Harlequin Garden

Registered with Property118.com
Saturday 24th May 2014


Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 192

Harlequin Garden

16:15 PM, 9th February 2021
About 2 months ago

How to deal with utility charge after tenant left

I have a situation where at the signing of the lease all leaseholders (they were new builds) put themselves as ultimately responsible for the energy bills (energy for the heating and hot water not electricity, there is no gas) - I had no choice as I was also signing the lease ready to complete. When a tenant moves out I do all I can to ensure that bills are paid, if it's in a tenants name I am not allowed to know if the bill is paid or not - if it is not paid I get maybe the 3rd reminder, rather than sharing the correspondence, so far I've not done too badly but others in the block have been very unfortunate and most were not even aware that they had signed this.
With one tenant I had he disputed his bills and would only pay what he saw on the meter (sounds fair enough) - I was completely unaware of this though until they started chasing me for the balance many months later and fortunately as I was aware I could hold his deposit and when he still refused to pay took the outstanding £300 or so out of it - he took me to the tribunal and I won that round as it was clear in his lease that he is responsible for his bills - however downside I got £17 for a very badly scratched floor that needed complete resanding just so no one gets too excited about the Tribunal!
With hindsight I can't think that this is correct: with another block I signed the same but when I questioned it it was only if the energy was in my name - if it's in the tenant's name then they chase them (thought I was mad putting my hand up for a tenants bill!) - anyone come across this and can it be challenged? I was about to go to the ombudsman but can't see that it is an issue for them and they also don't have SW Energy on their list of providers weirdly.

Thanks... Read More

Harlequin Garden

9:57 AM, 29th January 2021
About 2 months ago

Alleged Council Enforcement Officer threatening over the phone?

Reply to the comment left by Simon Hall at 26/01/2021 - 21:37
I had very similar, an HMO that was converted over time to separate units - once noticed by the housing officer it no longer qualified for HMO status - story is longer than that but that is the point, it may be that different areas have different requirements. Also once separate units it does qualify for council tax - this is a house converted to shared units and then to self contained units common entrance. If nothing else get a certificate of lawful use before you get an enforcement notice.

Also sounds to me that you did alert the local authority.... Read More

Harlequin Garden

15:23 PM, 26th January 2021
About 3 months ago

Alleged Council Enforcement Officer threatening over the phone?

As far as I know any works to a listed building needs consent having owned a couple of listed buildings (planning and conservations departments are two different 'departments' and not joined up) but what concerns me is the indemnity insurance - my information is that you do not alert the people who may take action - the council - that this is happening as it will render the indemnity insurance void. They should have shown ID, any interaction I've had with a council office has always had them show their id first and they are not always pleasant.

I agree it is not an HMO if it is all separate units - if it was an HMO previously there must have been changes made since the license was issued to have self contained units. I assume you have the floor plan for the HMO?... Read More

Harlequin Garden

16:47 PM, 25th January 2021
About 3 months ago

Is it time to buy ground rents?

Reply to the comment left by Smartermind at 25/01/2021 - 16:24
Thank you - when the Freehold bid started this wasn't on offer - I did flag it to those leading on the Freehold before they submitted probably a year ago and have warned them that I may be dropping out due to this, obviously they are now very quiet on the matter. It wasn't a 'brilliant idea', it was at the time a way to get the Freehold done (over 3 years in the talking and organising) and nothing on the horizon regarding these new announcements by Mr Jenrick. Thanks for confirming my view - no one else is, but we've yet to see this - but then who would have thought S24 would have been brought in.... Read More

Harlequin Garden

10:28 AM, 7th January 2021
About 3 months ago