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feduplandlord
22-04-2008, 10:00 AM
Good morning
I have quite a few questions & will try to keep them short:

1. I had central heating problems at my house-hot water worked-central heating did not. I immediately supplied heaters for upstairs & downstairs & the tenants said that it was more than sufficient. After several quotations i found someone to replace the boiler, but he only became Corgi registered on 10th April. I therefor waited 'till he was qualified & everything is now fixed and working. However - the tenants gave notice after living there for nearly two years & when people came around they made a point of telling them their was no central heating, but "conveniantly" forgot to say that it was being repaired shortly after the 10th April. The agencies called me up & asked what's up with the tenants putting the viewers off? I am now battling to get it let as they have done this to all the viewers and the agents confirmed that this was the only reason a lot of them said no to the property. I've always let my property within one week of advertising and have never had a problem! Can I keep their deposit back to cover for the property being empty due to their actions untill I find someone?

2. The tenancy agreement we had does not say anything about putting the rent up after a year. Can I put it up regardless of it not mentioned in the tenancy agreement? We did not renew the tenancy, we just kept it running from month to month. What is a reasonable percentage to up rent with each year?

Thank you in advance.

jta
22-04-2008, 10:26 AM
You would probably do better if you arrange to be present when your prospective tenants turned up and show them round yourself, that way you also get to have a look at the condition of the property and answer any questions without the tenant butting in.
As for putting up the rent, if they are leaving shortly, why bother? Start the new tenancy at the rent you decide you need.

Bel
22-04-2008, 11:12 AM
Sounds like you have really annoyed them. What you thought is acceptable time lag and provision, they do not agree with you and are getting their own back.

There is one solution; fix the boiler now!!

Planner
22-04-2008, 11:54 AM
If you upset them more they might not let any viewings at all. Tread carefully.

You cant withold deposit for what might have been said concerning the heating.

Now the heatings up and running, there shouldnt be any problems in you letting it.

Good luck.

feduplandlord
22-04-2008, 12:11 PM
I was unfortunately in the USA at the time otherwise i definitely would've been there myself!

feduplandlord
22-04-2008, 12:15 PM
Planner - they have already moved out of the property so the property is now standing empty since the 1st April. The agent was present when this was said, so I know it's not a "rumour" AND the tenant admitted to me in writing that he said it - as I obviously queried him about it? Can I still not hold them responsible?

jeffrey
22-04-2008, 12:28 PM
The tenancy agreement we had does not say anything about putting the rent up after a year. Can I put it up regardless of it not mentioned in the tenancy agreement? We did not renew the tenancy, we just kept it running from month to month.
As you don't want to grant renewed letting, and assuming that there is no rent-increase-clause mechanism in AST at present, use s.13 of Housing Act 1988. This allows L to serve standard Notice of proposed rent increase (but not more than once a year).

jta
22-04-2008, 12:38 PM
You can hardly penalise the tenant for telling what was the truth, that the CH was not working at that time, as for claiming more rent from him after he has left I would say you have two chances on that and they both involve swear words.

feduplandlord
22-04-2008, 12:49 PM
Lol! I agree on not claiming more rent after he has left and this is not my intention, but is there not a difference in telling HALF the truth (that the heating was not working) instead of the WHOLE truth (that it was not working BUT IT IS BEING FIXED!) ??

agent46
22-04-2008, 13:01 PM
Just some idle thinking (ie: I'm not really sure what I'm talking about). The tenants made a false statement which has caused damage to the LL. That sounds very much like the tort of "malicious falsehood" to me.

However, is a half-truth a sufficiently false statement to be capable of constituting malicious falsehood?

jta
22-04-2008, 13:03 PM
The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?


only works in the witness box I'm afraid, and even there, would you believe that some people lie!!!!!!!!
What sanctions apply, is it perjury? hardly, more like bloody-mindedness and that ain't punishable yet mate.

feduplandlord
22-04-2008, 13:17 PM
What is the worst thing that can happen to me if i decide not to refund his deposit because of him making a false statement to viewers and agents?

agent46
22-04-2008, 13:29 PM
What is the worst thing that can happen to me if i decide not to refund his deposit because of him making a false statement to viewers and agents?

Well I'd say the worst thing that could happen is that the tenant gets very upset and then visits all sorts of indignities on you and your family before crucifying you in Hyde Park.

Other than that, a lot depends on the date on which you took the deposit.

feduplandlord
22-04-2008, 13:41 PM
It was taken in July 2006

susanne
22-04-2008, 13:42 PM
move on and find new tenants as quickly as possible - occasionally life sucks !

agent46
22-04-2008, 13:49 PM
It was taken in July 2006

Did you ever renew the tenancy, and if so, when?

feduplandlord
22-04-2008, 13:52 PM
Susanne : I am moving on - that's not the problem, BUT I don't feel to give them their deposits back because of what they did and this IS a problem. They are obviously now asking for it. I'm refusing. So should life suck for them by not getting it back due to their being spiteful or are you meaning to tell me to pay it back and that life then sucks for me??

feduplandlord
22-04-2008, 13:52 PM
Agent46 - No, we didn't renew the tenancy. It just continued on a month to month basis.

agent46
22-04-2008, 14:26 PM
Agent46 - No, we didn't renew the tenancy. It just continued on a month to month basis.

No TDP complications then....:)

attilathelandlord
22-04-2008, 14:33 PM
They will simply sue you for the return of the deposit assuming no damages and no unpaid rent.

The small claims court will make mincemeat of you as you have no legal grounds to withhold deposit and you are once again giving the majority of decent landlords a bad name.

Pay the deposit back and get on with it.

feduplandlord
22-04-2008, 14:47 PM
Sorry, but what is TDP?

feduplandlord
22-04-2008, 14:49 PM
attilathelandlord : Thanks for your input.

susanne
22-04-2008, 14:49 PM
you do not have any legal grounds to with-hold the deposit - sorry - but thats the way it is. life is not easy being a LL, and sometimes you just have to put things down to experience.

if you do not refund the deposit they make take you to court and then you will have to pay their court fees as well, and so it will cost you more - on the other hand they may not take you to court - your gamble

attilathelandlord
22-04-2008, 14:49 PM
I tell it like it is, I have no emotion in business! TDP = tenancy deposit scheme.

Imp
22-04-2008, 14:57 PM
Maybe you did not get the full story from the letting agent to try and explain why it hadn't been let yet. They don't always tell the whole truth.

Prospective tenant - What are all these electric heaters doing here?
Tenant - There is no central heating.
P T - Thank you.

Best not to think the worst of people unless you really know what happened.

feduplandlord
22-04-2008, 14:58 PM
I joined this site to ask questions and get answers, NOT to be told off and accused that "once again you're giving the majority of decent landlords a bad name". What are you implying???? That i'm not a decent landlord? It's from being TOO DECENT towards tenants that i'm in this position in the first place!

feduplandlord
22-04-2008, 15:00 PM
Imp: Sure, i agree with you. A story always has two sides to it. As i said earlier on - the tenant did admit telling only half the truth - in other words he is well aware that he jeopardized my chances of getting someone in. There has never been bad vibes between the tenants and myself at all, 'till I wanted to increase their rent and then they quickly moved out!

attilathelandlord
22-04-2008, 15:10 PM
I'm not implying anything but you must remember that a deposit forms part of a contract and that contract's terms dictate what can happen to that deposit.

Therefore an AST says generally that a deposit or part thereof is withheld either against actual damage to the propert or unpaid rent.

I'm sure yours says this also.

If you are wishing to withhold the deposit for any other reason other than that allowed in the contract, then you can't.

And whether it's you, me or landlord's in general, if a deposit is withheld for no contractual reason, then, the world being how it is, we are seen as scum landlords only out to make a fast buck. That's why TDS was brought in.

agent46
22-04-2008, 15:30 PM
Therefore an AST says generally that a deposit or part thereof is withheld either against actual damage to the propert or unpaid rent.

I'm sure yours says this also.

If you are wishing to withhold the deposit for any other reason other than that allowed in the contract, then you can't.



Not quite as simple as that Attila old fruit.

As I wrote when you made more or less the same point in another thread, if the LL has some other right of action against the tenant which doesn't arise out of the tenancy agreement, or it is simply the case that the deposit clauses in the tenancy are poorly drafted, all the LL has to do is withold the deposit (or the part claimed to compensate for his loss) and then if the tenant sues for the return of the withheld money, depending on the facts, the LL can either plead the defence of set-off or issue a counter-claim.

Obviously, all the above is subject to any custodial TDP complications, which TBH, I can't be bothered to think about at the moment

attilathelandlord
22-04-2008, 15:36 PM
That's young fruit to you Agent46!

Well yes possession is 9/10ths of the law and subject to the law, then all the landlord has to do is say yah sucks boo to the tenant and wait for the tenant to sue.

It may be that the landlord then is discovered not to have any legal right to hang on to all/part of the deposit. But that would be for M'lud to say.

Hang on, I'm not a fruit (no offence to any fruits out there mind you!)

justaboutsane
22-04-2008, 17:06 PM
OP YOu state that that Agent was with the prospective tenants and so witnessed the statement that the CH was not working... So why did the Agent not correct them???

Sorry but you need to repay the deposit as you have no grounds to wihhold it.

What you have not said is How long the tenants were without adequate heating at a bloody cold time of year! God knows how much electric heaters have cost them!

Planner
23-04-2008, 09:19 AM
Another shinning example (to add to the ever growing list) of the need for TDS.

I cant get my head around these two statements ;

I've always let my property within one week of advertising and have never had a problem!

the property is now standing empty since the 1st April.

Why have all the viewing tenants since 1st April (where the old tenants where not present), refused the property? - maybe your feeling the impact of the credit crunch and the proliferation of buy-to-let. Nearly a month has gone by without letting the property and nearly two weeks since the heating was repaired. There is no blame here imho.

Subway
23-04-2008, 09:56 AM
Did the tenant leave because you wanted to put the rent up or because they were without heating? Did they give notice ebfore the heating broke?

I would agree with justaboutsane you have not said when the heating first broke - I'm guessing February sometime from they way you have written your first post if the tenants had time to give you a months notice over March.

Electric heaters are IMHO a stop gap and if a landlord suggested I used them over winter as a heating source then I would also feel like leaving. They are very very expensive - a fact the tenants may not have realised when they first accepted them until they got their electricity bill. Heaters cannot be used safely without someone present and so you are always returning to a cold house. Did you offer any rent reduction to cover their additional heating costs and also inconvenience?

What were you expecting them to say instead - the landlord has said the central heating will be fixed but has set a date approximately two months after it has broken - I'd draw my own conclusions about you as a landlord from that...

justaboutsane
23-04-2008, 16:44 PM
I notice the OP has gone very quiet..... Would like to know which course of action you have chosen to take.

bagpuss
23-04-2008, 18:59 PM
From what I've read in this and other posts from this LL, he/she doesn't seem to have much of a clue about the legalities and realities of renting.

The forum name chosen speaks volumes - feduplandlord.

All I've read so far from this poster has been some dubious understanding of rental law and a lot of self pity.

Do your homework by reading past posts, feduplandlord, and perhaps you'll learn something and won't be quite so fed up.

jeffrey
24-04-2008, 13:02 PM
Sorry, but what is TDP?

Tenancy
Deposit
Protection

Richardo
25-04-2008, 21:45 PM
I joined this site to ask questions and get answers, NOT to be told off and accused that "once again you're giving the majority of decent landlords a bad name". What are you implying???? That i'm not a decent landlord? It's from being TOO DECENT towards tenants that i'm in this position in the first place!

In my experience once T and L fall out, T usually gets a better deal. TDS will probably swing the balance even further towards the T.

T is entitled to a decent home and CH which works if that is installed in property... L needs to ensure availability with a maintenance contract.

If L and T are fed up and T walks, void since Fools' day says it all.

RichardO

feduplandlord
02-05-2008, 14:51 PM
From what I've read in this and other posts from this LL, he/she doesn't seem to have much of a clue about the legalities and realities of renting.

The forum name chosen speaks volumes - feduplandlord.

All I've read so far from this poster has been some dubious understanding of rental law and a lot of self pity.

Do your homework by reading past posts, feduplandlord, and perhaps you'll learn something and won't be quite so fed up.

Did you not start out as a landlord at some stage Bagpuss??? Did you know it ALL from the beginning? If you did, great for you! Or are you not a landlord but just someone who is bored stiff and spends their time having a go at people on this site - forgetting to focus on the question/s asked? You're right - I unfortunately DON'T know enough about your countries legalities and realities of renting yet, BUT i'm trying to learn - hence joining this site. It differs quite a lot from where I come from. Shoot me for that.
And as for your suggestion about "self pity" - get real!! So if you can't give me any helpful ADVICE on my question - rather don't respond. Critisizing me ain't going to make me learn more about the legalities and realities of renting, is it? Helpful critisizm is always welcome!

jeffrey
02-05-2008, 15:12 PM
Children, please stop fighting with each other, and either:
a. GROW UP; or
b. stop posting on LZ until you can behave properly.