Inventory companies/clerks/fees

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    #46
    Originally posted by Preston View Post
    Hi

    Surely the tenancy (in case of a lease less than three years) takes affect on possession, rather than occupation. For the tenant to have possession, there is no necessary requirement to "move in", it can take place (and be evidenced) in other ways. The giving and receiving of keys might be an example.

    Preston
    Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
    In this context possession and occupation are the same thing.
    Hi

    So, in layperson's terms, does this mean that it is not always necessary for the "tenant" to physically cross the threshold for the tenancy to begin?

    A scenario: landlord and prospective tenant meet at a letting agent's office to sign a tenancy agreement. They meet today (17th Jan), they sign today and the agreement shows a start date for the tenancy of today (17th Jan). Keys are handed over to the "tenant" at the time of signing. However, the "tenant", after leaving the letting agent's office, goes straight to the airport and flies away on holiday for a few weeks.

    When does the tenancy start?

    Preston

    Comment


      #47
      Originally posted by Preston View Post
      Hi

      So, in layperson's terms, does this mean that it is not always necessary for the "tenant" to physically cross the threshold for the tenancy to begin?

      A scenario: landlord and prospective tenant meet at a letting agent's office to sign a tenancy agreement. They meet today (17th Jan), they sign today and the agreement shows a start date for the tenancy of today (17th Jan). Keys are handed over to the "tenant" at the time of signing. However, the "tenant", after leaving the letting agent's office, goes straight to the airport and flies away on holiday for a few weeks.

      When does the tenancy start?

      Preston
      Is this a trick question? My answer is : Today! Because he called in at the house to make sure the burglar alarm was on before he left to go on holiday. He forgot to tell agent that. Do I win the holiday?
      '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


        #48
        Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
        Is this a trick question? My answer is : Today! Because he called in at the house to make sure the burglar alarm was on before he left to go on holiday. He forgot to tell agent that. Do I win the holiday?
        Well that made me smile, but sorry if I am sounding tricky! The scenario is there just to illustrate my point that, in my view, its not necessary to "move in" in the every day meaning of the word, for the tenancy to start.

        But I am interested in others' views, because this is another one of those issues that crops up from time to time and is certainly very relevant to the issue of "is it possible to issue the section 21 when the agreement is signed".

        Anyway, he didn't call in at the house because he went straight to the airport and got on a plane. So whats your view?!

        Preston

        Comment


          #49
          Originally posted by Preston View Post
          Well that made me smile, but sorry if I am sounding tricky! The scenario is there just to illustrate my point that, in my view, its not necessary to "move in" in the every day meaning of the word, for the tenancy to start.

          But I am interested in others' views, because this is another one of those issues that crops up from time to time and is certainly very relevant to the issue of "is it possible to issue the section 21 when the agreement is signed".

          Anyway, he didn't call in at the house because he went straight to the airport and got on a plane. So whats your view?!

          Preston
          My view is that it's a bit academic. It would only matter if anyone were to challenge whether or not the tenancy existed/had begun. The section 21 issue is I suppose an example, (although I can see no logic in issuing a s21 at the outset - that argument has been covered elsewhere, hasn't it). I suppose if it were issued and subsequently disputed, its validity may hinge on whether tenancy existed when it was issued, or not. For argument's sake :

          Scenario (i) : LL tries to claim tenancy does not exist because T has not moved in. T can refute this on the grounds that he has signed a TA, he has (presumably) paid a deposit, and rent in advance, he has been given keys and (for all the LL knows) he may well have let himself into the house before going on his hols.

          Scenario (ii) : T tries to claim tenancy does not exist because he has not moved in. LL can refute that on exactly the same grounds as above with the exception of the entry into the property.

          In either scenario, there is surely sufficient proof of the existence of a tenancy to render the practical detail of setting foot in the house unimportant? Such a claim (ie non-existence of tenancy), would only be credible/valid if no money had changed hands and/or no contract had been signed, wouldn't it?

          I suppose, strictly speaking 'tenancy' means the state or act of 'having/possessing' or 'holding' (the property) from the French tenir - a tenant is one who holds/possesses. Whether this has to be a dynamic verb (as in living in/residing in) or whether it can be stative 'having [the right to]' a property, is an interesting question. I like to think I still 'possess/hold/have' my own home even when I' m on holiday, and not actually living in it. Why should it be any different for a tenant, once he's been given the keys, paid rent, etc.? So in a roundabout sort of way I think I agree with you. Lawcruncher probably knows some mediaeval definition of possession which we don't. But he lives in Spain and has velvet pyjamas. So don't worry.

          Having said all that, I am on my third glass of wine and this could quite easily be a load of rubbish. What do you think?
          '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


            #50
            Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
            I suppose, strictly speaking 'tenancy' means the state or act of 'having/possessing' or 'holding' (the property) from the French tenir) - tenant is one who holds/possesses. I like to think I still 'possess/hold/have' my own home even when I' m on holiday, and I don't see why it should be any different for a tenant, once he's been given the keys, paid rent, etc. So in a roundabout sort of way I think I agree with you. Lawcruncher probably knows some mediaeval definition of possession which we don't. But he lives in Spain and has velvet pyjamas. So don't worry.

            Having said all that, I am on my third glass of wine and this could quite easily be a load of rubbish. What do you think?
            I think your summary is right.

            The concept of possession is interesting; a landlord can be considered to be in possessoin, even though the property in question is sublet - and so occupied - by someone else completely. Depending upon the nature of the sub occupant's occupancy, they may also have possession. I wonder whether other legal systems are equally complex?

            The only problem I have is with the velvet pyjamas image. Not nice. And a bit warm I would imagine? I'm a bit more of an al fresco person myself - although only at bed time of course!

            Preston

            Comment


              #51
              Check in/Check out inventory

              The landlord of the flat I have recently stopped renting chose not to have a professional check in/inventory check before we moved into the flat. He did the inventory himself, which was hand written on a piece of paper. Since vacacting the flat, the letting agents sent a professional inventory clerk to do the check out and now wants us to pay the fee. The fee was not agreed with us up front, nor were we told about having to pay the check out fee when we moved in. In addition, the professional inventory clerk also found lots of things that were wrong with the flat that we're expected to pay for...but these things were not detailed on the original inventory. One example is stains on the carpet and they expect us to pay to have the carpet professionally cleaned. However, they don't have proof that the stains weren't there in the first place.

              So I have two questions:
              1) Do we have to pay the check out fee?
              2) Do we have to pay for "damages" to things that weren't on the original inventory?

              Comment


                #52
                Originally posted by Spellcoll View Post
                The landlord of the flat I have recently stopped renting chose not to have a professional check in/inventory check before we moved into the flat. He did the inventory himself, which was hand written on a piece of paper. Since vacacting the flat, the letting agents sent a professional inventory clerk to do the check out and now wants us to pay the fee. The fee was not agreed with us up front, nor were we told about having to pay the check out fee when we moved in. In addition, the professional inventory clerk also found lots of things that were wrong with the flat that we're expected to pay for...but these things were not detailed on the original inventory. One example is stains on the carpet and they expect us to pay to have the carpet professionally cleaned. However, they don't have proof that the stains weren't there in the first place.


                So I have two questions:
                1) Do we have to pay the check out fee?
                2) Do we have to pay for "damages" to things that weren't on the original inventory?
                No, to both questions. If they try to withold money from your deposit, dispute it.

                I take it the deposit was protected?
                '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


                  #53
                  Inventory and Check Out Charge

                  What a tenant and landlord must be guided by is the tenancy agreement.
                  So, whilst it is quite common for a tenant to pay the check out inventory and for the landlord to pay the check in (or vice versa), I would say that if there was no agreement about you paying this in the first place (either within the tenancy agreement or in any other document that you signed) when you took up the tenancy, then you do not have to pay for the check out.
                  I wonder when the Agreement started.
                  If in England or Wales and the TA started on or after 6 April 07, then if a deposit was taken it should have been protected in a tenancy deposit scheme. If it wasn't then the landlord could be fined.
                  If the landlords wishes to make a deduction from the deposit for damages and there was no detailed inventory done in the first place, then I would say he has a very high chance of losing if you dispute the deduction and it goes to a tenancy deposit scheme arbitration panel.
                  Any landlord these days, who fails to do a proper detailed inventory, is really asking for trouble because the TDS schemes will normally find in favour of a tenant if there was no proper and detailed inventory done in the first place.
                  Many of the new accidental landlords who are today letting for the first time will be caught out by this.
                  David Lawrenson

                  Comment


                    #54
                    Thanks for your help.

                    I've re-read the tenancy agreement and it does say that we are liable for costs associated with moving out of the flat. But my issue was more that they didn't tell us about it explicitly up front(as our current letting agency did), and they didn't consult with us about the cost beforehand.

                    We moved into the flat in April 08 so our deposit is protected by a tenancy deposit scheme.

                    Would you then recommend that if the agent tries to deduct the fee from the deposit that we take it to the tenancy deposity scheme arbitration panel?

                    Comment


                      #55
                      Originally posted by Spellcoll View Post
                      Thanks for your help.

                      I've re-read the tenancy agreement and it does say that we are liable for costs associated with moving out of the flat. But my issue was more that they didn't tell us about it explicitly up front(as our current letting agency did), and they didn't consult with us about the cost beforehand.

                      We moved into the flat in April 08 so our deposit is protected by a tenancy deposit scheme.

                      Would you then recommend that if the agent tries to deduct the fee from the deposit that we take it to the tenancy deposity scheme arbitration panel?
                      I'm interested in this too... what happens if they dont explicitly tell you up front or dont consult with you about any cost of inventory? Anyone?

                      Comment


                        #56
                        "I've re-read the tenancy agreement and it does say that we are liable for costs associated with moving out of the flat."

                        As the ta already says that you are liable, why would it need to be specifically pointed out. Surely you read the agreement before signing it ?

                        Comment


                          #57
                          Originally posted by fishpond View Post
                          "I've re-read the tenancy agreement and it does say that we are liable for costs associated with moving out of the flat."

                          As the ta already says that you are liable, why would it need to be specifically pointed out. Surely you read the agreement before signing it ?
                          I agree... if the term is in the document and you've signed it, then its as if you have agreed to it right?

                          What about if the tenant has had to pay both the check in and the check out, could this be deemed an Unfair Term, as the tenant shoudlnt have to pay both?

                          Comment


                            #58
                            Inventory Companies

                            Hi

                            I letting out my only property and am thinking of having my inventory and statement of condition done professionally, although the inventory will be very short as it is largely unfurnished.

                            I am thinking this would be worthwhile not only for its own sake but it will give me suitable wording for condition and a template/starting point should I do my own in the future.

                            Anything I should know? Are they worthwhile?

                            Also, can anyone recommend one on London?

                            Thanks

                            Comment


                              #59
                              I DIY'd the inventory for an unfurnished flat in my early days as a LL and, probably due to my inexperience, I ended up with a tenant who wrecked the place. However, my amateur one-page inventory signed by the tenant was accepted as sufficient evidence of original condition in the small claims court and I won the claim. But it would probably have been less useful as evidence if I'd just been trying to claim for minor damage - easy to prove serious damage, less easy to argue minor damage -v- fair wear and tear.

                              Some tips on DIY here:
                              http://www.landlordlaw.co.uk/content...nventories.pdf

                              But although inventories carried out by landlords are legally valid, see this blog post

                              http://landlordlaw.blogspot.com/2009...itrations.html

                              Comment


                                #60
                                Being an inventory clerk is not easy peasy lemon squeezy

                                Originally posted by porridge View Post
                                Flo

                                Why not do it yourself?, fairly easy, record the decor, condition of carpets, be honest and point out the defects etc, take photo's of EVERY wall, floor surface, appliance, window frame, write on the back of the photo, get the tenant to sign and date the photo on the back- all prior to signing the tenancy agreement DON'T leave it to the tenant to the tenant to return days after the start of the tenancy.

                                Note metre readings etc, how many keys and for what


                                you and the tenant sign and date it, copies for both of you


                                As for Agents, well in my experience a complete waste of time and money ! (well to be fair -my agent), from experience I would say don't trust them !!!!!, my rent was supposed to be under written by an insurance guarantee but they never did their job and I now have a tenant almost 3 months !!

                                It has been a complete eye opener, but hopefully you will avoid all my mistakes and take plenty of advice from the helpful guys on here.

                                Good luck

                                PS

                                Are you the Tesco shopping FLO?

                                I'm afraid being a professional inventory clerk is a lot harder than you've suggested in your post.

                                Inventory clerks are a strange breed, like teachers and policemen, but they are indispensable in my view and it takes years to be good enough to charge to do this type of work.

                                The good ones see everything and know exactly how to describe the various parts of the interior and exterior of the house and what kind of existing condition/damage/usage level is already present, something that non-inventory clerks won't be able to do and even if they could, it wouldn't be in anything like the kind of time a professional clerk takes.

                                They have a sharp eye and look at things and see a lot of things in a way and how Joe Public doesn't.
                                By seeing hundreds of properties, professional inventory clerks get to know about many aspects of a home and, importantly, what is fair wear & tear and what is damage.

                                The money they charge, is well worth it, but in the end the biggest point of using an independent inventory clerk is their independence.

                                When you as the LL do things yourself, you remain liable to accusations of unfair assessment of things., never mind all the above factors.

                                Comment

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