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R J Dearden

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Everything posted by R J Dearden

  1. Apologies to Mods - not offering advice here. Just seeing if could assist the OP with a buyer for their rented property. Information could be personal and therefore sent PM in case OP did not want it in the public domain.
  2. I would only send them your agreement (extensions thereto) if you are currently within a fixed term tenancy, as informing them the alternative ie that your are within a statutory periodic or month to month gives them the potential ammunition to serve 2 months notice upon you (if you are on an assured shorthold tenancy). I would not inform them about the rent arrears - let them demand the rent arrears from you as they may not even know about it. Difficult to say what they will do with the property but they have the option of keeping it rented out or serving notice to sell - same as with any owner/landlord.
  3. IMHO it depends on how the original contract and break clause were written and how the subsequent extensions to the original agreement were written. If the landlord issued a full new tenancy agreement for each of the six months it could be argued that the landlord's notice to quit will not effect until the end of the 6th month of the current contract. If however the contracts to extent the extent the original tenancy are purely addendas to the original contract (agreement to carry on the original contract with new dates) it could be argued that the landlord has every right to serve notice and seek possession. In any event if you stay until the 20th May the landlord is unlikely to get anything done (under law) to evict you by this time due to the lengthy processes.
  4. I suggest you email and write a letter to the MD of the agency stating that they are breaching your statutory right to quiet enjoyment at your home and require reasonable notice for any access in the future. Failure to do so could result in your seeking action against them for their breaching your quiet enjoyment and harassment. You may wish to copy the landlord in too.
  5. Ask what the landlord's costs are in finding a new tenant. If reasonable offer to pay the cost on the basis that from the start date of the new tenancy your liability under your agreement ceases completely - ideally sign a surrender agreement. This way the landlord has a new tenant at no cost to them nor any void periods and does not have to pay the relet costs & voids which are coming up in Sept.
  6. You could just request for the tenancy to fall into a statutory periodic tenancy or month to month notice - this happens automatically under law following the end of a fixed term AST and does not need expensive contract extensions to confirm it.
  7. Looking at the agents website unfortunately they appear not to be a member of a governing body such as ARLA or RICS. Good luck with your dispute with TDS.
  8. No ... specialist & renowned landlord tenant lawyers - yes there is the possibility that the tenant gets in contact following the change of locks and wants back in after going through the whole procedure - if so let them back in!! So what do you do in the scenario I have set out above - take the tenant that you cannot find to court to get an eviction order? Taking months whilst your property is sat empty and you know your tenant is not there? At least if the tenant does come back hard at you, you have shown that you have done everything within your power to contact them and ensure that they no longer live there.
  9. Yes illegal eviction IF the landlord knows the tenants are still there! What is abandonment? Abandonment of the property is a situation whereby the tenant(s) has vacated the property without notification and without returning the keys during the tenancy. If the tenant has returned the keys and vacated or notified the landlord that they have vacated, then the property has not been abandoned. If the landlord has willingly accepted keys and/or let the tenant go, it may be deemed that the tenancy has been surrendered and no further rent is lawfully due. How to determine whether the tenant has abandoned the property: The landlord may be alerted to the property being abandoned by: Tenant(s) missing rent payments Tenant(s) not answering telephone calls/messages left/knocks at the door over a reasonable period of time Communication with the neighbours who inform the landlord that they have not seen the tenant for some time If all attempts to contact the tenant have failed, the landlord should send a letter stating that if no contact is returned, access will be made after 24 hours, following delivery of the letter. Following the expiry provided, maybe possible to enter the property to check for signs of abandonment. Checking for signs of abandonment at the property Upon entering the property, check the fridge for fresh food, the wardrobe for clothes and check mail but do not open. Unfurnished / part furnished property Where the furniture is owned by the tenant, if all the furniture (and related belongings) have been moved out, it MAY be safe to assume that the tenant no longer resides at the property. In this case, the landlord is free to change the locks and re-let the property to mitigate losses. If some or all of the tenant’s belongings are in the property the landlord should place an ABANDONMENT NOTICE clearly stuck on the inside of the front door so as to be seen by the tenant. Fully furnished property In a fully furnished property, it can be difficult to know whether the tenant has abandoned the property. It is recommended that an ABANDONMENT NOTICE is clearly stuck on the inside of the front door. Once the abandonment notice has expired without contact from the tenant, the landlord is entitled to change the locks. A golden rule: Landlords must not change the locks unless absolutely sure that the tenant has left the property permanently. The landlord could be sued/counter-sued for wrongful eviction.
  10. Really!!! I'll think you'll find that specialist Landlord/Tenant lawyers are aware of them as are reputable letting agents. It may not be in a prescribed form nor part of any std legal procedure but they are used. Agreed they should not be used in an attempt to get possession when the landlord KNOWS the tenant is still in occupation BUT if a landlord is uncertain whether a tenant still resides at a property and wants to ensure the security of their property then a notice upon the back of the front door stating that the locks will be changed within 14 days due to the landlord believing the property has been abandoned. The tenant if still in residence would contact the landlord on the number provided on the notice if they still reside there thus stopping any change of locks. There are other indicators as to whether a tenant is resident or not - talking to neighbours etc
  11. So if a tenant connects the phone line with a provider and ALL the sockets are shot/broken which are provided as part of the property and are on the inventory you would still not repair the socket?
  12. If there is not another socket working correctly within the house, then I would say the landlord has an obligation to repair it. Otherwise unless it specifically states in the contract that the landlord will supply a working telephone socket within the study then I would say you have little grounds to enforce a repair.
  13. If a landlord believes a property has been abandoned but is not 100% sure then they should place an Abandonment Notice within the property allowing it to expire (usually following 14 days) before changing the locks if the tenant does not contact the landlord. You MAY wish to inform the landlords representative that if they send a locksmith you will be contacting the police.
  14. I was going to suggest exactly what you intend - serve notice on the basis of the clause in the contract and see what they say!
  15. I agree that it's poorly drafted. Looks like a mistake to me that has not been amended from a std 6 month term. Question is: are you wanting to leave and therefore serve notice (or attempt to) prior to the expiry of the 12 month term?
  16. http://www.inea.co.uk/News/Landlord_fined_8500_for_gas_safety_failure-55AEFFFE.aspx Good to see that the law is being enforced against landlords who do not take safety seriously.
  17. Personally I would also inform the local trading standards that the agent does not deal with deposits using the protected schemes. Even if the deposit was passed onto the landlord, as it passed through the agent the agent should ensure that the deposit is dealt with properly - ie they place it into one of the three recognised schemes and DO NOT pass it onto the landlord. The only way an agent can get around this is if the agent doesn't handle the deposit which is paid directly from the tenant to the landlord.
  18. I have done some work for client landlords looking into buying various type of HMO's in England. Not sure if it's relevant in NI however I found that each local authority had their own view on certain HMO rulings and the local council or local authority websites were extremely useful resources.
  19. Firstly sorry to hear about your father passing away. You mention that £350 was paid as rent or 50% thereof and that the tenancy agreement has not been signed. Do you have a receipt from the agency as to what the £350 is mentioned as being? Does it specifically state holding deposit and how this is held or does the receipt state contribution to 1st months rent or similar?
  20. The contract that your daughter has to rent the property is with the landlord. The agent has no contract with your daughter. The landlord has two contracts - one with your daughter (the tenancy agreement) and one with their agent (the agency agreement). Any action taken therefore must be against the landlord even though the issue maybe with the agent. You MAY wish to write to the agent and CC the landlord requesting inspections every six months and request a written response.
  21. Yes it is the tenants home - it is also the landlords property. Just because you believe that it breaches your quiet enjoyment if it was your home does not make it so! That would be a matter for a court to decide upon if you decided to sue for breach. Irrespective of whether this is a good agency or not as stated previously the tenancy agreement should be referred to with regards to access/inspections. Maybe the reason why the landlord changed agents was for the reason that the previous agent did not carry out their management duties correctly for the landlord and failed to carry out the inspections. Just because the inspections have started and there weren't any previously does not make them wrong. Just being devils advocate!
  22. As an ex-part owner of a heavily regulated letting agency I have some knowledge of the matter of access and quarterly inspections did not when I was within agency constitute affecting the tenants quiet enjoyment in anyway shape or form unless the law has since changed. Ultimately a lot will depend upon the tenancy agreement and access allowances within it. If the tenant refuses flatly to gain access the agent is likely to report this to the landlord and the contract may not be renewed. You have to look at this from both sides - most AST's are six months so a mid term inspection to ensure everything is OK is not unreasonable. A good agent may see a necessary repair that the tenant has not seen or reported and can therefore instruct a contractor. A lot can happen to a property in 6 months and an inspection should be seen as a good thing from everyone's viewpoint if the agent is being reasonable.
  23. It is not unreasonable for a landlords agent to inspect the property every quarter. What is unreasonable is that the agents just let themselves in even if they have provided prior notice which is not convenient. If the date is unsuitable for the tenant then they must provide an alternative rather than refuse access.
  24. There are a lot of grounds for possession in that S8 including rent arrears in which the tenant has to be 2 months or 8 weeks (depending upon how the rent is paid) in arrears. If this is the case then the judge usually has no option but to provide an order for possession to the landlord.
  25. Sorry to hear you have received a poor service. I am not sure there is a lot you can do other than as you state ensure next time you use an agent which is heavily regulated (it's not mandatory) by a governing body such as ARLA or RICS.
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