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  • Buy-to-Let

    Help please?

    I have a BTL house with great tenants but a terrible letting agent.  The AST is ending in October.  I want to get rid of the LA but keep the tenants. Any ideas on how to do this best and cost efficiently?
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    Go and see the tenants and tell them of your plans

    This will reassure them and they hopefully will work with you as they want to keep their house

    Both keep it to yourselves for now

    Choose the date of handover with the tenants  which will be determined by your contract with the LA and how much notice you need to give them. Then ensure they pay the rent to you direct and not to the LA and necessary apportionment's can be made later if required . If the deposit is with the LA account for potentially not getting that back if the agents are terrible . Read the small print in your contract with the LA  just in case there is something in there that might trip you up 

    Then inform your LA in writing giving them the required notice 

    Retrieve the LA`s set of keys and/or change locks if you are still not comfortable with them

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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com

    Thanks so much.  What about inventory check outs etc. I spoke to the tenant and his happy with your suggestion.  Question is how do we manage the whole thing.
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    As above read what your Letting Agent Contracts says, our's requires a 3 Month Notice period, if you want to to take it back immediately speak to the manager and explain this and outline that you want to take back from next month but your happy for them to deduct their 3 Months worth of fee from the last months rent if that is the case with their contract.

    This way they will still get the fee expected within the notice period and you'll get control of your property back quicker.....just a thought, we've done this once for a Landlord when suggested to us, his intention on that occasion was to sell the property and he wanted to put it on the market, giving the tenant notice himself. It worked out well for us as the tenant took another property from us about a month later.

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    Sure I know your situation is different, but you could still look to pay the agent their notice perod fee from the last months rent with a view to getting your property back sooner. Principles are just the same.

    At the end of the day, the LA works on your behalf, they 'shouldn't' class the tenants as their's, you intructed them to find you a tenant initially, so you have the right to give them notice as LA and retain the tenant IMO although they may see it differently.....

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    I did try. They wouldn’t consider a settlement so I had them serve a 21 to the tenant.  My contract says I ll have to continue paying them 10% for as long as I have their tenant. 

    What If i create a new tenancy after this one expires with a week gap directly with the tenant.
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    I would then explain to the tenant, due to your contract and you wanting to take the management of your property back you had to instruct the LA to serve the Section 21. But that you would be happy to issue them with a new tenancy directly (to avoid any comeback from LA make sure new AST differs slightly by say £5 PCM more or less then not 'like for like contract' just in case they are funny).

    By Law they should have protected the tenants deposit, they must by law give it back directly to tenant unless you have issue, then once the tenant has received back they need to give to you and you need to protect yourself.

    If your not already a member I would suggest joining the RLA or NLA and then you have access to up to date AST's and legislation you need to follow.

    When you issue your AST remember to issue the following:

    1. AST

    2. Inventory

    3. EPC

    4. Gas Safety Certificate (If Applicable)

    4. EIRC Electrical Safety Certificate Valid 5 Years (You don't have to by law currently, but you will have to shortly,  so may as well do from start if you haven't already.

    5. Deposit Protection Information

    6. How to Rent Guide (Latest Version 31st May 2019) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent

    7. Draft a 1 Page Document summarising points 1 - 6 and get them to confirm receipt, sign and date, this covers you that you have issued the above at the point of them taking tenancy.

    Hope that helps.....

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    I dont see it as `their` tenant for ever  . To me thats an unfair term in a contract if it says that . The tenant  could stay for another 10 years so you shouldnt have to pay the agency 10% for 10 years if you decide to take the house back under your management and keep the same tenant  . That`s blatantly unfair . https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1977/50

     I would be tempted to get the tenant to sign a `Deed of surrender` asap in that case and set up an AST the next day yourself . No need for a sec 21 thrn if you do that .  Give notice to the agency and say they are not to contact your tenant again without your permission  and they must not enter the premises again or you will consider that trespass  and to give you the keys back . They should get rid of all their data on the tenant to comply with GDPR. Then asked them to sort the deposit  and  maybe you get the tenant to sign a letter authorising  the agency to pay that deposit to you direct and ask for a final bill and just pay them off .  Shouldn`t be more than 10% x 2 or 3  mths max i should think depending on the notice period . I would look to take control right out of the agencies hand straight away .

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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com

    Most grateful!   I have agreed with the tenant to sign a new AST a week after they are supposed to “move out”. I need to figure out how to get their deposit paid back to them from the LA and then I ll have them pay it to me so I can register with TDS etc. 
    The property is fully managed by them so I guess they will want to do a check out inventory etc before they release the deposit but how do I get around that so that the LA don’t go into the property so they don’t see the tenant will continue to live in there.
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