Maurice Kifford

Registered with
Thursday 11th July 2013

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 6

Maurice Kifford

9:57 AM, 5th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Private Rental Housing - A Hole In The Bucket

Hi. Just pledged £25 to this very worthy cause.... Read More

Maurice Kifford

14:40 PM, 27th April 2016, About 6 years ago

We go to court tomorrow - wish us Luck! (West Brom Tracker Case)

Good luck tomorrow Mark. Hope everything goes well, fingers and toes all crossed for you.... Read More

Maurice Kifford

17:30 PM, 11th July 2013, About 8 years ago

Issuing a Section 21 on the start of a tenancy - Readers Question

Hi Tessa. A recent incident occurred involving a friend of mine who owns a letting agency. He tells me it was standard practice for him to issue a S21 notice at the commencement of the tenancy. His thinking was that it allows the landlord an early exit from the tenancy should things not work out with the tenancy. In 99.9% of all cases the AST simply rolled over to become a Statutory Assured Tenancy.

However, the day came when out of the blue an existing tenant walked into his office 6 months after signing an AST, and handed back the keys. The agent was taken aback and told the tenant that he was expected to give one months notice and not simply leave the property. The tenant of course responded that, as he had previously been given notice under the S21 notice that it was on the landlords instruction that he was vacating and therefore it was not an obligation for him to give any notice. I expect the tenant is probably right.

So, this is a likely pitfall of the early S21. Presumably if both parties are happy to continue then a new AST would need to be set up complete with a new tenancy deposit registration.

On that basis, I would rather use S21 only if it is required.... Read More

Maurice Kifford

0:26 AM, 29th June 2013, About 8 years ago

Deposit Protection - look out landlords, the vultures are circling

Hi Mark, thanks for your comments. My solicitor is currently making the application to the court after which an attachment of earnings order looks the most favourable course of action.

I will keep you all posted... Read More

Maurice Kifford

23:45 PM, 28th June 2013, About 8 years ago

Deposit Protection - look out landlords, the vultures are circling

This actually happened to me recently. A new tenant moved to a flat I own in February this year. For my part I secured the deposit through My Deposits on the date of check in. As is my usual practice I printed off 2 copies of the certificate, copy of the Information for Tenants form and The Prescribed Information form. These were then posted off to my tenant together with a standard "welcome" letter to my new tenant. Whether or not the tenant actually received the paperwork is questionable but 5 weeks later I received a claim form from my local County Court citing my failure to provide the prescribed information and a claim for 3 times the deposit, a total of over £3000.

Immediately, I responded to the tenant enclosing copies of everything that had been sent to him the day after he moved in. I also advised him that I would be appointing solicitors to defend the action and that in the event of a successful defence that we would be seeking costs against him.

For some years I have used a litigation lawyer famed locally for his vociferous handling of his instructions. In this case my witness statement was submitted within 6 hours of me receiving the original court papers.

A few days later my tenant wrote to me notifying me that he had instructed the court not to proceed with the matter. After this things got very interesting indeed. Having passed the tenants letter to my solicitor he advised me that in order for the tenant to stop the claim he has to file a 'Certificate of Discontinuance' with the court. This is a prescribed court form without which the tenant could simply tell me he was discontinuing but in reality could still attend court on the day and seek an undefended judgement. As a result my wily old brief simply sat back until the court date, then attended on my behalf. In this case the court had actually cancelled the case based on the tenants letter, however heres the real sting in the tail;

Because the case was stopped by the tenants letter, it never went through any case management process hence it was never listed for The Small Claims system. This allowed me, via the solicitor to put in an application for costs. My tenant is currently facing around £1200 in costs and charges as a direct result of his own greed and stupidity. Any hope of a reasonable landlord / tenant relationship was lost early on. The tenant, having offered to pay the costs at £1 a week has unwittingly admitted liability for the costs. Having signed a 12 month tenancy at his request I am very much looking forward to the run up to Christmas when, instead of an altruistic message of peace and goodwill, this particular tenant is going to be receiving a Section 21 notice instead!

This brings me on to an interesting question. As my tenant has cost me £1200 in legal fees I feel compelled to deduct it from his deposit when he leaves. After all, I have the receipts to support my claim. Would anyone care to comment on my perceived chances of success? Also, despite the tenants actions he continues to pay his rent in full as it becomes due. Should I receive a tenancy reference request in the future, I will of course be entirely truthful. Of course, when asked if I would ever consider renting to this tenant again, the answer will be a big fat "NO"! Am I obliged to to make further comment if this answer raises further query. Any advice would be most welcome.... Read More