Tenants - To end tenancy, or not?(8 Posts)
I have just been contacted by my Agent who says she has received a phone call from a neighbour of my property saying my tenants might be subletting. There may be 5 people in a 2 bed house when the tenancy is with two people.
I took this at face value, but I am now concerned. How did the neighbour know which agent to phone? I have just done a "drive by" and the house looks well kept and the latest condition survey was excellent. I know this does not necessarily tell me what the inside looks like, but I am not convinced the house is being abused. The other issue is that I have noticed the Agent's representative has been very dismissive of my Polish tenants in another property and refuses to use their names. She says "the male tenant" or "the woman". She has also not told me of repairs that need doing on that house so the tenants thought I did not care. I do, and I have now met with them to tell them that and the work is in hand.
The tenants who are now being complained about are also Polish. Has anyone else ever been in this position. I feel the "information" might be incorrect and anti-foreigner.
Which neighbour? Agent should know.
The agent does sound unprofessional. Only one thing I could say in possible mitigation, is that I know I have a tin ear and struggle with pronunciation, and avoid attempting new words until I'm very sure. Even English words. I can spell mustache, but would use complicated sentences to avoid saying it.. (I'm English btw, no SN)
Your biggest concern is that the house is being used as an unlicensed HMO. There are more obligations on a LL of an HMO and illegal subletting could be putting you in position where you are unwittingly breaking the law. Ask your tenants for a meeting, preferably at the property to discuss what's going on. Did the agent say what makes them think illegal subletting is going on?
Oh, and your insurance might be invalidated if it isn't for an HMO.
The neighbour can find the agent by searching the ad on rightmove.
The agent gets commission when your house is let. Reletting is a lot of work, i doubt racism would overcome laziness (of which you have proof)
Did you complain about lack of passing on fix requests? Did you get any improvement?
But sadly you do need to find out if there is a sublet, or just friends staying. As others mention, if there is an unauthorised hmo you can have big problems.
Thank you for your responses. I did know about the multi occupancy regulations and this house is just too small for 5 adults!
Earlier I spoke to a couple of neighbours, independently, and they are aware of the couple who are the tenants. They work at the local hospital and come in and out wearing their uniforms. Both neighbour's said they have friends round and have had a couple a barbecues with friends until fairly late, but definitely no problems. They both thought they had had friends to stay but that no-one else was actually living there. The only people they saw going in and out regularly were the tenants.
One neighbour ( a stay at home Mum) said it was the house next door to them that was definitely multi-occupancy. Not mine. She thought my tenants were perfectly normal. I have asked the agent to see if the neighbour will to talk to me but they could have reported the wrong house I suppose.
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