Council want to inspect my property

by Readers Question

11:08 AM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

Council want to inspect my property

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Council want to inspect my property

Just received a letter from the council saying they have been informed that the house I let out is in a state of disrepair and will need to be inspected. The tenants have just recently received an order to vacate using section 21. The tenants signed a form stating they had inspected the property and happy with its condition when they started tenancy. Council want to inspect my property

Don’t quite know how to deal with this.

Any advice most welcome!

Rodney



Comments

Mark Alexander

11:10 AM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Pete

If there is nothing wrong with your property then I have to ask why the inspection is causing you concern?

If there are serious problems then the Council will simply slap a notice on it to prevent it from being re-let it until the problems are resolved.
.

All BankersAreBarstewards Smith

12:22 PM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

research HHSRS regulations... these are what the council use to inspect properties in the private sector. Unless there are serious repairs issues, then many of the results of their inspection could be advisory rather than mandatory.

Council have a duty to investigate complaints - get them on side - do make sure you have a copy of the S21 notice when they arrive as if this is a revenge tenant tactic that will help them make the correct decisions.

Michael Barnes

13:22 PM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

Please let us know what happens with the council and the inspection.

John Daley

16:18 PM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Rodney,

The Council are entitled to insist on a visit. I would imagine that you already know what state it's in. If they find anything serious you will be likely to get a notice of some sort.

If it's minor stuff and the complaint is a disgruntled tenant you will probably get a letter advising you what you should do. I'd advise you to be honest and upfront with the inspector, it really helps.

Getting the tenant to sign a letter saying they are happy with condition is a waste of your time and theirs. They can't sign their rights away and the tenancy agreement will take precedence in most cases..

This will be interpreted as a contract where both parties rights and responsibilities are fairly clearly based on a standard agreement, any wild or wacky terms will just be likely to be struck out by the court.

Mick Roberts

16:40 PM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

I've had dozens of these over the years, like Smith says above, get them on side.
I remember when I first started years ago, I used to panic. But quite often, it is stuff that wants doing anyway.

You meet 'em, you agree what to do, he don't enforce the other 50%. If you don't agree, they can go through with a fine tooth comb (Housing regs 29 or something if someone will correct me).

Get it done quick, hopefully he'll be impressed. Quite often it's two sides to the story. In my case-honestly-it's quite often a vindictive tenant who ain't paying her rent, so I ain't fixing her sticking door, then she'll have a party in the bathroom & water through ceiling, then she'll call Env Health.

I have that good a name with Nottm Env Health, that when one of my tenants rings 'em, they quite often reply saying 'Can you ask your Landlord again to fix the repairs', as they know if I ain't done a repair, there's another side to the story. And the Env Health ring me to ask my side of story.

They'll also ring me to meet me there too. I will also say I ain't doing it if she keeps breaking it-And they sympathise.

AA Properties Wales

19:39 PM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Pete, it's most prob the tenants phoned the council as soon as you served Sect 21. Phone the contact name of the council letter and ask them when did they receive the phone call and explain to them HOW these tenants really are, ie, did they cause damage? I have had this in the past and the env health officers mostly see landlords side when they see the state of how some tenants live, clothes everwhere, food all around, ashtrays full etc. The tenant will put themselves into a trap. Also you can take a good look around the place in front of the env health officer and take notes of the state of the place, and point this out. Tell the tenant you may have to do a paint thru etc due to their damage. It's so bloody hard when this happens, but just do your best mate.

Kev - AA Props

Colin Belton

16:05 PM, 14th November 2014
About 4 years ago

Like Mike I've attended many of these visits. Most important is to go, armed with as much proof of what you have done to address the tenant's issues. If the tenant is being vindictive then be attuned to the inspectors bias and adapt. It is a gamble when meeting these housing inspectors on what you will get. Sometimes they are very reasonable people other times they are political. I've written about this at my blog which you might find useful http://wp.me/p4ZeDJ-lF

Best of luck
Colin

Rod

18:23 PM, 14th November 2014
About 4 years ago

Update. The inspection had been cancelled as the tenant had to go to hospital suffering an asthma attack !!!! There has never been any complaints before possession order issued!

Rob Crawford

17:34 PM, 15th November 2014
About 4 years ago

One would think the Council would make more effort in verifying a complainants claim but they don't. I am sure that if they spoke to the tenant on the phone the Council would be able to judge if a visit and wasting your and their time was worth while. I have no doubt that you received a very snotty and threatening letter from the Council and now have a dimmer view of their authority. I also suspect the letter does not specifically detail what is actually wrong. Even if the inspection is postponed it will happen at some point so stay calm and act professionally. I just hope the tenants are not causing damage to justify their complaint! Good luck - please let us know what the outcome is.

david watford

19:23 PM, 15th November 2014
About 4 years ago

I have experienced this via one of my customers who has a BTL, the rent is partially funded by HB.
The council inspected and left a list of items requiring attention, lots of them were outside of her remit and at the end of the letter she threatened a fine if all the items were not completed in the timescale she stated.
I went with the landlord to meet the tenant and discuss the works, the house was in really good condition with only a few faults but nothing worthy of involving the council.

Her mother was there with an attitude like the landlord was a monster and the house was not up the standard she expected. I guess she probably instigated the visit from the council.

The irony is her main motivation for involving the council was that she had been broken into 3 times and nothing had been taken.

All works were completed in the timescale and nothing more was said, however my customer spoke to another officer from the council who acknowledged that his colleague was more likely to lose HB friendly landlords with her approach.

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