Property bought with tenant in situ now causing problems with rent and inspections

by Readers Question

3 years ago

Property bought with tenant in situ now causing problems with rent and inspections

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Property bought with tenant in situ now causing problems with rent and inspections

I have bought a property with a tenant in situation in 1 December 2014 and she has a tenancy agreement that is now periodic as the original one was 4 years ago, March 11 2011.I am managing this on my own at the moment.

The first issue is what I believe is 2 months rent. She is paying rent on time now, but only began in Feb 2015, however there is a dispute on the December and January payments as she claims these were payed to the previous owner on 30 November 2014. She yet to prove this and my solicitor is having trouble contacting the previous owner.

The first question if she doesn’t prove this (she says she’s got proof via bank statement but hasn’t shown me yet) where do I go from here? Would it be wise to potentially serve section 8 with it being up in the air at the moment.

The second thing is the tenant is making it hard for me to enter the property. I inspected the property 1 week before completion of contract in December 2014, but she claims most of the internal property is hers as she has done a lot of major work to it. Now I have the previous tenancy agreement with the fixtures and fitting of the property on there. Can she dispute this as it is signed by her?

She has stated, because she apparently fitted new laminate flooring and carpets in different areas of property and new tiles etc in kitchen, this belongs to her and wants to take it with her, sort of like a threat if she is evicted. Can she do that? It was in immaculate condition when the property was inspected, but now she claims I didn’t do a proper inspection or inventory of the property when I completed the purchase.

I wrote to her in mid December 2014, with proof of postage asking for an inspection of the property, but she keeps agreeing to an appointment yet changing her mind saying she’s busy. I do have pictures of the property from the mid summer 2014. Can this be used as evidence as this was pretty much the condition at the time.

I’m not sure where to go from here. I’m getting an agent to manage the property from next week, but need to know where I stand as she’s refused me viewing the property and will only allow a 3rd party to do so.

Many thanks

Chrishelp



Comments

Dr Rosalind Beck

3 years ago

No idea if this will help, but as no-one else has answered yet - regarding the laminate flooring, whenever we get a tenant who lays laminate flooring and wants to take it with them, we say they must put the carpet back which they replaced... they then usually leave the laminate. But you would have to find out what was there before the laminate. Sorry that only addresses a small part of your question and good luck with it. Sounds a bit messy - and I would have thought your solicitor should have dealt with all of this....

Joe Bloggs

3 years ago

once something is fixed to the property i.e. tiles (and probably laminate if the perimeter beads are glued or nailed) it becomes part of the demise and ownership passes. if it is then removed i suppose this is theft and criminal damage if the damage is not made good.

as i have pointed out many times before on this forum, you have a right to inspect upon giving 24 hours notice. whilst its polite to make an appointment, you dont need to make an appointment! obviously this approach only works if you have keys.

Chris Hon

3 years ago

I did think so, as the estate agent's manager that was selling the property at the time did say she's can't remove fixtures and fittings in that respect. Also how would an inventory work now, I've heard from 2 separate agents that I've enquired to take the management service with that I can't do an inventory now mid way through (I do have a basic inventory of fixtures and fittings with the attached to the previous tenancy agreement). How about the pictures that were taken by the estate agent as marketing before the sale of property (and the condition of the property was pretty much identical to when it was sold, as I checked 1 week before completion). Isn't it possible to have a new inventory, now if signed by the tenant (whether keeping the same tenancy agreement, new AST?) I did also have a witness in the form of an estate agent 1 week before completion of the property to verify the condition of the property.

Thanks everyone.

Hello Joe,
I'm a landlord based in Scotland and my solicitor has told me that under no circumstances can I enter a property to do an inspection without the permission of the tenant, despite the fact that my tenancy agreement states that I have the right to conduct inspections with 24 hrs notice having been given.
My solicitor has said that if I enter the property without the tenants permission I can be prosecuted and get a criminal record. And in Scotland that would mean that I would loose my Landlord Registration from the Local Council and I would therefore be unable to rent my properties out.
Is what my solicitor has told me wrong?

Thank you

Joe Bloggs

3 years ago

HI FRANCESCA,

suspect your solicitor is wrong...they often give overcautious advice. however, i operate in england so dont know about scotland.

this is the law in england and wales:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70
In a lease in which the lessor’s repairing covenant is implied there is also implied a covenant by the lessee that the lessor, or any person authorised by him in writing, may at reasonable times of the day and on giving 24 hours’ notice in writing to the occupier, enter the premises comprised in the lease for the purpose of viewing their condition and state of repair.

recommend google as this is usually more reliable!

Neil Robb

3 years ago

Hi All

Joe try speaking to your tenant face to face and state you want to continue renting the property. Anything you are asking to do is not unreasonable. Ask her to work with you to sort this out.

Property is definitely a peoples business and some tenants tell the truth and others lie. But you must never judge everyone by the bad ones.

If she had a statement of prove she did pay the rent. I would say she would have produced it by now.

I would say you are finding her attitude to the situation unhelpful. If you can sort everything out and sign new agreement and inventory you would be more than happy for her to stay as long as the property is looked after and the rent is paid.

If a tenant wants to replace flooring tiles I always make them sign a letter stating when they leave the place they must put the original items back or agree now they will be left in the house etc

Have a meeting with the photos and agreements you have and come to an agreement You don't have to be nasty but talk straight If the tenant then keeps up this behaviour serve notice it might change her attitude.

As you took over the tenancy was there a deposit and was it protected properly. This is very important for you in the event you need to evict plus you don't want to be fined.

Keep using P118 you will learn a lot and don't think because an agent is looking after your property everything will be ok. You have one property to look after an agent might have hundreds and you 10% commission wont be enough to prioritise your property with them.

Chris Hon

3 years ago

I appreciate the comments and feedback everybody, i'm still a very 'green' landlord and maybe taken advantage of here. I would like to ask then:

I have a fixed term assured shorthold tenant that started an agreement on 14th march 2011 and ends of the 14 august 2011 with the previous landlord. It is now a periodic tenancy. So would the last date of the notice if served for example today on (10th may 2015) be for 13th july 2015 or the 14th of july 2015 for a section 21 notice to be valid?

And have you ever heard of tenant requesting the bank to recover 2 months (april and may) rent back? The tenant certainly hasn't made me aware of this so I believe I should just ignore my bank and this is just normal rent she's paid since February 2015.

Thanks again.

Chris Hon

3 years ago

I appreciate the comments and feedback everybody, i’m still a very ‘green’ landlord and maybe taken advantage of here. I would like to ask then:

Hi guys, I have read up on the ending a AST agreement threads and also numerous other website on section 21 and it seems that there's a lot of conflicting information around.

I have a fixed term assured shorthold tenant that started an agreement on 14th march 2011 and ends on the 14 august 2011 as a 6 month agreement with the previous landlord. It is now a periodic tenancy. (bought property in December 2014) So would the last date of the notice if served for example today on (10th may 2015) be for 13th July 2015 or the 14th of July 2015 for a section 21 notice to be valid? Also does it matter the date of notice if the rent is paid on the 1st Friday of every month ( i.e. every 4 weeks - 7th April 2015, 1st May 2015) rather than between the 14th to the following month?

I've also had a recent letter from Halifax dated 7th May 2015.

"We're writing to let you know that we have been contacted by RBS. They have advised us that they have £351 to your account by mistake, on 7/4/15 and 1/5/2015 twice.

In order that we can rerun the money to them, can you please sign and date where indicated below and return this letter in the enclosed pre paid envelope"

And has anyone ever heard of the tenant requesting their bank to recover 2 months (April and May 2015) rent back (bank letter dated 7/5/15) by writing to my bank as they said on the letter it was a mistake? The tenant certainly hasn’t made me aware of this nor given me notice she wants to leave so I believe I should just ignore my bank and this is just normal rent she’s paid since February 2015?

She is a paying tenant of mine and the only way I can think of the new claw backs by banks if it was intended for the wrong bank account or by mistake, so I don't need to pay her back right otherwise she will be in arrears? I think the tenant is trying it on, and she is making it very hard to contact her.

Thanks for anybody's input.

Neil Robb

3 years ago

You must address the letter tell them this was not a mistake and it was rent due.

Where is the property that seems a low rent. I would say she does not want to pay rent and is trying it on. Someone probably giving her wrong advice.

Don't do this on your own as you are new one mistake on any paper work a solicitor will get it chucked out. There is a few landlord Repossession experts you can contact who will do it right for you.

You should join the landlord association it cost £80 a year you get any paper work you may need and access to legal advice well worth the money.

Join local property groups and meet other landlords.

When dealing with tenants always be professional calm and polite.


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