Tag Archives: rent arrears

Demand for rent protection insurance grows Insurance, Landlord News, Landlords Insurance, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property News

Growing economic uncertainties has seen a rise in the number of letting agents supporting their landlords against rental arrears or income disruption.

According to the latest data from Goodlord and Vouch, a comparison shows that 17% more letting agents are purchasing rent protection insurance compared to this time last year.

Goodlord says that this jump in demand might illustrate how letting agents are diversifying their propositions to best serve landlords amidst extensive economic and legislative challenges.

Despite the Covid19 lockdown in 2020 and 2021, which included extensive eviction bans, this rise in demand has been recorded by the two RentTech platforms over the past year.

Rent protection for landlords

They say the need for rent protection for landlords also highlights the economic uncertainty currently being felt across the private rental sector.

According to Goodlord’s monthly rental index, average tenant income is 12% higher year-on-year across England.

But, with rental costs now 10% higher compared to 2021 and combined with rising utility bills and spiralling food prices, tenants are feeling the financial squeeze.

And this situation is prompting growing numbers of landlords and agents to put insurance measures in place.

Policies help cover the legal costs

Most rental insurance policies help cover the legal costs associated with evictions or the recovery of rent arrears.

The policies also ensure landlords can receive an income whilst their properties that are involved in any disputes are vacant.

‘Demand for rental insurance products’

Oli Sherlock, Goodlord’s director of insurance, said: “There was a big uplift in demand for rental insurance products during the pandemic, but this demand has only intensified over the last year.

“As the economic waters become choppier, agents are quite rightly altering their proposition to support landlords accordingly – loss through non-payment of rent can have major consequences for individuals.”

He added: “Those that have insurance in place can safeguard against this and ensure they have the support needed to legally and constructively navigate any issues that might arise.”


Landlords face grim winter as rent defaults loom Landlord News, Latest Articles

Housing benefits haven’t risen since 2020 – and that spells problems for landlords this winter as tenants struggle to cope with rising rent and bills. 

Landlords face a grim winter, with the risk of rising rent defaults as housing benefits fail to keep up with increases in rent.

Property owners struggling to cover the cost of increased maintenance bills and higher mortgage rates have little option but to raise rents.

This leaves less well off tenants who are struggling with the cost of living crisis squeezed between falling behind on utility payments or falling behind on rent.

At the start of 2022, one in four private renters in England – 1.2 million households – were reliant on housing benefit to keep a roof over their heads, according to the research by Zoopla and housing charity Crisis.

Yet housing benefit has been frozen since 2020 and is based on rents from 2018-19 – while the average rental increase outside London for existing tenants is more than 6% over the past two years, according to figures from Hamptons.

Meanwhile the cost of new rentals has risen by double that figure over the past two years, data from both Hamptons and Zoopla confirms.

Action call

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, has called on the government to take action before it is too late.

“When many tenants are facing the impact of rising energy, food and other prices, the government needs to do all it can to help prevent rent arrears in the first place,” he said.

“Housing benefit support must resemble rents as they are today, not as they were three years ago.

“We are united with other groups in the sector in calling on the Government to unfreeze housing benefit rates as a matter of urgency.”

Zoopla’s research, which looks at new property listings for one, two and three-bed properties across England between May 2021 and April 2022 and their affordability compared to housing benefit rates, shows that average monthly rental prices are now 12% higher than they were before the pandemic.

In May, the government committed to increase other benefits in April 2023 in line with inflation, but has so far ignored housing benefit.

Landlords at risk

The growing gap means that thousands of tenants are being pushed to breaking point – and putting vulnerable landlords at risk.

The report also reveals that the shortfalls between housing benefit payments and rents are more than double what the most recent Government figures suggest – with low-income renters being forced to find, on average, an additional £648 for a one-bed, £1,052 for a two-bed and £1,655 for a three-bed a year compared to £313, £371 and £498, respectively.

The widening shortfalls come at a time when high inflation, soaring energy bills and a chronic shortage of rental accommodation is leaving the poorest households with little room for manoeuvre.

The situation is being aggravated as many landlords leave the sector, driven out by the loss of tax breaks such as being able to offset mortgage payments, and the ever-increasing burden of regulation.

Widening gap between rents and benefits

Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla, said: “The gap between housing benefit levels and actual rents is widening as demand for rented homes outpaces supply.

“There is a greater supply squeeze in the rental market than the sales market. This is being compounded by a growing number of private landlords exiting the market in the face of tax changes and greater regulation, a trend that looks set to continue.

“The challenge for national and local government is to encourage more supply across all tenures and a policy environment that continues to attract new investment into the rented sectors.”

Matt Downie, chief executive of Crisis, said: “It is deeply troubling that the poorest households in England are being forced to fight over a meagre number of affordable homes or stump up thousands they simply don’t have in order to find somewhere to live.

“We cannot sit idly by as people are left to battle against an increasingly turbulent and suffocating rental market while housing benefit – the only lifeline they have – is patently insufficient and unable to meet their needs.”


Universal Credit is not a debacle Parliament told by IDS! Landlord News, Latest Articles, NLA - National Landlords Association

Mr Iain Duncan Smith the Work and Pensions Secretary, admitted to Parliament yesterday that the Universal credit system was not yet ready for couples who make a claim.

This was after a storm on Sky News using NLA figures showing that the number of landlords letting to people on benefits has crashed from 46% to just 22% in the last three years.  52% of landlords say they would not consider letting to someone on benefits and 70% of those who do have experienced rent arrears in the past 12 months averaging £3,000 each.

Universal credit has been widely criticised in all the pilot areas it has been rolled out in by landlords. In every area it lead to a significant increase in rent arrears largely because tenants are now responsible for their own household budgets with housing benefits not being paid directly to landlords.

Mr Duncan Smith told Parliament that reforms were on track despite delays and writing off more than £40m worth of software designed for the new Universal Credit with a further £90m of equipment that would be worthless in five years’ time.

MPs on the Commons work and pensions select committee were told that claims by couples had to be handled manually because the computer system could not cope as it was designed for single adults and had not been configured for couples or claimants with children.

Mr Howard Shiplee, the former London Olympics executive who was brought in this year to trouble shoot, told the MPs that problems arose if a single claimant met a new partner and moved in with him or her. He said “As the potential for claimants to change circumstances, for things to change … the more complicated it becomes.

“Therefore the next stage is to work on couples. That will be a complicated issue. Couples come together, they divide, they have children, things happen.”

“This sort of software is not something you get on the back of a cigarette packet. It’s complicated.”

Mr Duncan Smith claimed the scheme’s assets were worth £152m and Universal credit could ultimately boost the economy by up to £38bn over ten years by moving claimants off benefits.

It was confirmed last week that the 2017 target for the full introduction of Universal Credit will be missed with 700,000 claimants facing a longer wait.Universal-Credit


Good debt recovery agent? Latest Articles

Debt-Recovery

Good debt recovery agent?

I have recently had an absconding tenant who owes me £5,000 in rent arrears.

I have used debt recovery agents previously for different tenants but with very limited success. One even tried to avoid passing on the debt they successfully collected, fortunately I caught them out and got my dues!

I’m not prepared to employ a substandard or disreputable agent in this case, especially given the amount of money owed and the degree to which I treated this particular tenant fairly.

Therefore please could anyone recommend a company who can carry out both tracing and debt recovery with whom they have had a positive experience?

Many thanks

Genghis Perriman

Oops! We could not locate your form.


My tenant is trashing my house!! Advice, Buy to Let News, Guest Articles, Guest Columns, Landlord Action, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

At Landlord Action we just don’t evict tenants for rent arrears or ending the tenancy because the landlord wants the property back.  We also get instructed by landlords that are worried about the condition of their property and how the tenants are treating (or mistreating) it.  If instances such as this are left to continue, they can end up costing landlords a fortune to put right, negating any gains they have made through rental income for a substantial length of time.

In a recent case we were instructed to gain possession of, the landlord was desperate to get his property back.  There were no arrears, but the tenant had severely neglected the property. She had rented the property on the proviso that she would be living there however, soon after getting the keys, she left to go to Africa leaving her teenage sons in the property on their own. When the landlord found this out during a routine inspection of the property, he quite rightly called social services. My tenant is trashing my house

However, this wasn’t the landlord’s only problem. Teenage boys under one roof would be bad enough, but teenage boys without supervision…a nightmare! Upon visiting the property the landlord found it to be knee deep in rubbish which had resulted in a mouse infestation. British gas had also issued a warrant and changed the locks to the front door to remove the meter and change it to a pre-paid meter as the bills had not been paid for several months. They had broken the landlord’s cooker and washing machine, along with other items, and the landlord was genuinely worried that the property was no longer safe to live in, as it posed a fire risk. At this point he took some shocking photos – see below.

When checking out the references again because he was suspicious, the landlord realised he had been conned. The tenant said she was employed by a charity but had falsified the letter of employment.  With all this evidence being put in a witness statement, we now have the task of having to convince the judge, on discretionary grounds, to grant a possession order at the hearing.

Unfortunately, the landlord gave the tenant a 2 year tenancy agreement with no break clause and it still has another 11 months to run.  The landlord is understandably worried that there will now also be rent arrears going forward as, of course, it could be another 4 months before he gets his property back.

1: Always make sure you have a break clause in your tenancy agreement so that you can end the agreement early and rely on a section 21 Notice, rather than discretionary grounds going to court.

2: Always have your tenancy checks carried out by a professional who is more likely to spot falsified information.

3: Always carry out regular property checks so that if something untoward is going in your property, you know about it sooner rather than later!

Contact Landlord Action

Specialists in tenant eviction and debt collection. Regulated by The Law Society.


The National Audit Office criticise Universal Credit reforms Landlord News, Latest Articles

The National Audit Office has crticised Universal Credit welfare reforms as being badly managed, overambitious and poor value for money including £34 million written off on failed IT.

The spending watchdog said “risks were taken with the universal credit to hit targets, IT systems had limited functionality and an unfamiliar project management approach was used”.

These IT issues have delayed the introduction of Universal Credit although Ian Duncan Smith has confirmed the problems are now fixed and will be delivered within budget and timescales.

The National Audit Office said “At this early stage of the Universal Credit programme the department has not achieved value for money.”

“The department has delayed rolling out Universal Credit to claimants, has had weak control of the programme, and has been unable to assess the value of the systems it spent over £300 million to develop.”

“These problems represent a significant setback to Universal Credit and raise wider concerns about the department’s ability to deal with weak programme management, over-optimistic timescales, and a lack of openness about progress.”

The report said there was still potential for universal credit to bring about “considerable benefits” if the department put “realistic plans and strong discipline in place”.

Issues Found were:

  • Officials were “unable to explain” the reasoning behind the timescales or their feasibility
  • There were no “adequate measures” of progress
  • Computer systems lack the function to identify potentially fraudulent claims, relying instead on manual checks
  • £34m investment in IT systems has been written off
  • The Department for Work and Pensions lacked IT expertise and senior leadership
  • Delays to the roll out will reduce the expected benefits of reform

Expenditure on IT systems has accounted for more than 70% of the £425m spent to date but the report could not confirm if the infrastructure in place will support a national roll out.

Universal Credit has been hotly debated by readers in Property118 and widely condemned as a bad idea, by not making housing benefits directly payable to Landlords and in the trial areas used so far has resulted in a substantial increases in rent arrears.NAO

 


Does my Buy to Let lending criteria make sense? Buy to Let News, Guest Articles, Guest Columns, Landlord News, Landlords Stories, Latest Articles, Mortgage News, Property Investment News, Property Market News, Property News

While fully acknowledging that I am not a financial specialist I do know the residential property market. I have a proven track record of making money from letting property for 40 years. In my first book, which I released just a few months ago, I venture to give my opinion of the criteria I would apply if I were lending my money to a person who wanted to buy property to let. Does my Buy to Let lending criteria make sense

  • Does this person know the law and regulation related to the business, has he taken the trouble to become accredited through an education based scheme.
  • Has this person got sufficient funds, borrowed or otherwise, to bring the property up to the Decent Homes Standard, or higher if the market demands, and to meet all the legal requirements before the property is let
  • Has this person done the homework, is there a market for the property he is proposing to let in the area where he is proposing to buy.
  • Is there any regulation in place that the landlord is not aware of, Article 4 Directions, Selective Licensing, planning controls, lease restrictions etc
  • Will the property return a positive cash flow that will pay the loan, keep the property up to standard, pay Agency fees (if the property is going to be managed by an Agent), Pay on-going letting fees/marketing costs and leave a margin for rent arrears and the cost of removing a tenant if necessary
  • Does this person know how to legally remove an undesirable tenant and the length of time this might take and has he got the financial safety net to cover the loss of income during this period
  • Is this person a member of an organisation that will supply the correct documents and support to sustain the tenancy
  • Has this person got a system in place to ensure that he remains legally complaint at all times thus avoiding expensive litigation which may result in large fines, rent repayment orders for up to one years’ rent or up to 4 times the tenants deposit etc.
  • Has the person got Rent Guarantee Insurance, Public Liability Insurance, Landlord Property Insurance and (if the property is furnished) contents insurance
  • Does this person intend to manage the property himself or does he intend to employ a Letting Agent. If he does intend to employ a Letting Agent how will he choose a good Agent, who has Client Money Protection, and is he aware that he cannot devolve his legal responsibilities to that Agent
  • Has this person made provision to re-pay an interest only loan should the property value decrease

Are Banks aware of these important issues or are they making a risk assessment purely on FCA guidance and criteria without taking in to consideration the “real” risks of  investing in property to let?

Do you agree with me or am I missing the point?

Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

My book, where I warn about the storm clouds that are gathering for landlords is here >>>http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1484855337


Tenant Referencing Using Common Sense Advice, Latest Articles, Property Investment Strategies, The GOOD Landlords Campaign

Common sense tenant referencing was pretty much the only option available when I first became a landlord and started letting property in the late 1980’s. Tenant Referencing Using Common Sense

In this article I am going to explain what my family do to find the next perfect tenant, right from the day an existing tenant let’s us know that they want to move out. More often than not these days, tenants think they can serve notice with just a phone call, email, facebook or text message – more about that later. Continue reading Tenant Referencing Using Common Sense


DPS bond contested Latest Articles

I am a new Landlord and the first tenant has left after she couldn’t pay her rent. Her partner left the house a month before and the new tenancy agreement was signed in her name only. DPS bond contested

Some damage had been caused to the property, gas meter changed without consent and was in rent arrears so the bond was requested back via our letting agents.

The tenant contested us having the bond stating that she had to leave because of a violent relationship.

They have offered us £200 out of a £600 bond which doesn’t even cover the rent arrears.

We have been told that if we take it to the adjudication panel we will not win and will loose the full £600.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Christopher


How long does it take for a tenant eviction? Advice, Guest Articles, Guest Columns, Landlord Action, Latest Articles

This all depends on how obstinate your tenant is, at Landlord Action 61% of the time, when we serve a Section 8 Notice for rent arrears (14 day notice) or section 21 Notice (2 month’s notice) ending the tenancy, the tenants will vacate the property. 

If they ignore the notice served, then the landlord will have to apply to the court for a possession order.

It will take generally between 6-8 weeks for the judge to grant a possession order under section 8/section 21.

Tenants can ignore the possession order granted by the court, which is normally a 14 day order and sometimes tenants are told to stay put by the council and encourage the landlord to go to eviction. In these cases the landlord has to go to the final step 3 to apply for an eviction date with the bailiff, this can take between 5-10 weeks, depending on the court your at and how many bailiffs there are at that court working.

So generally from first serving the eviction notice, to going to court obtaining a possession order, then apply for an eviction date, it can take up to 5 months if undefended case.

EDITORS NOTE

Our sister website http://evicting-tenants.net/ is sponsored by Landlord Action and The Sheriffs Office and provides simple guides to the eviction process. For details please CLICK HERE


Is the section 21 notice now a risk? Latest Articles

Under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, once an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement has come to an end, a landlord has the legal right to recover possession of their property should they wish. Is the section 21 notice now a risk?

A landlord wishing to re-gain possession of a property is required to serve a Section 21 Notice to tenants. They do not have to give any reason for ending the tenancy.

There are strict rules for landlords to follow when evicting tenants. Under an AST, they must ensure that the tenancy has run for at least six months and that the initial contract term has finished. Landlords have a duty to protect deposits in a suitable holding scheme and to serve the correct notices using Section 21. There are two types of Section 21 Notice and it is important the right one is issued. If the tenancy is still within the contracted fixed term, the S.21 (1)(b) Notice should be served. Where the fixed term has ended and the tenancy has become a periodic agreement, the S.21 (4)(a) Notice is used. Landlords must give at least two months notice before evicting tenants. If the tenant does not vacate within the timescale, a court possession order can be obtained. Following this, if occupants still won’t leave, the landlord can apply again to the court for bailiffs to assist in tenant eviction.

Before going to court it is imperative that protocols have been followed properly. The appropriate notices need to have been served correctly and in a timely manner. According to the Chairman of the London Association of District Judges, a high percentage of eviction notices are being dismissed out of court due to mistakes made in their issue.

Previously, properly served Section 21 Notices have usually proved effective. Wishing to avoid the issue of going to court, tenants nearly always left within the requisite two months. However, it has recently become popular for councils to refuse a Section 21 notice as evidence of tenant eviction. They prefer to wait until the case has been brought to court and a possession order granted before re-homing individuals. As this process can take several weeks or months, it gives councils additional time to relocate tenants. However, it can be financially devastating for landlords, especially if the tenant is not paying rent.

The new Universal Credit system is also causing concern for both landlords and tenants. Previously, benefits were paid to claimants in separate instalments and rent paid directly to landlords, but tenants will now receive one payment, including housing benefit, from which they will need to pay their rent. Only a small percentage of tenants fail to pass rent on to their landlords. However, the new system could potentially see more individuals struggling to manage their finances effectively and the risk of rent arrears will increase. In addition, there is apprehension over proposals to recover arrears by reducing payments to the claimant and paying a percentage directly to the landlord. This could place tenants in an even more vulnerable position and the landlords will only recoup lost rent over very long periods of time and risk further arrears in the future.

It seems inevitable that the long-term result will be more landlords withdrawing from the social-housing sector, with the gap between supply and demand only increasing.


AST’s – what’s best a Contract or a Deed? Latest Articles

I am working as part of a legal group to solve an issue for landlords which I hope to be able to talk about later this month.  AST's  - what's best a Contract or a Deed?

I’m learning a lot and loving it!

The issue of contract vs Deed came up in a meeting I had yesterday. Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements “AST’s” can be either. I was interested to learn the difference because to the layman they look very similar.

Did you know that you have 12 years to chase a debt created as a result of a Deed but only 6 years for a contract? That could be very useful in terms of rent arrears as 12 years is a very long time and even the worst of hopeless case tenants might have had a turnaround in their finances within that period.

The only downside of an AST being a Deed instead of a contract which I could see is that each signature need to be independently witnessed by unrelated people.

The other very useful thing I learned about Deeds is that unlike contracts, which can be challenged if there is no consideration (i.e. payment), a Deed can not. Therefore, that’s why a Deed of Assurance is a Deed and not a contract as tenants don’t pay for the assurance.

Clever stuff hey?


How not to be treated as a source for cheap credit Latest Articles

We landlords are not in the business of lending money to our tenants but that is in effect what we are doing when they run up rent arrears.How not to be treated as a source for cheap credit

The trouble is it is far easier for someone NOT to do something than it is to DO something, ie it is far easier NOT to pay rent than it is to borrow the money from someone who is in the business of lending e.g. a bank. What’s more, unless we have a very good system in place the penalty for running up arrears is very small and the consequences very far away, i.e. at least six months to evict.

I need to improve my system.

Not only shall I start to issue formal rent demand notices, first a polite reminder, followed by a stronger letter then followed by the appropriate action.

I would also like to introduce a financial incentive so that tenants pay me before they spend the money on something else. Unfortunately the poultry “base plus 4%” interest rate that is the acceptable standard is very little incentive and other fixed fees are very difficult to enforce. So I am thinking of introducing a *prompt payment discount*.

I would like to put the rent up by a reasonably significant amount, say £10 a week and offer a prompt payment discount of the same amount. Then each week a tenant is in significant arrears it will cost them £10, that should make them realise that it’s not a cheap loan any more.

Has anyone used this method?

How did it work?

What wording did you use for a clause in the tenancy?

In addition to writing this into all new tenancy agreements from now on I would like to try and introduce this to existing tenancies. I can put the rent up with a formal Section 13 rent increase notice but I doubt I could include a discount clause as this would in effect create a new version of the tenancy with all the ensuing complications. How can I introduce the discount? Can I put something in writing outside the Section 13 notice or would this too change the existing tenancy? Can it be left as an unwritten gentlemen’s agreement?

If we work together on this we can build a better system for us all.


Rent arrears stats are improving says the NLA Latest Articles, NLA - National Landlords Association

According to the latest research from the National Landlords Association (NLA), incidences of arrears have fallen to their lowest level for over two years.

39 per cent of landlords have experienced instances of rental arrears in the last 12 months, down nine per cent year on year and back to levels previously seen in quarter one 2010.

Void periods in private-residential property have also fallen, down five per cent since last Quarter to 33 per cent, a low last seen in 2012.

At a regional level, voids are greatest in the North East of England where 60 per cent of landlords have experienced empty periods in the last three months and lowest in the South West of England where only 20 per cent of landlords have experienced voids over the same time frame.

The research results also established that seven in ten voids are unplanned. And landlords are covering the financial impact of voids using various means:

• 33 per cent of landlords cover the costs of a void period using rent from other properties

• 10 per cent of landlords cover the costs of a void period using their other income or salary

• Nine per cent of landlords cover the costs of a void period using funds from their savings

Carolyn Uphill, Chairman of the NLA, says:

“It is positive to see reductions in the instances of arrears and voids. This demonstrates that long term, enduring tenancies are on the rise as it is in every landlords’ business interest to maintain good, long lasting tenancies and avoid voids.

“However, it is worrying that void periods often come as a surprise to landlords. Whilst voids represent more of a problem in the North than in the South, where demand is far higher, it is imperative that empty properties are filled quickly, following any necessary maintenance and improvements.

“The NLA’s advice to landlords looking to minimise void periods is to talk openly with their tenants about their future plans. This will give the landlord some idea of when the property might next be empty and allow them to make any improvements and plan advertising activity in good time. It is also wise to budget for 11 months’ rent per year to avoid needing to find additional funds to cover outgoings if a void does arise.”


Meet The Landlords TV programme – fair representation? Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Investment News

Last night I finally got around to watching a TV programme I recorded on BBC a few weeks ago called “Meet The Landlords“.

I was asked to appear on the programme when it was first considered but when I told the reporter what managing my portfolio entailed he wasn’t really that interested. Who could blame him? My tenants stay with me for years, I outsource most things and for that reason I doubt I spend more than a couple of hours every week looking after my property portfolio. It makes me enough to live on, my tenants are all very happy and neither me nor my tenants are ever very likely to make good viewing on the Jeremy Kyle show.

The appearances from landlords and tenants featured on “Meet the Landlords” though was a proper rogues gallery. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the programming team had stood out the Jeremy Kyle recording studio’s a picked the worst of the worst people. Perhaps they offered them a free Maccie D’s in return for them and their landlords to make another appearence on the telly? LOL

The programme featured:-

  • Two amateur landlords whose tenants had not been paying rent for months,
  • a landlord calling himself the HMO Daddy who runs what I can only describe as “doss houses” for the dreggs of society,
  • and a woman from a North Eastern letting agency who let a property for a private landlord to rent to a drunken ASBO tenant who couldn’t even be bothered to turn up sober and then broke down into tears when presented with a property which he clearly realised he didn’t deserved to live in

If the BBC wanted to make a documentary revealing broken Britian this was a success. If they wanted to portray the Private Rented Sector then sorry, in my opinion it was a massive #FAIL

If the two amateur landlords had employed a decent letting agent or spent some time reading forums such as this one they wouldn’t have found themselves thousands of pounds down in rent arrears. One of the landlords was quite clearly on the verge of a mental breakdown but the hypocrisy of her story was that whilst her tenants were not paying the rent due to her, she was falling into arrears with her own landlord and prioritising subsidising her own mortgage! No wonder Paul Shamplina for Landlord Action has such a thriving Tenant Eviction business. He was one of the few people on the programme who came across as being decent.

I’ve heard about the HMO Daddy selling coaching and mentoring and I had always wondered why a landlord who claimed to be successful would do that. In my mind, you mentor people either to grow your own business (i.e. employees) or you do it when you’ve made enough money to become truly altruistic and because you thrive on helping other to achieve or solve problems which you’ve previously encountered. Having watched this programme I think I may have worked it out. Perhaps “landlord Jim” needs to sell a blueprint of his “secret recipe”, or a positive spin on what he would really like it to be like, in order to subsidise the appalling behaviour of his appalling tenants living in his appalling properties, all of which were exposed on National TV?

I’ve read some very positive views elsewhere on the web about the lady who worked for the letting agency and dealt with the ASBO tenant. Yes she was grounded, caring and very patient. What I can’t get my head around is how it can possible be in the interests of any landlord to put a drunken lout like that tenant into what seemed to be a relatively decent property. Fair enough, it was explained that the rent was guaranteed to be paid directly by the Council due to this chaps “issues” shall we say but come on! Anybody with half a brain can see this chap was on the road to nowhere but prison. If that house isn’t completely trashed within a year then I will eat my words but I’d happily lay a bet that the damage he causes to the property and the distress he causes to the poor people living in close proximity to him will not come close to the rental income. What man in his right mind would think his wife and children would feel safe living to a sexist drunk like him? The guy believed he was God’s gift to women and obviously has no respect for society or the law either. The chap needed to be institutionalised in my opinion, for his own safety and for others, but I suppose that’s the result of what was badged “Care in the Community”.

The real shocker for me was the prostitute tenant who gave up possession of her property without going to Court in return for a tenner. Yes she signed some papers but it was pretty obvious to me that she did that under duress and whilst under the influence of drugs, alcohol or both.

Maybe I’m lucky, perhaps I will be labelled as a snob for writing this review, but the “Meet the Landlords” TV programme was nothing like the Britain I know and love and certainly not representative of what I have witnessed as a result of being a landlord for the last 24 years!

What were your thoughts?Meet The Landlords


Readers account of an ongoing eviction by their agents Latest Articles

We have a tenant who is a single mum and she has been in the property since December 2011. One month after her starting the tenancy with the letting agent we use she started missing payments and paying minimal amounts like £5 per month.

We served her section 21 notice on Oct 25th 2012 and have had real issues with evicting this tenant. We have the following discussion with the letting agent, please see below. Any readers advice will be gratefully received.

1) Please provide the details of the solicitors who are dealing with this issues as we would like to get an understanding from them on the complications of this case- ?
The solicitors are based in Northampton they have informed me Monday that we currently have a court date of the 28th August 2013 so we are literally waiting for this date as we speak before going forward and settling this once and for all

2) How much rent arrears are due?
– so far the tenant owed £1680 until the 7th July- I am in daily contact with the guarantor to negotiate payment plans etc

3) Why has the guarantor not been pursued for the monies, to us what is the point of the having a guarantor of there is nothing to enforce them to pay the monies due. Can you please also explain what option we have legally to pursue the monies from the guarantor ?
The guarantor is aware we will penalise them for the lack of payment and the court will deem them secondly liable for this money- They can even be ordered to pay this on behalf of the tenant (In some cases)

3) We know she mentioned she would empty the property out on the 7th July which we have always been dubious about. Why would she voluntarily evict herself when she as you mentioned to me is fully aware would not be re-housed by the council under that circumstance?
The tenant decided to leave the property due to being able to live with her brother for the time being before being re-homed, unfortunately the brother is in hospital and is therefore unable to stay with him until he is back she has also been informed by the council/ accommodation concern & others not to move as they will not re-home her again.

4) What exactly are the delays with evicting her legally and through the courts?
– generally going to court can take a while they estimate 6-8 weeks on getting a date, because the courts are so full they have to prioritise putting a lot on the backlog unfortunately I have known cases to be delayed for as long as 11 months.

5) We have had several other tenants who have been problematic and within 3-4 months they were evicted after a section 21 notice. Its been 9 months since we gave her section 21 notice (October 2012) and yet we have not made any progress, why is this and what makes this so unique.?
Basically because the tenant is on housing benefits ( I am currently trying to re-home her as we speak) she is now not attempting (from the best of my knowledge) to move, find another property. She is requesting the accounts to be re-looked at- ( I have previously had a meeting with her to discuss this further but she simply and will not believe she owes so much despite going through this thoroughly)

6) We have duly paid rent and legal insurance. Why exactly is the rent arrears in this case not covered by the insurance and what other options do we have to recover cost ?
– The court will determine if the tenant can AFFORD to pay back the arrears- chances as she is not working she will not be able to pay this back unless this is the minimal amount (£5 a week I am estimating!) therefore this is where the guarantor comes into place- this will all be determined in court where they will go from here to obtain this money for you

7) Can you please specify what benefits she is on and under what pretext is she a tenant on the property. From the best of my knowledge the tenant is currently just on Housing benefits?
– she has a savings account from her late husband which she uses to “top” up the shortfall with

8) What options do we have to evict the tenant and recover the rent arrears?
– From my experience the courts will not allow her to stay in the property due to the arrears- therefore will give her 14 days to leave on- the new tenant lined up is more than happy to wait and is being updated on a fortnightly basis by myself- generally a money order from the court can be given but again this depends on the tenants earnings

Jiten ongoing eviction


Landlords Revenge Latest Articles, Tenant Eviction

A landlord who came out and told BBC’s The One Show of her troublesome tenant has now had further problems. 

Broadcast on 2nd May, the landlord Mrs Trivedy was featured on the show in an item about rent-arrears and the difficulties landlords are having with tenants on benefit who are not passing on the rent.

Mrs Trivedy was shown getting the help of Landlord Action when her social tenants stopped passing on their housing benefit yet refused to vacate the property, leaving her £4400 in rental arrears. After the case was broadcast on the BBC, the tenants moved on which may have been a good result.

But the tenants left with much of the landlord’s furniture. And they have wrecked the home. Mrs Trivedy says “Wear and tear in a rental property is inevitable but what I was faced with, even given the tenants previous behaviour, was completely unnecessary. Not only is there damage to every room, they have stolen two sofas, a wardrobe, a chest of draws, a fridge-freezer, curtain poles as well as numerous smaller items. What remains was a complete mess and totally unliveable.”

The Condition of Schedule following the tenants’ departure describes the property as in poor condition with damage, missing items and a lack of cleanliness reported in every room, in addition to the garden being littered with dog mess.  Mrs Trivedy says she has made a statement to the police in regards to the missing items but was advised that it was unlikely to be taken much further as there are varying degrees of theft and it is her word against the tenants.

Mrs Trivedy says “I am obviously thrilled to have regained possession following the notice served by Landlord Action which has avoided further rent arrears and additional court fees, but I still face being thousands of pounds out of pocket.  I will have to make-over the entire property and replace furniture in order to let it again. I think the tenants should be made to pay.”

Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action says this is not an uncommon scenario. Tenants can feel aggrieved after being asked to leave. But he adds, “In this case it seems the TV exposure may have made these people more upset”. Even though the house in Bracknell was shown on screen, the tenant was interviewed and the landlord is very shocked at their behaviour.

Shamplina also advised that in these cases landlords have to be careful not to throw good money after bad. The potential outcome of further action has to be weighed up against the costs and time involved. Firstly, is it possible to track down the tenants to recover the rent arrears and if so what is their financial position? Secondly, when you regain possession, what state is the property in and how much will it cost to put right? An inventory is paramount to proving this.”

Landlord Action has a busy rent recovery department for landlords who will act on behalf of Sandra Trivedy in helping her locate her ex tenants for a fixed fee. However Mr Shamplina says “in a case such as this, we must take a view as to whether the landlord really wants to spend money and enforce a money judgement if the tenants do not have a job or any assets. Obtaining a CCJ and trying to get a court order for monthly payments off such tenants is likely to take years to clear. Many landlords wish to do so out of principle but we advise landlords to weigh up their options before going down this route.”

Contact Landlord Action

Specialists in tenant eviction and debt collection. Regulated by The Law Society.

Landlords Revenge


Landlord’s right to visit his property with or without notice Latest Articles

My understanding  of the housing act is that a landlord cannot just visit his property when he likes, he has to give the tenant adequate notice, usually 24hrs.

Please correct me if I am wrong. I also have a few questions

1. Does this notice have to be a written notice, and if so how should it be delivered so that a troublesome tenant can’t deny getting one.

2. Does this notice cover more than one visit if assuming the property needed some attention and the landlord would need to make more than one visit to put things right.

3. If a simple phone call to the tenant was made to give a 24hrs Notice, can a tenant claim to not have been warned and the landlord turned up unannounced?

4. What are the rights of a Landlord when a tenant has not only breached many tenancy conditions but also fallen behind in rent by several months, does a landlord need to give his/her tenant a notice when the rent arrears have reached more than 6 months?

I will appreciate your answers to above questions.

Thanks

Mike

Landlord's right to visit his property with or without notice


Rent arrears on the up again! Buy to Let News, Landlord Action, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, Tenant Eviction

Rent arrears on the up again!It is believed that last quarter (Q1, 2013) severe rent arrears, which constitutes those more than two months behind on rent, rose by 4,000 to 94,000, the fourth highest figure on record (figures from LSL property services).

The highest level ever was only recorded in the second half of last year. Continue reading Rent arrears on the up again!


Universal Credit will be paid direct to landlords but …. Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Universal Credit will be paid direct to landlords but ....The Residential Landlords Associated revealed yesterday the housing benefit element of Universal Credit may well be paid directly to landlords after all. However, a lot of questions remain unanswered.

According to the RLA “automatic direct payments to landlords will now be allowed in the pathfinder areas. The policy change was tucked away on the last page of an obscure circular published by the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) yesterday.” Continue reading Universal Credit will be paid direct to landlords but ….


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