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Thursday 8th August 2013

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 108

Robert M

23:52 PM, 14th March 2021, About 5 months ago

Government's so-called protection is damaging decent tenants' prospects

This thread amply illustrates why I have never used draft documents provided by well meaning organisations but drafted by non-landlords. The concept of limiting a rent review to one day in a year is an obvious trap. I have had an agency pinch my draft which I suppose is a form of flattery.... Read More

Robert M

0:18 AM, 31st January 2021, About 6 months ago

Alleged Council Enforcement Officer threatening over the phone?

I suspect that this may be a council employee. I have had two similar experiences relating to Grade 2 listings.

On the first occasion the council employee had clearly worked himself up rehearsing what he wanted to say when he burst into my office and announced how I was breaking the law relating to the alterations to a property and would face a criminal prosecution. He went on for a full two minutes before the smile on my face and complete indifference registered. He asked why I did not seem to be bothered. I can still remember the look on his face when I told him I absolutely no connection with the property in question, that he should check his facts in advance and told him to get out in the next thirty seconds.

On the second occasion I was removing a stud partition and a false ceiling that had been put up in the 1970s to subdivide a rather grand room prior to the 1991 listing. Now clearly this was a potential problem as I had misunderstood the historic value of the 1970s stud partition. After the council officer had calmed down we had a meeting where I expressed disappointment regarding the quality of the two metre length of the original cornice I had uncovered. He told me I should only expect a quality cornice in the first-floor drawing room of the original house, so I told him we were in the first-floor drawing room of the original house. Then the council wrote and announced they were going to launch a criminal prosecution for removing original marble fireplaces etc. I had to point out that the “evidence” they had related to the next-door property.

It seems to me that these council officers are usually well under 5’ 6” tall and are seeking to make up for this or some other physical deficiency. They clearly failed the application to join the police and let power go to their heads.... Read More

Robert M

22:09 PM, 9th January 2021, About 7 months ago

Mould is a landlord problem claim tenants and councils agree by issuing massive fines

It almost goes without saying that the vast majority of landlords do not want damage to their properties and do all that is reasonably required. I have taken to lining my smallest HMO bathrooms with plastic shower boards and a plastic ceiling all wipe clean with a commercial molded floor!

There is loads of advice for tenants, all repeating the same main points. For example try Read More

Robert M

0:35 AM, 23rd December 2020, About 7 months ago

Statutory v Contractual Periodic Tenancy: what to issue?

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 22/12/2020 - 23:06
This is text book reply rather detached from the real world, as is much of the law. In other words, you are correctly analysing a set of circumstances that should not need to be so complex.
"What appears to be the case is that a contractual periodic tenancy is treated as a continuation of original tenancy but a statutory periodic tenancy is a new tenancy. Why the distinction I do not know."
When I said this, I had no doubt there is a legal distinction. I have long since understood this, my point is that there is no practical need for this to be the case.
In theory a tenant signing a fixed term agreement should (ideally) know they can stay on at the end of the tenancy unless notice is given. If they understand this, the vast majority would not care less if it was CPT or SPT. So why does a simple provision which can be covered in two sentences that creates a CPT, NEED to create such a different legal position?
I still maintain that the legal cases I mentioned should not have been necessary. Yes thank you I have read Superstrike, though not again recently. This merely confirmed my view that the safest route is for a new agreement is that it should include a CPT and include a request for notice to leave at the end of the fixed term.
My decision was based on the fact that (even as an agent) I saw no reason to have to ask tenants to review their position twice a year. The possible extra fee income never excited me. This decision was made well before deposit protection came in and, it appears, happens
“It did not really matter in practical terms prior to the introduction of the deposit protection legislation …” You see we almost agree? “… after which the misunderstanding and/or failure to appreciate the significance of it proved rather costly for those who were caught out.” Should not have been the case.
The problem being that the original deposit legislation was very poorly drafted. I suspect that the majority of landlords and agents only understood the basics but did not come unstuck because this was usually sufficient. In fact, the deposit legislation remains unfit for purpose.... Read More

Robert M

14:12 PM, 22nd December 2020, About 7 months ago

Statutory v Contractual Periodic Tenancy: what to issue?

I do not doubt that each month under a periodic tenancy does not need to be treated as a separate tenancy for deposit protection and serving papers etc. However, it certainly was the case that notice could only be given unilaterally ending on a rent date, ie each month was treated as establishing new rights for that period.

What appears to be the case is that a contractual periodic tenancy is treated as a continuation of original tenancy but a statutory periodic tenancy is a new tenancy. Why the distinction I do not know, I simply have not had the need to research this point.

Another area of confusion is whether a tenant may move out without notice at the end of the fixed period. Ideally the position is managed in advance, but given that a periodic tenancy comes into force automatically (whether contractual or periodic) I have witnessed much confusion.

Many years ago I concluded that a contract requiring the tenants give notice for the end of the fixed term, with a provision for a contractual periodic extension otherwise is best from a legal and convenience point of view.

Anyone wishing to take up the distinction between the two types of periodic tenancy with mydeposits needs time and patience. They simply do not understand the distinction.

I have never checked if the new “flexible” end date where you can give notice to mid-month was achieved via an amendment to the Housing Act or it was decided one was not needed. Again, I simply have not had the need to research this point.

The ridiculous point is that we should not need to debate these points. The law should be more clear and less ambiguous. It should not have been necessary for Superstrike, Walcott v Jones and Leeds City Council v Broadley to have ever have gone to court.... Read More