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Thursday 8th August 2013

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 101

Robert M

23:36 PM, 30th May 2020
About 6 months ago

Ambiguous CMA guidance over student lets

I am hoping that the solution here is quite simple. My instinct is that university halls of residence and purpose built blocks of student accommodation were, in effect, forced to close just like hotels. This would especially be the case where there were shared facilities. In contrast, a shared student house is very similar to a family house despite all the regulations that Housing Acts seek to apply.

It might be interesting to debate whether the situation for a four bedroom houses differs depending on if a group occupies the house on a joint tenancy or if the rooms are let separately. However, I will leave that to those who have more time on their hands and like to argue technical points, or like to seek answers to problems that do not actually exist.

I can categorically state that no legislation or guidance I have seen specifies that small shared student houses could not be used and they have remained available for the student tenants’ use.

Anyhow, the CMA advice refers to businesses and we can all rely on HMCE to confirm that private letting is not a business.... Read More

Robert M

16:37 PM, 7th December 2019
About 12 months ago

New Tenant Fees laws = new problems for landlords?

Off topic but here is a consequence of TFA:
Cost of lock out after hours now - £25
Lock out after hours in future - no service Read More

Robert M

16:23 PM, 7th December 2019
About 12 months ago

Selective Licencing - 1 room is 10cm too small?

This is what happens were 1970s rules for large shared bedsits are taken and adopted for all houses where occupants are not related. Personally, I think there should be an exception if a property is let on a single joint tenancy.

Walls should be measured above skirting boards. If you are moving a wall look upon it as an opportunity, do not necessarily just shift by the minimum required. I have taken a straight wall out and put a dog leg in, giving both rooms a wardrobe recess. (Measure wardrobes, allow for skirtings.)... Read More

Robert M

14:23 PM, 10th August 2019
About A year ago

If Students don't provide proof I'll have to pay Council Tax?

Some comments on this post are misleading so I thought I might summarise:
A property let to more than two unrelated individuals is an HMO. Therefore if you have a four bedroom house let to students it is an HMO, regardless of whether it is let on a joint tenancy or a single joint tenancy. You do not "create" an HMO by opting for individual agreements.
Personally, I would always recommend a single agreement for students. This gives you leverage for persuading them to find a replacement and cuts down on (not eliminates!) arguments about responsibility for communal areas. You can always elect not to pursue extra rent from remaining students, or keep it as a negotiating point when discussing deposit returns.
The council can demand that the landlord be liable to them for the council tax if there are separate tenancy agreements. However, contrary to the casual advice given by Wayne or Tracey on the council helpline, the fact that the council (quite correctly) regards the landlord liable to them, it does not alter the terms of the tenancy contract which may make the tenants liable to reimburse the landlord.
Finally, watch out for the standard council trick of ending the student exemption as soon as the student's course ends. Not correct.... Read More

Robert M

21:03 PM, 18th June 2019
About A year ago

Subject to status and referencing

I have a far more simple approach. No guarantee, no tenancy. If you are over 25 and pass the gut instinct test (along with other tests) an exception might be made.
Broadly, as already stated, anyone using benefits as a top up are usually OK. Many living solely on benefits are high maintenance in one way or another.... Read More