Robert Mellors

Registered with
Saturday 26th October 2013

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 1155

Robert Mellors

10:57 AM, 19th July 2021, About 2 weeks ago

Next Step ICE complaint?

"I remind them they agreed to pay me directly from the start" Do you have some sort of written agreement with the DWP agreeing to pay you direct any amount of UCHE that the tenant is entitled to? Would this hold up as a contract?

I've never known the DWP to agree anything like this prior to a tenancy commencing, there is usually just a right TO REQUEST direct payments (what the UC call a "managed payment" or "alternative payment arrangement"), if particular circumstances exist, e.g. 2+ months rent arrears. The request is made via the UC47 form (now via an online application), but these are often ignored or refused (with no definite reasons given).

If UC team are ignoring the UC47 then next step is perhaps to make a formal complaint tot he district manager, and when this is ignored, you may be able to proceed with a complaint to ICE. Ask Mick Roberts for advice on this, he has gone through this process several times and has cases lodged with ICE at the moment. (However, expect to wait around 2 YEARS for ICE to deal with your complaint).

If you have a rent guarantor for the tenant, it may be far quicker and easier to claim from them.... Read More

Robert Mellors

11:16 AM, 15th July 2021, About 2 weeks ago

Agency finding secure homes for families in temporary accommodation?

So in effect the council is acting like a let only letting agent, and taking absolutely zero responsibility for the tenants they place in your property?

1. If the tenants don't pay the rent (they spend the UC Housing Element, that is paid to them), will the council/agency pay the rent arrears? On a 24 month tenancy, that's potentially a hell of a lot of rent arrears! - NOTE: rent is now paid via Universal Credit (Housing Element), NOT Housing Benefit, and it is paid to the tenants, not to the landlord (except in exceptional circumstances).

2. If the tenants trash the property and cause £10,000 of damage before you can eventually get the bailiffs to evict them (on a 24 month tenancy, that's a lot of damage that could be done), will the council/agency re-imburse you the damage and legal costs?

3. If the tenants commit anti-social behaviour, will the council/agency resolve this quickly, and make peace with the neighbours? - Remember, ASB is difficult to prove to the degree required by a court, so you could be stuck with the tenants for the full 2 years of the AST, plus time for the court eviction process after that.

If the answer is "No" to any of the three questions above, then you may wish to choose your own tenants who can afford the rent from their earnings, and have personal assets and rent/damage guarantors.

If the council are willing to act as rent and damage guarantors then this may be an entirely different matter, but without this they may simply be offloading bad tenants onto you? Do your due diligence as you would for any other potential tenant, e.g. do all the credit checks and get written references from former landlords.... Read More

Robert Mellors

11:00 AM, 2nd July 2021, About 4 weeks ago

Tenant only missed one month but needs Section 21?

The tenant is misunderstanding her entitlement to Universal Credit and "help from the Jobcentre" (or is misleading you about this), as these are nothing to do with whether or not a Notice has been served.
Her entitlement to Universal Credit (UC) for personal income is based on her income and job status (assuming she has "recourse to public funds").
Her entitlement to UC Housing Element (for help to pay her rent), is dependent upon her having a tenancy agreement (not a s21 Notice), and of course her general entitlement to UC.
Her entitlement to "help from the Jobcentre", e.g. help finding employment, is, again, nothing to do with her tenancy or whether she has been served with a s21/s8 Notice or not.

If she is going to go and live with family, why is she approaching the Local Authority, it has nothing to do with them if she chooses to move in with family members.

The story you are being fed by her does not make any sense.... Read More

Robert Mellors

11:10 AM, 25th June 2021, About a month ago

Legal obligation to seek help from Council?

As Smartermind says, you can't force the tenant to seek help, but it would be good practice to provide them with some advice on the help they may be able to get. See: Read More

Robert Mellors

11:10 AM, 15th June 2021, About a month ago

Can Guarantor give notice to end tenancy that has become periodic?

Reply to the comment left by Chris Byways at 14/06/2021 - 08:50
It would appear that you have a flat where there is a complaint of damp, which you assume to be due to tenant lifestyle (or do you have a professional opinion in writing to confirm this?).

You have stated that the tenant refuses to ventilate, but have not mentioned what passive or active ventilation has been provided by the landlord, e.g. air vents or humidistat extractors.

If the tenant is experiencing damp issues, then they should have reported this to the landlord, and only involved the EH Officer if the landlord refused to investigate or remedy. If considered to be solely due to tenant lifestyle, then the landlord or agent can give appropriate advise to the tenant. Likewise if EH inspect and come to the same conclusion then they should also give advise to the tenant on how to minimise the condensation.

However, the EH officer may also suggest actions that the landlord can do to improve ventilation within the property, e.g. air vents through walls, trickle vents through window frames, mechanical extraction (usually just in bathrooms and kitchens).

Although tenant should in the first instance report any damp issues to the landlord (are you 100% certain they did not report issues to the letting agent?), they do have a legal right to report to EH if they wish, so I don't think you could claim compensation from them for any delay in the EH officer doing their inspection (but why has EH already told the tenant it's "lifestyle" unless they have already inspected, in which case why do they need to come again?).

I also don't see how it necessarily prevents any viewings or signing up of new tenants. Tenants can see the quality of the accommodation at the viewing, and you can simply say that as a responsible landlord you have arranged for the council to come and inspect the property and advise on any ventilation improvements that may be a good idea.

In relation to who to email or correspond with, then I would assume that you deal with whoever your contract is with, i.e. your tenants. If they wish to formally appoint someone else as their legal representative or appointee, then they can do so, and when you have such evidence of this formal appointee, then you can liaise with that person instead.... Read More