Simon Topple

Registered with
Monday 12th May 2014

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 45

Simon Topple

9:20 AM, 22nd March 2018, About 4 years ago

Landlord licensing want to force a change in existing tenancy agreement?

I'd be interested to hear of an update to this - is there one?... Read More

Simon Topple

22:31 PM, 18th November 2016, About 5 years ago

Leased flat to a limited company now dissolved - What do I do?

These tenants could be on lodgers agreements. They could also be on licenses or standard ASTs. Most likely is licenses or ASTs. Lodgers agreement isn't likely but you can't rule it out - R2R is the last bastion of the dodgy and ill prepared.

We have encountered similar and had to void a contract with a bad R2R er. The advice we were given was as soon as the contract was voided, the contract between the owner and the R2R er fell away leaving the tenancy existing between the owner and the tenants. Effectively crossing off the R2R was name and inserting the landlords name.

If you do attempt to regularise it, be aware you will now be open to being sued over the deposit. As much as it pains, take steps to sort this. Either allow the tenants to earn it out with a rent reduction for a set period (eg for a £500 deposit given them a £100 discount per month for five months) or just gift them the money (into the DPS or equivalent). This will be cheaper and go some way to building trust with the tenants and get them on board.

Also - be aware of the regulations as you now have a HMO. Ensure:

A) your lender and insurer allow it

B) the property isn't in an A4 area so will not get permission.

C) any HMO license is applied for if it falls into mandatory licensing

And most importantly
D) it meets the standard for multiple occupation, fire alarms, fire doors where stipulated by the local authority, etc.

Also be aware that if they are on single tenancies the detail of the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order comes into play so you will need fire risk assessment carried out etc.... Read More

Simon Topple

21:47 PM, 17th May 2016, About 5 years ago

Liverpool landlord licensing ruled in breach of Data Protection Act

I (along with a number of other established letting agencies, landlords and bodies such as the North West Property Owners Association) was on the landlords advisory panel set up by the council to get input from the PRS in setting up the scheme.

It was clear early on there would be issues. A major one was the scheme was brought in under false pretenses and got in by the skin of its teeth.

The false pretenses were the only grounds from bringing a scheme in was to tackle low demand and anti-social behaviour. They even tried to prove low demand from the student sector (this is subject to over-supply but there is huge demand still for the right property - I am currently looking at an inbox of enquiries from this evening). If anything it is the local authorities lax approach to planning and not considering the impact on the commercial viability of the city and the UDP in granting planning that has contributed to this.

The skin of its teeth is the change that all blanket licensing schemes must get Secretary of State approval. This ruling was designed to prevent exactly what Liverpool Council was doing - bringing in a wide area scheme to fix a very localised issue.

As a result we have the ludicrous situation that a property rented out for multiple thousands per month in Calderstones needs a license, to tackle anti social problems and low demand that simply isn't an issue (and might as well be a different city).

On a final note - during one of the consultation meetings hastily set up by the council, the rep from the NLA asked a question - to paraphrase, "how will you measure success in five years to determine if the scheme has worked, and therefore can be closed".

The answer indicated that this was not an option and they were not looking to monitor the effectiveness (at tackling ASB and low demand) - once the scheme was in place, it was there permanently. This is in direct contrast to Manchester Council, who admitted very quickly that their scheme did not work and closed it down.

Liverpool should do the same - the scheme is not needed, not wanted, is a drain on the local PRS and is not helping to drive up standards. They are ill equipped to deal with this level of applications and licensing, and have only now (after 9 years) gotten HMO licensing under control.... Read More

Simon Topple

14:43 PM, 10th August 2015, About 6 years ago

Is a tenancy voidable as fraud if tenant lies on application?

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "16/07/2015 - 23:38":

I will have to bow to superior legal minds on this. In a simple form I would be guessing if I said they still have a tenancy that can only be ended with a court order - they will still have possession, and you might try and take action against them for fraud but you would still have to take action to legally obtain possession.

We occasionally have tenants that claim that due to x, y, or z reason their contract is null and void therefore they are moving out and want their deposit back (despite them being on a joint AST with four other perfectly happy tenants).... Read More

Simon Topple

14:19 PM, 10th August 2015, About 6 years ago

Being sued for rejecting a tenant due to bad references

I really wouldn't worry about it.

I would feed back to the solicitors that you are viewing their attempt to reach an out of court settlement as extortion and you will be reporting their conduct to the law society.

The tenant filed references, the Invitation to Treat comment is on the money - the tenant offered, you didn't accept, there is no contract and you did not enter into a contract that was later repudiated.

You could always refer them to the case of Arkell vs Pressdram Ltd.... Read More