New, Naive landlord - help please !

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    New, Naive landlord - help please !

    Hi, I let a "friend" move into my old house 2.5 years ago and gave them very cheap rent based on the fact we were mates and if we cut out any letting agencies etc. it could remain cheaper for both of us and we would stick to a gentleman's agreement - I pay my tax etc. on the income I make from the house, but everything else has been done without any legal help.
    they have a contract in place which came from another friend who rents off a professional landlord, so I'm confident the contract is sound.
    However...
    I now have to sell the house (due to a messy divorce) and now that my tenant has been told they have become extremely unfriendly and are demanding that we do it all officially (which in essence, I have no problem with) but they have decorated the house very badly and we always agreed (plus in the contract) that it must be returned to white & magnolia (along with a few other damages that need fixing (missing door etc.)
    They are telling me that because I didn't put their deposit into a safety deposit scheme that I have to give them their deposit back BEFORE I can serve a notice of eviction on them.

    From what I can gather from this site and others is that my tenant is correct, but I don't understand the details, and what protection I have from them doing a runner with the deposit and I'm left to repair all the damages etc.

    Please can someone advise ????
    Because this is due to a divorce, I need them out of the house ASAP - otherwise it's going to cost me another £15k (long story, but part of the divorce order)

    #2
    There are two elements to this.

    As I understand it, yes you'll have to return the deposit to serve a valid s21 notice.
    That means that they "can do a runner" and you'd have to sue them to recover any losses caused by damage/decorating etc.

    However, a s21 notice isn't going to be "quick" - if the tenant is obstructive they can stay in the property for months while the legal processes wind on and on.

    It might be better for you to essentially bribe your tenant to leave.

    And if it was an informal friends agreement how did a deposit come into it?
    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


      #3
      Originally posted by wotney View Post
      They are telling me that because I didn't put their deposit into a safety deposit scheme that I have to give them their deposit back BEFORE I can serve a notice of eviction on them.

      From what I can gather from this site and others is that my tenant is correct, but I don't understand the details,
      See the link below.

      http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/conten...-deposit-rules

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
        And if it was an informal friends agreement how did a deposit come into it?
        It seemed like a sensible thing to do at the time, that's all - it was a relaxed agreement, but not that relaxed !

        Comment


          #5
          So, to summarise...

          From what you guys have said (and pointed me to) is that there is actually nothing I can do about this - I have to give them their deposit back before I can evict them and they are under no obligation to honour the contract and repair or redecorate ?

          And furthermore if they did leave without redecorating etc. I would then have to take them to court to recover any costs that I've incurred by redecorating etc.

          I feel like an arse for even thinking this, but - would it be more effective for me to give them 60 days notice of a rental increase to the point where they would want to leave voluntarily ?

          Also - can I put the house up for sale while the tenant is still living there ?

          (all advice is very much appreciated !)

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by wotney View Post
            So, to summarise...

            From what you guys have said (and pointed me to) is that there is actually nothing I can do about this - I have to give them their deposit back before I can evict them and they are under no obligation to honour the contract and repair or redecorate ?.....
            You can't evict them: All you can do is issue s21 then start court action after it expires (2 months). They remain liable for everything under the contract until the tenancy ends which, if they don't go themselves, is after court decision, after possession order expires, when bailiffs turn up.(probably another 2 months). I'd wait until they've gone then sue them for unpaid rent & damages.
            ive them 60 days notice of a rental increase to the point where they would want to leave voluntarily ?
            I wouldn't bother with an (official route) s13 rent increase: You want them out, don't add to the work.
            .....Also - can I put the house up for sale while the tenant is still living there ?
            Yeah, no worries: But do you think they would permit viewers, agent visits, surveyor, photos?? I'd wait until they are out. (Might be worth checking if any local agent has a tame Buy2let investor who buys tenanted property - could sell be end tomorrow - but price may be down a bit. It's perfectly possible to but whilst tenants remain (I bought a house with 4 students living there...)

            Sorry you're in this hole but maybe bribery might make sense if there is a £15k threat as well....

            Bumm*r.

            Never rent to friends or relatives or friends of either... (others hold alternative views..)
            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
              Which section of the Contract contains the bit about T having to return Property to magnolia/white, and what does it state exactly?
              Did you compile a move-in Inventory?
              Have you complied with other LL resp eg annual GSC, requisite smoke & CO alarms?

              Returning deposit only allows you to then serve a valid s21. T can still sue you for non-protection of deposit at any time in the ~3.5yrs and will be awarded 1-3x deposit amount.

              Before returning deposit, try offering deposit +1x deposit, payable when he signs a Deed of Surrender to end T on that day, plus signs a receipt for cash paid stating 'In Full & Final Settlement'.

              Not only your divorce that was messy & expensive!

              Comment

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