Can I move into my HMO?

Can I move into my HMO?

9:44 AM, 8th March 2022, About 3 months ago 11

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Hi, I would appreciate some input on this idea. I have a 4 bed unlicensed HMO (does not require a licence). Cutting a long story short, I am getting to retirement age, so I decided to sell up.

I gave all tenants (all on statutory periodic) due notice. All have left, apart from one tenant who says he will not move or pay rent till he is evicted (thank you shelter). So I am left with a 4 bed HMO with one tenant.

To be honest, this is the tenant who made me decide that this property would be the first to go. I’m sure you all know the sort. Heating break down and because it takes 5 days to get a gas engineer, order parts and return to fit the boiler I am the worst landlord in the world.

He’s reported me to the council for having an unfit house (council investigated, and only comment was the fire blanket in the kitchen was missing).

He is the first to complain, but in actuality, it was him the other tenants were constantly complaining about and indeed made a police complaint as they said he was intimidating him.

He has his girlfriend around constantly and when I spoke to her to ask if she was living there he went ballistic and said I was disrespecting him.

Etc etc etc….to be fair apart from some arrears from covid period he does pay the rent albeit late

But I now fear that he won’t leave till he’s evicted, I have no income as the house is empty, and I don’t want to start getting new tenants, and I am going to be stuck paying all the bills just for him.

So help me out here….can I move in,…..I’m happy to live there for a few months if it’s legal……and if I do move in what is his status? Does he become a lodger? Is it legal?

Any other ideas? Or can anyone recommend a reasonable but tough solicitor……

I’ve been a landlord for 22 years and this is my first eviction battle.

Many thanks

Paul

 



Comments

by Kate Mellor

11:42 AM, 8th March 2022, About 3 months ago

I know the sort of tenant you mean. They word emails as if to be read by a court in future and paint you in a bad and untrue light. Mine complained about a storage heater that he wouldn’t turn on so it was damp and freezing in his flat (which was our fault), although we’d had the electrician out to it twice and he gave it a clean bill of health. The problem was that in the dark he could see a “spark” as the power kicked in at midnight. He described it as “a heath and safety nightmare” lol. My husband and I still quote that today as a jokey catch phrase. I’d always have to politely write back outlining what we’d already done about any complaint, so that citizens advice/shelter would have balanced information. (He basically had his own desk there!)

He got the council to come in and fit rails for his fibromyalgia and then made them come back a week later and remove them because they were in the way. The woman from the council was furious. I don’t believe he genuinely has fibromyalgia (I have good reasons for this). It is the illness most faked by those wanting to live on benefits because it can’t be categorically disproved by tests.

As to your question, my initial thought was that you could move in; and you may well be able to get him out that way. If you were living there most judges/housing officers etc would take that on face value. But I don’t know what the outcome would be if he were to appeal, or if shelter decided to challenge you.

Do you know what his goal is? Does he need to save money to move, hence not paying his rent? Is he wanting to be made homeless to get council accommodation? If you know what he wants you can help to facilitate that if you are able. You should point out that if he does stay to be evicted, then he gets a CCJ registered against him for rent arrears he will never get another tenancy as it will show up on all the reference searches. If he needs a deposit to move you be able offer him a financial incentive to help him.

If you did move in, it may put him in a better position for rehoming as far as the council is concerned, but he will be low down the list as a single man anyway and is not likely to be offered anything to his liking. It will make him feel less comfortable, and could motivate him to leave.

My later thought was that by moving in you could potentially be in breach of the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment. It could also put you at risk of aggression or violence if the tenant feels invaded and powerless and you could possibly open yourself up to claims of harassment.

Really I don’t know where you would stand legally, so I’m just spitballing my thoughts. I hope it’s somewhat helpful

by David

11:57 AM, 8th March 2022, About 3 months ago

If he has a room only tenancy then yes, you can move in if you wish. He won't become a lodger but will remain on an AST. If you have a BTL mortgage on the property you may be in breach of the terms by moving in and they could call it in.

If he was on a joint tenancy with the others then you cant move in as he was renting the whole property.

by Steve Masters

13:05 PM, 8th March 2022, About 3 months ago

If you own the property via a company watch out for ATED (Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings)

"ATED is an annual tax payable mainly by companies that own UK residential property valued at more than £500,000."

"Reliefs you can claim
You may be able to claim relief for your property if it is:

let to a third party on a commercial basis and is not, at any time, occupied (or available for occupation) by anyone connected with the owner"

by psquared

17:06 PM, 8th March 2022, About 3 months ago

So to clarify. I have a buybto let mortgage on the property. Its in my personal name.
I think his endgame is to extract money from me and o can afford to pay off the mortgage should the situation arise but i think as long as you are upto date they aint gonna be too fussed.
Its just galling he is the only one in the house and he always leave the lights on and cools the house bu opening the windows!

The thought of paying utility bills for 10 months if he pays nothing it so makes me mad!

I dont suppose i could reduce rent and say die to increases in costs its going to be a non inclusive tenancy.
Oh well i guess im just gonna have to see what he does. 🙁

by Simon Lever

18:43 PM, 8th March 2022, About 3 months ago

Put his rent up.
If he is the only one there he should pay rent for the whole building!

by psquared

20:50 PM, 8th March 2022, About 3 months ago

I wish! I fear he wont be paying any rent from now on since i gave him a notice to quit!

by David

9:50 AM, 9th March 2022, About 3 months ago

You can't alter the terms of his existing tenancy.

I think you're probably right about him wanting money to leave. I think this is likely to be the cheapest solution for you. If you do approach him about this then be very careful as offering to pay someone to end a lawful tenancy can be construed as harassment. You should probably ask a fairly open initial question and let him make the running.

by psquared

10:05 AM, 9th March 2022, About 3 months ago

Thank you. Fortunately I have no previous experience of dealing with a situation like this.
I always take ip references and carry out my own checks so I have been lucky.

Now Im having to deal with section 8 and 21 its like a minefield.

by Freda Blogs

13:53 PM, 9th March 2022, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by psquared at 08/03/2022 - 17:06
Can you install a remote operated heating monitoring system such as Hive or Nest, so at least you can have some control over the heating times and temperature?

by psquared

14:15 PM, 9th March 2022, About 3 months ago

Dont talk to me about hive.
You are not able to set a maximum temperature with Hive. They keep putting it on 32 degress amd cool house by opening windows.

I installed 8 hives before i found out you cannot set a oassword protected max temperature.

Ita such a glaring onmission. You can on Nest.

I ahould have double checked before ordering 8 of the bsthj>>¥¥ s!

But come on its such a basic feature. I didnt ask if you can adjust the temperature or put it in for a set amount of ti e ( which you can reduce btw. I have another system that alloes a max of 2 hours and it has to be reset for more heat).

Hive is a piece of poop! How can such a basic feature be left off the spec.

I know you can lick out the controls. Ut thats not ok either. I somply want to be anle to aet 21 as a max temp amd Hive does t do it

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