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Any Scottish landlords?

(21 Posts)
cookiemonster5 Wed 08-Jan-20 09:08:09

My parents ended up as accidental landlords a few years ago. All done through solicitors so all above board. Tenants on a years contract with option to buy at the end of it (they asked for this as both their properties were up for sale and didn't have enough for a mortgage so needed to sell/save first).

6 years down the line they are still there. Have been allowed to make changes like redo garden/install hot tub, change flooring and decorate as they want due to repeated promises they will buy at the end of the next lease. No pets clause they have broken with 2 dogs and a cat but was let slide.

Last 18 months there has been late/short payments. Parents came to agreement to pay weekly instead of monthly. All ok for a few weeks then it starts again. Half rent or none at all. Excuses range from she can't log onto her internet banking, phone broken, lost bank card and the best one was twice her husband wasn't paid by his employer as the employer had banking issues and no employee was paid for 2 months. We know several of his workmates and they all got paid fine. One of my husbands family members is in admin for the same company and there was no such banking issues.

My parents went to the solicitor to find out steps for eviction and were told they can give 40 notice if rent is late or short but as soon as she pays up to date that is automatically cancelled. The other option is 60 days notice and if she doesn't leave it's court but no judge will evict her because she has 3 kids.

Surely that's rubbish? If a landlord wants their home back and has followed the correct procedure then they can't be forced to keep a tenant just because they have kids?! Plenty people get evicted with kids everyday. You just have to watch those bailiff programmes to see that.

Sorry it's long but any Scottish landlords/solicitors with knowledge able to advise? I recommended they go see a different solicitor for 2nd opinion but they don't want to waste more money when they don't know if the rent will be paid next week/month (she has gone back to monthly rent after agreeing weekly then saying she would pay either weekly or fortnightly, basically pay whatever she fancied to which obviously she was told it's a set date rents due on a set frequency not just whenever she fancies).

rzasoshp Wed 08-Jan-20 10:26:14

Advice sounds correct from the solicitor, Scottish tenancy laws were changed in last few years and massively favour the tenant to give them more protection against landlords.

user1487194234 Wed 08-Jan-20 13:12:40

and Scottish courts have always been very reluctant to evict children or other vulnerable people if the breach has been resolved ie the late rent paid

SapatSea Wed 08-Jan-20 14:22:53

www.mygov.scot/private-tenant-eviction/grounds-for-eviction-private-residential-tenancies/

Do your parents intend to sell the house? That might be the best grounds for repossession. They need to find a mandatory reason to end the tenancy an dnot rely on "discretionary" ones if possible.

They could spend just under £100 and join the Scottish Association of Landlords and use their "free" advice service.

cookiemonster5 Wed 08-Jan-20 15:44:48

Yes they want it sold. It was originally for sale but the tenants couldn't afford a mortgage at that time so approached them to lease it for a year then sell. Now they just want rid of it.

I looked at that site and also shelter which all stated that as long as a section 33 was issued and all formalities met then the tribunal automatically issue they possession order if they haven't left by the eviction date which is in co ready to what the solicitor said. I also saw the landlords organisation and passed on their details. Think it would be a good use of £95 for them to be rid of this situation.

Methodical1 Thu 09-Jan-20 00:09:45

Some general info here: www.rocketlawyer.com/gb/en/quick-guides/tenant-eviction-in-scotland-faqs

The law changed 1st Dec 2017. If the contract is from before then it’s probably a short assured tenancy. 2 month notice and section 33 - www.mygov.scot/private-tenant-eviction/short-assured-tenants/

Don’t know who they spoke to getting that advice. SAL a good support for them. Best of luck.

cookiemonster5 Thu 09-Jan-20 08:01:40

Thanks everyone. Turns out it wasn't a solicitor my dad spoke to but just a woman who works in the leasing department so no wonder the info was so wrong!!

I've passed in all the information and links. They have been there since before 2017 so it's a short assured tenancy.

Kicker is that the woman and her husband keep claiming poverty then posting photos of them on holidays or their kids latest designer outfits online! So we know exactly where the rent money goes. As well as telling all the neighbours they own the house and throwing lavish catered parties complete with companies coming in to dress the house and tables/chairs.

The neighbours are being asked questions from men in suits with paperwork about who lives in the house and their working hours and we assume they are debt collectors. My parents are worried damage will happen to the house if one of them gets access to repossess their belongings.

Methodical1 Thu 09-Jan-20 09:15:01

Sounds like the sooner the situation is dealt with the better. My understanding is that if it went that far and access was gained to take goods it would only be movable goods of some value, not fixtures and fittings.

Your parents might find this difficult to deal with and it has to be done properly for both parties so that it’s fair and there is no come back. So the SLA or a solicitor might be useful, although costs could mount up if they went to a solicitor. Any damage to the property and the original deposit, assuming they paid one, can be retained but again there are rules.

cookiemonster5 Thu 09-Jan-20 09:58:51

Yes they paid a deposit and were given permission to make any decorations/alterations as long as the property was bought by them otherwise it had to be returned to original upon vacation. They didn't get permission to house a firearm and though they have a license they have drilled into the garage floor to fix in a gun cabinet so that's not a small job to put right and will eat up most of the deposit without the rest of the redecoration as she has wallpapered everywhere and changed all flooring.

I've just been made power of attorney and executor and due to recent health scares I'm being kept abreast of the situations so if the worst happens I'm not being surprised by a mess I have to sort out along with everything else.

MakeMineALargeProsecco Thu 09-Jan-20 10:15:09

As PP said, join SAL.

Also take a look at First Tier Tribunal pages - unfortunately waiting times are long; the system seems very overwhelmed.

It will be a bit of a process but you will get there in the end.

user1487194234 Mon 13-Jan-20 22:09:35

Interesting article online today (sorry can't link on phone) saying taking average of over 300 days for Landlords to recover possession under new system in Scotland

MakeMineALargeProsecco Mon 13-Jan-20 22:34:06

Yep. It could be argued that the FTT process is not fit for purpose.

It's certainly not getting any better.

cookiemonster5 Tue 14-Jan-20 07:55:21

What will go in my parents favour is that the tenant had made out she owns the property.

None of the neighbours realised they were tenants because she thinks tenants are "poor folk" who need to be pitied and would never lower herself to rent because her and her husband are wealthy don't you know?

My mum works with one of the neighbours and soon set her straight when asked about when they sold the house to the tenants.

True story is her dad left her hundreds of thousands in inheritance which she wasted on designer clothes for the kids and herself along with holidays and cars and now has nothing left. Oh and the hot tub and pedigree "guard dog" complete with huge dog house/run in the garden.

They wouldn't want to let it get to the point where the neighbours hear about court proceedings in the court rolls or see her physically removed by sheriffs officers because gasp what would people think?!?

Methodical1 Tue 14-Jan-20 08:50:05

You can only hope that if you give notice and they don’t leave and you continue down the road to get them out, that they leave before it comes to that stage. The fear of social embarrassment might help the process along. Possibly their attitude will change when/if they realise it’s you dealing with it and not your mum and dad. The sooner you get it underway the better given the potential timescales involved.

cookiemonster5 Tue 14-Jan-20 09:01:20

She has been contacted because there is someone scheduled to attend to value it today but she hadn't replied. If letters need hand delivered with proof she has received then then we can do so at her work I believe since it has cctv and she can't exactly hide as she does not know me.

I told them in 2018 this would happen but my parents didn't listen to me. Well my dad didn't. My mum has been trying to get him to see sense for years about the tenants and their piss taking.

Would there be any come back if we posted on Facebook that the property will shortly be coming up for sale and are seeing what the interest is before listing it? I've seen a lot of people do that recently in the buying/selling and local property pages but wasn't sure if they were just trying to show off their houses after renovations lol.

user1487194234 Tue 14-Jan-20 11:44:31

I think it would be best if correspondence is sent recorded delivery

cookiemonster5 Tue 14-Jan-20 11:53:25

She has spun a tale about her phone being stolen and hoping it's returned so hasn't gotten her replacement sim activated yet was messaging my dad on what's app after he rang her through it today, then claimed she mislaid the replacement handset and couldn't find it to prove she hasn't been getting his messages from last year when it was stolen despite messaging my dad 3 minutes before he saw her.

It's ridiculous now the shite she is coming up with. She is 6 weeks behind on rent from last year too so has been given 2 weeks to pay up to date in line with the next rent due date or she is being given 40 days notice to vacate.

mencken Tue 14-Jan-20 12:22:41

don't send correspondence recorded delivery, you've got a serious player here and she will just refuse it.

send by normal post with proof of posting. That's deemed delivered under what I believe is UK law, but might need a double check as Scotland.

so much for the Scottish rental utopia following the loss of section 21. You can bet she knows exactly how to play the system to be able to stay a long while on minimal or no rent. The kids aren't relevant.

sorry.

cookiemonster5 Tue 14-Jan-20 12:38:43

I'll check that out thanks.

She is a wiley one for sure. I'm certain she knows how to work the system and is playing a long game.

We will wait and see if she comes us with the rent due on the 31st or not. I'm going to advise there is a 40 days notice written up ready along with the section 33 60 days so all bases are covered depending on what the tenants chose to do.

user1487194234 Tue 14-Jan-20 12:58:58

I would send recorded delivery and if rejected serve by sheriff officers

MakeMineALargeProsecco Tue 14-Jan-20 18:47:22

SAL is really your best option, or checking your LL insurance to see if legal expenses cover is included & you can get proper legal advice.

If they are on an older style tenancy agreement, the rules are different to the new PRT's.

But all claims now go through the FTT - waiting times are lengthy.

And forget putting things on FB - you could be 6-12 months off getting possession even following all the rules.

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