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  • Buy-to-Let

    Section 21 and 6 month tenancies



    Hi

    I subscribed to PT about a year ago - lots of great questions and information - thank you.

    This is the first time I have posted and would be interested to hear other people's views or experience on this.  My husband and I bought our first BTL about 15 years ago and have a small portfolio of modern 2 bed properties. We manage these ourselves, ensure they are well maintained and usually have a great relationship with our tenants hopefully because  we rent out some nice houses and so get lovely tenants whom we treat well.  However in 15 years we have had the odd bad tenant (causes lots of damage, ridiculously demanding, are  always late with/do not pay the rent or are are just liars/nuts and hell on wheels to deal with).

    LIke most hopefully sane landlords if we have good tenants why would we want to serve them notice?  We only use the Section 21 when we really have a problem.  I imagine I am speaking for a large group of Landlord's out there.

    This proposed "abolishment " of S21 really causes us concerns.  We wondered is there such a thing as a 6 month fixed tenancy with no rolling into a periodic tenancy.  At the end of that fixed period a new 6 month tenancy would be signed (no fees - just a new contract) and so on.  Would it be possible to do this and therefore keep us in control and allow us to repossess a property at the end of any given 6 month fixed period should we run into problems of the type that would be difficult and aggravating to prove in Court but makes being a Landlord a worry or even a living hell.  We do not want to make a habit of it but would like the safety net of being able to take back our property if we really wanted or needed to without aggressive and costly Court action.

    Also has there been any feedback from mortgage companies - I can't imagine they will be too happy about as asset they have loaned money on being tied up in this way?  Surely there will be a knock on effect re getting a BTL mortgage or remortgaging?

    Are the Government trying to crack down on the walnut of rogue Landlords using a sledgehammer which crushes the rest of us - is it that they are using tax and draconian legislation to try to drive out all small Landlords and put the PRS in the hands of corporations instead or are they just trying to win over the votes of renters many of whom simply do not understand the economics and the consequences of the changes being made to the PRS which rather than secure their homes could ultimately render them homeless?

    Lots of questions there and looking forward to receiving your comments.....

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    I have a student property that I bought and refurbed towards the end of last year. It’s let to a new group of students from July 1st and in the meantime it has been let to individuals on separate ASTs for the short term up to six months and finishing June 30th. Those ASTs contain a clause that the Fixed period is exactly that and ends 30th June when the property must be vacated by noon.

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    So what happens exactly if  there is a failure to vacate by 30th June?

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    All landlords know this.  Your period of hell and financial loss begins....

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    J50

    Thanks for your input.  That is exactly the sort of thing I meant.  I would explain to a Tenant when they take possession that assuming we are both happy at the end of the first 6 months I will be happy to continue to renew another 6 month tenancy on a repeating basis but not to a periodic tenancy..

    However if I had a problem tenant and at say at the 4 month point before the end of the first 6 month fixed contract I told them I would not be offering a new fixed term and they kicked off about going I wonder would I then have to go down the S8 route anyway and what burden of proof would I have to provide?  Have you ever had a tenant refuse to go and if so what action did you take?

    I am sure we have all had those tenants who are just a nightmare (not meaning those who have a legit problem or complaint) but for example if I have just spent 3 months and a few thousand refurbished a house to a high standard and they sign a contract that says the property is no smoking and they smoke and generally treat it like c**p currently at the end of the inital 6 months I have the choice not to keep them and can simply tell them I am not allowing the fixed term to continue to a periodic tenancy.  Will the abolishment of S21 stop me from doing this and what about my rights to protect my investment?   The Gov seem very quick to announce these sweeping changes without any meat to the bones in terms of detail.  It will be interesting to see what they mean by taking into consideration a Landlord's concerns about regaining control of their property.

    In the past I have given people who perhaps are not entirely "mainstream" the benefit of the doubt (ie have a ccj or no history of references) - one chap who actually declared bankruptcy whilst my tenant was the best tenancy I ever had and we still in touch 10 years later.  The odd one however has not been good and this legislation if it stops me from terminating the tenancy will prevent me from ever giving this type of applicant the benefit of the doubt in future.

    I have notice the term Gov  use is dilution of S21. I wonder what they mean by that?

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    As we know there are lots of different reasons for giving notice and I expect it will take a few test cases to make things clearer. However with the  poor quality of judges around it will still be a lottery.

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    Hi HCW

    Yes it is possible to issue a 6 month fixed term AST with no rollover, which can be replaced with another fixed term at its expiry.

    However, this won't help if the proposed changes come into play. It sounds like legislation is changing to mean all tenancies will be for a minimum of 3 years, without a genuine reason to end it. It remains to be seen exactly what that means, but selling or moving in yourself seem to be genuine reasons.

    Looks like we're moving closer to the German system where every tenancy is open ended. LL can sign a fixed term agreement at the start and state the reason he wishes to end it after, say 2 years. Then if said reason doesn't happen, tenancy becomes open ended.

    We'll have ait and see what is proposed.

    I have a lot of sympathy for tenants wanting longer term tenancies, but then so do we! Tighter and quicker courts to evict the bad'ns would be welcomed by all

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    Lots of landlords will be property hopping. Moving in and out of properties as reason to get round the open end tenancies.  Always ways round the problem.

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    Good point but what if you are lucky enough to have family home and children.  I can see a lot of alleged marital break ups from married landlords happening Smile

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    Hi Douglas

    Might work for some, but not for us. We used to live in 3 we now rent out, but we wouldn't want to move back in, we're retired living on the south coast!

    Some are saying we're going to get well and truly stitched up, but I don't it will be that detrimental for us.

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    Perhaps you could use it as your holiday home, need it for other members of the family the list goes on.

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