Graham Bowcock

Registered with
Saturday 22nd October 2016

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 72

Graham Bowcock

11:49 AM, 19th September 2018
About 5 days ago

Death of landlord

Dear David

There are arguably two separate issues here. The first one is the omission of the widow from the tenancy agreement. This needs to be rectified for several reasons. In the event of any court action, a judge may decide she has no interest as she is not named on the tenancy agreement (I have had a similar case). The landlord should (nearly) always match the owners registered at the Land Registry - there are a few exceptions. From a tax point of view she should be entitled to (and declaring) half of the profit (unless there is a Declaration of Trust or other document in place).

The tenancy agreement itself cannot now be altered, but the matter can be dealt with quite simply by writing to the tenant and notifying them of the landlord's details including full contact details. This can now include reference to the Executors who have become the joint owner; this being the second part of the question. The same notice can apply. Upon purchase (which may include transfer but I do not know) there is a legal requirement to notify the tenant within two months.

It would therefore seem to be prudent for full details to be sent to the tenant in writing, setting out the landlord's details. I do not believe there is a prescribed format, but the agent should be able to do it (or failing that the solicitors for the Executors).

Graham... Read More

Graham Bowcock

11:51 AM, 10th September 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Granting an ordinary lease?

If the letting of a house to an individual or groups of individuals (as opposed to a company) then it will be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy by default, it does not matter what you call it. There is an interesting law case called Street v Mountford which deals with the naming of tenancy agreements and the judge used the following fantastic phrase:
"The manufacture of a five pronged implement for manual digging results in a fork even if the manufacturer, unfamiliar with the English language, insists that he intended to make and has made a spade."
Says it all really.

As Ian said, your brother could take a long term tenancy. The main risk is probably for the landlord rather than your brother, although he would need to have a break clause and fair rent review provisions.
Graham... Read More

Graham Bowcock

9:56 AM, 3rd September 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Tenant in, no agreement and agent not sending rent?

If you can't get answers to basic questions, you should be concerned about how this relationship is going to progress. It begs the question about their compliance generally (e.g. gas certs, deposit protection). Somebody, whether in accounts or management, ought to be able to speak with you.

If I was you, I'd get round there pretty quickly and get them to take you through the file and their procedures. It could be all above board and they are just poor at communicating, but you need to find out before it's too late.

They may have a single payment date (I have done this in agencies and it saves holding a float), although this should be in their ToB and somebody should have been able to explain this to you.
Graham... Read More

Graham Bowcock

18:37 PM, 28th August 2018
About 4 weeks ago

Subsidence on prospective neighbouring property?

Dear Ken

Sounds like quite a risky deal, so unless you can be sure you are getting an absolute bargain, maybe steer away. I think you need a lawyer to look at paperwork as there are always intricacies in such cases; you may have missed something crucial in your general summing up of the matter. You have mentioned the involvement of several parties (two vendors, two buyers) so you do need to get all of your ducks in a row as to where liability sits.

As for insurance, I suspect you are too late as the cat is out of the bag. You can;' usually buy insurance for an event that has happened (bit like buying car insurance after the accident, just in case the guy you hit actually makes a claim!).

Graham... Read More

Graham Bowcock

12:33 PM, 23rd August 2018
About a month ago

Tenant too young to look after property

Dear Sonia

It is disappointing to hear that your agent has let you down, but it is not the end of the world whilst the tenant is paying rent.

I think it would be prudent to raise your concerns formally with the agent and also dis-instruct them, refusing any penalties they request due to their poor service.

We now live in a world where a good agent is worth their weight in gold, but a poor one can be a massive liability. Minor compliance failures can cause significant problems for landlords.

As for the tenant, it may be prudent to work with her. If she left, what would you do? Probably relet. You would have lettings costs and refurb costs, not to mention any void. If she is otherwise decent but careless and untidy there may be a case for sticking with her. With my landlord's hat on, I take a really pragmatic view on how tenants' occupy. Not to say that I don't have concerns to deal with, but given rents in my local area (and the size of my portfolio) I don't feel the need to be too concerned about the poorly painted purple walls. As a result I have many long term tenants (the longest 21 years - and she does have purple walls!) and few voids.

If the tenant thinks she will get looked after by you or a better agent she may respond better to some gentle nudging towards being tidier; more regular inspections and follow ups will help.

The bottom line is don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Think carefully before removing the tenant and work out if the situation can be resolved. As for the agent - sounds like you have the right to be unhappy. Demand your file with all compliance paperwork as part of their dis-instruction.

Good luck
Graham... Read More