Landlord Changes Locks To keep Scumbag Tenants Out

Locksmith
One of the most active and interesting articles (in my opinion) on this website is the I’m evicting my tenants post. The post is basically about me throwing my toys out of the pram and having a gutless whinge about my tenant, and how I want to evict her stupid ass. For the record, if there’s any justice in the world, she’ll be slowly burning in hell like a skewered lamb kebab right now.

The post is interesting because a lot of people have been actively commenting on the article; majority of the them being Landlords that are also experiencing frustrating situations with shit-for-brains tenants.

I’ve dealt with some real scumbag tenants in my short time of being a Landlord, consequently I know how stressful it can be. If I had it my way (providing that a tenant steps out of line), all landlords would be well within their rights to change the locks and throw their tenants onto the streets.

Having said that, here’s an interesting comment left by a landlord:

hi
ive been a landlord foe 20 odd years and seen and heard it all.

I used to get real angry when this sort of thing happens but in the end it just eats you up.

you have to realise there are loads of fucking arseholes out there that don’t give a fuck how much grief they cause. I had one who was 3 months in arrears then, can you believe this. Sub let it to a load of drug addicts who wrecked the property it cost 12 k to refurbish it.
I was so angry i forced entry when they were out. Paid a man and a lorry to empty the whole lot. Cost me £400.00 Everything they owned. Took it all to the local tip, flat screen hi fi whole lorry load, Tipped it up good riddance. Changed the locks and waited for the phone calls. took about 2 hours then boy did the phone ring. Wheres all our our stuff they screamed. Down the fucking tip you low life. take me to court if you like.

Still waiting to hear.

risky but sometimes you just have to step up to the plate and take whats coming.

good luck

Paddy

Now, that’s how shitty tenants should be legally treated in my opinion. Although, 3 months in arrears is way too long, they deserve to be locked out after 2 months of arrears, max. I’m not condoning this activity, because I wouldn’t even do it. I’m just saying that’s how it should be. If you’re a Landlord with a pair of dinosaur balls (like Paddy), consequently have no qualms with laughing in the face of the law, then all the power to ya’

It is illegal for a Landlord to change the locks?

Just to clarify, yes, it is illegal for a landlord to harass or change the locks to prevent tenants from entering the property. Tenants have a statutory legal right of “Quiet Enjoyment”, which protects them from this kind of abuse. So before you go storming into a property with the intentions of taking the law into your own hands like a crazed wild-west lunatic, think of the consequences.

Acts of illegal evictions include
  • changing locks when tenants are out
  • physically throwing tenants out your home
  • physically stopping tenants from entering their home.

Landlords have to follow a legal procedure to evict tenants, by serving the correct sections. More on Evicting tenants legally. Illegal eviction is a serious civil and criminal offense, and a landlord can be prosecuted if guilty of doing so.

In most cases, the landlord must obtain a possession order from a county court after serving a valid Notice to Quit. The tenant doesn’t have to leave at this point, and a lot usually don’t. Only the court can decide whether the tenant has to leave the property. It will normally take several weeks before the case is decided in court.

Exceptions to the rules

The landlord does not need to obtain a court possession order to evict if:

  • you have a resident landlord with whom you share facilities, like the kitchen and bathroom
  • you are not paying any rent for your accommodation

In these cases, the landlord is only required to give reasonable notice to the tenant to leave the property. Once the notice has elapsed, the tenant becomes a trespasser and the landlord can legally change the locks at the property.

Are you a landlord that has been forced to change locks? Maybe you’re a tenant that has changed the locks. Tell me your story…

209 Comments- join the conversation...

Showing 159 - 209 comments (out of 209)
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David 15th January, 2014 @ 09:48

OK Nige you have your valid reason to end the tenancy

What you might not be taking into account is that for your tenant this is a major upheaval, you know that the three most stressful things in life are moving home, divorce and a death in family.

Like all of these life changing scenarios it is a bereavement process, so yes there is an shock/denial, anger, sorrow and depression to get through before acceptance.

It was kind of you to leave arrears but if you want to treat this as a "business" then you are subject to the law which says that the deposit can only be used for desposit unless you go to Court and get a judge or you show the arrears to the DPS.

The issue was how you handled her, I would have written to her well ahead of time and explained that you had to sell for your retirement, say that you would be pleased to sell her the property if she can raise a mortgage and if not give her a glowing reference and some support with moving.

You tell her that communications is fundamental to keeping things amicable.

You also need to understand that if a tenant has arrears they propbably have a poor credit record. Most properties are rented by agents who rip people off by charging huge fees for credit searches.

If she had kids she might be entitled to social housing but that is a nightmare, it requires that you evict her to get into emergency accomodation which usually means sharing with drug addicts.

To apply for social housing she would have to "bid" for a property every two weeks but be rejected if her category was not Level A (most are Cat D). Even then all she can do

Many of these people do not know how to help themselves, so a little time on your part helping them may pay off later.

I would not have conceded the arrears, instead I would have offered to help them find a new place and say that if they are prepared to be co-operative you will consider a reduction in the arrears.

If after all that you get a hostile approach you just use section 8 as there are arrears.

I would always start by ringing the local housing dept and asking the name of local charities that help homeless. Then call them and offer to make a donation to their charity if they can find a place for your tenant.

I know that there are total scumbags out there but most people are not, they are just shocked by a life changing situation. Put yourself in their position and treat them accordingly.

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Nige 15th January, 2014 @ 12:05

Thanks for the advice David. Maybe I live in a different world to you !!
My portfolio ran up to 13 houses at one stage most of which are on benefits of some sort although at least half treated the tenancy as a ''private'' tenancy and paid on time and I had no way of knowing if benefits are paid.

I do treat them as I am treated. That is if I don't pay my bills then the heavens fall upon me because I am accountable because I was stupid enough not to wag school and got a few qualifications to tide me through life.

I think that I am unique in some respects. Every month the tenant gets a full running statement from the start of tenancy. I also write a monthly letter which advises them of various things like energy saving, changes in benefits, how to get cheaper finance from credit unions etc. We tide them over bad times, liase with benefits departments etc etc.

Helping them ? Exactly how much help do they need ???? And there lies the problem.
While everyone runs about changing their nappies for them and they get social workers involved etc. My business is not letting houses...its babysitting. Tell them to apply for benefits and they don't. Show them how to save and they buy an x-box for xmas with a wonga loan.

I have just taken a property back. 4 year tenancy. Great people. Used to sit and drink tea almost like friends. They WANTED me to evict them. (as I was selling anyway I changed sale from one house to theirs) 6 months, Couple of hundred quid in court fees, very little damage to property. They lost their council bond. (council now taking them to court)

Now ask me how Im spending my days.

Im renovating the property and as you can imagine the place is full of builders materials.
I'm fending off bailiffs threatening to confiscate my stuff, dealing with 101 credit agencies as they took loans out in other names etc.etc. Water bill of £2500 unpaid etc.

Help these people. ????? They have more in the bank than I have !!! Yep Ive seen statements.
£6000 in one, £2000 in another.

Now you might think that I don't understand the benefit lifestyle. Well I do !! My girlfriend is on benefits and has a house of her own. We had severe arguments about benefit claimants initially. She had a flat screen TV before me, runs a car etc. (she is unemployed but on training course)

She watches in absolute amasememt at the tricks and wangles these claimants get up to to avoid working or paying bills. Her attitude to benefit claimants has changed dramatically from watching the problems I have even getting these idiots (or should I say very smart fraudsters) to even claim the benefits they are entitled to.

I have lived in my house for 29 years and never had a door fall off its hinges. I have found doors in gardens !! They dont do maintainance expecting the landlord to fix all. Yep we have a responsibility to maintain but not repair damage. The courts fall on the tenants side in 99% of the cases and the tenants bleat they cant afford to pay arrears/damage etc.

New benefit regs are affecting all including those working.

Moving house is an upheaval ?????? Yep.
Nobody need tell me. After my divorce (stress) I had a choice. Sell my properties to pay my x or keep my tenants in accomodation and somehow maintain my income so that I didn't lose my house. Guess which route I took. Stupid me.I never had my heating on for 3 years and we survived on my daughters student grant loan.

If we go back to the original thread.

My female friend who owns a tiny house has just lost her job. NO HELP here at all. She is facing repossession and homelessness when her arrears hit 2 months on her mortgage. Her prospects are to rent a room in a shared house.
Now should someone in a rented house face the same situation the council will rehouse !!!
So where is the fairness in that???

I can fully understand why landlords do extensive credit checks, put rents up to a level which tenants can barely afford and take heavy action to evict. As you say. This is a business . Am I unique in what I say. Nope. This thread says it all !!!

The program on TV called Benefit Street may be slightly biased but I see the attitudes many landlords have to deal with including me.

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marie 16th January, 2014 @ 17:03

i can confirm that there are good and bad tenants and I am aware there are bad landlords. But the law is so in favour of the Tenants it is ridiculous.
Scenario - polish tenants arrived. Tenancy Agreement for 4
but there were always at least 6 in the house. However, they did look after the house and paid the rent for 6 years. Mind you, apart from the "lead" guy people came and went with great frequency. Lead guy - wife leaves him - don't know why. he has a couple of people give him a hard time himself. I reduced rent to help for a while. Six months later began the serious arrears. Gave him sectio 8 and Section 21 Notice. You have to wait until that date comes up before you can apply to the Court. Court hearing another month to wait. Court find in your favour but he still gets another fortnight to find somewhere. He does not leave. You then have to apply to Court baiiff - another 3 weeks. he leaves before Bailiff arrives. Total time taken about 6 months. Total debt £7100. You apply to the Court for an Attachment of Earnings Order but this is only given if the tenant earns more than £400 per week - and if so only at £25 per week.
it will take him about 7 years to pay it off. The others on the Agreement left much earlier and earn no more so no point in spending more on further court action. i agree with Mike Rhodes 17-03-2013. Although this would be the same had the bad tenants been Brits.

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Nige 16th January, 2014 @ 18:04

Yes Marie,
It does apply to uk tenants as well and they know the law to a T . They would of course as they have an army of do gooding helpers from social workers to charities to help them.
Define a bad landlord. One that asks for his rent to be paid on time !!
All the troubles I have had with tenants not paying rent have been as a result of giving leniency. Try buying petrol at Tesco where it is illegal to take the goods without the means to pay. Try stalling council tax and see how long it takes for God to descend and a court order flourished. Try delaying your income tax form...yep £100 penalty before you even start.

Lets put this in perspective. One tenant who has just left. Owes rent. Owes council tax. Owes huge water bill. Lost £600 council bond so council will try and chase.
Income over £1000 a month in benefits plus £600 rent plus only 8.5% council tax.

My income from 3 houses £1800 per month gross and I have to do repairs, gas checks, and supply all the trimmings of a business.
Plus I pay full council tax, get banged for income tax and N.I. Then after x years of having my money tied up I get banged C.G.T.
Often to renovate a rental property to sale standard after it has been abused by tenants who fail to maintain and if they do it is done to a standard of a six year old child, costs a shed load.

And as you say judges fall in favour of the poor tenant and fail to make them pay what is due.

What is often not looked at is additional costs caused by DHSS tenants. They tend to use a house 24 hours a day . 16 if you count sleep time. A working tenant will sleep 8, work 9 and use the house for 7. So a DHSS tenant can use the things that wear out like boilers twice as much as working tenants.

I can see the day coming when no DHSS tenants will be taken by the private sector without severe guarantees and deposits. This sounds like an anti DHSS rant but I have had and do have good DHSS in my properties.

But the fact remains the law and judges favour tenants against landlords.

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David 18th January, 2014 @ 19:38

All I am hearing are how several landlords are unprofessional.

Have you not heard of INSURANCE?

As you say this is a business, so factor in ALL the costs and if it is not enough SELL UP and stop bleating like a wimp.

Even complaining about a boiler, a joke, unless of course you bought a crappy one.

All you want to do is get profit for nothing.

Like the TV you count your stupid rent in the amount of benefits you whinge that your tenants get.

The lady who lost her job has no worries, she paid into the same benefits system and will get her mortgage interest paid soon enough.

A friend of mine was made redundant, he just finished an extension to his house, now had to move out and rent it because he is over 50 and nobody wants him. Add to that his mother was just put in a home and the council want £800 a week off him.

I have earned six figure salaries and lived a high life, also lost home and experienced time homeless. We are all just a short step from falling off the ladder, any one of you could be on benefits next month.

Of course the system would first bleed you of your savings, mine lasted 18 months, I then went into debt convinced I would dig myself out of hole. £50k of debt and then made homeless, Council said, "nothing we can do for you".

Still I sold what I had left and started over, I can't afford heat or hot water and I eat on the beggars aisle at the supermarket.

All of you do not realise that you bought into a con, the people on benefits are just doing what they can with the SYSTEM and it is the SYSTEM that is wrong.

I saw Benefits Street, a Landlord lets 14 Romanians live in a 3 bed house, that enables them to have lower living costs and so the living costs of the whole country have to get lower. Result more people on benefits, poorer service and LESS TAX to the Govt. If someone earns up to £10,000 a year they pay no income tax.

Immigrants work 40+ hours a week but paid for 24, that is £3.72 an hour.

Over a million people on zero hours contracts, that is why they can't afford your rents.

Do not blame tenants because you do not manage your properties.

Do not blame tenants because your cost of finance is too high so you have inadequate net profit.

Do not blame tenants because even though you own a property you do not have cashflow to run it as a business.

Do not blame people on benefits, blame the politicians who give themselves a hike in their pension and an £11k rise while everyone else has to take it up the backside.

You foolishly think this Govt. has your interests at heart? Think again, they are the same as the others, self serving.

Pensions sold down the river in charges or gambled away by bankers.

Nurses, 5000 fired while management consultants are paid £1000 a day in the NHS to make "efficiency savings" that increase costs.

Pensioners, the wealthy are untouchable but the poorer ones get nothing for years and then promised £2.45 a week to buy their vote.

But wealthy gets a £10k a year tax break and they have a plethora of ways to fiddle already.

The PM was questioned about 200% bonuses at RBS at question time and said "no overall increase in salaries from last year" Well I would hope not, they fired 2500 people at RBS in the last year.

Being British used to mean you did not kick a man when they are down, well that is all this Govt. has done.

Wake up and smell the coffee, the people on benefits have and they see that there is nothing for them here but they have no way out.

Stop blaming the people who have nothing and already realised that it is a crock of shit. It is not the law, it is the SYSTEM, you can't blame benefits claimants or immigrants they are both just using it.

Get your act together and manage your properties properly. Get insurance for everything, joint he national landlords association and sure get decent tenants if you can, inspect every month which will keep them on top of it. Do not rent to smokers and forbid smoking in the property.

If they do not pay the rent the insurance will kick in and pay legal costs.

Yep there will be repairs, you will have to clean carpets, replace boilers and all kinds of other stuff, that is the business.

Sell up and get out of this country and if you want 11% then go let a car it is far simpler (buy2letcars.com)

end of rant

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Nige 19th January, 2014 @ 00:57

Regarding being British. Yep your word was your bond. Thats long gone. I jump through hoops to get credit because despite having a good credit record there are others who try to outsmart the system.

I have done business in other countries where a handshake seals a deal not 12 pages of contracts.
Yes I do have insurance. Yes I am a member of NLA. Yes I am also accredited with another body. Yes my council has good relations with me.
Landlords will give good credit records to get rid of bad tenants. Where is the register of good and bad tenants like they have in the USA
?
Oh and yes have we forgotten that in 2007 my whole portfolio was valued for CGT at approx 12% tax and it is now subject to 18% or 28%.

Government policy has as its always been. Get people into an industry and then regulate or tax it.

So even getting out of it all has to be phased to avoid a large tax bill.

Yep Im getting out. Notice how housing associations are growing fast. Not just building estates but buying individual houses on estates with cheap subsidised funds and can easily undercut private landlords.
Notice how student accommodation is being funded by big business building ''hostel blocks''.

Now let me see. Would I rather be housing tenants and making sure that they do not damage my property and comply with the tenancy agreement and at the same time face ever increasing regulation, OR would I rather spend my life on a sunny beach drinking cocktails.

No contest.

PS as far as my redundant friend is concerned her ''benefit'' to pay mortgage interest will not kick in fast enough to stop the lender repossessing.

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debbie 24th January, 2014 @ 19:10

New Landloard, first and last time of being one!.....makes it worse its my daughter in the property 7 months no rent on the 1st of feb, b4 that part rent paid I cant pay the mortage put the house on the market sells next week 30th jan 2014 notice to quit given runs out 24th jan have to sell..... up to my eyes in debt because of this and need house sold grrrrrrrrrr! what can I do

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Nige 24th January, 2014 @ 20:02

But as David says..its a business.
My advice.
Read up on section 8 notice on the internet and act upon it.
When you get possession (maybe after bailiffs evict) FOLLOW THOUGH with an order to enforce the judgement.
Consider banging her into small claims court.
If she is on benefits ie LHA or housing benefit contact benefits and ask for any housing related benefit to be paid direct to you.
If she is working put an attachment of earnings order on her.
Lets face it she doesn't care that you go to the wall so why should you care if she does ?

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Debbie 25th January, 2014 @ 06:49

Ty Nige for the above info

It's a nightmare that they can dodge the law and not pay there rent due without all the hassle landlords have to go through to get no what's there's as its with my case family even worse....

Not sure if anyone knows if it's my only Home and I'm homeless is there anyway Ivan act on it?
I'm just a Mum that was trying to do best by her family and it's come back to bite me in the butt!

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John 29th January, 2014 @ 10:39

There are some tenants that are disaster for landlords. This case is an example of how a tenant doesn’t pay his rent and lives in your house, gives excuses every time. It’s pity that it’s illegal for a landlord to harass or change the locks to prevent tenants from entering the property. And landlords should follow all the steps of the eviction process to do everything right, but it takes so much time. And all this time your tenant is living in the house that is yours without paying a penny. The only thing the landlords can do is to check the information about the tenants before they move into the property (for instance, ask for photo ID to ensure the tenant is who he says he is; ask him for a bank statements for the past three months and check income to see if he can afford the rent).

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Nige 29th January, 2014 @ 11:49

I agree with everyone reference details etc.
My application form is a mile long with photo id , passport or driving licence, national insurance numbers, you name it , Ive got their details.
So into court we go after spending hours getting details 110% right. Temant doesn't bother to turn up. As judge pours through half a hundredweight of paperwork making me sweat the tenant never ever turns up. Sitting at home in the warm safe in the knowledge that the judge will try ans find the tiniest fault to throw it out. And I'm paying. Ive had 3 court cases where Ive done all by the book. In those 3 cases I have had to fight to get my property back. Ive even been tiraded by a judge for 10 minutes being told I dont know what Im doing until I pointed out that he got it wrong.
In a recent scenario my tenant cleared off and gave the house to his ex wife who he had split from. My gawd what a complex mess that is.
As for credit checks, referencing, insurance. These are only as good as the suppliers of that info.
I have got a ''good tenant'' . By that I mean she pays the rent and does not give me hassel.
If I was now to run checks she would pass all. But pop round the house and you cant move as she is a hoarder. Its not top end rental and it pays well but the next landlord would never ever consider her if they viewed the mess she lives in. How many agents or landlords go and look at how their prospective tenant lives now ?? Very few.
And what happens when you get possession. If its damaged, rent outstanding etc. try chasing them for the money !! It costs you !!
The bottom line is that as David says moving out is traumatic. Yep usually for the landlord.
All the laws are stacked up against landlords and in favour of errant tenants.
As David says it is a business. Yes it is and so problems are factored in usually by higher rents. Just like increased costs for shoplifting landlords must build in the costs to cover all eventualities. Unfortunately like most laws in this country the majority suffers stupid controls to cover the few who wish to ''do what the hell they like ''
So its about time that this country banged the errant ones hard and leaves the normal law abiding individuals to get on with life without paying through the nose for those who wish to live by the rules.
Nuff said.

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Tami 1st February, 2014 @ 01:27

Hi I'm so upset , we rented a house 17 month ago and told it was long term rent. We got first tenancy for 6month then requested another one , alarm bells should of gone off but we believed the landlord that a rolling agreement would be good . Anyway when we first got the house the landlord rang crying saying they didn't have enough money to pay mortgage even tho we payed £1400 to move in so we payed another £700 to help them out . We pay our rent early every month and have never missed . The cooker broke and we were told we had to replace it even tho it was integrated ! So we did .. Then the fridge freezer went again integrated we had to replace , then the dishwasher !!! The heating was playing up and it took them 4 weeks to send a gas man . Anyway after baylifts and mounting post from banks ( all stamped with Santander) we forwarder them back as they hadn't loved here for so long . Tonight we are told they are selling the house . So angry I have just for out of hospital I am a disabled 39 yr old married mother of 3 and they treat us like this ! My husband has decorated the whole house even payed £200 for new parking area out front . Is there anything we can do to stay until suitable accommodation can be found as we don't have these upfront fee and deposit money they all need and I need a house wheelchairs accessible aswell . Plz advice if u can . Many thanks . Tami .

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Nige 1st February, 2014 @ 09:32

Many aspects here.

My first point would be start looking for another house now. Sooner or later you will be evicted and so contact your local council immediately.

It sounds like you were able to rent this house only because the ''owner'' ''landlord'' was in financial problems himself and trying to recoup his mortgage from renting.

It is normal for new tenancies to be issued 6 monthly and renewed otherwise your tenancy becomes what is known as periodic.
There is every chance that your landlord is
a/ letting the property without telling his mortgage company...hence his mail coming there or b/ has terms imposed on the type of tenancy they can offer ie 6 months at a time.

Bells should have rung when you had to do your own repairs (unless you abused the equipment)

As regards improvements I can only say these should have been done only after written permission and tenants must remember that it is not their property and any improvements can be wasted money.

OK

Your deposit should be in a protected scheme and god help your landlord if it isn't. If it is in a scheme its open to arbitration. If it isn't then a judge will award you 3 times the deposit as a ''fine' on the landlord.

When you leave take your cooker and other items you replaced as these are your property but you must put the broken ones back.

From what you say I feel that the house may become repossessed and whoever financed the house./ probably Santander, will go to court to evict you so that they can sell the property to recoup their finance. This is why I advise you to immediately contact your council with all details including rental receipts etc so that you can prove that you did not deliberately make yourself homeless.

Sometimes clouds have silver linings and you may be rehoused in a better house.

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Benji 1st February, 2014 @ 14:53

@Nige,

" If it isn't then a judge will award you 3 times the deposit as a ''fine' on the landlord. "

It is only up to 3 times the deposit and is costly to pursue.

Otherwise good advice.

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Nige 1st February, 2014 @ 15:33

Benji,
Thanks for input. I know of a case where the landlord didn't put the deposit in a protected scheme and then tried to evict a tenant. Yep the award was made against the landlord but as the case went on ....and more in keeping with the OP post...it was revealed he tenant hit the landlord. The judge said that he wouldn't award for that reason.
On another note.
I would keep paying the rent as councils are not helping people who show arrears with rent.
That's one of the points that make you ''making yourself deliberately homeless''.
I would think that in this case as said the landlord is in severe financial trouble and sooner or later the house will be taken back from the tenant but of course this is a due process and notices must be served.

Again on another point. Tenants especially long term ones often think they are secure for years but eventually a time comes when either by retirement or death of the landlord or similar, the security of tenure will be rattled. Talking to a letting agent yesterday they said that as property prices rise many older landlords are cashing in. I offered one of my properties to a good long term tenant . His rent if far higher than a mortgage would be. But again in keeping with this thread he cannot get a mortgage (even with the government help to buy) as they didn't make a final payment on a mobile phone 5 years ago.!!!! And so in keeping with this thread its a matter of priorities. Rent paid or 55 inch tv !!!

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Tami 1st February, 2014 @ 15:56

Thanks for all your comments and help , I can't replace the old white goods as they were out in the tip but the landlord said we r to take the ones we replaced . We are going to look for a new home so fingers crossed we get sorted , as far as I no the deposit is in a proper place , I shall leave the house in the same way I got it as I feel these ppl who trash property's are only showing there true self . Thanks again tami .

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Nige 1st February, 2014 @ 16:48

Tip

Get everything in writing.
Looks like the house is going to be a repo. Thus grab your things. I say get it in writing as there may be a dispute ref taking things supplied with the house. This could affect deposit return.
You should know if the deposit is in the proper place as you should have a document to say where it is. If not ask the landlord.

Yep as you say the good suffer for actions of the bad. Either apply to council. May be more accommodating if you need access or try housing associations. On thing to consider is if you need alterations for disability. Councils and HA are more likely to alter a property than a private landlord.

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Tami 1st February, 2014 @ 17:23

Thanks nige
I just spoke with estate agent who I got house through as I no her and apparently the deposit is with them so I'm happy and they are witness to the white goods being replaced by us so fingers crossed we get deposit all back . I need my stair lift and the doors have to be wheel chair accessible , I'm going to council on Monday so hope I can get some advice and help from them aswell . Thanx tami :-)

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amit chavan 9th February, 2014 @ 23:40

Hello..

Recently in the house where I am living . landlord did( 7 days ago) some refurbishing. while doing so he throw away the bags (two) which contain all my university books, notes, cloths and shoes. The bags where kept in storage room as there was no space available in my room. the books and cloths where expensive one and I never thought I will use them in near future so I kept in storage room. my house mates also had there languages too. but fortunately they found there stuff in trash so they asked landlord and landlord said he asked the existing flatmates and the stuff in store room belongs to the old tenants who left the house.

in fact he never asked anybody about the same. now I checked it and I don't have anything there. what should I do ? I pay regular my rent through Direct debit and no problem whatsoever from my side . but now I lost almost 5K stuff...including shoes, notes and expensive books which I cant afford now....please help.

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Nige 10th February, 2014 @ 11:51

You do not give enough details of your tenancy to make a comment. Obviously some sort of shared accommodation.My advice would be to check whatever arrangement for use of the building outside your particular room.
Tenants have a habit of assuming that the meter cupboard etc. are for storage of rubbish and things when in fact they are for services such as meters, water taps etc.
I might question why you put 5k worth of stuff in a place where others had access and you might have a difficult time proving who actually removed it.
Also a lesson for all. Make sure that expensive , important or valuable things are secure and many tenants do not take out insurance. I do know that we all have a habit of storing in black dustbin bags and it is mistaken for rubbish.
As said you do not give enough info on your tenancy but in my experience shared buildings have a list of places you can use ie kitchens and bathrooms and forbid storing your things outside your room.

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marie 10th February, 2014 @ 12:30

Nige - interesting comments. Yep. Being a Landlord in UK
is the pits. Amit - it is a pity the Landlord did not at least have a peep in the black bags but it seems he thought all the stuff had been "dumped" on him by previous tenants - which sometimes happens. I feel really sorry for you, but don't know what to suggest.

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amit chavan 10th February, 2014 @ 13:02

First of all thank you for your comments.

Actually it was not a black bin bag... the store room we are using since last one year to keep the extra stuff.The place I am staying is like a shared accommodation but slightly like a studio flat, where the shower is in our room but the kitchen and toilets are in combine. store room was an empty shelf near to the boiler room.

To be more specific..It was a proper new Luggage bag and the most expensive stuff were books of mine and my girl friend. We recently finished our masters in finance and all finance course books and reference books were there. each book we purchased for minimum 40-60 pounds. It was kept in store room in Luggage bags with intention to sale it on ebay or Amazon when the new master intake will start. it was two big Luggage bags ...on the top landlord never asked us about the Luggage and rather assume it belongs to past flat owners..

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marie 10th February, 2014 @ 13:37

Hi Amit,
I am afraid it is a bit of a grey area as the tenancy was not for the whole place but in effect a multiple occupation.
How many people were tenants at the building? If it was more than 5 then that opens a can of worms for the Landlord.
Ask him if he intends to compensate you. If more than 5 tenants, then possibly take this to citizens advice bureau.
paying tenants not unofficial guests -
If less than 5 tenants I am not sure, possibly ask the Citizens advice Bureau about a small claim in the County Court. Dubious.

It does seem the Landlord acted in too much haste but possibly he was thinking about fire hazard.

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Nige 10th February, 2014 @ 18:14

Amit,
Im afraid its welcome to the real world where (sadly) you cannot trust anyone.
Of course you will get conflicting statements from co tenants and the landlord. Who is to say that one of the tenants didn't sell the stuff. Each blaming the other.
I can assure you that as a landlord I get dumped with loads of stuff in properties when tenants scarper. If its worth anything I keep for a while and sell it. Half the time they don't own it anyway and bought it on credit.
As I said did you have insurance?? Having been a student myself I doubt it. I urge all my tenants to take out personal property insurance but few do even though basic cover is around £1 per week.
Learn by your mistake. If its valuable..as you say..keep it in a safe place not a communal area.

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Kayla 10th March, 2014 @ 03:24

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Dee 24th March, 2014 @ 09:45

help i need advice. I have had my property for almost 6years and gave it to a family friend to manage it for me, since i am usually in and out of the country. i have never meant any of the tenants, the tenancy agreement is in the managing agents name. well recently i realized this agent has been taking the piss and paying the bills late and its all in my name hence messing my credit up. i plan on selling the property soon, so i need to get the property valued. how do i go about this, as there is a tenant who seems to be friends with the agent and they are trying to make it difficult. i plan on going there and giving a 48hrs notice to get access so the house can be valued, also i plan n changing the locks and giving a copy to the tenants and warning then to allow access to this agent, will this be the best move. i need advice

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Marie 24th March, 2014 @ 10:10

Dee - Oh dear.
You definitely need legal advice and may be join the National Landlord's Association. You can google to find them.

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Nige 24th March, 2014 @ 10:24

Get advice and get it fast.
Firstly the tenancy should not be in the agents name. It should be in yours.
Secondly if you deny tenants the right by changing locks you could end up deep in brown stuff.
You are allowed to give tenants notice that you want to inspect/value the property.
Read up about section 21 and section 8 notices and be aware that just trying to throw the tenants out is not an option unless you want a judge to go mad at you.
Basically dont plan on selling for 6 months.
Timescale.
2 months notice as its a periodic tenancy. This must be 2 full months rental period notice.
1 month to get the case heard in court.
2 weeks the judge will give the tenant to exit.
Then if they dont exit another 2 weeks to instruct bailiff.
Then a month for bailiff to evict.

Get the process wrong and its snakes and ladders. Judge will not give you back property and you will be back to start of process.

You will have to pay for court costs. YOU ..not agent will have to attend court. You will have to pay for bailiff.
THEN ...if you intend to sell you will have to basically renovate even if its just a coat of paint otherwise you will be selling a property with 6 years let and it will be tired. If you are lucky you will get away with minimum upgrade but dont count on that.
Ive just taken back a propety after 2 very long lets (15 yrs) and to bring it up to scratch has cost £7000. I could have sold ''as is'' but the market would have been limited and would have been £20k less than other properties.

I will say it again. GET ADVICE and fast otherwise you will be in a deep mess. Try the internet for help or contact a company called Landlords Action.

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dee 24th March, 2014 @ 10:37

Thanks Nige and Marie. @ Nige you can say I have been very naive. I don't plan on kicking the tenants out but I want to change the locks and give it to the tenants, as I need access to the property and I want to restrict access to this agent. Also I came across a company called " National Property Trade" who are interested in buying the property and say they will take on the cost for refurbishment.

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Nige 24th March, 2014 @ 10:59

Get your paperwork together.
Instruct agent that they no longer work for you.
EVERYTHING IN WRITING and post FIRST CLASS with certificate of posting. This is accepted by a court whereas a registered post/recorded delivery is questionable.
Go and have word with tenants.
You may have to do all paperwork again in your name.
I had a rogue agent. When I got rid of him I had a load of tenants. I wrote to all saying that as I was managing my property now that all communications should now be through me.
I gave them security of tenure for a while.
Big question is where is the damage deposit. ????
You may have legal recourse against the agent for not managing properly.
There are many schemes for purchasing property with sitting tenants but they do make their profit somewhere.
You can sell a property with a sitting tenant but its easier when vacant.
Not that you should tell your tenant but its quite usual for these investment companies to buy with a sitting tenant and then start eviction fairly soon so that they can renovate and sell on open market.
Unfortunately you will be on a loser capital wise if you sell with sitting tenant and I know of cases where house was ''abandoned to the open market'' by a landlord for £100k and subsequently sold for £150k 6 months later.

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Marie 24th March, 2014 @ 11:09

Hi Dee,
I have to agree with everything Nige said - especially about selling.

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dee 24th March, 2014 @ 11:19

I have done a written 48hrs for the viewing of the property as I do not have the keys and I need to get access because valuation needs to be done this week. Will this suffice. Hence why I thought of changing the locks and giving a copy to the tenants.

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Nige 24th March, 2014 @ 11:34

Then tell tenants you are replacing locks and get them to sign for new set.
Dont forget to tell agent that they are not acting for you any more. Get scenario of your situation ref. rents/paid bills/where deposit is etc. etc.
Tell tenants what you are doing. If you keep them informed ...in writing...they have no excuses. BUT post letters first class with cert of post ...or hand deliver with witness as if it hits court ref eviction the witness must attend.

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Jim 19th May, 2014 @ 08:56

I entirely agree with the original post; the law for Landlords in Britain stinks; again, the law is for the tenant who just does a runner and the landlord then is subject to hundreds of pounds if they use a solicitor; greedy lot the lot of them, to sort it out.
You can thank New Labour's dangerous social engineering for a great deal of thise trouble; free movement of people especially from the EU. For example; the Eastern European tenant who has been treated by the landlord with sympathy and understanding only to be bitten on the hand again and again with lies, tales of woe and finally does a runner owing £2,000 in rent; the Tenant is an agency worker who stays with friends; that way they think they cannot be traced. What does a landlord do in this case; abide by the law; costing upto £1,000 and even then if a court judgement is made against the tenant the tenant may not turn up in court, may not pay the debt and frankly it is a waste of time and money for the landlord; however, the solicitors do make their cut out of it.
It seems to me that some Eastern Eurpean tenants are crooks and I believe they behave the same in their own country. Hence, I am now UKIP through and through; keep the B*****s out of the UK and if they do not have work permits and medical certificates; WE DON'T WANT THEM go away to some other country where they may be just a little less tolerant than Britain; ooops sorry have I upset the political correct lot out there; couldn't care less, GET A LIFE; Britain has bee sold down the river by British goverments to Brusses and on May 22nd we have our say; Keep the rubbish out of Britain; only the professiona and qualified skilled persons are welcome. AND.....THAT IS NOT RACIST.

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David 19th May, 2014 @ 12:48

@Jim A vote for UKIP at the EURO Elections makes complete sense, we want the people with the most vociferous attitude to argue for Great Britain, yes I dare say GREAT, but ironically a vote for UKIP in 2015 will probably deliver a Labour Government. I don’t actually believe that UKIP are interested in becoming a political party in the UK, they are a protest group to fight the EU behemoth.

Watching the Channel4 documentaries “How to get a council house” and Benefits Street” you can see that things are broken.

However, when it comes to EU immigrants or any other immigrants you can’t blame them for taking advantage of “the system”.

Imagine you are in Palestine and someone tells you that if you go to the UK and say you are persecuted, then plead asylum, they will give you the equivalent of a months wages for your first child and not much less than that for each additional child. Well of course you would head on over here and have or bring your 7 kids.

If they told you that if you worked just 16 hours in a mates supermarket (and your wife worked 8 hours) they would give you bucket loads of Child tax credits and Working Tax credits etc, then yep, obvious choice. No wonder when the woman was told her housing benefit was going to be cut she said “oh we will have to cancel Sky”!

As for the Eastern Europeans including the Romanians, again generally very nice people that are just taking advantage of “the system”. For them it works slightly differently.

On the job front they take a job on minimum wage at £6.31 per hour for "officially" a 30 hour per week job, with weekly wage of £189.30. However, because they work unpaid overtime stretching their hours to between 40 and 60 hours per week (often more) the actual rate of pay is between £4.73 and £3.15 per hour. No wonder they are so attractive to employers!

So how do they afford this? Simple, over occupancy! They take a property that is usually renting for £600 a month and pay the landlord £800 a month, they then put mattresses all over the floor and sleep 10 (see Benefits street for example). It usually works by a Lead Tenant who appears very respectable. He charges each sub tenant £100 a month and has his own buffer or profit of £200 a month.

The Landlords that find out about this often turn a blind eye because they are getting way over the usual rental and of course it pushes up rental rates in the area.

A single EU immigrant in this situation gets £46.56 per week, £2421.44 per annum or £201.78 per month) in Tax credit so his rent is paid and he has £100 left over before he touches his Salary. Add the 201.78 to the £820.30 salary and you have £1022.08.

For the Asylum seeker granted indefinite leave to remain in "How to get a Council House", the befefits entitlement would be as follows:

Working Tax Credit £91.10 £394.77 £4,737.20
Child Tax Credit £380.96 £1,650.83 £19,809.92
Housing Benefit £276.31 £1,197.34 £14,368.12
Council Tax Support £38.28 £165.88 £1,990.56
Child Benefit £101.18 £438.45 £5,261.36

Total benefits

Weekly £887.83
Monthly £3,847.26
Annually £46,167.16

This is all NET of tax and excludes the income from the limited hours jobs they do.

These figures come off the HMRC and http://benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk websites

Again, you can’t blame the individuals; you have to blame the system and except for over occupancy which means that a British worker can’t possibly compete with an EU worker in that situation.

Personally I do not think the state should pay people (immigrant or local) to have children but we can’t just stop for existing claimants. I would stop it for new claimants and reduce other benefits by a pound a month each to give them time to move, find better work or whatever.

What they do in France is add a lot of bureaucracy in the local Council and the central government, including medical tests (because they are concerned about poorer EU states having higher levels of diseases that are rare). This process takes around six months and it allows the local council to plan for schooling, doctors and so on. In France you do not get anything unless you paid in already.

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Chris 30th May, 2014 @ 15:51

It amazes me how callous some landlords appear to be. I understand when you have cases like drug addicts subletting to other drug addicts and a home being turned into a den of iniquity it's unacceptable and they need to be removed. However, to throw people out on the streets just because of some legal technicality they're not on a piece of paper... unbelievable. Truly evil. I've just had a phone call from my friend who is staying with a mutual friend, who rents a room in London. He moved in, they share the existing bed, got himself a job, currently works in the Oxford Circus area. Now being told he has to move out from 1st June (tomorrow, at the time of posting). The landlord gets his rent, no arrears, no late payments. There is no damage being done to the property. Both intend to move out once the 6 month lease is up (in 2 months) and move in together at a 2 bed flat. WHY throw a guy out on the street in these circumstances? Because he has a right to? He's not a live-in landlord, my mate staying there doesn't effect him negatively in any way. Now he's going to lose his job and have to move back with his mum unless he finds £400 for a room he has found in the space of 24 hours. And all you holier-than-thou not-my-problem landlords can do is scoff at people's "hard luck" stories? You are totally out of tune with just how hard it is to get the money together to live in London, mainly because of the absurd amounts of money landlords ask for before you even move in (deposits, and sometimes TWO months rent in advance?! Greed!) There are people who have had a road in life that has never given them the opportunities you have had to own 10 properties and line your pockets with ridiculously high rents. I get that renting out property is a business, not a charity, but there is a line and thank god there are nice landlords out there who do the HUMANE thing, rather than simply follow what a piece of paper tells them they can do to feed your apparent need to be smug. Some of the commentators on here should be ashamed of themselves.

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Nige 30th May, 2014 @ 16:34

Just because you want something that suits you doesn't mean you can take it.
Try renting a car and then keeping it for longer. Try buying a car and not keeping up payments. Try telling Tesco that you are hungry and will pay them next week.
Why is it that people think that they can do what they like.
Take the scenario as I had recently.
My tenant left property without notice and gave it to his x wife. Oh no harm done he said..you have continuing occupancy.
So he hands over keys (without my knowledge) fraudulently claims benefits because he no longer lives there, has given my investment worth hundreds of thousands to someone else, did not give notice so no inspection and so I don't know who damaged property (yes I know its original tenants responsibility). Put his wife in a criminal position regarding laws on squatting etc.etc.
Take another.
You let property to a single man and he moves wife and some kids in. From wear and tear by property by one there is now wear and tear by 4. I didn't let to 4. I let to 1.
We could use this stupid argument of not doing anyone any harm in lots of ways. If the original tenant moved out and the friend stayed we are into countless arguments legally.
How about saving money by sharing seats on a bus or train. He is sitting on my lap so its not depriving anyone.
This post shows naivity of the poster who does not understand the legal processes involved in letting property, rights of tenure, rights of possession etc.
How would the tenant like it if the landlords moves someone else into the tenants flat or even bed and said that it wasn't harming anyone.
Get real.

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Benji 30th May, 2014 @ 17:48

@Chris,

It sounds very likely your friend has an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement so the landlord can't just throw him out on the streets. The landlord needs a court order which takes months to obtain.
Instead of wrongly ranting on here about how unfair it all is, get your friend to contact citizens advice, local council, or shelter and then read up on tenancy rights. Here's a good place to start;

http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/eviction/eviction_of_private_tenants/notice_from_the_landlord

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Benji 30th May, 2014 @ 18:10

@Nige,

I hear what you're saying.

I'd also add that by having someone else live at the property the landlord may be breaching HMO rules and committing a criminal offence. Up to £20K fine + costs + proceeds of crime (rent) + criminal record + the other honest tenants living there made homeless.

Evil landlord or ignorant selfish tenant?

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Nige 30th May, 2014 @ 18:52

@Benji

Yes we are all evil !!

Tenants will get away with whatever they can.

I had a professional (ie employed a 3rd party) to carry out inspections this time. Reason?

Many of my tenants think that they own the house and will quite happily redecorate in gaudy colours, remove panels from walls (yes exposing wires and old gas installations which were safe but unsightly) refloor upstairs with wood laminate making it impossible to get to wiring and plumbing.etc.etc.

The reason is that some think that by not paying rent and damaging property I will evict and they will be given a nice new council house.

They are getting a sharp shake up. The council will not even consider a tenant who is in arrears and they have had so many people try this that they are asking for a report from the last landlord on the tenancy and condition of property. Thus the independent reports as they are not biased.
And yes some tenants are in a state of sheer panic !!
My inspector had to remind them that it may be their home but they don't own it.

Oh and legal ramifications.
I got a possession order on a property. As you know it is illegal to harass a tenant whilst the court proceedings are in process.
They bombed the house ..broken toilets..doors in garden etc before the bailiff got there.

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Chris 30th May, 2014 @ 19:02

@Nige: Staying in a mate's room is hardly 'taking' anything of any tangible nature? The landlord is being paid, he is receiving his money, there are no arrears or late payments, so I don't really understand your point regarding non-payment of cars or running up a food tab at Tesco? And how is a landlord moving a tenant into someone's existing room have any relevance? Obviously that's a gross invasion of space and privacy. Having a mate stay in your room for a couple of months whilst they get on their feet is hardly gross misuse of a landlord's property? Perhaps you think it is, but then that's what makes me think you're a nasty piece of work. I truly sympathise with situations where people deliberately circumvent laws, or abuse loop holes. That doesn't mean it's fair to tarnish everyone with the same brush.

Bottom line for landlord, is you have the right to turn someone out and so you do so, and your life is no better or worse for it. Bottom line for unauthorised tenant, is they have to move out of the city to stay with family, lose their job as they cannot afford to commute every day, and find it really hard to get back on their feet.

@Benji, thanks for your slightly barbed advice, it is not the tenant (friend 2) who is being thrown out, he holds the tenancy, it's friend 1 who is just staying informally with friend 2 for a short time. I believe he has the right to eject him from the property.

Whatever anyway, I just think of the landlord's I used to have (I've only had 2), and they would have been understanding in these situations... then you come on here and see how black and white some people see things, and I can't help but get a little emotional about how inhumane people like Nigel sound. I feel better in any case.

Bye :) x

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Benji 30th May, 2014 @ 19:58

@Chris,

"I believe he has the right to eject him from the property."

I don't.

But it is easy to jump to conclusions without knowing the full story.

Good luck anyway.

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Nige 31st May, 2014 @ 00:31

@ Chris
Yes I'm a nasty piece of work. A really bad landlord. A Rachman type who sends 2 burly Russians with an alsatian dog to kick tenants out in the middle of the night clutching whatever they could grab wishing that they had never heard of the town , never mind lived in it.
Thats why my current tenants have been with me for 10+years and shake in fear as I grab their ankles and shake the rent out of their pocket whilst the little wife and kids cower in the corner.
You may wish to reconsider your opinion.
You are probably a tenant. Were you dragged out on valentines night(which was a howling gale and pissing it with rain) at 11 oclock at night to board up a worried tenants house after a lump of concrete was thrown through her window because she said something nasty to another tenant? Yep not only the inconvenience but I had to foot the bill.
Do you allow your tenant to repair his car on your personal driveway and help him to do it because he hasn't got the tools and needs the car for work.
Do you lend people sums of money because they are going through a rough patch .(its called rent arrears)
Do you provide anyone work..basic work for pay ..when they need it to buy xmas pressies for the kids and need the extra income.
Do you lend money and drive them to the pound because they had their car impounded because they didn't do something right and need the car, I have.
I doubt it but then again maybe you are not a nasty landlord.
But then again you have probably never had a house set on fire by a ''friend staying'', a tenants druggy boyfriend who shouldn't have been staying in the property (we didn't know) and caused £7000 of damage. Or struggled through the courts for six months without rent because the tenant did a runner . They left the heating on full and the house was brown throughout inside.
I am a member of 2 accredited trade organisations and have to abide by their rules and standards. I am also inspected by the council, have to pay full council tax on empty properties when I renovate to a standard acceptable to me to live in myself after a tenant has repainted walls with Disney characters or painted in colours more suitable to a morgue.
I am bound by countless rules and regulations which I can be fined or imprisoned for. Forget to do a gascheck and I can be fined £5000. Dont obey HMO regulations and its up to £25,000. Hassle tenants and I can be imprisoned.
All we as landlords hope is that the tenant you allow into your property will obey the rules. Some hope in a lot of cases as lies and cheating have become so common in society today.(sadly) Thats why there are so many hoops to jump through to get a property.
Don't tenants realise that rents are so high because of the risk factors involved in letting to people you don't actually know causing damage and running up arrears? Its like shoplifting. We all pay for those who don't.
Letting is a business.
You might think that the greedy landlord grabs all the money and lives it up. How wrong you are. I have been a tenant. I know how hard it is to find that sum of money every month. Had to do 2 jobs for 10 years to survive.Resenting that pile of notes handed over every month. Thinking that the landlords get all the money. Want to look at my accounts??
Insuring property , repairing, paperwork by the ton, phone line, business vehicle running, gaschecks, going on courses, contractors bills. You name it they cost money. A new boiler can cost 6 months rent or in real terms over 9 months rent the landlord receives and then he is taxed on whats left.
Want to look at my hands. Calouses from repairing and fixing damage to properties caused by tenants. In my house I have never had a toilet smash, a door suddenly have a hole appear in it or fall of its hinges.
And your post is indicative of a tenants attitude. Its OK for tenants to break the rules but as soon as a landlord steps one inch off the line off we run to solicitors, the council or citizens advice and I can assure you that in 100% of the cases in which I defended myself at my cost I have been proven to act within the law and in a proper manner.Thats how I pass my associations and the councils quality checks. I wonder how many tenants would pass such close scrutiny. And this scrutiny extends to defending my actions in front of a judge at my cost. Miss out a dot, get a date wrong by a day and the case is thrown out.
I act professionally and within the law. I am also sympathetic to tenants plights. Notice the words plights. A plight is being in a bit of financial trouble. lose job etc. It is not breaking a toilet or storing piles of rubbish in the garden or allowing their dog to eat the carpets or in one case the stair rails.
So rules are there for reasons. I don't relish my bags being emptied every time I go on a plane or being frisked. But I understand why they are there.
Going back to your original post.
Can you imagine what would happen if the friend staying accidentally set fire to the chip pan or left a cigarette burning which set the place on fire. The tenant would be responsible. It would not be much use using the excuse ''but it was my friend''.
Yes the landlord would be insured but knowing tenants the personal ipad etc wouldn't be.
Rules are rules. I doubt very much that any landlord would clamp on a tenant for a friend/ relative staying for a short period of time if they asked . But they don't. Sub lets are usually found by accident. In fact it has been found in some places that people are making a business out of sub letting. A friend let his house out for a short time whilst abroad and on his return found 19 beds in the house. Would he have been wrong to critisise the tenant. Same situation..different numbers.
So before attacking me on an open forum step into the landlords shoes and look at it from their perspective.

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David 2nd June, 2014 @ 13:37

Nige you are clinging at straws with chip pan if and if and if.

The original tenant is responsible, office of fair trading guidelines oft356 are a rule of thumb for judges. So beware on being unreasonable or you could end up on the receiving end of a lawsuit yourself.

I am a Landlord and a tenant, I have had a landlord sign me up for a 3rd year only to "change his mind" and then try to harass me out. I have never been in arrears, I think he just wanted more rent although he did not try to increase the rent because he knew it was at market rates (way above LHA).

It has cost him £900 in costs for failed attempts and because he never protected the deposit or followed the procedure to provide prescribed info I can hit him for 6 months rent as a fine, he has not protected any of the deposits for 2 different tenancies.

It is because he pissed me off that I will do this and on the last case I will probably get another £1k in costs.

There are scumbags out there, both landlords and tenants but if you I had a landlord behave as you suggest to try to have the "attitude" you have I would do all I could to rub them up the wrong way

Personally I hope Labour do get in and bring in the minimum 3 year tenancy, it will force the bunch of amateur Landlords out of the business.

You provide a lot of good advice on this site but some of it encourages people to be adversarial which just makes things worse

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2270291/Tenant-stabbed-landlord-death-dismembered-body-asked-rent-arrears.html

At least that guy will not have to worry about rent for 22 years!

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David 2nd June, 2014 @ 14:01

@Chris

Have your friend politely inform the landlord that you consider his treats harassment.

Despite the OP he cannot come in without an agreed appointment, so just don't agree. If he is aggressive then report him to your local council so there is a record of it.

If he wishes to issue a possession order he is most welcome to, if he makes any further attempts to harass you or your guest he will be in breach of the tenancy agreement (having guests is quiet enjoyment).

Explain it is a guest and he comes and goes so not a permanent tenant.

Do not let him into the property, as he has already made threats insist that a 3rd party agent be used to carry out any inspections up to the end of the lease.

Your friend does not have to leave until the end of the tenancy unless there are specified break clauses and those clauses are invalid unless they fully mention your rights under the law in a clear way.

No matter what a tenancy agreement says it is subject to the LAW, so if it says we can kick you out in 3 days for non-payment of rent it is an invalid contract term and unenforceable. Even if they made them sign a section 22 at the beginning of the tenancy most judges will kick it out.

Even a reasonable term like "The landlord may end this agreement by giving 30 days notice" is invalid if it does not also inform the tenant of their legal rights in addition to this clause. i.e. that they have to give 2 months’ notice, that the notice has to end on the same day as the end of a tenancy or rent period. Also that the 2 months’ notice has to be worded right, has to be served right and is completely invalid if the prescribed information has not been provided in accordance with the housing act amendments in the localism act.

So basically relax, the landlord has to give notice as prescribed in the lease, the tenant may leave or they can wait for a section 21 (2 months’ notice) to be served. That gives them 3 months.

The landlord may not like the friend staying, he may even have provisons in the contract thart forbid it, but those provisions are not worth the paper they are written on if they do not comply with OFT356 because that is the bible that judges use when there is no explicit law forbidding something.

A professional landlord would ask about the tenant, (how long are they staying, perhaps check them out and maybe even ask for more rent if they are staying longer by signing a new lease. He could ask for a personal guarantee from the person to jointly underwrite any damage caused to the property.

Ultimately, Nige is right, there are rules, for BOTH sides and if you as a landlord behave in an unreasonable way, expect to be treated back in the same unreasonable way and if a landlord is unprofessional and did not follow the exact letter of the law, they should not complain when they are taken to the cleaners.

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Nige 2nd June, 2014 @ 17:53

@David

Yes we are bound by laws , rules regulations and goodness knows what. That's why bad tenants are weeded out at every conceivable point before a property is handed over.
Thats why credit checks, guarantors etc. are involved.
Tenants are usually tenants for a couple of reasons. They either cannot afford/get a mortgage to buy or they accept the fact that they want to be free of tie and can move jobs, change properties etc. and prefer that someone takes care of their needs housing wise including repairs. For this they are prepared to pay a charge (rent).
It is interesting that recently when I put a professional in to do my inspections that every tenant referred to the property as ''my house''. Nope it is not their house. It is their ''home''. They cannot change kitchen units or baths etc. as they would on their own properties. They do benefit howver in having no repairs to the fabric of the building including central heating etc.
Tenants expect repairs and rightly so but these cannot be magiced. If my own gas boiler breaks down in cold weather I have to wit in the queue like the rest. Yep I do supply emergency heaters as I would do on my own home but what do you say to a tenant who places a fan heater so close to a settee that it burns a hole in it.

Speaking to many landlords I know they are now pulling out of the rental housing market.
market. If Labour does impose a 3 year tenancy can we expect a premium rent. If I invested money in a 3 year investment bond I could expect a far higher return than from a 1 year bond or instant access account.

Regarding unprofessional landlords I do know lots who play at the game with one or two houses. You would be surprised at the number I meet who don't know the basics never mind the complexities. Housing is however one of the few services where you cannot get back what is rightly yours without going through due process and having to pay for it.

Funnily enough there is no register in the UK for bad tenants. There is one in the USA.
Conversations recently with the authorities reveal that they can only go on what prospective tenants will disclose and they are being caught out by the professional rogue tenant who uses the law to basically legally squat. That is take a tenancy..then don't pay rent etc and as it hits court vanish to the next victim landlord.
I have had this happen several times where the tenant has actually arrange new accommodation to move into before the court case as this hides the coming court case from the new landlord.
Would anyone in their right mind lend £100,000 plus to a stranger who can hide behind the data protection act. Thats what landlords do.
But look whats happening recently with mortgage reviews. They are finding that applicants are hiding their real living costs in order to get mortgages.
Banks have tightened up on mortgage arrears. A friend missed one payment and court proceedings were started. Almost lost her house until friends stumped up the cash.

Landlord bashing is common. Funny how tenant bashing is less so. Today I went to a house with a roof leak. Tenant in arrears. I asked him if he had a torch as he said he had seen the problem. Yep handed me the latest £500 phone with a torch facility. Enough said.

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David 3rd June, 2014 @ 17:00

@Nige

You are absolutely right, it is their "home" and there is a real emotional bond as having a home makes you feel safe.

So when a Landlord acts outside the law, makes threats and is totally unreasonable, well then they can't complain if the law is used against them.

I know you have had bad tenants, but you also seem to have an attitude that they are all some sort of sub species with your "couple of reasons" for anyone being a tenant.

I am sure that given a chance to buy their own home they would, but they are excluded from society because they are not home owners. Maggie Thatcher understood this, she knew that if you sold someone their Council House they had "buy in" and the selling of those Council Houses created a lot of Landlords.

The trick this Government has completely missed is that if they had a massive social house building programme (our population has increased by 5 million) and then sold those houses to the tenants they would get millions of grateful new voters on their side. The money from that could be put back in to build more and so it should be. WHY, because it would fuel a permanent bottom up recovery rather than the top down recovery we have at the moment. Selling London to the Russians provides no "buy in" and they leave the properties empty so communities fall apart.

In my experience most people are decent if you treat them decently, some need to be given procedures and understand how to communicate, but if you treat them like a valued customer they will respond to that.

A friend of mine buys commercial property, hotels mostly, he does not make a profit on running them, he just wants a safe place to put his millions. Landlords need to understand that property is a long term investment, you make money from selling it and any rent is just icing on the cake. It should not be depended on, so if you can't afford it GET OUT and go invest in buy 2 let cars (they say 11% return per annum on the ads).

When it comes to repairs, again it is a business, get a contract on your boiler, take out insurance for everything else. In fact if you sort your tax situation out properly losses are a good thing.

Now Nige, you are not really "handing over" £100k you are renting a property under a legal contract that if worded fairly is gives you way more rights than you would get in any other country in Europe. In France you can't evict for six months of the year i.e if it is winter (even in the south). The minimum tenancy length is longer in most countries.

We all know that the mortgage industry virtually told us to lie on our mortgage forms, I remember back in the late 80's being told by a mortgage broker to go buy a copy of Sage payroll so I could print off fake payslips. The banks also played their part by relaxing their criteria, now if you move you cannot get another mortgage, so people LET their old home and become amateur Landlords.

The banks sold "sub prime" because they insured the debt, they then sold it and even took out insurance on the insurer going bust. That insurer sold the risk many times over so people were basically betting on whether someone would go bust and our banks bought into this in billion dollar bundles. We can call them credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations, derivatives or whatever sandwich they want, but when they nearly crippled the economy it was all of us (including our children) that bailed them out.

We can talk about recovery but if you look at the actual spending it is massively higher, of course they quote percentage of GDP and play with the figures, but it is like a gambler who keeps betting more in the hope of payback. They failed 28 out of 30 of their own targets according the OBR and then they get the ONS to quote net borrowing, "excluding the temporary effects of bank rescues and the Royal Mail pension fund transfer". What bollocks, stats, stats and damn lies.

My point is that every UK citizen bailed out the banks and now as you say after one payment they want to issue proceedings. Well next year will be the first "year of tears" because they will be increasing interest rates (we are already being softened up for it). As someone who has had a mortgage at 16% I can tell you even the smallest increase hurts, in fact now a rise of just half a percent will be huge because rates are so low and they are talking about half a percent per quarter.

You see the banks have had enough, they have tolerated low interest rates, but now we keep trying to stop them gambling with other people's money and we have the audacity to fine them for mis-selling products by by the billion and rigging the price of Gold or the libor rate. Oh and if you think they cleaned up their act, Barclays recently got fined for activities up to 2013.

Theseinterest rate increases will force a lot of people to sell up and house prices will drop as a result. Landlords will not be able to increase rents and a lot of the unprofessional ones (who think that they can live back to back between rental income to pay their mortgage) will be in shit street.

The Banks will repo those properties but they will have to wait to evict tenants, meanwhile the landlord will still owe them until the property is sold. We know they will sell it for a loss because they are insured for the difference and then the debt collectors will come after you. They will force you out of the home you live in and repo that too, your marriage will break up (whether Thai or not) and you will have to start over and rent.

Of course as someone with a bad credit record you will not be able to rent a home, social services will tell you that as a single bloke they have no obligation to you and they will recommend a local charity that meet twice a week. You sleep in your car (too old to repo) and then go along to find it is run by a bunch of well-meaning (but incompetent) volunteers who mainly try to find homes for people just out of prison. You complain about tenants but this bunch are Neanderthal by comparison, when you get chatting with them you find that every one of them was innocent and "fitted up". Some of them got kicked out of their home because they were violent after having too much weed.

Well after about 6 weeks the volunteers finally acknowledge you exist, they tell you they have Landlord that is prepared to let you a room in 3 bed house that he has converted into 7 bedsit rooms specifically for this kind of tenant. The rent is way over the going rate but structured to get the most out of the Council. Oh and your kids can't visit you, in fact the rules are not that different from the prison most of the occupants just came from.

So my advice is to sell your property in this fake honeymoon of a recovery because there will be blood on the carpet next year. Landlords will become tenants and then be on the receiving end of the only people that can afford to buy property - the Russians. They do not make the most friendly of Landlords.

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Nige 3rd June, 2014 @ 18:39

@David
Sub species ? Yep I was actually one of those for a long time. Fully qualified in a profession but didn't earn enough with 2 incomes coming into the house to buy one.

I actually don't believe anyone should rent as such.

Some years ago there were schemes run by housing associations I can't remember the exact times and terms but it went something like this.

I bought a share for £5 in the housing association. Also had to put down a deposit.
I then became a technical owner in one 20th of 20 houses. We had a vote in how the association operated. It was the same as renting with a difference. You could drop out after 6 months and go elsewhere or sit it out.
After so many years you built up an amount of money and the longer you stayed the bigger it got.
If you decided to move out after say 6 years you could cash in your lump sum. The house was then relet at a higher rent depending upon a notional value of the property.
So if you stayed for years in the property you remained a shareholder in the scheme and could build up a sum of money to either move and buy a house, rent elsewhere or leave to your kids in a will.
The rent never went up except for the estate management part .
However a new tenant moving in became a member/shareholder and paid a higher rent on a notional valuation. They in turn could build their pot over time. The higher rent went into the association for general repairs.
A great scheme. You became an owner albeit a 20th of 20 houses , your rent was based on house valuations when you moved in and barely increased.And the bonus was that if you didn't damage the house or commit anti social behaviour etc then you had security of tenure plus a savings plan.On the other hand you could stay for 6 months as a stopgap so you could move in search of work.

Result...no smashed up houses, estate kept well,neighbours made sure litter was picked up and lawns cut, low rents over time and security. The only downside was the management committee who of course took their cut after the association paid the mortgage on 20 houses.

A great alternative to council housing. Money on the mortgage was government backed and at a low rate and everyone was happy.

So what happened to schemes like this? I believe that housing associations moved in and gradually amalgamated them into their structure. Obviously dangling carrots at the tenant/shareholders in the same way that building society customers were conned out of their shareholding by banks.

If schemes like the one described had continued (and they might still do so) the altruistic members of the association might have bought or sponsored another estate.

It would also have negated much of the need for council housing and private landlords.

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Benji 4th June, 2014 @ 15:41

@David,

"a legal contract that if worded fairly is gives you way more rights than you would get in any other country in Europe."

This is a myth that is frequently trotted out by vested interests but it is simply not true.

Many European countries give landlords equal or more rights. For example; Czech republic, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Malta, Latvia.

"In France you can't evict for six months of the year i.e if it is winter."

It is not six months, it is from 1st November- 15th March, four and a half months. Which coincidentally, is about how long it takes to evict a non-paying tenant in the UK.

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Nige 4th June, 2014 @ 17:16

All my contracts are worded fairly and totally within rules ,regulations and the law.
I'm not quite sur why everything is foisted onto the private landlord and the ''poor tenant may lose their home''.
I cannot think of another private sector where it is the right to have something.
Tesco does not have to feed the starving.
Marks and Spencer don't have to clothe.

Landlords don't tend to evict willy nilly.
Why would I evict someone.

a/ They don't pay the rent. (section 8 notice covers this)
b/ I would like to cash in and spend my investment cash on something else. (section 21 covers this)
c/ They cause problems with other neighbours.
ASBOs and criminal charges can be brought and somehow this can be the landlord's responsibility.
4/ They are damaging the property and it is going to cost me money to resolve but this is usually in addition to not paying rent.

We have a social system in this country that gives free money to tenants to pay all or part of their rent.
Funnily enough this social system does not support those who buy their house and lose their job in the same way. Housing benefit can kick in the next day, it takes weeks for any help with interest mortgage (not capital)

This however benefits me as tenants can be assured that at least someone is paying all or part of their rent.

What doesn't benefit me is the fact that many tenants cannot be bothered to apply for benefit and then flash the latest mobile phone in front of me whilst racking up arrears.(yes I had a tenant yesterday fraudulently claim benefits and when I advised him that he was in fact committing a criminal offence he stated that he would contact them tomorrow..note not today. All the time he was clutching the latest Samsung Galaxy 5 ).

Nothing makes a landlord happier than to have a long term tenant who looks after the property. I have a long term DIY nutter who decorates, repairs , fixes, improves and pays his rent before or dead on time. Guess which tenant hasn't had a rent rise for 2 years.

And although David thinks I am a bad , nasty landlord he wasn't with me today discussing repairs and damage to property by tenants in 3 houses. Not one cross word. All agreed to fix themselves and I agreed to help if I could and also attend to any probs that were my responsibility. All calling me by my first name not cowering in a corner.

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