Graham Bowcock

Registered with Property118.com
Saturday 22nd October 2016


Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 78

Graham Bowcock

13:36 PM, 15th October 2018
About a month ago

Surprise! new tenant

Reply to the comment left by Eps at 15/10/2018 - 13:15
Eps, Hamish

I think that the DPS ruling Eps has had should not be taken as law; this sounds like something particular to DPS. Abandonment is quite hard to prove and you have to be very careful not to be accused of eviction or harassment, especially where a family member is now residing in the house.... Read More

Graham Bowcock

13:10 PM, 15th October 2018
About a month ago

Surprise! new tenant

Dear Hamish

I agree with Roly. You need to sort this out quickly. It may be that you reach some agreement with the sister, but bear in mind that at the moment you have no contractual relationship with her; it is possible (perhaps unlikely) that the proper tenant would object to you dealing with the sister so you do have to tread carefully.

On one hand this all seems very convenient and suits all involved. On the other hand you may be being quietly shafted.

I suggest that you ensure all correspondence is addressed to the named tenant; if he does not reply then perhaps sister can help, on the basis that you will be fair to her. They need to understand that they cannot chop and change tenants at their will - you have to be in control.

Tenant needs to surrender before you can grant a new tenancy. Sister then needs a proper tenancy and you need to go through the procedures as with any other new tenancy. Sister currently has no rights (from what you say), but you must avoid treating her as a tenant.

Maybe using a good (qualified) local agent will help expedite matters. There are many pitfalls for the unwary here. Any chance the tenant will pay your costs?

Graham... Read More

Graham Bowcock

14:42 PM, 9th October 2018
About a month ago

Company let eviction with 3 months rent arrears

Hi Jigna

It seems, from what you say, that your letting agent may be in over their depth. Unfortunately the sector is unregulated and there is no requirement for any agent to have any formal qualifications, or even training. This shows the problems that they can cause and I strongly suggest that you raise this with them in no uncertain terms.

It sounds like they have attempted to grant a company tenancy but have ended up not properly doing so and have created a hybrid with a standard AST. AST provisions (e.g. s21, deposit protection, etc.) do not apply to company tenancies.

As others have said, the agent should have properly identified the company and grated a tenancy to them. If the "company" is not limited (i.e. a sole trader or partnership) but the house was required for an employee, then a tenancy (or lease) could still have been granted to reflect the situation. The terms would have covered the third party occupier. An AST is really aimed at personal occupation and so is not appropriate.

The tenancy should have provisions for ending the occupation, setting out what you need to do. If not, then the usual notice period is the equivalent of a rental period.

I would not, however, suggest that you do anything without good advice. Your agent has apparently made a mess of this, but this is not the tenant's fault; you will therefore first of all have to unravel the agreement and ascertain exactly what has been granted (and who to) before you can take the tenant on. The agent's PI should be covering the costs in so far as the agent was negligent.

Good luck
Graham... Read More

Graham Bowcock

13:33 PM, 8th October 2018
About a month ago

What would you do?

Dear Paul

It seems like you have been taken in here, which is always unfortunate and one of those situations that gives the whole industry a bad name.

You mention a company and then ask if you can sue the owner personally. If you dealt with a limited company then the answer is no. Hopefully it will be clear from any correspondence (please tell me there is some) whether or not the lady was trading as a limited business or not. If she was, then your contract rests entirely with the limited company and it is this entity (which may have gone bust) that you have to pursue to recover funds.

If the lady was not limited and was a sole trader, then you can sue her personally for your money.

As for the husband's money, I think that you are perhaps legally on a sticky wicket here. It looks like the agent (wife) was acting as your agent, so effectively you have failed to pay the service charge. Husband and wife are not interchangeable when it comes to responsibility. It would be the same situation if they were not related; for example if you owed money to a plumber, you would still be liable if you agent did not pay it.

I am intrigued as to what these people have said to you. They clearly need to maintain some ongoing relationship due to the leasehold situation, so it beggars belief that they are behaving like they are. If they are not prepared to sort things out the suing them is your best way forward - and reporting them anyway for VAT fraud.

Good luck
Graham... Read More

Graham Bowcock

19:05 PM, 1st October 2018
About 2 months ago

Letting fee ban - A better plan?

With an agent's hat on I do have concerns about some charges which are levied on tenants; bluntly some are just unfair. Nevertheless we live in a commercial world and few tenants are in a position to object to fees. I do think, however, that passing on some charges to tenants gives them a better buy-in.

I remember when I first started out, many moons ago, when properties were in more plentiful supply and agents didn't charge tenants. We found that some tenants would make several applications, then take the one that they liked the best to who got back to them first. The landlord has then lost 10 days of marketing; making an application fee does prevent this.

In terms of rents going up then this cannot be directly correlated to fees (i.e. charging a landlord an extra £100 does not mean the rent goes up £100); what will happen though is that some landlords will retreat from the sector, meaning less supply and higher rents - although this will be area specific. With my landlord's hat on I would not be unduly concerned about some modest rise in fees. My tenants tend to stay quite long term, so any extra fees to cover the application fee will be easily recovered.

There is a legal obligation for fees to be transparent, so a landlord should know how much a tenant is being charged. It is, however, surprising that some agents still do not show fees on their websites or even on property particulars.

Graham... Read More