My brother is a niave landlord and doesn't know where to turn

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    My brother is a niave landlord and doesn't know where to turn

    Hello Forumneers

    My brother rents out his house and has got into a bit of trouble with his T

    I asked what agreement had been signed and he said that he had downloaded one from the internet but was unsure of the content / terms and conditions

    Here's some of the points I have and would appreciate any feedback on any of the topics

    1. Police raided the house and found the Tenant's boyfriend growing cannabis in the loft - Is this cause to evict the tenant, if so how much notice is needed

    2. The front window of the property is broken and she has claimed that it was broken when she wasn't there and occurred when there was a party at the premises - Who is responsible for the cost of repair

    3. The tenant has claimed that both the front door handle and rear door handle have come off - Who is responsible for the cost of repair

    4.The tenant ismeant to top the council's rent up by £20 per month - this hasn't been paid for the last 5 months - Is this also grounds fro eviction

    The front window only came to light when my brother received a text from a neighbour after a number of loud parties at the property

    When the tenant was quizzed about the window this breakage was confirmed by the tenant and then the tenant revealed that the handles were broken.

    Up until this stage the tenant had not reported any damage

    Obviously my brother would like to get this tenant out of property but is unsure of the legal steps to follow

    Any general guidance would be appreciated

    Regards

    Stuart Cole

    #2
    Some further info would be helpful, so please can you confirm:

    Is property in England/Wales? - Scottish law is different.
    When did tenancy start - exact date?
    When did/does fixed term end - exact date?
    Was a deposit paid?
    If so, did LL protect it in a government scheme (as required since April 2007) and issue the tenant with the prescribed information from that scheme? Does he have proof when this was done?
    How much rent is owing? (to use rent arrears as an eviction ground, there must be equivalent of 2 months owing at time of issuing notice and time of court hearing to enforce such notice).
    Was there a guarantor for the tenancy?
    Are police pressing charges for the cannabis raid?
    Is boyfriend also a tenant on the agreement?

    As for some of your other questions - repairs to window, door handles etc is the responsibility of the LL, as they have to ensure safety and security of the proeprty, but they can charge the tenant/recover cost from the deposit (if protected as above), or through court claim, if they can prove the tenant was responsible for the damage.


    There are 2 methods of starting eviction process:

    A Section 8 notice covers breaches of the tenancy and LL would have grounds to use this, but it is discretionary and down to the court's decision whether possession would be granted. The S8 gives 14 days notice LL will apply for court possession. Members here with far more knowledge of legal process than me will no doubt advise you which grounds would apply and carry best chance of success. A police log number and report of the cannabis issue may help here. Also note that the tenant can challenge the S8 notice by claiming that the property is in disrepair, so if your brother does not get window and doors repaired quickly, this may affect the S8's success! Don't let him just sit back and think he is evicting them so he won't bother as this might hamper things.

    The second notice, known as a Section 21, will give guaranteed possession, but must run for 2 months duration, be issued 100% correctly and will only be valid if deposit is also protected. It also depends when the fixed term ends, as unlike the S8, S21 cannot come into force until the expiry of the FT of the tenancy. Many LLs fail to issue the S21 correctly and only discover this on its dismissal at court, and have to start the 2 month process all over again!

    Please note that neither notice gives the LL automatic eviction, and both require a court order to enforce them (possibly followed up by a baillif visit to remove the tenants), unless tenant leaves willingly.

    Whilst you are educating your brother into the rules and regs of letting, there is a good thread here:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...2&postcount=12

    which he may benefit from reading, to ensure he is complying with all the legal stuff, tax implications, mortgage consent, safety regs and other obligations of being a LL.

    Also, as he has probably discovered, downloading a tenancy agreement from the net is never wise. Once something is on the "www" it remains there ad-infinitum, whilst tenancy and housing laws are revised and superceded regularly. There is no way to know how old or out of date the agreement he used is. He has basically given sole possession of his most valuable asset to a complete stranger on the strength of a "back of a fag packet" agreement that could have been written by anyone! If he wants to use a generic "one size fits all" agreement, better to buy one from somewhere reputable like W H Smiths or better still, join a LL association and have access to their agreements, other legal docs and helplines for just such a situation as this. Membership is tax deductable too!


    If you can answer the questions above, I am sure you will get more advice, but until you do, no-one can be specific on which notice to use and now long this process may take! If your brother has internet access, it might benefit him to join here, as then we can ask and respond direct, rather than dealing 2nd hand through you.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by cole22631 View Post
      1. Police raided the house and found the Tenant's boyfriend growing cannabis in the loft - Is this cause to evict the tenant, if so how much notice is needed
      Section 8 ground 14 (illegal activity): 14 days, after which he can apply for a possession order if T fails to vacate.

      2. The front window of the property is broken and she has claimed that it was broken when she wasn't there and occurred when there was a party at the premises - Who is responsible for the cost of repair
      The landlord - but if he can prove the T was responsible for the damage (can he?) he can claim the cost back from the T.

      3. The tenant has claimed that both the front door handle and rear door handle have come off - Who is responsible for the cost of repair
      Unless there is evidence that the handles were forced off, then the LL.

      4.The tenant ismeant to top the council's rent up by £20 per month - this hasn't been paid for the last 5 months - Is this also grounds fro eviction
      Only when the shortfall reaches two month's worth of rent.

      The front window only came to light when my brother received a text from a neighbour after a number of loud parties at the property
      This proves nothing, I'm afraid.
      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

      Comment


        #4
        That is a fantastic response and gives me a lot of information - this is the first time he has rented out a property and hopefully he is learning from this experience. I am going to read his randomly downloaded tenancy agreement (Friday) but will also suggest he joins here and carries on this thread (Thanks again)

        Comment

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