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  • In the Spotlight

    If you are a landlord, you are a rogue



    "If you are a landlord you are a rogue." It is official.

    I issued my tenants with a s8 as they are more than 2 months in arrears and the situation has been getting worse despite written and verbal promises.   This is absolutely fine if you are a tenant though. 

    In my case this all happened when their housing benefit was replaced with universal credit and their payments which had been direct to me just, err, stopped!

    I visited them today to see if we could resolve things and it seems as though things might actually work out. (All I have to do is just be grateful if and when I get any rent.) However they had been to the local council and Shelter and this was the advice they received:-

    1) Lock down your doors and don't speak to your landlord and save as much money as you can ready for when you finally have to leave which could quite easily mean a few months rent free.

    2) Don't worry, your landlord is a rogue landlord and we can use the homes fit for human habitation Act and make a claim against the landlord faster than he can get you out.

    3) On being told that I was a rogue landlord my tenant said I wasn't and was told, don't worry all landlords are "rogues".  It is apparently always easy to find a crack or a bit of mould.

    I can't argue with that on a large Victorian house.  Anyone who owns one, and I own several, knows that they need continuous maintenance and are never "finished" for long, Apparently, if  tenants want to push it, itshould be pretty easy to get £10-20K out of a landlord.

    So there you have it.  We live in a country where only a ****ing mug would be a landlord.  You have been warned.

    I have always regarded myself as a very fair person.  I don't feel that I am being treated fairly and haven't for a while now, so for this reason I am very much in the process of offloading my portfolio, most of which I have had for over 20 years.

    WE ARE ALL JUST SITTING DUCKS.

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    I think we are a bit like Rat Catcher

    We are not wanted until someone sees a rat in their house and they will pay us to get rid of the rat

    After that we are not wanted

    Yes you are right - sitting duck is right

    Just look how the business has changed in four years ....

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    Learn Change and Adapt ?????

    All comments are for casual information purposes only. If you wish to rely on any advice I have given please ensure you obtain independent specialist advice from a third party. No liability is accepted for comments made.

    I am so sorry this has happened!

    The Fitness for Human Habitation Act doesn't come into force until 20/03/2019. Sounds like shelter are been over zealous and giving bad advice.

    If you have a Victorian property then yes they require more maintenance then new builds. If you can prove you have been diligent in your maintenance then you should be okay and have a defence for any action they seek.

    Did you have an inventory done? If there was no mould captured upon move in then any mould that has appeared would be rendered a consequence of their lifestyle. Have you kept up-to-date with property inspections?

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    They were actually told to wait until the end of March, so we can all expect some fun from then.  I didn't give that detail in my original post.

    I think I can resolve this directly with the tenant anyway, hopefully, but who on earth wants to feel on the back foot like this?  We had a contract.  I always did my best to do things right.  They messed up and didn't fulfil their part so now the advice they receive is not on how to try to put things right which one might expect in a civilised country but to try to think of anything they can do to claim more off the landlord they are already robbing?  I just don't get this stupid country.  Are landlords not people as well with families etc?

    I am fingers crossed at the point of exchanging on the sale of one of the houses in my BTL porftolio to the tenants in the next week or so.  That will be £2.6m offloaded in 2 years.  The next one is being prepared for sale right now but I still have loads to go and I wish I didn't.  Just imagine if labour get in.

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    Noteworthy is that in Q4 of 2014 - 64% of all possession Orders were initiated by Social Landlords - who clearly do not tolerate rent arrears any more than PRS.

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    This is spot on landylordy - just 15% is PRS with the remainder split between the two, but either way we evict far less frequently. Yet, strangely, we have the media reputation for being callous whilst social are credited with being ‘friendly’ and ‘secure’. Maddening indeed.

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    Can you not complain against Shelter? You have relatively good relationship with tenant and that says it all!

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    James,

    I am very interested in the Abuse of  Fitness For Human Habitation Act and have written, warning about such scenario's as yours.

    Please contact me so I can understand the situation further, and offer any help I can. ( without charge, so hopefully the site owners will permit the display of my contact details ChrisDanielLM@gmail.com  )

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    James,

    See Giles Peaker's Post on the thread I started  FFHH - Abuse

    Basically, Giles is calling you or your Tenant a liar ( to put it bluntly )

    Giles has the utmost confidence that a prestigous organisation like Shelter would certainly not stoop to those levels.

    Perhaps you'd care to answer him ?

    Regards,

    Chris

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    Giles posted a response to this thread at about the same time as you posted this.

    I have to say that I agree with Giles. The Council/Shelter will know the HFHH does not come into force for over a year for existing tenancies (or when they become statutory periodic (I don't think becoming a contractual periodic creates a new tenancy?)). As JamesB has already issued his S8 notice, he is much more likely to get to court first. If the HFHH case gets to court first, hopefully the judge will also hear the S8 case at the same time speeding up the eviction.

    If cracks in the wall make your house uninhabitable, then you have a much more serious problem than the tenant.

    If a tenant has manufactured or caused a problem, an independent expert is highly likely to report this. Then any solicitor is unlikely to proceed with a legal aid or no win no fee case as they won't get paid enough (I have heard from several solicitors that legal aid doesn't cover their costs so they won't waste time/money on a fake case they can't win). It will also mean that the tenant may have to pay some of the cost of the expert report needed to evict them for untenant-like behaviour

    From a purely practical point of view, if a tenant records Shelter or the Council telling them to not pay rent/manufacturer problems then the person/Shelter/Council will be at risk of being sued for damages by the tenant when they are evicted and are unable to find anywhere else to rent.


    Also, I have been unable to find anywhere that the HFHH that allows the tenant to claim damages. The only remedy is for the court to order repairs to be made which is the same as if the Council took the landlord to court for HHSRS breaches. Chris/James, perhaps you could let me know where the tenant is going to make their money?

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    "...if a tenant records Shelter or the Council telling them to not pay rent/manufacturer problems then the person/Shelter/Council will be at risk of being sued for damages by the tenant when they are evicted and are unable to find anywhere else to rent...*

    I'd lay a bet that this never happens.

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