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New Tenants since Late 2021- Seeking advice / steer on how to sensitively approach tenants before issuing 'Notice to quit' issue


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I am respectfully seeking advice from Members please.

 

I need to give tenants the required 4-months Notice so that I can move back into my house at the end of July 2022.  The tenants are a family of four who have been extremely good and have looked after the property exceptionally well.

(i) However, they have also erected/built a very beautiful cottage within the grounds of the property without my consent, and contrary to the terms of the tenancy agreement.

(ii) In doing so, they removed top soil from the garden which taken off the property (I have photographic evidence).

(iii) I would not mind buying the cottage from the tenants if they will offer it at a price I can afford.

 

With regards to approaching the tenants on the issue of Notice to quit, I expect some back clash based purely on the work they have put in in maintaining the property and the nature of their personality.  I need to be cautions and sensitive. 

 

(a) I wondered if any members have had any experience in dealing with sensitive situations where there is a risk of volatility - if so, would you kindly share a suggested approach please?

(b) Also, is it still the case that 4-months Notice is mandatory as was set by Government back in 2020?

 

I would be grateful for any guidance, steer or advice please.  I am a novice and reluctant landlord so, please excuse any seemingly obvious solutions. 

 

I hope you can help and I look forward to hearing from you.

 

With thanks.

 

Maketa79

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Very unusual situation, that you have a property with enough ground, for a tenant to build a cottage.

 

Given the peculiar position you have found yourself in, you have no choice really but to hire a Solicitors to deal with this for you.

 

Think about this a bit more. How have they connected services for their cottage ?  Water, sewerage, electricity, gas etc.

 

You have a building on your land without planning permission. As the owner of the land, you could find yourself liable for all the costs related to this building without consent.

 

 

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

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5 hours ago, unclebulgaria67 said:

Old and New threads merged

Hello Consumer Action Group Administration Team

 

I thank you for this Forum and for facilitating connections with Members who provided invaluable advice without which I would have not made the progress I have made with the management of of my tenancy agreement.  I have also learnt a great deal from my interactions with Members on this Forum.  I might have had the odd disagreement with one or two members but that is because I felt I was being censored.

 

My present query concerns the merging of my thread with a previous thread which is unrelated to my current query as the two situations are different and involve different tenants.  I am concerned that by bringing the two threads together, this might create the impression that the previous query has remained unresolved and as such the situation becomes rather confusing to the reader, and I might not get the help  that I am seeking from Members.

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Is it the same property ?

 

If it is the same property, then why not add a clarificatiion post providing a history i.e.  when the tenancy changed, what type of tenancy agreement, when it started etc.

 

As I said earlier, your circumstances are very very unusual.  How many landlords rent a property to tenants and then find out they have built a cottage in the grounds ?

 

Do you think any online forum could provide any useful advice when the position you have outlined is so complicated ? 

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

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Thank you both honeybee13 and unclebulgaria67.  To clarify, I comment as follows:

(i) this is the same property as in a previous thread.  However, in my opinion, the fact that it is the same property is immaterial and irrelevant in the context of the present query. To what extent does the 'property' play a part in the issues that I have highlighted?  My objective is to de-escalate the situation and achieve an amicable termination of the tenancy agreement. 

 

(ii) I am not dealing with the same tenants and no where have I confirmed this.  So merging threads of two unrelated issues seems to me rather illogical and would likely confuse a Member who might be trying to provide some advice or steer.

 

(iii) no where have I suggested or implied that Members are picking on me, the thought never crossed my mind.  After all, it is me who is seeking help and I am grateful that a Member has taken the time and trouble to read my post, and it is a bonus if they take the time and trouble to reply and offer some advice.  So where am I getting bogged down, honeybee13?  

 

(iv) in my opinion, it would be illogical and confusing to bring in to play a historical and irrelevant query which has no bearing on the present circumstances.  Why would I provide a history and add to an event which is no longer of relevance?

 

I would be grateful if you could please reconsider your line of thinking and some of the assumptions you made.  I agree the issues are complicated, that is why I've resorted to seeking advice from Members with a view to finding a way or an approach to de-escalate the situation as well as achieve an amicable solution.  

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I'm confused and this is where an update would have helped.

 

The way I read this is that since last July [2021], the tenants you wanted to leave went, new tenants moved in and have already built something in the garden?

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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@Maketa79

 

Have split the threads again.

 

Think you will have to spend the money in hiring a Solicitors to deal with this for you.

 

You are out of your depth with this, which is hardly surprising given what you have told us. 

 

This is a situation where trying to get free information from the internet is not appropriate.

 

The tenants have built a cottage on your land and you may have difficulty removing them.  Given that you have not sold the land to the tenants and have not been involved with what they have done,  I suspect no planning consent was obtained and the cottage may have to be demolised, if restrospective plannig permission is not granted.

We could do with some help from you.

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  • dx100uk changed the title to New Tenants since Late 2021- Seeking advice / steer on how to sensitively approach tenants before issuing 'Notice to quit' issue

Hi Maketa79

 

You have 2 issues here that I see from reading your thread

 

1. You want advice on how to evict your Tenants amicably.

 

This we can advise you on the process but on how to do this amicably with your Tenants is difficult for us to advise on as you are the one that knows your Tenants not CAG so you would really need to think of the best approach as you will still have to serve Notice to Quit to them as required which you are aware of.

 

2. Cottage built on your Land. (could you clarify that this is an actual Cottage with the relevant amenities i.e. electricity/sewage etc and not just a Shed?)

 

If this is a Cottage that has been built without your permission it not only Breaches your Tenancy Agreement but may also be in Breach of the required Planning Permissions in you Local Authority area which as you are the Landlord if Planning Permission was required the Local Authority could take action against you.

 

You need to consider the above and remember even after your tenants have left if the Cottage requires planning permission do you apply for it with the Local Authority and what if it is not granted and you have to demolish the Cottage and put the land back to its previous state what are the costs involved going to be and will you be able to recover those costs from those Tenants.

 

I do agree that you may have to seek Legal Advice on this one especially with the Cottage built without your consent on your land by these Tenants in breach of the Tenancy Agreement. 

 

Some questions:

 

When did the Tenancy Start?

 

What type of Tenancy Agreement do they have?

 

With the Notice to Quit you are going to serve which Grounds are you going to use?

 

If they paid a Deposit is it secured in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme?

 

 

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Hello stu007 - thank you and thank you for your objective analysis and subsequent questions.  I'm genuinely grateful to you for taking the trouble / time to read my post. 

1. Yes - I was seeking some steer / pointers on how I might terminate the tenancy amicably.  The cottage or shed - would be something I need to look into in terms of definition but the construction is pretty solid and professionally done, the gentleman is clearly talented and he has built an admirable structure, complete with an outdoor jacuzzi.

2. Yes, you're right - I do not expect Members to know the tenant who I know to think the worst of any situation and needs to be approached with some sensitivity - he is the type that will not entertain an opposing viewpoint.  But he is a first class citizen and tenant. I hope that is not too much of a contradiction but I'm alluding to sensitivities.

3. Yes, there is electrics and plumbing in the cottage / shed (it's constructed of wooden panels).

4. Yes - I can see the legal implications and potential for costs incurred if the structure is demolished etc.

5. Yes - I'm aware of planning permission though I have not yet checked to see if the size of the structure falls within the required criteria, I need to check this - thank you.

6. The tenancy started in December 2018.

7. It's an Assured shorthold tenancy Agreement which is now on a periodic basis.

8. I wanted to serve Notice to quit based on a non-contentious route; I genuinely need to move back to my house.

9. Deposit is paid and secured through a regulated agency

 

As a final point, I have always strived to have a healthy working relationship with the tenants.

 

I hope the above clarifies the points you have raised.  Thank you once again.

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I don't want to put words into your mouth, but could your wooden 'cottage' be what I might call a summerhouse? Maybe you could tell us what it measures please?

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi

 

You are more than welcome for the advice.

 

It's really how you best approach your Tenants to serve the Notice to Quit and there will really be no easy way of doing this as a Notice to Quit is exactly that it's how the Tenants will take it and hopefully not cause any issues.

 

As for the Cottage/Shed I think you need to urgently check it is within Planning Permission.

 

Also with the above the Utilities fitted within it are safe as well. It's because you are aware of this (as the Landlord) you need to air on caution to protect yourself  i.e. what if it had faulty electrics and electrocuted someone or caused a fire (has an electrical inspection been carried out? where are the electrics coming from/to this Cottage/Shed) same for the water you don't know if these were done by a competent professional.

 

IMO that structure needs to urgently be inspected as it has been illegally built on your land and due to the utilities fitted bear in mind the required safety inspections you as a Landlord are required to carry out to your Property the Tenants Rents as a Legal requirement then think of that structure. 

 

 

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Hello Mantis Shrimp and thank you for reading my post and subsequent responses from Members who are trying to help me.  Your summary is correct.  The only other thing I would seek to clarify is the current allowable period of Notice to quit - I am reading variously that this is still 4 - months and 2 - months for  assured shorthold tenancy?  I would be grateful if you could please explain what you mean by 'government sanctions'.

 

Thank you.

 

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Hi Maketa79

 

Sorry for delay in getting back to you on this.

 

As for you asking about the notice period required as you have never given a notice during the COVID-19/Pandemic and this is your first Notice to Quit I assume you will serve a Section 21 No Fault Notice as long as it was served On or After October 2021 it now 2 Months Notice.

 

(see below link: specifically Section 21 Notices)

 

ENGLAND.SHELTER.ORG.UK

Being given notice by your landlord is the start of eviction proceedings. Most tenants are entitled to be given written notice, but not all

 

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Hi Maketa79

 

Just thought I would pop in to see how this is going and if you have decided how best to approach your Tenants with the Notice to Quit and have you taken onboard my caution in post#15 about the utilities to this cottage/shed?

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Hello stu007 - thank you so much for the timely guidance,  steer and the above link which I appreciate very much.  I have taken on board all the cautions you have provided which I have to admit, hadn't occurred to me.  So, the approach I've decided to take is to try and work with the tenant by having an initial meeting with him - how he engages with the conversation and reactions will determine how then I take things forward.  I intend to point out the risks and issues, and ultimately my intention, mainly that my personal circumstances have changed and I now need to return home.  I have some views on how he will react and there are issues around active listening which might bring some barriers to the conversation, but I thought I should give it a try if I am to get an amicable result.

 

Once again, thank you very much stu007.  Please do not hesitate to add any more comments should anything else cross your mind.

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Hi

 

Something to note with the utilities installed in this cottage/shed that was illegally built and breaches their tenancy agreement is that as the landlord you will need to get a safety inspection done of those utilities to make sure they are compliant and the Tenants will bear the costs for those inspections. (note this inspection will need to be done urgently)

 

Why should you the landlord bear these costs when this was illegally built/breached the Tenancy Agreement.

 

Just something to bear in mind

 

 

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  • 2 months later...
On 13/03/2022 at 16:17, unclebulgaria67 said:

Is it the same property ?

 

If it is the same property, then why not add a clarificatiion post providing a history i.e.  when the tenancy changed, what type of tenancy agreement, when it started etc.

 

As I said earlier, your circumstances are very very unusual.  How many landlords rent a property to tenants and then find out they have built a cottage in the grounds ?

 

Do you think any online forum could provide any useful advice when the position you have outlined is so complicated ? 

 

 

Hello - unclebulgaria67 (&honeybee13), with respect please see how stu007 has dealt with my enquiry.  I hope you will see that historical events which you are highlighting are and remain insignificant in this instance.  The circumstances might be very unusual, but I thought that is why members come on to this Forum for, to seek help on sometimes 'unusual' circumstances.  In my experience, with the exception of the times I have come across responses such as yours, I find that Forum Members deliver.  Stu007's advice and guidance was an education for me - he did not brag about it, neither was he patronising.  That is how it should be.  There was nothing to be gained by delving into the history except to ferment confusion for those trying to help.  So I'm mystified by your boastful assertions and asking the question -  2Do you think any online forum could provide any useful advice when the position you have outlined is so complicated?".  Clearly if you had no contribution to my query, you could have elected to help others with less complicated circumstances.  As it is, Stu007 most definitely resolved my situation and even added extra cautionary notes to his advice. Great stuff> Thank you Stu007 - your humility and ability to analyse my situation was second to none!!! 

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You came back after 2 months to comment like that??

Stu has really helped with eviction side of things, but do you have an appropriate update to the other advice you've been given?

Like:

On 14/03/2022 at 20:54, honeybee13 said:

your wooden 'cottage' be what I might call a summerhouse? Maybe you could tell us what it measures please?

 

On 15/03/2022 at 01:51, stu007 said:

 

As for the Cottage/Shed I think you need to urgently check it is within Planning Permission.

 

On 15/03/2022 at 01:51, stu007 said:

has an electrical inspection been carried out? where are the electrics coming from/to this Cottage/Shed

 

On 15/03/2022 at 01:51, stu007 said:

that structure needs to urgently be inspected as it has been illegally built on your land and due to the utilities fitted bear in mind the required safety inspections you as a Landlord are required to carry out

 

All the above statements and questions are valid as you as the landlord are accountable in the event someone gets hurt, or worse..

 

So, Stu mentioning 'urgent' multiple times - did you heed this advice or just hear what you wanted to hear and then come back to tell HB and UB how wrong they are?

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On 13/03/2022 at 15:59, Maketa79 said:

  I might have had the odd disagreement with one or two members but that is because I felt I was being censored.

 

 

 

So, OP tends to flip between:

a) asking for advice on a complicated situation and then disagreeing with established posters on needing either/ both of more info on the thread, or  formal legal advice being the best way forward

b) simpering gratitude for replies (provided they tell them what they want to hear), and

c) "The odd disagreement" on previous threads.

 

So, I can't see this going well without a major shift in the OP's attitude(s).

I also can't see if they are saying that the situation is now resolved or not (and if it is resolved : they've not given any info that might help others in similar circumstances .....)

 

tl;dr   : "Popcorn!"

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@Maketa79

 

Thank you for your kind comment but what I take offence at is you having a go at other members of the Forum in that post just because you disagree/don't like what they have said/asked as you could easily have just ignored that advice bear in mind we are a Self Help Forum.

 

Could you possibly update us on how this has proceeded as it may help others in a similar situation?

 

Importantly again have you have those utilities inspected and certified by a competent professional or professionally removed?

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As you are grateful for the advice provided by my site colleague @stu007 who has spent a considerable amount of their free time in helping you, perhaps you would be kind enough to make a donation to this site.  This will go towards maintaining this site, so other people can receive help and support.

 

Please see the link to donate below.

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

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@mantis shrimp

 

Normal company accounts. Donations help with running costs of the site.

 

As this is a separate topic, please contact the site administrators using the contact us option at the bottom of the website, should you wish to enquire further about how any donations that you may wish to contribute would be used.

We could do with some help from you.

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Thank you for all your replies which I have carefully noted. 

 

I comment as follows:

 

1. My track record on this Forum will show that I'm always grateful for the advice I receive from Members and I always come back to both acknowledge the advice as well as express my gratitude.

 

2. Because I am less knowledgeable on tenant/landlord issues than the veterans on this Forum does no make me a subject for being patronised. 

 

For example, I have asked the question - what value was to be gained by delving into the past history which had been the subject posts. 

 

The matter upon which I was seeking advice was a specific and discrete matter with NO dependences or implications on previous, events. Hence the advice received from stu007 proved my point.

 

3. For those Members who felt the matter was too complicated, they could have easily moved on to other areas of the Forum where I'm certain there other contributors seeking help, just like I was. 

 

There is nothing to be gained by telling me that my issue is complicated and yet at the same time blaming for not having sign-posted you to previous posts linked to the property in question.

 

4. Unclebulgaria67 asks the question "...am I grateful to stu007..." - he clearly hasn't read my post, which is the very post he is criticising - I have thanked stu007 profusely.

 

5. I accept and embrace constructive feedback - but I do not tolerate feedback based on assumptions, where did it say that I only want to read responses that say what I want to hear? 

 

That is so NOT true- the path unclebulgaria67 was going down, enquiring about historical events was clearly unproductive and added no value to a possible solution to the problem.

 

6. I'm sorry I have not provided an update partly because I felt this was just taking Members' time reading yet another post - I did everything stu007 recommended I do, including inspection of the premises at the tenant's expense.

 

I have done everything stu007 advised that is why I have come back after 2-months to thank him.

 

So I'm not sure what kind of 'gratitude' unclebulgatia67 is referring to - it feels as though his attitude is patronise and belittle, which as far as I am concerned is of no consequence - it is his time to waste venting whatever is under his bonnet!

 

7. As for Stu007 - I am thanking you genuinely and I am not having a go at your colleagues.

 

We live in a democracy so if your colleagues express an opinion which is out of line, I will soon respond to them in a robust way - they are not the font of all knowledge!!! 

 

But taking 'offence' to sincere and honest comments is something that I will not dwell on as I am very weary of emotive language.  I prefer logically presented and factual statements.

 

8. As for BazzaS's comments and use of the word 'simpering' gratitude - there seems to be the manifestation of a 'bully' seeking for attention;

 

I would go so far as to say there seems to be a trace of perversion in how he has twisted the situation. Make yourself useful and go to a post where you can help someone in need, 

 

As for my attitude, what aspects are you referring to?

Based on what?

Have you thought about your attitude? 

Are you an authority on 'attitude'? How are you defining it in this context?

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It's great you have heeded the advice and carried out the inspections.

 

Please consider donating to the site, see my signature below.

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