, I am new here, basically because in the 7 years i have rented my UK property to tenants i have never had a problem....until now.
    My current tenant had a contract for 6 months starting on 7th May until 7th October when he went to a periodic tenancy. I use a letting agent
    In the past, i have given my tenants 24 hour notice that i wished to inspect the property when i was back in the UK (i live in the Caribbean), and all my previous tenants were agreeable to this.
    However, i am not able to get back to the UK until July next year and wished for a representative of mine to inspect the property on my behalf.
    The tenant has refused this saying it is an invasion of his privacy - fine he has the right to do this. This went back and forth from me to the agents, tenants to agents - he is even questioning why the agents have to do their inspection. Anyway, i find this refusal highly suspicious....coupled with the fact that he pays his rent 6 months up front, which is great to have the money there for me, but it also seems suspicious that he is throwing away a good couple of hundred quid of interest he could gain on it by paying per month.
    I am so uneasy by all this that i want to serve him 2 months notice to vacate the property. And from here on in i am going to let it as a holiday cottage, because i am sick of being a landlord and basically not having any rights to my property at all.
    Does anyone else think this tenants behaviour is suspicious? The money up front could possibly be a tax dodge? And what kind of chaos can i expect if the tenant refuses to move?

  • #2
    Well

    First suspicious or not, you do not have a right to enter the property, as you rightly said, and therefore its upto you how to proceed. My concern here would be the fact you have taken 6 months rent up front. This is not because of suspicion of his activities but the tenancy it has now created. You may find that you now have to give 2 periods worth of notice, i.e. 2 x 6 months = a year!

    lets see what the others think!

    Comment


    • #3
      My current tenant had a contract for 6 months starting on 7th May until 7th October when he went to a periodic tenancy.


      Errrrr thats 5 months not 6!!! the tenancy only went periodic yesterday. Maybe because of your mathematical error your tenant is suspicious of you wanting an inspection just before the tenancy goes periodic, assuming you're going to evict. From his point of you he has been reasonable don't you think paying you 6 months rent up front!

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      • #4
        Yes, sorry my mistake with the dates, it only went periodic yesterday. He has been reasonable paying up six months in advance (although i am still suspicious of this behaviour) but i just cannot get my head round the idea of why he doesn't want an inspection, it makes me think he has something to hide...and i dont like it.....i'm just not cut out to be a landlord and merrily let people cack up my investment and property whilst i have no rights, hence we have decided to turn it in to a holiday let.
        From having a quick read on these posts it seems as if the earliest i can give notice will be next month, then if he refuses to move out i will expect three/four months of legal wrangling to evict him - so hopefully we can still have the summer months to let it as a holiday let.

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        • #5
          yes so the earliest time you can gain possession will be in just under 3 months assuming you don't have to give 2x6months notice as dazalock said. I don't know about that. Won't the rent be due now? has he paid a months or another 6? that might be relevant.

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          • #6
            If your tenancy agreement states a monthly rent then I would have thought that accepting payment every six months amounts to a private arrangement. Those who accept housing benefit tenants accept four weekly payments in arrears instead of monthly in advance, it doesn't affect the legal position as I found out recently when evicting a HB tenant.
            As for the suspicion, personally, if I were renting and keeping the place in good order, I would not want the landlord or agent around checking on me. I agree though that it is swings and roundabouts on this.

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            • #7
              My letting agents tell me although he has given them six months rent in advance, it does not create a six month contract with me because they will only release the money per month to me, as he is on a periodic tenancy.
              You know he probably is a good tenant, but too often in the past i have been trusting of people and putt up with situations that leave my intuitions screaming at me, and too often i have been walked all over, and i am not prepared to put up with it anymore.
              I have been a tenant too, and because i have kept the place in good repair and have had nothing to hide, i have never had a problem with inspections.
              My agents also tell me that if it goes to court the courts would class it as harrassment the mere fact that i have asked if my representative can inspect the property - which it states in the contract that i am entitled to ask for this. Of course the tenant can say no, which he has done.....but how the hell can that be classed as harrassment?
              I am just sick to death of the whole legal side of letting being so very biased towards tenants.
              I think i have made up my mind to serve him notice....go with my gut instinct

              Comment


              • #8
                As has been said, it is a tenant's right to refuse a landlord (or his agent) access for the purpose of a landlord's inspection. It is also a landlord's right to evict a tenant without reason in accordance with section 21 of the housing act. If said tenant has paid your agent 6 months rent up front on a monthly tenancy, then you can be assured that you will receive your rent right up until day the bailffs evict him (with luck).

                P.P.
                Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

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                • #9
                  I think your agent is a little misguided. As far as the tenant is concerned he has paid you six months rent in advance. It is of no consequence whether or not your agent is paying it to you.

                  You have a right to inspect the property, but as you know quiet enjoyment gets in the way of this if the tenant wishes to protect his privacy or hide his wrongdoings. You can request the courts to allow you access!

                  I fail to see why an attempt to gain access to the property would be harrassment. I suggest you write to the tenant with an inspection date stating that if it is inconvenient he should call you direct to arrange a more suitable time, this puts the onus on him.

                  If your contract states that the rent is payable monthly and the tenant for his own peace of mind pays in advance you should be fine. If the contract reflects the payment ie six monthly, you really could have a problem.

                  Instincts in this business can often be proven right but not always. Good luck with it.
                  For the avoidance of doubt, I am not a solicitor nor a specialist. I have simply spent many years in the business and am expressing my opinions. I would urge caution to any individual using these forums as a sole basis for decision without first speaking to a solicitor.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The tenant now has come back and said that my representative can visit the property before 6am and after 9pm......he knows i was only asking this person to act as my rep. as she was in the area for work that particular week, so i think these times have been deliberately contrived to make this whole affair more difficult than it ought to be - he did not mention weekends - so he is being either devious or awkward neither of those attributes i really care for.
                    We have signed a periodic tenancy which states payment is per month on the 7th. But, yes, having the money there does mean that if he wont leave then after notice period at least i'll get paid. Mind you the letting agents have never really had my best interests at heart so they'll probably give it back to him!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by P.Pilcher
                      As has been said, it is a tenant's right to refuse a landlord (or his agent) access for the purpose of a landlord's inspection. It is also a landlord's right to evict a tenant without reason in accordance with section 21 of the housing act.
                      Very true...

                      What, I wonder, would happen if the LL just told the tenant that if he refuses to allow occasional inspections (the tenant's right), the tenancy will be terminated (the LL's right)? Would that be 'unfair' and not allowed (ie, would it override the right of the LL to evict for no reason whatsoever, simply because this reason had been given?)

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                      • #12
                        He is extracting the urine, serve notice. At the very least, he will then know you mean business. Also, change your agent or do as many of us here have done, manage it yourself, its not as hard as you may think and it saves agents' fees.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Mr Woof - you are quite right, i intend to give him notice with no reason stated, as is my right.
                          I never intend to let my house out ever again as a residential let, i have decided to let it as a holiday let and manage that myself, it also means i can block off dates and use the house ourselves when we are back in the UK for a visit.
                          Just sick to death of bending over backwards to placate tenants and getting absolutely not respect back from them at the end of the day!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just my thoughts:

                            - I agree with dazalock on the 6 month thing. When your agent releases money to you has zip to do with the tenant, that is an arrangment between you and your agent. I would be more concerned with the agent than the tenant after this comment, as it is obvious the agents knowledge is at the very least somewhat dubious!

                            - I wouldnt be overly suspicious....some people are just like that! The tenant is likely also one of these people who are outraged at the "invasion of privacy" by identity cards, and cameras checking for road tax! It doesnt neccessarily mean that he is doing anything wrong.

                            - Someone said, I believe it was mjpl, on another thread that in fact the tenant does not have to agree to the landlord entering, just that the notice to enter must be given at least 48 hours in advance in writing. Not sure if this is actually the case, but it was definitely stated on this forum not too long ago.
                            Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The tenant can refuse access. The post you refer to was one that stated that a Landlord does not need the tenant to confirm an inspection in order for it to go ahead, however if the tenant refuses the inspection, it is a different matter.
                              For the avoidance of doubt, I am not a solicitor nor a specialist. I have simply spent many years in the business and am expressing my opinions. I would urge caution to any individual using these forums as a sole basis for decision without first speaking to a solicitor.

                              Comment

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