Tag Archives: Repossession

End of Tenancy Deposit Issues – Tenant Requests Advice From Landlords Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Hi All,

I realise this is primarily a landlords site, however nothing like hearing it from you on what will hopefully be an impartial landlord view. I like to believe I am a reasonable and honest tenant.

Background:

My landlady owns a number of properties in London (via a company). I moved in and a new AST was signed (3 bed place), as one of the previous tenants was staying it was agreed (among the tenants) the originals tenants would give £100 each (2 left, 2 came in, I was 1 of the new tenants) towards any damages that they have caused. So there was no official “check-out” for them (they were paid their deposit back in full by the landlady).
During this period the landlady placed our deposits in “insured” schemes which are OK but not great and she never dated them properly.

During the next 2 years both other tenants left any new ones came in (they swapped at different periods). New AST were created. In the interim Landlady goes into administration and the receivers stepped in. They placed our deposit into a custodial scheme.

She got out of it by selling a couple of properties and managing to refinance the remaining properties.
After she gained repossession of the property we did another tenant swap and this meant new AST and supposedly a new deposit protection scheme which we never saw (ie. she never applied for one).

Note 1: We have never missed any payments and always paid on time (for the 2.5 years I lived there).
Note 2: Landlady is still owing deposits to 2 other tenants that left almost 1 year ago (to be fair they should have applied A LOT MORE pressure but she keeps discussing different items that she wants to charge them for and delaying the process). She also seems to be dealing with them at individual level (almost as if she rent rooms out and charging for things that were never done like window cleaning).
Note 3: I took 3 days off work to make sure the property was left in excellent condition as I knew this was about to get messy (this inc professional carpet cleaners @ £115, professional cleaners suggested by her @ £135, I bought paint and brushes to make sure my room and common areas were not marked and left in pristine conditions), and paid a checkout report (although I never saw a check-in report).
Note 4: I am still liable to dispute the DPS custodial one as it was dated to finish in August (our tenancy finished in early September), however some of the names of tenants on that Deposit ID are different to the latest tenancy.

Our tenancy ended 6th Sep and the checkout report was issued 16th Sep (as inventory services agency took ages to produce the report).

Now she is doing the same to us, finding things that she maybe able to charge (including broken tile, leaking pipe, cleaning not up to standard [even though she recommended the professional cleaning company], stained sofa), given more time they will keep increasing.

Googling her name reveals some previous court cases and the cleaning company, check-out report company etc from what they told me sound as if she is the same with all her tenants in her other properties.

It obvious she does not play by the book and I have tried to be very patient and rational about all this. But to be fair to her she was patient with signing new ASTs and swapping tenants in contracts (but surely that is a saving on both sides as she does not have to market the property or have any downtime).

Questions:

  • How does she have to officially respond to checkout report and how long until we can start kicking and screaming for our deposit?
  • Given that the deposit is not in a “valid” protection scheme for the latest tenancy is there any mechanism to apply pressure? (I know landlords must place the deposits in these schemes but if they don’t they could have to pay multiples of the deposit… where can I go to talk discuss this option, I don’t want to get to this but will surely use this to keep her in line)
  • Should I dispute the deposit under the custodial scheme which has my name and 2 previous (not latest) tenants [who also have not yet seen their deposit back yet]?
  • How can I fight the several claims for several things which she wants money for?
  • Who do I go to for help on this? for example to take her to court or to dispute this end of tenancy given that it is not to my knowledge on any deposit protection scheme.

Please help, we (3 young professionals) all have 6 weeks rent tied here (not to mention 2 others who have also not yet seen their deposit back).

I appreciate all the feedback I can get. End of Tenancy Deposit Issues - Tenant Requests Advice From Landlords

I have rented different places in the UK over the last 10 years (Surrey and London), I have seen a couple of decent landlords but I have seen mostly awful ones. I do support the requirement for standards (licensing or accreditation), it is getting harder and harder to get on the property ladder and more young people will be renting for longer in the future, it is possible for landlords to keep their investments profitable and not have to play with people lives.

Many thanks

Andre


Rent to Rent Tips, Advice and Case Study Advice, Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Landlords Stories, Latest Articles, Legal, Letting, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property News, Property Sourcing, The GOOD Landlords Campaign, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

I’ve spotted yet another educational course based on the Rent to Rent concept this morning, this one is called “Let to Rent”. I have no idea whether the course is a good one or not, however, given that the topic of Rent to Rent is so popular I have produced this guide to share answers to some of the most frequently asked questions relating to this subject, specifically in relation to contracts.

When can tenants be offered a license as opposed to an AST?

The benefits of providing a license is that it is much easier to evict tenants. There is no requirement for a minimum 6 month term, no requirement to give them two months notice and no requirement to obtain a Court order and instruct bailiffs to regain possession if a tenant refuses to move out after the notice period. Furthermore, tenants deposits do not need to be protected in a tenancy deposit scheme if a property/room is let on license or a lodgers agreement, which is a form of license. No wonder Rent to Renters want to offer licenses instead of AST then! Image - Let to Rent and Rent to Rent Tips

Licenses can only be used under the following circumstances:-

1) The room/property is being rented as holiday accommodation. You may need to prove that the occupier of the room or property has another residence though, e.g. a place where they are registered on the voters roll.

2) You are a live in landlord. If you live in the property yourself you can take in lodgers

3) If you provide a service such as a hostel or a B&B. For example, if you provide cleaning services including changing the bedding once a week or breakfasts in the morning.

What if none of the above apply?

If none of the above apply then the basis of your tenancy is an AST whatever your contract says. This is because legislation in the housing and 1988 (and subsequent updates) and the landlord and tenant act 1985 over-rule whatever your contract says.

What is the right contract to have between the property owner and the Rent to Renter?

First, you need to understand what is the wrong type of contract and why.

Company Let Agreement (AKA corporate letting agreement)

Company Let Agreement (AKA corporate letting agreement)These allow a company to use the premises to provide accommodation for their employees. If you are using a company let agreement and subletting a property or a room within it to a person who is not your employee then you will be in breach of the agreement. Many Rent to Rent companies are using these agreements in ignorance of this fact. They do so because deposits do not need to be protected with a tenancy deposit scheme.

AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement)

AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement)AST’s do not generally allow subletting, therefore, any subletting without the owners permission is a breach of contract. Furthermore, the property owner could obtain possession of the property after just 6 months, even sooner if you are in breach of contract. If you have sublet the property and your tenants are still occupying the property after the owner has obtained possession you could be held liable and subjected to claims for massive financial compensation.

The correct agreement between a property owner and a Rent to Renter is a commercial lease

The correct agreement between a property owner and a Rent to Renter is a commercial lease.

Don’t use just any old off the peg commercial lease , you need one which is professionally drafted specifically for Rent to Rent which includes clear, fair and reasonable provisions for subletting a residential property. Do bear in mind that the property owner is highly likely to seek professional advice about the contract between you. The owner will generally be advised not to lease the property for more than 5 years and to ensure the lease is contracted out of the landlords and tenant act 1954 to ensure that it is his choice alone whether to offer to extend the arrangement by granting a new lease at the end of the contracted period. The owner of the property will also be advised to ensure that you become responsible for the maximum number of residents, maintenance, basis of occupancy/subletting, licensing and statutory requirements and maximum number of occupants. Therefore, it is important to be able to offer a well drafted document covering all of these points at the earliest possible opportunity. This will give the property owner and his professional advisers confidence in you being a professional operator.

Successful Rent to Rent Case Study

Let me give you a great example of a lady I spoke to a few months ago about her success story.

She came across a situation whereby an elderly guest house owner had fallen ill and moved into a granny annexe at her childrens home. The Guest House was on the Lincolnshire Coast and the children were based in the Home Counties. The Guest House had been in the family for for two generations and the family are reluctant to sell it. Based on profits, the family were advised by a professional commercial agent that the market rental value for the property was £1,000 pcm. The decision of the family was to let the property for 5 years prior to making a decision on whether to sell it OR for one of her grandchildren to run it OR to continue to rent it as a going concern. As the property was already registered as a guest house it already met all of the requirements to be a HMO. There were no selective licensing or Article 4 barriers to contend with in the area.

The rent to renter I spoke to had interesting plans for the property. She had spoken to the local authorities about the requirement for temporary accommodation for victims of domestic violence and homelessness as a result of mortgage repossessions and other forms of eviction. Her son would reside in the property as caretaker and would also serve breakfast and offer a basic cleaning service including a weekly change of bed linen. Under the circumstances, all rooms could be let on licenses. The profits on this activity amounted to more than £5,000 per month and within a week all 16 rooms were full.

Rent to Rent  Commercial Lease Contract

To have a suitable contract professionally drafted and ready to present to a property owner and his professional advisers typically costs around £3,000. In the case study presented above the lady purchased our Rent to Rent Commercial Lease template for just £97. The document template was professionally drafted by Justin Selig who is a qualified solicitor specialising in property and contract law. This arrangement is a joint venture between Property118 and Landlord Action. The Rent to Rent Commercial Lease Template has been one of the most popular premium downloads on this website.  The lady in our case study required a few amendments to the standard template due to the sub-letting arrangements in the template being drafted to assume AST’s would be used, however, that was easily sorted by her own solicitor who charged her just £300 to make the necessary amendments. In all she saved over £2,500 in legal fees and now makes over £5,000 pcm from her first Rent to Rent deal. Needless to say, she is now on the lookout for similar opportunities!

Order the "Rent to Rent" lease contract template

  • Price: £ 97.00

Affordable housing – buy to let trap Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

My partner and I are living in a part rent/part buy affordable housing 1 bed flat. Affordable housing - buy to let trap

We would like to move house so we can start a family.

We have enough money for the deposit on a new property and have been looking at bigger places to live.

Our 1 bed flat has been up for sale for almost 6 months and we have only had one viewing from someone who thought the property was at another site!

The block of flats we are in consists of 5 council rented flats and 3 part rent part buy affordable housing schemes.

A number of the tenants in the council rented flats have caused nothing but problems ever since the property was built in 2007. The police have raided neighbours flats for drugs on numerous occasions, we had 3 years of noise disturbances from one tenant who eventually was evicted, constant damage to the communal areas and people leaving unwanted furniture in hallways and outside the property.

Sadly the block of flats, we think now has a bad reputation and this is why nobody has viewed to buy.

We have tried to get permission to let the flat so we can move but because we are part of a shared ownership scheme we cannot get permission from the mortgage people as we would need to prove that we would be moving back into the property after 2 years, which we won’t be!

We have spoken to the housing association that own the other half of the property and have asked for them to buy back our share as we feel we are stuck due to all the going ons with the other tenants. Our local MP has also written to them and asked the same question, but they said they would only be willing to buy back the property if we were in danger of repossession, but we are not in that situation!

What could we do, so that we could either sell the property, obtain permission to let or have the housing association buy back our share?

Thanks

Stephen


Landlords Insurance – don’t get penalised if you are a good risk Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Why is landlords insurance for Working/Professional HMO’s, Student lets and tenants claiming benefits so much more expensive?

In a word – RISK

However, as it transpires, it is possible to insure any rental property in the UK for a premium of £1.10 per £1,000 of cover plus Insurance Premium Tax providing there is a decent claims history and the property is structurally sounds and not in a flood plain area. That’s around 50% of standard pricing for these types of properties!

For landlords insuring a portfolio of three or more properties and a mix of risks (i.e. some standard houses and working tenants too) the premium can be reduced by a further 10 pence per thousands of buildings insurance through commission sacrifice by the broker. This is because the administrative costs are lower when spread across multiple properties insured by the same owner.

I was given the heads up on this by a couple of Property118 Members and felt compelled to follow this up.

Not only does it check out well but the cover also includes the following:-

  • Malicious damage caused by tenants
  • Landlords liability insurance
  • £5,000 of contents insurance as standard

It doesn’t cover any criminal damage as a result of properties being used as cannabis factories but most insurance companies don’t offer that cover anyway. There are several articles written here to help you reduce that risk too so please search cannabis factory in the top right search bar for more information on how to protect yourself.

The broker offering this scheme has agreed to make a generous donation to The GOOD Landlords Campaign if we test them out.

They are not our regular recommended insurers for our Landlords Buying Group at this stage but we do keep our options open and it will be interesting to see what feedback we get from readers we refer to them.

If you would like further information please complete the contact form below.Landlords insurance

Make an enquiry for more details

To find out more and to register your interest please complete and submit the form below.
  • Please enter a value between 1 and 1000.


Can I stop repossession with a lease option offer? Latest Articles

Stop repossession with view to lease optionI need some advice on stopping a repossession for a motivated seller with a view to getting the property on an option. Property is listed as a 3 bed but has been converted to a 4 bed. £285000 on an interest only mortgage + £17000 in arrears. 4 beds in this area range from £330000-£400000.

Seller is unemployed, 58 yrs old and has failed in previous payment schemes set up for him by bank. Bank is concerned about his lack of funds and him nearing retirement age on an interest only mortgage.

I have a letter of authority and have spoke with bank as a friend of the seller but have been asked to put forward a proposal to them on how we wish to proceed.

There is difficulty in setting up another payment plan in sellers name because he is in need of assistance from council to be re-housed and feels that he must either be repossessed or have another party officially registered as taking over the property to get assistance from the council.

Can you please suggest a sensible way to structure this deal? I’d really like to help this seller and this would also be my first ever deal. Really want to get a deal under my belt for the experience.

Thanks

Marlon Fox

 


Repossession Bargains – Already Let Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property For Sale, Property News

My friend Kelvin Kingsley has discovered some more repossession bargains, the difference being these are already let 🙂

They are modern two bed flats in Greater Manchester, built just a few years ago. Most of them are sold but there are a few remaining and they will soon be snapped up by investors at the current asking price of just under £70,000. They are let to hospital staff for £475 a month which equates to a gross yield of 8.1%.

There are several comparable sales listed on HM Land Registry and if you go back to the peak in 2007 you will see that these units were selling between the range of £108,000 to £145,000. To download a full copy of Kelvin’s “due diligence” please complete the form below.

The Property Ombudsman Logo

We are now working exclusively with Kelvin who, as you will be aware if you are a regular reader of my articles, does not charge fees to investors as he is retained as an agent by vendors who are typically developers or insolvency practitioners. According to the Estate Agency Act 1979 this now makes us estate agents. Therefore, to keep ourselves compliant we have registered the Trading Name “Your Property Concierge” with the ICO and also become a member of The Property Ombudsman redress scheme (membership number – D8072)

 


Repossession Property in County Durham Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property For Sale, Property News

Repossession Property in County DurhamMy good friend Kelvin Kingsley has come across an opportunity to purchase a completed 3 bed Town House in County Durham from a repossession company.

Other units on the development have sold in the open market. Two comparable properties are listed on the land registry for having been sold for £120,000. The one remaining unit is being sold for just £79,995 and should return a rental yield of 9%. Continue reading Repossession Property in County Durham


Auction House announces “bonanza record month” Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Auctions, Property News

Auction House announces bonanza record monthAward-winning property brand Auction House has experienced its most successful month in the company’s six year history, with record numbers of lots being entered and sold, contributing to its highest ever monthly total raised.

February saw 19 auctions held across the UK, with 385 lots offered and 294 lots sold, raising a total of £28.4m. Continue reading Auction House announces “bonanza record month”


Stamp Duty set to triple for 10% of UK home buyers Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Stamp Duty set to triple for 10% of UK home buyersAround 80,000 people in England and Wales, 10% of the market, could find themselves paying three times more Stamp Duty this year as the average property price looks set to breach the £250,000 mark.

For these buyers, Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will jump up from 1% to 3%, a massive increase from £2,500 to £7,500. The Government will need to urgently re-evaluate the 1% Stamp Duty ceiling which has remained unchanged for over 15 years whilst the average price of a house has increased three fold from £79,242 to £249,958. Continue reading Stamp Duty set to triple for 10% of UK home buyers


Is rent hiking a good business model? Don't Shoot The Messenger, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Is rent hiking a good business modelIt’s been a while since I wrote anything in my ‘Don’t shoot the messenger’ series. Mainly because I kept getting shot ha-ha.

But I have a tough skin.

This article is an open letter to all you P118 landlords but probably more the London crew, because it is about rent increases and London is a different animal to the rest of the UK. I see properties for rent in different parts of Britain where the rents seem reasonable.

London is off the scale though. Continue reading Is rent hiking a good business model?


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