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hi all. I am first time landlord soon.
i am currently purchasing a property with the tenant in situ . The current tenant is paying around 250 below market rate but the flat needs refurbishment. The tenant is not very clean and clearly takes no pride in the place so I would like to move them on. Where do I stand with this?
The tenant is currently on an existing ast contract with the vendor of which the fixed term has expired so is rolling month to month. The tenancy agreement expired in 2012 and the lady living there is not old enough to be a protected tenant.
how would I go about getting the flat back to refurbish once complete? I don’t want to sign the tenant up to a new agreement. Can I serve eviction notice against the old landlords tenancy agreement?
also there is no deposit taken by existing landlord- so not protected deposit in place.
When did they 1st move in? That much below market sound like it court be a "rent act" tenancy with controlled rent amount, place worth less and almost impossible to evict. Yes, even if you have a shiny new signed AST.
First things first: Have you served valid notice(s) compliant with s48 & s3?
When does tenant say they first moved in? No point doing anything until we know the answer. Don't necessarily trust what vendor/agent said.
The FIRST thing a new Landlord should do is join a Landlord Association, take a Landlord Foundation course with NLA or RLA and get access to their advice line.
Being a Landlord is ( especially these days ) a highly regulated business - Yes, you are in Business ) and needs time and money invested in acquiring the basic knowledge.
Having done that, forums like these are a good way of keeping in touch - But are NOT a substitute.
Wishing you well in this increasingly challenging environment.
Has your solicitor checked-over the AST and given you the green light?
Chris Daniel's advice is spot-on and I think Property Tribes gets you a little discount on joining the RLA, who have a great advice line, so that's a no-brainer.
Getting back to your question... Theoretically, yes, you could do a S.21 eviction to get vacant possession of the flat in order to do your refurb. If the tenant dug her heels in, even if you've served all papers correctly, she would be within her rights to wait for a court Possession order and then an Eviction Order, which could take a good 5 or 6 months before moving out. It's not as straightforward as many people think.
Wow that sounds a bit harsh!?
This person has lived there a long time and if they are up to date with the rent as it is now then if I were you I would be raising the rent in stages to reach market level and would be making small cheap improvements until such a time as I could get in and get the place fully refurbished.
Letting property is a people business and we need to be sensitive to the feelings of our tenants.
As a long established landlord myself I would always work with my tenants to get a mutually acceptable outcome. That doesn't mean I am a pushover or a social service because I'm not, I just like to be fair and in the long run that's good business I think.
It's not always straightforward and sometimes tenants would just not listen. We just had to evict a tenant, who
-was subletting the property
- the people living in the property threatened on occasion the neigbours
The notice was served in July. We followed the procedure by thebooks. We just got the keys from the tenant, just avoiding to get the bailiffs. In the mean time the tenant would not pay the rent and only after sending letters to the guarantor, the tenant paid something. The guarantor never got back to us to say something or pay anything so far. Needless to say that the property needs refurbishment plus they abandoned a car SORN on the drive (of course they did not leave the keys)
thanks for the advice. To be clear the purchase still hasnt gone through yet, but hope to complete just before christmas. The artful dodger, i havent served any notices just yet as i am not yet the landlord until completion. Just keen to have a plan in place for when this does eventually go through.
Thanks for the advice on getting the foundation course and joining NLA or RLA. I will get this moving.Chris Daniel.
Another John, yes my solicitor has reviewed expired AST and not flagged up any concerns.
from what you are all telling me best thing is to try and increase the rent, carry out any maintenance and wait until the tenant naturally moves on.....
Lodger not dodger: I don't dodge. (Detail is important, especially landlord/tenant paperwork...)
Have you asked tenant when they 1st moved in? Until you get his answer not much point even guess what it's worth.
It may not be an AST, s21 may not be available. Rent increase options may be very limited and not under your control.