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Any property lawyers out there?

(28 Posts)
OhThatThingAgain Sat 10-Sep-16 10:46:27

NDN bought a house on a BTL mortgage, there is a clause in the mortgage that says it should be rented on an assured short term tenancy.

He isn't doing this. He's using it as an AirBnb party house.

We've seen up to 20 people staying in the house at any one time. There have been three short lets in 2 months.

Do I seek a solicitor and approach him, get a solicitor to approach his mortgage company or approach his mortgage company directly.

I've got all the evidence I need (I'm an auditor) so I know how much further evidence rather than hearsay goes.

I'm all set to go forward with this now, I want him out for breaking the terms of his mortgage.

Do I get a solicitor or go directly to the mortgage company?

(He has never lived in the property and there has never been a tenancy agreement on it as far as I know, but he may be using a friend to act as a tenant to use as proof of AST).

Any ideas?

wowfudge Sat 10-Sep-16 12:29:03

Download the title register from the Land Registry pages of the gov.uk website. It costs £3 for an instant download. The interest of the lender will be noted. Contact said lender.

Have you contacted the owner and discussed the issues?

wowfudge Sat 10-Sep-16 12:31:01

If there have been problems with it being used for parties have you contacted environmental health or the police at all? Just thinking about your evidence.

OhThatThingAgain Sat 10-Sep-16 12:51:42

Owner, Police. Noise Abatement, NSPCC and Children's Services involved. But tenants did a quick get out. Then we got the next lot, then the next lot. It's all on file. Owner is aware but does not know I know the situ involving Airbnb, he tells them all to say they are there for six months. He knows the game. It's not about the noise now, it's about getting him brought to justice.

I have the title deeds. I have contacted the mortgage lender personally pretending to look for a holiday rental Airbnb mortgage. Tried residential BTL and commercial mortgages. They said No Way! As I said in my original post the lender only lends BTL on assured tenancies.

I'm ready to run with this but a simple call to the lender (including evidence) may not be enough? I want to hit them legally if possible.

Would a solicitor be better than an email from a random neighbour? Working as I do as a auditor I'd be inclined to ignore a random email, not so much a legal engagement for fraudulent acquisition of a mortgage.

If anyone could advise? Thanks,

OhThatThingAgain Sun 11-Sep-16 19:15:27

Shameless bump, do this via solicitor or personally?

The house was sold for 1.6 million, there is little chance of anyone renting it as a whole house on an AST and the council refuse planning for the houses to be converted into flats as its a conservation area.

Not scared or worried about being named. He already knows I've called various agencies on his tenants.

Just want my quiet life back.

GatherlyGal Sun 11-Sep-16 19:21:23

I'm no expert but I can't imagine the mortgage provider will give a shit really - if they are getting paid unless something is immediately jeopardising their security what will they do?

I may be wrong but will they go to the trouble / expense of bringing action against the owner if they are getting their monthly repayments?

GatherlyGal Sun 11-Sep-16 19:22:55

I meant to say I am sorry you are in this situation but I would not pin your hopes on the lender springing into action to stop it.

OhThatThingAgain Sun 11-Sep-16 19:31:04

Mortgage lenders are audited, fraud is fraud. They may not give a shit but their auditor will.

It's fraud. Fair enough it's only about a million pounds, but we go after people for less because it usually uncovers a hole heap of other wrongdoing on the lenders part.

A short term holiday let is jeopardising their position, as insurance in invalid on the property.

Can you tell I'm a boring forensic auditor with a grudge?

OhThatThingAgain Sun 11-Sep-16 19:44:02

Apologies *is invalid

You can not insure a residential BTL on an AST as a holiday rental. It invalidates buildings and contents insurance immediately.

I guess I might need to go to the insurance company too. More digging around the internet I guess confused

Dogcatred Sun 11-Sep-16 21:47:42

None of those may take any notice I am afraid. As it sounds like it is a freehold house(or is it leasehold?) I think your best bet is going to have to be some kind of court injunction to restrain them because of noise (very very hard to obtain unless it is genuinely parties all the time rather than some airbnb guests are noisier some of the time).

If it is a party venue every weekend with 20 guests I think you would stand a good chance.

OhThatThingAgain Sun 11-Sep-16 22:04:21

It is a freehold house on a BTL mortgage with a clause which states a six or 12 month AST. It would be favourable to them if they had lived in the property but it's been on Airbnb since day one.

I'll speak to my solicitor tomorrow.

GeneralBobbit Sun 11-Sep-16 22:13:06

The lender can still choose to do nothing about it.

He may still be insured, you can get insurance for holiday lets/air bnb. I can't see the lender swinging into action. I bet the most they do is write a letter.

GeneralBobbit Sun 11-Sep-16 22:15:22

What I'm saying is the insurance and the mortgage are not entwined. He could still have holiday home insurance legally with the insurance company and be lying to the lender.

I don't think it invalidates the insurance.

wowfudge Mon 12-Sep-16 07:00:32

I would contact the lender's fraud department. Via your solicitor may be the way to go. With a house of that value I think there is probably a strong possibility that the owner can afford to convert the mortgage to a residential one and things could drag on for longer. But given he is committing mortgage fraud and you are having to put up with this then you have nothing to lose. You may have to make a declaration that he is not living in the property. Will any other neighbours do the same?

OhThatThingAgain Mon 12-Sep-16 08:22:07

Yes, four other neighbours are in agreement. It's owned BTL by a Ltd company. The owner on the deeds doesn't have a pot to pee in, his own home is rented. He's doing this to try and get on the property ladder. I guess he wants to convert to residential in time, hence milking Airbnb. £240 a night, imagine how much he's made since June!

ToElleWithIt Mon 12-Sep-16 08:30:29

Have you contacted HMRC? It may be a less direct approach but could have the desired outcome if they're not declaring.

Kr1stina Mon 12-Sep-16 08:42:48

It's worth a try with the insurers . But they may do nothing until if / when he makes a claim , then repudiate in the basis of unfulfilled policy warranties. Which creates a big problem for other owners if it's a flat and not a house.

It's not a fraud until he makes a claim .

HMRC a great idea as it's very easy to report , but they may not bite.

wowfudge Mon 12-Sep-16 16:33:47

The Lender and HMRC are worth contacting.

OhThatThingAgain Mon 12-Sep-16 19:50:03

Tried lenders, they said they didn't disclose info. I explained that I understood (I wanted to disclose my info with no questions from me) and that if possible I wanted to speak to fraud or audit, they just had to listen. They said they didn't have a fraud or internal audit department.

So I said great, I'll go to the FCA and explain they have no internal controls. Apparently someone will call me tomorrow. I somehow doubt it.

HMRC tomorrow, thanks for the tip.

I'm just going to slowly chip away at this, the more I dig the shadier it gets. Directors resigning to take on very cheap tenancies and then sub letting on Airbnb. This is bigger than just the house next door. Not massive fraud but perhaps enough to get HMRC to bite.

I'll let you know if/when I get a result. Thanks.

wowfudge Tue 13-Sep-16 12:40:12

I like your response re: internal controls OP! Can you obtain the lender's annual report online? You might get a steer on who best to contact from there. If they have a Company Secretary, that would be a good place to start.

Cherylene Tue 13-Sep-16 13:18:15

Do you need change of use to make it into a weekend party venue?

Ackeeandsaltfish Tue 13-Sep-16 14:46:20

You never know, the Daily mail may have picked up on this thread already - time for a sad face!

Also, if its being used as an AirBnB party house, its only a matter of time 'till there's a big party and things get wrecked, or the party goers bring illegal drugs onto the property.

OhThatThingAgain Tue 13-Sep-16 19:52:03

Thanks WOW I used to work in finance but now in audit. I know the jargon. As for the phone call today, it didn't materialise. I've found the head of risk but there is no audit listed. Will dig away quietly.

It's not a weekend party venue, it's 24 Hour Party People. Perhaps I can use my CCTV as a film? Unfortunately no change of use, it's residential.

I'm certain that it will end up trashed, it's just a matter of time.

Did the HMRC today. It's was cathartic.

I'm not wearing that blue dress, sad face and having the price of my house published in the DM. I have high standards and will not appear on the sidebar of shame. I want to be in a broadsheet, I'm worth it. Or perhaps The Guardian could do a 'Let's move to...a Party Hpuse' in the Weekend mag wink

wowfudge Tue 13-Sep-16 19:59:07

It'll all bite him on the bum eventually OP.

Dogcatred Wed 14-Sep-16 06:55:53

My daughter lets her place on airbnb. It isn't always unlawful if you have the right insurance etc. In fact the Government has just issued new tax concessions for it. uk.businessinsider.com/budget-people-in-the-uk-who-let-out-their-homes-on-airbnb-got-a-1000-tax-cut-2016-3
It sounds like your big issue is noise. If they were letting to the quiet kind of people my daughter gets presumably you would not mind?

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