I am a non resident landlord and being taken to court for the deposit?

by Readers Question

10:41 AM, 21st July 2015
About 4 years ago

I am a non resident landlord and being taken to court for the deposit?

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I am a non resident landlord and being taken to court for the deposit?

I know that under the housing act the LL must provide an address for service. How does this work with a non-UK resident landlord if they have zero connections with the UK (except owning property there) no friends, family or agent?argentina

I am having issues with tenants who moved out 2 months ago and want to take me to court for the deposit which I believe I am fairly owed as they trashed the house. I live in Argentina and they are fully aware of this and have the address. If they send court papers to the address which they have from the AST, I cannot access them, as am no longer associated with that address nor is there another UK address I could use. I believe any CCJ registered there by default I could get set-aside as am not a UK resident but is this so if I needed to have provided an address where papers can be served?

As the tenant moved out almost two months ago, surely it is possible for any address they have to no longer be valid and for me to no longer be a UK resident? Just puzzled by the circular argument of it all!

Many thanks in advance

Clem



Comments

Anon

13:45 PM, 22nd July 2015
About 4 years ago

My comments were harsh, but fair.

If there is "another side", then do let me know.

Over the years, I have a lot of problems with absent landlords. I have had a ceiling fall down due to a water leaks from the upstairs flat. The upstairs landlord was absent. His phone number was not valid. There was no one to instruct a plumber. His tenants were not helpful (since the leak did not damage their property). Water leaks have been going on for several years. Every time, it happens we call the council. The best the council can offer us is 'we can write him a letter' (even though that takes several days and a water leak is an emergency issue).

At another property, my tenants rang me to up say, the neighbours downstairs (tenants) said not to use the toilet as it was backing up into their bathtub. The tenants could not reach their landlords, as his phone was off. His tenants had no way to reach him. He spends much of this overseas. it was a shared drain, but he was not around to pay for his share or even agree to the costs / remedy. In the end, I called the council for help.

In both those cases a having a local agent to manage the property would have been helpful.

It is no wonder, councils up and down the country want to introduce landlord Licensing. I am sure, they receive daily complaints about absent landlords. With Licensing, they will insist on responsible person to manage the property.

If we as landlord want to say we don't want Licensing and want 'self-regulation' then we have to make sure landlords operate to the highest standard.

Mike W

17:07 PM, 22nd July 2015
About 4 years ago

Clem,

As you are non resident presumably you have an agent in the UK who receives your rents in order to comply with HMRC requirements? or are you below the registration threshold?
As others have said how do you deal with management & emergency issues if you are non resident?
How do you know they trashed the property if you are non resident?

I think the answers to the above provide an answer to your original question?

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