Councils using ‘Intelligence’ to track down low EPC properties and fine £5,00015:08 PM, 29th March 2021
About 2 weeks ago 36
I’m about to exchange/ complete on a leasehold property which currently has tenants in situ on an AST periodic agreement dated April ’14. The rental is currently managed by a lettings agent. The bond is in a TPS.
I understand I’m buying it with the tenants and their current agreement but would like to clarify where I go from here.
So my questions…
1) On 1st April do I just automatically become the new landlord on their current AST agreement? Do I need to give them anything formally? (Except for my contact details and bank payment details)
2) The tenants are currently paying between £100-£150pm below market value.
I need to increase the rent, but am looking to increase it probably £50pm for first 6 months then a further £25pm from then. (I.e I would like to get £75pm more but am trying to do it gently/nicely as they appear to be good tenants)
When can I increase the rent? I assume I need to give them a months notice? I’ve already verbally said I’m looking at possibly an extra £75pm (as they asked when I went round). Obviously they weren’t overjoyed but I think they appreciate they’ve had a good deal for 5+ years.
3) Can I change them onto a fixed term AST? Do I need to give notice to them that the periodic version is ending? They have said (verbally) they’d be happy with a 6 month fixed term agreement.
4) Do I have any obligation to stay with letting management company? I do not believe I have seen the requirement in any legal docs so far.
5) Re the bond. Is that just transferred over to my TPS account? Do I need to get written permission from tenant?
6) When I asked if the bond will remain complete the agent said they couldn’t say as check out hadn’t been completed. How can I ensure that I/tenants don’t end up with no or a reduced bond being transferred?
(From my inspection of the property I can’t see why any of it would be retained)
7) There is an outstanding maintenance issue. (Small leak which has caused small amount of damage to wall & carpet) is there anyway I can force this being sorted prior to completion? Or ask for the cost to resolve it myself?
I don’t want to delay completion as stamp duty deadline looms but also would like them to sort out the outstanding issue.
(Tenant reported it 18months ago, agent bodged a repair and tenant only re-reported it again last week)
8) The seller doesn’t appear to have complied with the leasehold contract (in that the property needs to be decorated every 5 years and hasn’t been). Have I got any comeback on that? The property does look in good order but obviously should have been decorated as per leasehold agreement.
(The seller won’t officially answer when it was last decorated but the tenants have stated it hasn’t been done since they commenced let 6+ years ago)
To adhere to the agreement I will need to decorate.
9) The estate agent provided us with incorrect ground rent/service chg figures. (On property particulars (paper & internet) and verbally). To the tune of £237. (A small amount of which can be attributed to an increase since property was first listed and details not updated, but the rest is just an omission deliberately or not!)
They’ve acknowledged the error and apologised.
Again do we have any comeback on that? I assume not.
Is there anything else I should be aware of with the tenant in situ situation?
Thank you for your help
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