Theodore Brown Property Management

Registered with Property118.com
Sunday 29th September 2013


Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 10

Theodore Brown Property Management

14:58 PM, 27th February 2014
About 6 years ago

Does landlord or agent keep the holding deposit if a tenant pulls out?

Reply to the comment left by "John Frith" at "24/02/2014 - 12:39":

Hi John.

Thanks for updating us about this incident.

We disagree with the way your agency acted and have never done nor will ever do it ourselves - despite the fact that the practice does seem to be common, per this news item today:

BBC finds 500 cases of lettings agents refusing to return unused 'holding deposits' & fees [VIDEO 2:32]
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26365397... Read More

Theodore Brown Property Management

9:49 AM, 27th February 2014
About 6 years ago

Tenancy Renewal Fees

To bring this thread back on topic...

It's very straightforward and doesn't have anything to do with deposits. If your signed tenancy agreement states the charge to renew the tenancy is £69.60 including VAT, that's all you need to pay. If you extend your tenancy agreement and the new contract has a clause in it stating that the cost to renew is £84.00, that's what you will need to pay in 12 months time - not now. We don't charge any renewal or administration fees for any tenancies.

On a related matter, I have been doing a lot of reading recently about end of tenancy charges in tenancy agreement clauses - eg for an inventory at the end of a tenancy or a check-out fee. If the clause doesn't state an amount but says something like "the reasonable cost will be advised at the time", initial guidance from the Office of Fair Trading suggests that the clause would be considered 'unfair'. Any amount subsequently charged would be open to dispute - even if other quotes showed the amount charged is in line with the market - but this is another topic for another time.... Read More

Theodore Brown Property Management

17:58 PM, 19th February 2014
About 6 years ago

Council Demands Landlord's Contact Details From Tenants - Threatens A Fine For Non Compliance

Might it be possible that Hackney Council are attempting to gather the landlord's contact details from the tenant because they set up their own letting agency two months ago?

Source: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/council-opens-letting-agency-to-help-protect-private-sector-tenants-9012450.html

We manage properties across about two dozen different Council Boroughs/Districts/Unitary Authorities and none apart from Hackney have ever demanded a landlord's contact details under threat of penalty. None of the other local authorities we deal with have set up their own not-for-profit 'Social Lettings' Agency' either. I'm not asserting that the Council are trying to use S3 to canvass landlords for their agency or that they're threatening tenants with a financial penalty in order to increase their chances of getting landlord's contact information - but it's quite a coincidence.

Time to call the Council and ask some pointed questions on behalf of both the tenant and landlord.

Thanks for all your comments so far.... Read More

Theodore Brown Property Management

17:26 PM, 19th February 2014
About 6 years ago

Council Demands Landlord's Contact Details From Tenants - Threatens A Fine For Non Compliance

Reply to the comment left by "Lou Valdini" at "18/02/2014 - 15:30":

I have no problem with the Council having my contact details - which they now have.

As you say, S3 refers to the tenant - who in this case is the ‘liable person’ and has been during the last four or so years they've occupied the premises. (The owner of any property/landlord is only liable for the CT in an occupied property under the circumstances referred to in the initial post and none of these circumstances apply.)

Indeed, in the 'Hierarchy of Liability' for CT, the owner/landlord is placed fifth out of five categories - they are literally the last resort. He/she is even less liable than a squatter.

Source: http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/tax_e/tax_council_tax_ew/council_tax.htm

I can only assume that the council are requesting the landlord's details as a 'backup contact' in case the CT is not paid (say during a void period) in the future - but if so, I can't see how they can use S3 for that purpose (nor how they can use it to demand other information under threat of a fine).... Read More

Theodore Brown Property Management

16:52 PM, 19th February 2014
About 6 years ago

Council Demands Landlord's Contact Details From Tenants - Threatens A Fine For Non Compliance

Reply to the comment left by "Sue P" at "18/02/2014 - 13:47":

It may not have been clear in the initial posting but we are managing the property on behalf of the landlord - we are not the landlord. I have no problem with the Council having our contact details (which they do now) but I am not about to divulge the landlord's contact details without the landlord's permission.

You've also made a salient point. The request does not reference any specific period. The current tenants have been there continuously for more than four years and are not in arrears. If there is a specific period in the past when the Council Tax wasn't paid, it would pre-date our management and the current tenants occupancy and I don't think the Council would have waited this long to act. I believe it is a general request for contact information.... Read More