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View Full Version : Property let rent-free to relative; am I a landlord?



its4u
13-05-2009, 14:56 PM
I have been horrified by the recent demand from government to register as a "landlord" and in fact I'm not sure what to do about it because my circumstances are a little unusual.
I've had a little flat for about sixteen years and it has no mortgage or other debts on it. I dont live in it myself but it is occupied by a close elderly relative who has not been asked to pay rent for some long time now. I therefore derive no income from the property at all. The occupier pays his own council tax and bills, but we chip in together if anything is needing to be done on a "larger" scale, cost-wise.
It has never been run on a strict "letting" basis in the way that most people think of it, being only ever occupied by family; and this will continue to be the case until the relative dies. After that, the place will almost certainly be sold.
Surely I dont have to go through all this nonsense about registering and forking out fifty pounds for the pleasure of giving someone a free home? and having stupid reference numbers for now non-existent rent books? It's ridiculous.

Poppy
13-05-2009, 14:58 PM
You are a landlord.

In what country is this property?

its4u
13-05-2009, 15:10 PM
The flat is here, in the UK.

Poppy
13-05-2009, 15:11 PM
Which country? England? Wales? Scotland? Northern Ireland? It matters.

You see, I'm wondering whether this property is in Scotland from what you have so far written.

Beeber
13-05-2009, 15:13 PM
The only landlord registration scheme that is currently in operation is in Scotland where there is an exemption for properties let to relatives. The scheme for E&W is merely at the proposal stage that is being taken forward for consultation.

jeffrey
13-05-2009, 15:23 PM
I have been horrified by the recent demand from government to register as a "landlord" and in fact I'm not sure what to do about it because my circumstances are a little unusual.
I've had a little flat for about sixteen years and it has no mortgage or other debts on it. I dont live in it myself but it is occupied by a close elderly relative who has not been asked to pay rent for some long time now. I therefore derive no income from the property at all. The occupier pays his own council tax and bills, but we chip in together if anything is needing to be done on a "larger" scale, cost-wise.
It has never been run on a strict "letting" basis in the way that most people think of it, being only ever occupied by family; and this will continue to be the case until the relative dies. After that, the place will almost certainly be sold.
Surely I dont have to go through all this nonsense about registering and forking out fifty pounds for the pleasure of giving someone a free home? and having stupid reference numbers for now non-existent rent books? It's ridiculous.
Assuming that it's in E&W, and that there is no written Tenancy Agreement, it's probably capable of being a common-law tenancy BUT the Housing Act 1988 does not apply (because there's no rent reserved). Is there really nothing in writing to record the parties':
a. joint intentions; and
b. obligations to each other?

its4u
13-05-2009, 15:35 PM
The flat is in England. At the time the property was acquired, it was only to house an elderly relative. There isn't any tenancy agreement because it was all just an in-family arrangement at the time; and nothing else written either.

Poppy
13-05-2009, 15:39 PM
I don't understand. What government body is demanding that you register as a landlord? What circumstances do they cite?

its4u
13-05-2009, 15:52 PM
Oh dear. I dont seem to be making any headway here. I have merely noted the recent furore over landlord registration and have naturally wondered what my position would be, being a person who owns a second property and has someone living in it. No-one has asked me to register, I am merely sussing out the situation and wondering what my position would be, because I am bothered by its implications. I spent some time trying to find answers on the Internet which is how I ended up here.
Poppy you seem to be snapping my head off for no good reason. I dont feel very welcome here. I'm not in the young age group myself, I like to feel that I'm doing the right thing for the person in my flat and am concerned in case the government has something up its sleeve that might cause me financial problems.

Lawcruncher
13-05-2009, 15:57 PM
It is just a proposal. I do not think the government has even published a green paper on it yet. Worry about it if and when it happens.

jeffrey
13-05-2009, 15:58 PM
Oh dear. I dont seem to be making any headway here. I have merely noted the recent furore over landlord registration and have naturally wondered what my position would be, being a person who owns a second property and has someone living in it. No-one has asked me to register, I am merely sussing out the situation and wondering what my position would be, because I am bothered by its implications. I spent some time trying to find answers on the Internet which is how I ended up here.
Poppy you seem to be snapping my head off for no good reason. I dont feel very welcome here. I'm not in the young age group myself, I like to feel that I'm doing the right thing for the person in my flat and am concerned in case the government has something up its sleeve that might cause me financial problems.
Keep calm, old chap/chapess. None of us knows what HMG has in mind, so we cannot guess what the legislation will require of you!
Most likely, NewLabour will be gone by then; NewConservative may have different ideas.

P.Pilcher
13-05-2009, 16:00 PM
IMHO, if you are not receiving any rent in cash or in kind for the property, and have not signed any form of letting lease then it is unlikely that the legislation, yet to be drafted, will require you to register as a landlord.

P.P.

its4u
13-05-2009, 16:04 PM
Well Jeffery and others, I hope you are right; this has become a bit stressful. I am all for fairness but these days everyone is getting hit left right and centre with new laws about everything. I'm going off now for a rest.

soon2retire
14-05-2009, 00:19 AM
Is the OP not being correct and prudent, as I have seen on numerous occasions on this forum, that: "ignorance of the law is no excuse", or similar.

Mars Mug
14-05-2009, 06:25 AM
You might need to consider your position from the point of view of things like insurance and how your insurance company would view it. Also I could be wrong, but you may have obligations like gas certification and maybe electrical checks, which are safety related and might be worth doing regardless of any possible legal requirements. There could be tax implications for the person living at the house, but again I’m not sure.