Mark Trenfield

Registered with
Thursday 28th May 2015

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 11

Mark Trenfield

10:20 AM, 10th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Lobby your MP Saturday James Gray tells the RLA

James Gray is my MP and I have written to him on a couple of occasions (since Section 24) and he has been absolutely AMAZING. He is definitely championing how ridiculous the introduction of Section 24 is .... and he has raised concerns about this, with Government ministers, on a number of occasions.

I received another letter from James Gray only last week confirming he is continuing to lobby for changes to Section 24 but he also commented that his lobbying is falling on deaf ears within the Treasury and Philip Hammond seems intent on moving forward with it!

Great that he is rallying landlords to write to their own MPs now (like I did) ..... and I honestly think that James could not have done more to support and raise my concerns ..... he definitely understands that tenants will ultimately pay ...

I am so pleased to have him as my MP.

Mark... Read More

Mark Trenfield

10:11 AM, 19th January 2017
About 3 years ago

What happens next if Tenants now start to claim Housing Benefit?

Hi John,
I have huge amount of experience of dealing with DSS tenants and many scars to prove it!

You have already been given some very good advice. If it was my tenant and they had missed a month's rent already and they hadn't immediately responded to my questions about what was happening - I would issue the Section 21 immediately (even though it will be another 4 months before it expires) and I would be preparing the Section 8 for when they miss next months'rent too.

Not to pay ANY rent is "having a laugh" in my opinion. Everyone can find £50 or £100 to keep a roof over their heads whilst they sort things out!

DSS tenants can be OK when THEY keep on top of everything and THEY always ensure you get your rents "at all cost" and THEY understand how the system works. It is THEIR responsibility to claim THEIR benefit from the Council to pay your rent.

Your tenants possibly have no experience of the DSS system (and they will be learning at your expense), have not paid you ANY rent this month and have not responded to your request for more information.

If they are not responding to your requests for more information they are almost certainly not responding to the Councils requests either. This means their DSS claim will not go into payment which means you won't see any rent.

And worse than that - the longer their benefit claim does not go into payment the more rent you are going to lose as Councils do not back date benefit claims for tenants who don't provide the information that the Council is requesting.

YOU NEED TO GET ON TOP OF THIS SITUATION NOW. Putting your head in the sand (or trusting what the tenant tells you) is not a financially viable option!

Solution: Issue the Sections 21 NOW .... see if that gets a response from the tenant - if it doesn't get ready to issue the Section 8 next month .... and if you do get a response then insist that the tenant organises a meeting at the Council Offices with you and them ..... and make it clear to them and the Council and anyone else who is listening ... if you don't get your rent every month on time and in full ... they are OUT.

Good luck because I have a feeling you are going to need it!

Mark... Read More

Mark Trenfield

8:32 AM, 13th January 2017
About 3 years ago

Tenant leaving mid month?

Hi Emma,
Your tenant gave you notice before Xmas and you were "led to believe" that she was leaving at the end of February".

So was the end of February a date set in writing? I doubt it. A tenant only needs to give the landlord 1 month's notice.

So - technically - your tenant gave you notice of her intention to leave before Xmas and the tenancy anniversary is 1st day of the month ..... and 1 months' notice from 1st January 2017 is 31st January 2017.

Therefore - your tenant is actually offering to pay you 9 days more rent (ie: the first 9 days of February) than is technically due.

So I don't really see what the problem is.

Mark... Read More

Mark Trenfield

12:57 PM, 22nd August 2016
About 3 years ago

Is an AST effective if the deposit has not been paid in full?

Hi Mike,
I am not a legal expert (although I have huge experience in dealing with DSS tenants and local Councils).

Given that you have given the tenants the keys to your property and you have allowed them to move in would indicate that you intended to create an Assured Shorthold Tenancy with these DSS tenants and you are therefore bound by the full terms of the Housing Act.

In my opinion - the current deposit payment situation is irrelevant in relation to whether an AST has been created or not - because an AST can be created with a zero deposit.

By the way - I hope you have protected the £250 deposit in a deposit guarantee scheme - if not - do this ASAP (and within 30 days of creating the tenancy).

In my experience - given that the tenants are on DSS benefits - it's possible that you won't see any more deposit money (because if they had lots of money they wouldn't need to claim benefits). One hope is that your local Council might include you in some form of Council run "Deposit Guarantee Scheme".

The delays in receiving rent monies may well be caused by the DSS processing their benefits application slowly (assuming they have even submitted a claim).

To gain clarity on what is happening - you need to get your tenants to urgently arrange a meeting with the Housing Officer at your local Council / Benefits Office so that you can find out what is going on. It is really important that you attend this meeting with your tenants.

At the meeting you should find out what the delay is (in processing the tenant's claim) and you can also gain clarity on whether you are likely to see any more of the deposit or not or whether you are eligible for a Council run deposit guarantee scheme.

You could also ask whether the Council would be willing to pay the Housing Benefit money directly to your bank account given the problems that are already beginning to surface within this tenancy after only 14 working days.

Hope this helps ....

Mark... Read More

Mark Trenfield

16:19 PM, 23rd June 2016
About 3 years ago

Should I fix my mortgages longer term?

Hi Rob
I think about 7 of my mortgages come out of their fixed term this year and I have decided to adopt the following strategies:-

1) For those mortgages that I deem "strategic" then I am rolling them over onto 5 year fixed rates with the current mortgage provider. The reason for choosing the longer term, fixed rate, product is that I can offset any finance product fees against rental income this year (but this will be restricted when Clause 24 starts from 2017 onwards).

I deem a mortgage to be strategic if I am definitely definitely definitely not intending to sell the property over the next 5 years (as I will incur early repayment charges if I sell within the new 5 year fixed term).

2) For less strategic properties (those properties that I might be tempted to sell / want to sell in the next 5 years - perhaps because their yield isn't as great as other properties or perhaps because I simply don't like them!) - I am currently letting them roll onto their Standard Variable Rate ... whilst at the same time reducing the amount of debt/capital on these mortgages (so that the monthly mortgage payments remain roughly the same as they were during the fixed term).

3) Every time I have a spare few hundred pounds, I will repay some of the capital on the less strategic (SVR mortgaged) properties until I have managed to clear these down to 0.

4) If a tenant leaves a less strategic property then I will consider selling it (maximising my use of the annual CGT allowances) ... and reduce the debt on other less strategic properties.

By annually selling properties I not only reduce my debt (thereby saving future Clause 24 taxation on debt) and maximise my CGT allowances but I also reduce my income (thereby stopping me being dragged into the £100K+ income bracket which would result in 60% taxation) as a result of Clause 24.

The only problem with this strategy is that none of my tenants are moving and all of them are accepting their £50 a month rent increases as the property market gets squeezed and tenant demand radically outstrips supply.

Hope that helps .....

Mark... Read More