Buy to let anguish – landlord being repossessed – rent paid 6 months up front!

by Readers Question

10:26 AM, 15th August 2013
About 6 years ago

Buy to let anguish – landlord being repossessed – rent paid 6 months up front!

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Buy to let anguish – landlord being repossessed – rent paid 6 months up front!

My daughter moved to Manchester for work on a temporary contract in March 2013. She stayed with friends initially but found a flat to share in June 2013. As she only had a temporary contract the letting agents would only allow her to take the property if she paid the rent upfront for first six months and a deposit too. Buy to let anguish

I thought that as I am a landlord myself that I would be able to guarantee the rent but this was also not acceptable as I am self employed and do not have a guaranteed income.

My daughter agreed to pay the six months rent up-front on condition that the flat had all required remedial work done before they moved in. A move in date was agreed with the agent but when my daughter arrived to receive the keys none of the remedial work had been carried out on the property. The agent asked if they could give them another week so that the landlord could get the work done. This was impossible as they had nowhere to go so they had to live in it and help to refurbish it themselves.

At this point they were both very happy until today when they received a letter from a solicitor saying that the landlord does not have a buy to let mortgage, is in mortgage arrears and that they will have to vacate the property.

He advised them to visit citizens advice for help with this situation. My initial question is how can they be removed from the property so quickly?

The property was let through an agent surely they should check that they have correct mortgage , gas safe cert etc . I show prospective tenants a pack containing mortgage, house insurance, gas safe cert, electric cert, EPC, and tenancy agreement.

Hope someone can advise so that I can put my daughter’s mind at rest.

Thanks

Kevin Reid

 



Comments

David Sweeney

10:53 AM, 15th August 2013
About 6 years ago

To be frank, the solicitor is just trying to frighten your daughter into surrendering the tenancy. She does not have to go anywhere until a court order is obtained and so long as she keeps to the agreement, that won't happen until the end of her contracted term unless the property is actually repossessed and the lender seeks possession.

It has been some time since I last looked at this so I will need to look into the mortgagers rights - I am guessing no notice was served on daughter about 'ground 2, schedule 2' before the tenancy began? And the agreement doesn't mention ground 2 in the section about the landlords right to terminate?

In worst case scenario, if the mortgage company won possession tomorrow at court then daughter could request the court to give her 2 months to vacate.

With regard to any money paid to the landlord for rent not used, that would be a civil debt so may require court action - whether it is worth it depends on the landlords finances.

Romain Garcin

11:01 AM, 15th August 2013
About 6 years ago

Dave, I think the situation is slightly different re. ground 2, etc. if indeed the landlord has not BTL or no consent to let.
In such case my understanding is that the tenancy is not binding on the lender. The only thing the tenant can do is to make sure to make themselves known to the court (assuming proceedings have started) in order to possibly delay eviction date (up to 2 months as you mention).

This article by Shelter might be useful to Kevin and his daughter:
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/repossession/repossession_by_a_landlords_lender

David Sweeney

11:08 AM, 15th August 2013
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain " at "15/08/2013 - 11:01":

I think you are right Romain - hence my cautious wording! It is a bit like subletting where the tenants rights are different depending on whether the landlord had the superior landlords permission. However, the Mortgage Repossessions (Protection of Tenants etc) Act 2010 does give the tenant that 2 month window. Tenant should keep her eyes open for any official looking mail addressed to the occupier - it may be the date of the mortgage companies possession hearing

Mary Latham

11:47 AM, 15th August 2013
About 6 years ago

If your daughter moved in, in June she is already 3 months into her re-paid period and by the time this goes to Court it is likely that she will be at least another month into it. The court will give her 2 month if she attends and asks and therefore she will have had the full 6 months that she has paid for by the time she has to move out if a Court Order is issued.

I realise that this is not a good situation for her and it is very unfair that she has to deal with it but it is unlikely that she will need to take legal action to recover loss of rent because of the timescales I have listed above.

If she also paid a deposit she needs to check that she was given the deposit protection certificate and prescribed information for tenants and if she has she will be able to raise a dispute if the landlord or agent attempt to withhold monies from her deposit. This will not cost her anything and is a simple process for a tenant.

I hope that your daughter finds another home and that this time the tenancy goes as it should. Good luck

Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

My book, where I warn about the storm clouds that are gathering for landlords is here >>> http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1484855337

David Sweeney

11:55 AM, 15th August 2013
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mary Latham" at "15/08/2013 - 11:47":

" if she has she will be able to raise a dispute if the landlord or agent attempt to withhold monies from her deposit."

She can raise a dispute but unless the landlord agrees to ADR there may be costs involved - court action is only free for a small number of claimant

Mary Latham

12:43 PM, 15th August 2013
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dave Reaney" at "15/08/2013 - 11:55":

If the landlord refuses ADR and he does not take the case to court the deposit protection scheme will use ADR without his consent. If landlords were allowed in law to just do nothing the whole tenancy deposit protection legislation would be irrelevant. Likewise if it depended on the tenant taking the case to court.

Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

My book, where I warn about the storm clouds that are gathering for landlords is here >>> http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1484855337

David Sweeney

12:49 PM, 15th August 2013
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mary Latham" at "15/08/2013 - 12:43":

Are you sure Mary? The landlord has nothing to sue for - why/how would he commence court proceedings? It is the tenant with the claim so they must commence the process. I know ADR has to have both landlord & tenants agreement in DPS but I don't know about the other 3 schemes. .

Mary Latham

12:58 PM, 15th August 2013
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dave Reaney" at "15/08/2013 - 12:49":

100% sure Dave. The landlord is in fact asking for compensation to be paid from the tenants money (deposit). All the tenant is asking for is his own money back why would he sue for that? If a landlord fails to take the alternative of court action all the schemes will carry out ADR based purely on the tenants claim that he owes nothing to the landlord. If this were not the case how would deposit protection work for tenant?

If the landlord failed to respond to the request to lodge the funds with an insured scheme, during ADR, they would remove him from the scheme forever.

These will confirm what I am saying

http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/sites/default/files/Tenant%20Guide%20to%20ADR.pdf

http://www.tds.gb.com/resources/files/What%20happens%20when%20the%20Court%20is%20involved%20in%20a%20tenancy%20deposit%20dispute.pdf

Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

My book, where I warn about the storm clouds that are gathering for landlords is here >>> http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1484855337

Mark Alexander

13:29 PM, 15th August 2013
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mary Latham" at "15/08/2013 - 12:58":

Seems like common sense to me Mary, thanks for backing this up with documented evidence too.
.


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