to wonder where all the great landlords and flats are?

(42 Posts)
greenbottleglass Mon 08-Jun-15 14:07:55

We've been given two months notice to find somewhere else to live and are halfway through our notice period but still not found anywhere.

We've seen about 20 flats, most in horrible condition, and the majority with damp problems and mould (how much of that is down to the tenants I don't know).

Most of the flats have had tenants in who clearly don't want people traipsing through their homes on viewings and they're a mess and hard to view with boxes laying around.

Most are obviously very poorly maintained. They've got bits hanging off the walls, 40 year old bathrooms and gross looking appliances and white goods

No one wants to miss a day's rent so move in dates are inflexible meaning we'll have to pay rent on two places at once. No one wants a six month break clause.

We've put in two offers so far. One landlord wanted to tie us in to an unreasonable lease and wanted us in the day after the current tenants are out - how they proposed a full clean, maintenance done and carpets steam cleaned in between I don't know?

One landlord who said the place could be furnished or unfurnished now doesn't want to remove their (bloody horrible) stuff like they said they would.

I'm only grateful we don't have children because this must be a nightmare if you can't be flexible on viewings and if you have to bear school location in mind

Estate agent fees are £300. Reference fees are about £200. With that, the deposit, and first months rent plus moving costs we're looking at about £4500. I need to close my isa down to get this money. What do people with no savings do? We're going to be paying another £3000 a year in rent. Saving to buy while renting is looking unlikely.

Our current landlord hasn't protected our deposit so that's a whole other problem.

Where are all these great rental homes and landlords Mumsnet landlords are always insisting exist?

feetheart Mon 08-Jun-15 14:15:14

Get yourself some legal advice ASAP about the deposit, not protecting it is illegal.
You could be entitled to 3 times the value of the deposit and any attempts at eviction (and possibly notice) isn't valid.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Mon 08-Jun-15 14:17:40

They are like hens teeth

TarkaTheOtter Mon 08-Jun-15 14:20:35

Are you in London? Maybe tenants are harder to find where we out property is but we've always been flexible on moving dates. Our current tenants couldn't move in until a month after our previous tenants moved out. We wouldn't be able to rent it out in the condition you describe in the local property market.

greenbottleglass Mon 08-Jun-15 14:21:28

Yes I've gotten advice about the deposit and we will be pursuing it.

Shelter's advice is: 'if you overstay the two month notice the landlord could then go to court to evict you. The judge will throw it out because he hasn't protected your deposit. He'll then have to protect it and give you another two months notice'

I am loathe to end up in court and worried about our references.

I am feeling quite fed up today sad

TarkaTheOtter Mon 08-Jun-15 14:22:01

Tbf we are also tenants and pay to put our landlord's stuff in storage as we wanted it unfurnished.

BerylStreep Mon 08-Jun-15 14:26:18

I'm not sure why you would be paying estate agent's fees, or reference fees. In our area if the landlord wants to use a letting agent, they pay the fees themselves.

We rent out a property, and we don't use an agent, as we know it will be rented really quickly as it is in such good condition, and so use Gumtree instead. It always goes within 2 or 3 days, so it is worth checking Gumtree regularly.

What area are you looking in?

TarkaTheOtter Mon 08-Jun-15 14:30:04

I think in a lot of areas agents take fees of both sides Beryl.

MeltchettsLovelyMoustache Mon 08-Jun-15 14:35:05

Most agencies charge fees. It's legal.

Not protecting your deposit isn't, though. If you've been given 2 months notice this is null due to him not protecting it. He can't evict you.

CurbsideProphet Mon 08-Jun-15 14:36:12

Beryl I've rented in London, Surrey, and NW England. Letting Agents/Landlords have always requested a fee from me as the tenant.

CurbsideProphet Mon 08-Jun-15 14:38:01

greenbottle please check out the Citizens Advice website re. your unprotected deposit.
I feel your pain. Renting is a nightmare sad

Want2bSupermum Mon 08-Jun-15 14:41:40

Tenants often come to me. Also if I need to advertise I don't use an agent. I ask friends to list the vacancy at work. I used to use agents but they screwed over both me and the tenants.

I would also consider listing yourselves on gumtree. There are lots of landlords out there who have no interest in paying the agents for nothing they can't easily do themselves.

Elllimam Mon 08-Jun-15 14:43:30

We are landlords and also rented over gumtree. Our current tenant seems lovely, we didn't have any additional fees just a months deposit and a months rent up front. We are slightly accidental landlords though, we bought at the height of the market and were in negative equity.

Want2bSupermum Mon 08-Jun-15 14:45:40

LL not protecting your deposit is only an issue for you if they don't pay you it back in full. Don't say anything at this point and if it isn't fully returned then you report them.

Also, I don't bother with deposits anymore. I hate the new system with a passion. They should have made it a crime to not return the deposit to a tenant without good cause. 100 hours of community service would be much more of a deterrent for these awful LLs.

grannytomine Mon 08-Jun-15 14:47:08

We have two properties we let. After a couple of bad experiences we only let to people we know or get personal recommendations for. We have extended family members in both properties at the moment. In the past we have had people I know from work, friends kids, friend of a friend. Never charge them a deposit or do finance checks, just pay the months rent and move in. When current tenants leave we will consider selling as I don't like the hassle with strangers who seem lovely but then cause alot of damage. I have been in a position where someone has left after six months and almost all the six months rent has been used for repairs.

specialsubject Mon 08-Jun-15 15:09:08

the deposit remains your money. The first month rent is, er, used to pay the rent.

no tenant has to allow any viewings at all, so you need to see past their possessions.

damp is a building problem, landlord's fault. Mould is caused by condensation, caused by tenants. Hard to tell the difference on a viewing.

admittedly the other fees are ridiculous, but the letting industry is unregulated. No political party seems to notice. Not the fault of landlords.

guessing this is London where people will happily rent filthy broom cupboards for lots of money. As long as this market continues, the shoddy landlords will continue to rake it in. It's very bad. And no, rent controls are not the answer. Persuading people not to all want to live in the same place is the answer.

grannie I admire your trust. I would never rent to anybody without checks, apart from anything else I need those checks for the malicious damage insurance.

greenbottleglass Mon 08-Jun-15 15:15:32

special - they do have to allow viewings - it's in everyone's tenancy agreements!

I asked an agent earlier whether we were being unreasonable negotiating on the lease and they said it was just unrealistic.

TarkaTheOtter Mon 08-Jun-15 15:18:08

Subject is right, it's an unenforceable clause green.

grannytomine Mon 08-Jun-15 15:21:36

specialsubject, when we let to strangers we did the checks but as I said we don't do that anymore. We either know tenants well or I know their parents or know them from work, just retired HR manager so I knew all about them anyway. I didn't find the checks much use with strangers and just wouldn't want to let to people I don't know. Too much hassle. Quite looking forward to ending my time as a landlord really.

greenbottleglass Mon 08-Jun-15 15:25:51

What does that mean, it's unenforceable? If people don't allow it, despite it being in their legally binding agreement - nothing happens??

TarkaTheOtter Mon 08-Jun-15 15:32:43

Yes - see here for example.

greenbottleglass Mon 08-Jun-15 15:34:05

I just got that via Googling.

Thanks

BarbarianMum Mon 08-Jun-15 16:02:26

In answer to your question, I'm in Sheffield. I rent out two flats, both in good condition and at very reasonable rent (which has only been raised by £10 over the past 10 years). I do use an agent and obey both the spirit and letter of the law re deposits, repairs, redecorating etc.

However I should warn you that I rarely have vacancies and when I do they are very quickly filled. And that, I am sure, is true for many landlords like me.

specialsubject Mon 08-Jun-15 16:58:19

hopefully everyone is learning something here. Allowing viewings is no more enforceable than saying 'tenants must vacuum the place daily' which has come up on here in someone's tenancy agreement.

landlords and tenants can talk to each other and agree things. For instance, a tenant might be disposed to allow viewings if they were done as 'open house' in one go, or if there was a deal on the rent. But the tenant can say no. In these alleged red-hot markets, the place will apparently be snapped up however disgusting it is so the landlord can do viewings when the previous tenant has gone and only have a few days without rent.

As I keep saying; be informed tenants, know your rights. There ARE protections, use them.

CurbsideProphet Mon 08-Jun-15 22:21:08

special this is just an aside: but mould is not always the fault of the tenant. I went through a whole hoo haa with a previous flat. Terrible mould in the bathroom, landlord justvcomplained we weren't opening the window enough. It was discovered (after I arranged for plumbers to give free quotes) that there was a terrible leak behind the shower, plus the guttering on the outside wall. This was the cause of the mould.

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