Martin S

Registered with
Tuesday 24th September 2013

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 33

Martin S

20:19 PM, 28th November 2020
About 2 months ago

Compliance Conundrum when tenant won't leave?

Speaking as a retired Environmental Health Officer (EHO), I've come across this situation before, and despite what many might think, in my experience most EHO's (Not Housing Officers) are reasonable people, looking for a sensible outcome to such situations, and are not looking to penalise others, unless they are being unreasonably uncooperative.
Also, as a Landlord (LL) of 30 years, I'm aware that the PRS environment is a pretty hostile one for LL's today, and would, as others have said, take legal advice on your situation before you do, or say, anything. It's obvious that, despite the uncooperative tenant, which makes matters difficult, you have been negligent, and kicking the can further down the road.
Having said that, if a LL had been proactive, and contacted me with this situation, I would 1st like to see what evidence there was to show how the situation had arisen, and how/when you had tred to contact the tenant, and vice versa. I would have followed this up with a visit to the premises to see conditions for myself, and carried out an assessment:
If what you say is correct re the conditions, it's obvious that something will have to happen, whether the tenant is entitled to remain resident or not. Depending on her tenancy, there is the chance that you might have to re-house her whilst works are carried out, and reinstate her when works are finished. You need to be aware, that any Judge isn't going to intentionally make someone homeless, especially during these Covid times, so don't make it appear that eviction is your main aim, although this might be what you would really like, given the situation you find yourself in.
Again, depending on the tenancy, after works, there could be the opportunity to raise the rent in line with the uprated conditions, and this is often where the tenant chooses to go, as the low rent incentive has gone.
In the 1st instance, I would ask your lawyer to write a letter to your tenant , with proof of delvery, stating that you are aware that issues need addressing at the property, and in order to remediate these, you will be attending with your builder (maybe the one who will do part, or all of the works) on a given date and time, with the option for the tenant to change this. If as you suggest, the tenant is generally uncooperative, then nothing can be gained from this, other than to highlight the reality of the situation to others.
If there is a nil response on all fronts, I would ask the Lawyer to write again, stating that you are intending to involve the local Environmental Health Dept, and ask them to carry out an inspection, and a schedule of required works. In my view, you need to be proactive, and not on the back foot, as they will be involved at some stage, and you are likely to get your knuckles rapped anyway in some way, so it's better that they hear from you 1st, with your request for their help in rectifying matters, rather than as a complaint from the tenant. As for Section 21, or any other leagl action at the moment, forget it, as you'll be doing yourself a disservice.... Read More

Martin S

11:09 AM, 12th October 2019
About A year ago

Modular construction helping to solve the UK housing crisis

Wooden houses with flat roofs as in picture 1? No thanks!... Read More

Martin S

19:18 PM, 29th September 2019
About A year ago

Consultation Testimonials

As a small time Landlord of 30 years, with a small portolio of 4 properties, I've never considered that I need tax planning, but recently I looked into buying a small block of lock-up garages, as an alternative to buying any more BTLs. Less hassle, especially the way things are going. Anyway, having seen this 118 service being offered, I took the plunge, paid the £400 on-line, and didn't really know what to excpect, but thought I would be in good hands, and there was the promise of the fee being returned if they couldn't do anything for me.

To be honest, we hear this kind of promise from time to time, but from past experience, it's rare that people/orgaisations live up to their promise. Having subsequently spoken to Alex from the scheme, who didn't employ any sales tactics during our conversation, he didn't believe that I could benefit from any scheme that he/they might be able to provide, and subsequently returned the fee that day, without any ifs, buts, or maybes!

Based on my experience, I would have no trouble in recommending this service, particularly if you feel your case is borderline, as mine was, as you have nothing to lose. Again many thanks to Alex, and if I do increase the portfolio, then I will be back. Thanks again.... Read More

Martin S

9:29 AM, 4th May 2019
About 2 years ago

Judge Throws Out Section 21 Bizarrely?

Four or five years ago, I took an Agent to Court, for having recklessly put a tenant in a property of mine, who subsequently stopped paying, and did a midnight flit. Turns out that the Agent had found the tenant another property after her 'disappearance'! The new Landlord can't have been informed of this tenant's background.
The Court papers were served on the Agent, who didn't respond at all within the 14 days required. As the law stands, this automatically means that the case would have been found in my favour, and the case closed. Despite this, and backing from my MP, the Judge allowed the case to continue, and my correspondence wasn't answered.
At the start of the Court case, I pointed out that legally, this shouldn't have got to this stage, so why did it? I pointed out the MP's involvement, and he was hugely dismissive, and basically viewed the MP with scorn. He angrily said that he wanted to see justice done! (Obviously both members of the same 'club'). Result? The Agents was told to pay back my tenant finding fee, and that I should pursue the tenant!
Once you try to make a complaint against a Judge, you are seen as taking on the establishment. I wrote to the place in London that appoints Judges, to complain against this decision, and his behaviour, and guess what? My complaint wasn't upheld, even though he was technically wrong!
My view of the law changed forever on that day. Never believe that you will receive a fair hearing. There are other forces out there at play.... Read More

Martin S

10:49 AM, 27th April 2019
About 2 years ago

Work and Pensions Committee 'No DSS' discrimination evidence heard

As far as I am concerned, people can discuss the No DSS issue until they are blue in the face, but as a landlord of nearly 30 years standing, as a business model, I've never taken on tenants in receipt of housing benefit, as the potential pitfalls are too great, and this isn't going to change any time soon.
Because of this ability to select financially sound tenants, I'm happy to say that over the years, I've been on friendly terms with 95% of my tenants, all of whom have chosen to terminate tenancies themselves.
It seems the aim here is to embarrass Landlords and others, into accepting tenants on UC, but it's not going to work here! Government policies are aimed at reducing expenditure on benefits, with those at the bottom end bearing the biggest brunt of the cuts. Would I, and others, willingly become financially involved in this sad scenario? If Government were truly looking to help these potential tenants, then it would look at the means to do so, but there is no inclination to do so.
As Landlords, we are aware that Government views us with contempt, and treats us accordingly. It is time we returned the compliment wherever possible. The recent Parliamentary shambles re Brexit shows what an inept bunch Government are, and realistically in no moral position to judge us, never mind lead on issues relating to housing. Being bereft of any original thought themselves, they are subject to predatory influences and lobbying from 3rd parties. As Landlords, if we do not have an effective means of countering these pressures, then we only have ourselves to blame.... Read More