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Calling all wise landlords! Calling all wise landlords << frantically waves >>

(46 Posts)
Downtonflabby Fri 11-Jul-14 08:39:37

Needs some advice.

Very new LL. Had one previous tenant, they were ace sadly it was only temporary and the left the area. Second tenant is becoming but if a nightmare.

Every month they are late with their rent. Some times a week, sometimes a month meaning they pay two months together or in instalments.

They both work and have kids so no housing benefit.

If there is a kids birthday or Xmas the rent doesn't get paid that month.

It's getting to the point were they don't even let us know they are going to be late or are struggling. They are really hard to keep contact with. Promise money the next day then it never materialises.

I don't think they are prioritising their rent as I've evidence to suggest other wise.

I'm fed up now. I don't want to spend weeks chasing them for rent every month. It's impacting on my income as I have to pay two mortgages.

What do I do next? I want them out really.

specialsubject Sat 12-Jul-14 17:34:55

we must be reading different forums, sicaq. I have certainly seen the exact wording of the first half of the phrase, and 'all landlords are bastards' has been used too.

I have also noted that where there is a dodgy landlord, (and no-one is saying they do not exist) the landlords (me included) will be very unimpressed and will offer support and advice to the tenant to ensure that they get their rights.

the phrase 'significant beasting' is an excellent description of the reaction whenever the subject of making a profit from running a property business comes up. However it is allowed, it seems, for those making money from mortgages. That's ok.

Sicaq Fri 11-Jul-14 16:44:41

Probably right, Nomama! Indeed there are idiots on both sides - as in every other aspect of human life.

Feel for OP, being stuck with such selfish people. The laws (on both sides) need improving!

Ozne Fri 11-Jul-14 14:38:23

Best advice is to join a landlords' association and get specific help from them. You can offset membership fees against tax, and it's worth every penny.

Nomama Fri 11-Jul-14 14:02:04

Sicaq, there are lots of them. There was one poster who used those exact words, interspersed with every swear word known to woman smile.

Look at any thread about renting or house prices, you'll find a significant beasting being thrown at anyone daring to suggest that LLs are even vaguely human !

That may also explain the response you refer to. LLs fighting back, maybe!

Sicaq Fri 11-Jul-14 13:24:52

I imagine all those who shriek 'tenants have no rights and all landlords are rich bastards' will not be seen on this thread.

Can't recall having seeing that statement on MN. More often, I have seen tenants report problems with landlords and immediately be on the receiving end of the landlord equivalent of the #NotAllMen response.

I've had problems with landlords - documented here - but I've also had great landlords, and have seen great landlords gets shafted by these kind of feckless idiots. Sorry, OP - seems ridiculous that you can't just chuck out. If you didn't pay for any other service, you'd lose it soon enough.

topbanana1 Fri 11-Jul-14 13:24:01

Have you tried asking them why they're not paying?

loveisagirlnameddaisy Fri 11-Jul-14 13:20:27

It's not illegal not to take a deposit, that's at landlords discretion. Obviously no financial protection at the end of tenancy if you don't take one.

But it is definitely illegal not to protect one.

OP, would you consider joining a LL organisation. I know of one which costs about 70 a year, they run an advice line which is amazing and the advice is top notch. My DP works there part time, I won't mention the name as I'm not plugging them, but if you're interested, I'll PM you.

Be wary of CAB and certain solicitors who don't know property law well enough to advise you correctly. And agents are a fickle bunch as well; I've had some agents tell me blatant lies.

As far as I am aware the deposit needs to go into a special scheme held by a third party and I did read somewhere that if the LL doesn't do this he can be fined 3 1/2 times the supposed deposit amount.

Mind you, reading that back I'm not thinking it is just illegal to take the deposit and not put it in the scheme.....that actually makes more sense.

As you were, lol smile

specialsubject Fri 11-Jul-14 13:12:02

is it illegal not to take a deposit? I know it is daft not to, and it is certainly illegal not to protect it once you have it.

Do you have a break clause in the contract? If so, you can serve notice now.

You need to take a deposit, it's illegal for you as a LL not to - they could claim claim off you for that!

Don't rent to people you know, it never ends well. You do need to get rid of them though, they will just take the piss more and more.....they sound like my first ever tenants, you need to toughen up.

deakymom Fri 11-Jul-14 12:30:32

hmmm you might ask them to make payments weekly due to them being so far in arrears that is a good idea but still i would formalise it in writing and add in the not renewing at 12 months you might end up taking them to court for the owing rent if you do fast track it via small claims make sure they know you're serious they will hopefully make payments sad never rent to friends unless they pay everything upfront! (and yes ive known someone to be paid a year upfront)

APlaceOnTheCouch Fri 11-Jul-14 12:23:27

It might be worth taking your contract to CAB and asking for their advice on the 'terminate at any time' clause. Usually such a clause is only if certain outlined conditions/breaches are met. Non-payment of rent might be one of the conditions but it sounds like it's an issue of them paying late rather than not paying at all. It's still worth getting someone to check out the lease for you as there might be some clauses/conditions you could use.

I must admit we've never had any of those problems with the HB department. I'm suddenly feeling more than grateful for how professional and helpful they have always been when we have had any issues with tenants' arrears smile

Downtonflabby Fri 11-Jul-14 12:18:13

I was wondering where they were specail

specialsubject Fri 11-Jul-14 11:36:31

I concur that it will probably cost you more to evict early - but as they are looking like professional shysters you need to be prepared that they may not leave when they should. You can only evict for non or late payment if it is consistent, they may be staying just within the rules. It could be that they are just the kind of fools that prioritise sparkly tat and plastic toys over essentials, but it sounds like they know exactly what they are doing.

so make sure you have legal expenses insurance (and take advice to ensure it is valid), make sure their end of tenancy notice is issued EXACTLY RIGHT, make sure their deposit is properly protected and the prescribed information given to them, etc etc. You must be whiter than white or they could be there a long time.

I think you'd better get some legal advice as to when you can issue notice. The 'can terminate at any stage' may or may not be valid.

I imagine all those who shriek 'tenants have no rights and all landlords are rich bastards' will not be seen on this thread.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 11-Jul-14 11:32:27

They will for someone fleeing domestic abuse.

Downtonflabby Fri 11-Jul-14 11:28:41

Do the council pay deposits ?

nowahousewife Fri 11-Jul-14 11:22:20

OP you are going to have to chalk this one up but do make sure you give them the correct notice as their tenancy hits 10 months and just keep trying formally to get rent from them in the meantime.

Some good advice on here especially with regard to using an agency to find and vet your tennants. You should also make sure the agent arranges proper check in and checkout inventories - they protect both parties and are worth their weight in gold. Always take a deposit of 6 weeks rent and make sure your agent lodges it with the relavent body.

One final thing is treat it as a business and that old adage 'never mix business with pleasure' is so true when you have property to rent. You must be professional at all times and make all decisions with your business head not your heart.

We have two properties we let out and in 15 years have only ever once not renewed a tenancy - infact our contracts are for 12 months with a 6 month break so we can give notice at 4 months. All out tennants tend to stay 2-4 yrs and have generally been fab.

steppemum Fri 11-Jul-14 11:22:14

If you rent to someone you know, do it all as you would with a stranger, contract, deposit, inventory etc.
But in general avoid renting to friends.
(I have done it twice, to good reliable people. I now have no contact with either, they got upset when I legitimately gave them notice - and in both cases told them 4/5 months ahead that i would give them notice at the end of the contract in order to sell, nothing I did was good enough, although I leant over backwards to be accommodating)

Get the rent paid by standing order, don't let them pay it in cash per month.

Put everything in writing, including rent receipts or notice of late payment etc

VivaLeBeaver Fri 11-Jul-14 11:14:25

I know. However she does currently always manage to pay her mortgage which I'm hoping is a good sign.

She knows I'd struggle to pay the mortgage if she didnt pay the rent.

The deposit is being "paid" by the council on her behalf and they will keep it in their deposit scheme. They're also paying her first months rent in advance for her.

Six month contract is a good idea, I had been going to do 12. But six months is probably better and then go into a rolling contract.

Downtonflabby Fri 11-Jul-14 11:13:00

The thing with housing benefit, BIL had a nightmare with it. Our first tenant was HB. She was a dream.

BIL however has has bad luck. HB pay in arrears and can take a while to process. BIL has had some one not pay at all and just left with the two months rent money!

He had to prove that that tenant could not manage her rent (and that was hard work) for it to be sent to him and he didn't get back pay on another.

Also the council don't have to tell you if they have been paid!! So they can in effect keep saying the HB have not paid when they have!

Dp gave her a 12 written contract. We honestly have gone in to this blind. 12 month won't be happening again. BUT in the contract it says we can terminate the contract at any stage. Does that stand for anything?

PhoebeMcPeePee Fri 11-Jul-14 11:05:40

Viva if you do go-ahead please make sure you have a water-tight 6 month agreement, correctly administered deposit & make sure your friend knows if she doesn't pay the rent you can't pay the mortgage so would have to end the tenancy regardless of your desire to help a friend in need (& if you do have to end the tenancy get proper advice before serving the relevant notice)

APlaceOnTheCouch Fri 11-Jul-14 11:03:07

When you say dp offered them 12 months, do you have a signed written contract with them? (I only ask because it all seems quite laidback).

Check the terms of your contract especially the clauses about ending the tenancy. Not all 12 months contracts are the same.

Start sending them monthly statements so they can clearly see the arrears, and also send them a statement showing the payments to date, again clearly showing the late payments. It means there is no confusion.

It might also be worth calling round agencies to see if any will take responsibility with a tenant in situ. If they will, then it takes you and any friendship issues out of the equation.

Before you spend money on LL software, it would be worth contacting your local council to see if they have a private LL's forum. Usually they organise regular meetings and update you on the issues you need to consider.

Viva with HB tenants if they fall into arrears (of over 2months iirc but may be 3 months) then you can apply to be paid the HB directly. I think if I was you I'd listen to my head and try to avoid getting involved. Someone who lurches from financial disaster to another will probably not change just because you're a friend.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 11-Jul-14 10:51:02

Downton, I'm about to start renting my first BTL to a friend who's in a bit of a crisis and lurches from one financial disaster to another. My head is screaming at me not to do it. She will be getting HB though and I think will prioritise rent over luxuries. I just worry that if she has a massive car repair bill, etc what will happen.

Downtonflabby Fri 11-Jul-14 10:47:12

viva I think if I did this it would make the situation worse. I don't want it to get to the point where they think 'fuck it it too much' and stop paying.

pheobe I really like that approach.

Yes I know DP has been a push over considering he is 6,2 and 17 stone

I'm not but don't want to escalate things to a sour note - even though I'm getting pissed off.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 11-Jul-14 10:31:52

Does anyone know if its legal/acceptable to put a late payment clause in the rental contract?

I've read about this and it seems like a good idea. So £5 charge for every day the tenant is late paying the rent.

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