Junior Landlord Needs Help - I want to be fair.

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  • Junior Landlord Needs Help - I want to be fair.

    Hi there

    I am new to this forum, I had tenants in my flat (a couple) and their tenancy ran out on 29th March, a month before I got a text stating that the Gentleman would be leaving but his Girlfriend would be staying, so I did nothing and figured I'd have to create a new tenancy when he left. But 2 weeks later, I got a text to say both were moving. I was not happy and went to discuss this with them and they said that she is not held responsible as she only signed as a witness although her name is mentioned on the contract. So I spoke to him, and he said that they didn't need to give notice at all as its not in the contract (which was drawn up by an estate agent).

    Okay it gets more difficult on checking the flat, my sofa was missing, also there is a big crack in the ceiling, and my blinds in the kitchen is missing and the one in the living room is broken. I left small things such as a dish rack, toilet brush and lampshades in both bedrooms and even these are nowhere to be seen.

    How much can I take from the deposit?
    Can I take 2 weeks off for inadequate notice?
    I will take cost of sofa off (although I would have to pay twice that now as they were in the flat for 2 yrs) and damage to ceiling and cost of new blinds. For the small things, guess its my loss for not putting them on the inventory.

    They also were late on all 24 payments, but again, its not in the contract although I warned them that I'd take it off the deposit.

    Please help, I need to send them a letter stating what I am taking off the deposit, but I want to be fair and within the law too.

    Also now I am getting letters from bailiffs saying wheres my money?? Maybe thats where my sofa went??

    Many thanks
    Shetal

  • #2
    As the tenants left at the end of the fixed term they didn't need to give you any notice so I don't think you can charge them anything for that.
    Also you can't charge them on late payments unless it was stated in the agreement and that you're actually reasonable cost rather than say £100 for spite.

    Regarding the missing items, you can indeed only charge for items that are on the inventory.
    For what is on the inventory you can charge for replacement allowing for wear and tear. For exemple you can't charge for the cost of a brand new sofa if the one that's missing was 10 years old. There are a few messages on the forum relating to deposits and there are links to how to charge a tenant, a search should bring them up.

    Of course if I'm wrong anywhere another member will correct me.

    Comment


    • #3
      Okay, one slight correction.........
      Originally posted by Jennifer_M
      As the tenants left at the end of the fixed term they didn't need to give you any notice so I don't think you can charge them anything for that.
      Also you can't charge them on late payments unless it was stated in the agreement and that you're actually reasonable cost rather than say £100 for spite. You can only charge them interest for late payment, not "reasonable costs", but it's a devil to work out!

      Regarding the missing items, you can indeed only charge for items that are on the inventory.
      For what is on the inventory you can charge for replacement allowing for wear and tear. For exemple you can't charge for the cost of a brand new sofa if the one that's missing was 10 years old. There are a few messages on the forum relating to deposits and there are links to how to charge a tenant, a search should bring them up.

      Of course if I'm wrong anywhere another member will correct me.
      The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Furniture and Damage to Property

        Hi there

        Thanks Jennifer and Paul for your replies.

        I really didn't realise my flat would be empty for so long, okay I will have to suffer in silence till I get new tenants then.

        As for the furniture, it was all brand new and I have receipts to support this in case it does go to court. In two years I'd expect some wear and tear but all these things are missing or beyond repair.

        With regards to them owing money on my property now, aren't I able to keep back some deposit until these bills are paid, they are being sent to my address and they said that I won't get any post here. Seems they got off with a lot more than I thought.

        Also how long do I have before I have to pay them?
        I'm trying to do all this within legal frameworks and want to give them the right amount of money too. Do I have to get the ceiling etc... fixed before I give them the deposit, currently I've asked a builder to estimate me for the ceiling and blinds and am in the process of ordering a new sofa.

        Many Thanks
        Shetal

        Comment


        • #5
          Interest on Late Payments

          Hi again

          As contract doesn't state they have to pay interest on late payments can I charge say 2% per day per late payment? I've read some contracts that state 4%.

          Is this okay?
          Thanks
          Shetal

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by shetal
            Hi again

            As contract doesn't state they have to pay interest on late payments can I charge say 2% per day per late payment? I've read some contracts that state 4%.

            Is this okay?
            Thanks
            Shetal
            I dont think you are going to get away with a 730% APR


            (but you might justify it if you had a mortgage at that rate.)

            Comment


            • #7
              Reply to Energise

              Hi Energise

              I don't understand, can you rephrase please?
              Thanks
              Shetal

              Comment


              • #8
                It's a pain I know but.............
                Originally posted by shetal
                Hi again

                As contract doesn't state they have to pay interest on late payments can I charge say 2% per day per late payment? I've read some contracts that state 4%. You can't charge any interest on late payment unless the amount is stated within your tenancy agreement. The 2% & 4% to which your refer is the amount above the Bank of England base rate that is normally charged.

                Is this okay?
                Thanks
                Shetal
                The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by shetal
                  Hi Energise

                  I don't understand, can you rephrase please?
                  Thanks
                  Shetal
                  The rate you might seen in a contract would almost certainly be the annual rate of interest not a daily rate.

                  e.g. if a quoted interest was 6% the monthly interest rate would be 0.5% and a daily rate of 0.016666666666666666666666666666667% (roughly)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    2% per day !!! I dont think so.

                    As for any debts in their name coming to your address, they are of no concern to you at all. You dont have to open their mail, pay their bills or speak to anybody who knocks at your door for them so no you certainly cant charge them for it.

                    the only items you can deduct cost for are the missing items and broken items from your flat. since everything was 2 years old I cant imagine you could claim more than 50 -75% of the original price but I may be wrong.

                    Zoe

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Zoe's reply

                      Hi Zoe and Energise

                      Thanks for your replies, okay I am now ONLY charging for the broken items and the sofa. I am not charging them for the lack of notice, bounced cheques or late payments. But, I'm sure they will still call and want all of the money back.

                      Lets see what they say and if they want to take me to court, I'll be back on the forum, sooner than you think!

                      Thanks again!
                      Shetal

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Would Shetal be allowed to charge for his time in attending, eg to be at the property for sofa delivery, allow builders in to fix ceiling, time to source alternative blinds etc? Agents certainly charge landlords for 'adminitrative time' - is the landlord allowed to charge similarly to the departed tenant?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Threatening Behaviour

                          Hi All

                          Seems I'm back sooner than I thought, I sent the tenants the remainder of the deposit and now I am getting texts to say that they'll go to my parents house to get cash for the remainder!! I mistakenly asked them to deposit cash off in the earlier stages of the renting period as they were not paying on time.

                          I really don't know what to do?

                          I've let them off on so many things.

                          Please help.

                          Shetal

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Contact the police and tell them the tenants are threatening you and your parents.

                            Tell your parents not to open the door to them.

                            Write a professional letter to the tenant explaining why you retained money (if you haven't told them already), that if they don't agree they can simply take you to small claims court and a judge will decide and that if they threaten you again they will have to deal with the police.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Threatening Behaviour

                              Hi Jennifer

                              Thanks for your advice.

                              They haven't got back to me today, lets see tomorrow.
                              Shetal

                              Comment

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