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jta
31-05-2007, 12:16 PM
I need to refurbish a flat I own in London. The tenant is protected under the 1977 rent act and has consistently denied me access to the property for the last couple of years. He has been there about 33 years now and lives on his own in a large two bedroomed flat. He is not a particularly bad tenant, he pays his rent every month, more or less on time. He is reasonably clean.
The main problem is that he has chosen to live in just one room of the flat and has allowed the other rooms to deteriorate to such an extent that they cannot be considered fit to occupy. The Kitchen and Bathroom have not been updated for abouty 40 years and really need to be modernised, not to mention the electrics. There is no gas in the property, I am glad to say, so at least I do not have to worry about a gas cert.
I asked to do the work a year ago and he put me off for six months, then I spoke to him again in December '06 and he said I would have to wait until June when it would be warmer. Yesterday when I tried to make arrangements with him he said he was not going to allow me entry and that he had 'taken advice' that he did not have to. Over the past ten years I have had new double glazing fitted, repaired the roof when required, fitted a new hotwater system and some minor repairs, my reward for this from the Rent Tribunal is to be getting 100GBP less per month than I had 4 years ago.
Has anyone got some advice for me, I am reluctant to serve him a notice of eviction, but I am worried that he may come to some harm due to the condition of the property and that I will end up in court accused of negligence.
(Actually I would love to be rid of him but I do not think I have much chance)
Help, what do I do?

Paragon
31-05-2007, 12:39 PM
Perhaps, the council can intervene and declare the property uninhabitable. And you won't have to pay council tax if it is unfit for habitation. In any case, if you think there is a danger to the tenant, you should put something on record with the powers to be that you have tried.

jta
31-05-2007, 13:24 PM
Thanks Paragon.
I am reluctant to get the Council involved at this stage, the tenant has not complained to them and the last thing I want is to be served with a repair notice. I agree however that I should have it recorded somewhere that I am trying to do something about it. The trouble is I have a crew lined up to do the work in double quick time and now he is frustrating my attempt to make his home better for him to live in. By the way, he is quite elderly now, drinks like a fish, and is very cantankerous, I do not want to even be accused of harassing him.

jeffrey
31-05-2007, 13:30 PM
Thanks Paragon.
I am reluctant to get the Council involved at this stage, the tenant has not complained to them and the last thing I want is to be served with a repair notice. I agree however that I should have it recorded somewhere that I am trying to do something about it. The trouble is I have a crew lined up to do the work in double quick time and now he is frustrating my attempt to make his home better for him to live in. By the way, he is quite elderly now, drinks like a fish, and is very cantankerous, I do not want to even be accused of harassing him.

But surely a Repair Notice would be ideal? You could then legally force T to give access to your workmen.

jta
31-05-2007, 18:04 PM
Thank you Jeffrey, I am sure you are right. I just did not want to go down the road of confrontation with him, but I suppose I will have to.

davidjohnbutton
01-06-2007, 08:34 AM
One way of looking at this is the fact that the tenant is elderly - he may have to be taken into care at some stage, or he may simply decease - at which point your case is resolved without the need for confrontation.

For the present time, I would be in contact with the council's environmental health department and reassure them that you want to do repairs and improvements but are being refused access - that will stop the council getting on your back. If the council do decide to serve a notice on you and you fail to do the work because you cannot get access, then the council have the power to do the work on your behalf - so the problem then becomes theirs instead of yours.

I had this sort of problem some 33 years ago with one of my old regulated tenants - I simply refused to do repairs (the rent was an old controlled rent of £1.62 a week!!!!) - I tried everything to get the tenants to agree improvements beforehand even offering to move them at the same rent into one of my recently improved properties, but they did not want to pay more rent when they moved back into the original property. So a stalemate existed for a couple of years and then all controlled props were converted into regulateds which upped the rent quite considerably to about £7 a week - eventually 4 years later, the couple died and went into a home respectively and the house became vacant at which point it was completely renovated.

When you apply for rent registrations on this property - put a rider on the application that the current state of the premises is not your fault and that you are being refused access for repairs and improvements and ask that the rent officer fixes a rent consistent with premises in a proper state without tenant derilictions and in line with other properties in the area.

If you go to https://ebusiness.therentservice.gov.uk/SubmissionWebsite/(troq0s45h1oetu45jtzdja45)/universal/rentregister/default.aspx you can look up any registered rent in the country.

jta
01-06-2007, 16:44 PM
Thank you djb. I have now contacted the local authorities to assist me.
I have also sent the T a letter pointing out it is my Duty and my Right to maintain my own property regardless of what he wants and given him seven days to respond, I do not expect him to, after the expiry of the deadline I intend to state the property is no longer fit for his use and try to get an eviction order based on that and his refusals.

???? If I manage to get it declared unfit in it's present condition does he have to leave immediately, or do I still have to give him notice? and/or get a court order?

Furat
05-06-2007, 17:32 PM
i hope your attempts to get the flat properly maintained were recorded.

otherwise it's your word against his.

could look like a case of a dodgy landlord lettign things get dire!

jta
16-02-2012, 19:49 PM
I can't believe it's been five years since I posted this, my very first thread on LLZ.

Things are finally coming to a head, it seems the tenant became ill and had to be removed to hospital, somebody went in there and decided to report me to the council, the result now is that I have a notice that the local officer is going to do an inspection tomorrow and I expect a repairs notice sometime next week.

I am able to put the tenant into a room in another property although that would take a month or so because I will have to send a lodger packing first.

If the tenant refuses to accept the offer of a room while the repairs are being done, (I expect him to) am I going to be responsible for his expenses?

I have this original thread printed out in case I have to justify myself in court, I still have not been able to do an inspection in the property.

What happens if the flat is declared uninhabitable?

I want rid of him, how long can I reasonably spin it out.

If I make arrangements to travel back to UK to do repairs by agreement and then he refuses me access, what happens then? Can I claim the expenses from him.

mind the gap
16-02-2012, 20:36 PM
I'm sorry I don't know the answers to your questions jta but good luck, anyway. It will be interesting to see what you find when you finally gain access, especially if he had not been heating his unoccupied rooms.

I fear you won't be able to claim travelling expenses, except perhaps against tax?Not sure about that.

jta
16-02-2012, 20:47 PM
Thanks MTG, I think you're right.

Incidentally I got caught by your virus this morning but it doesn't seem to have caused a problem except to copy my address list and send out a load of useless emails.

mind the gap
16-02-2012, 20:57 PM
Thanks MTG, I think you're right.

Incidentally I got caught by your virus this morning but it doesn't seem to have caused a problem except to copy my address list and send out a load of useless emails.

I'm really sorry. It's a total pain. I tried to contact hotmail a week ago; they ignored that, but suddenly took it upon themselves to freeze my account this morning, saying they had rid it of the virus and promising to send a code via text message so I could unfreeze it. I'm still waiting...(in Diana Ross contralto)

45002
16-02-2012, 23:12 PM
I can't believe it's been five years since I posted this, my very first thread on LLZ.

Things are finally coming to a head, it seems the tenant became ill and had to be removed to hospital, somebody went in there and decided to report me to the council, the result now is that I have a notice that the local officer is going to do an inspection tomorrow and I expect a repairs notice sometime next week.

I am able to put the tenant into a room in another property although that would take a month or so because I will have to send a lodger packing first.

If the tenant refuses to accept the offer of a room while the repairs are being done, (I expect him to) am I going to be responsible for his expenses?

I have this original thread printed out in case I have to justify myself in court, I still have not been able to do an inspection in the property.

What happens if the flat is declared uninhabitable?

I want rid of him, how long can I reasonably spin it out.

If I make arrangements to travel back to UK to do repairs by agreement and then he refuses me access, what happens then? Can I claim the expenses from him.

As I'm a fellow Regulated Tenant myself..............1977 Rent act,as amended..

The only way you can get rid of him :(punch): legally is by getting a valid possession order,from what you posted you would have No grounds for possession order under 1977 Rent act..

Any court case by LL is going to be highly expense in case of a RT..

Can I ask,Are you the originally landlord ?

The tenant does not have to accept your offer at all in another property and you cannot send the lodger packing,especially if they are related.

Council wont declared uninhabitable,they will issue enforcement orders against LL...

If the tenant refuse you access,im sorry there not much you can do about it,accept to reason with him !

mind the gap
17-02-2012, 07:01 AM
you cannot send the lodger packing,especially if they are related.


That must depend on whose lodger it is (45002 seems to assume the lodger is connected to the RT, but that's not the way I read it - jta is talking of putting the RT in a different property in order to complete the renovation). But yes, in principle, jta can require a lodger to leave (in a way that he cannot require a RT to leave).

An impasse seems to be opening up here; jta is keen to complete the necessary work on the property; the EH want him to; the T refuses acccess.

It makes you wonder how the EHO expects him to fulfil his statutory obligation in this case - will they require the T to allow access, or what? If it is/becomes life-threateningly urgent (e.g.wiring becomes patently unsafe), what then?

thesaint
17-02-2012, 10:36 AM
Instead of printing out this thread, why don't you refer them to the letters you sent them 5 years ago?

45002
17-02-2012, 10:57 AM
That must depend on whose lodger it is (45002 seems to assume the lodger is connected to the RT, but that's not the way I read it - jta is talking of putting the RT in a different property in order to complete the renovation). But yes, in principle, jta can require a lodger to leave (in a way that he cannot require a RT to leave).

An impasse seems to be opening up here; jta is keen to complete the necessary work on the property; the EH want him to; the T refuses acccess.

It makes you wonder how the EHO expects him to fulfil his statutory obligation in this case - will they require the T to allow access, or what? If it is/becomes life-threateningly urgent (e.g.wiring becomes patently unsafe), what then?

Yes I missed read that part of the post :(whew): it was too late to edit my post..

westminster
17-02-2012, 11:46 AM
I have this original thread printed out in case I have to justify myself in court, I still have not been able to do an inspection in the property.

What happens if the flat is declared uninhabitable?

I want rid of him, how long can I reasonably spin it out.

If I make arrangements to travel back to UK to do repairs by agreement and then he refuses me access, what happens then? Can I claim the expenses from him.

I had a glance through the Housing Act 2004 chapter on improvement notices etc. S.35 appears to give the court power to force the occupier to cooperate with repairs.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/34/contents

jta
17-02-2012, 11:53 AM
As I'm a fellow Regulated Tenant myself..............1977 Rent act,as amended..

The only way you can get rid of him :(punch): legally is by getting a valid possession order,from what you posted you would have No grounds for possession order under 1977 Rent act..

I know that, I have been here 5 years.

Any court case by LL is going to be highly expense in case of a RT..

I have no plans to take him to court, I intend to do what I have to, the only reason that the courts might be used would be to force him to allow entry, but it would not be me taking it there, it would have to be the council

Can I ask,Are you the originally landlord ?

No

The tenant does not have to accept your offer at all in another property and you cannot send the lodger packing,especially if they are related.

As MTG says, it's a different property rented to my son on an ast, the lodger is his. He would have no problem with the idea

Council wont declared uninhabitable,they will issue enforcement orders against LL...

Well I'm not so sure, remember the flat has had virtually no maintenance for at least the last 20 years, not through want of trying. I'll wait and see.

If the tenant refuse you access,im sorry there not much you can do about it,accept to reason with him !

There I disagree with you, it's not my job to reason with him, I will ask him politely if he is now going to allow me access, if he refuses then I will throw it back into the lap of the EH officer. And keep a paper trail.

Should I wish to get a bit tough with him I suppose I could sue him for the few hundreds of rent he has managed to not pay, one full month a couple of years ago and since then he has paid £6.96 short every month consistently, despite third party reminders and letters (unanswered).

jta
17-02-2012, 12:04 PM
I had a glance through the Housing Act 2004 chapter on improvement notices etc. S.35 appears to give the court power to force the occupier to cooperate with repairs.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/34/contents

Thanks Westminster, that's the impression I have as well. That is why I would put it back in EH officer's hands if he refuses - there's too much danger of an accusation of harassment to do anything else.

westminster
17-02-2012, 12:18 PM
What happens if the flat is declared uninhabitable?

S.33 HA2004 is interesting...

33 Recovery of possession of premises in order to comply with order

Nothing in—
(a)the Rent Act 1977 (c. 42) or the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976 (c. 80), or
(b)Part 1 of the Housing Act 1988 (c. 50),

prevents possession being obtained by the owner of any specified premises in relation to which a prohibition order is operative if possession of the premises is necessary for the purpose of complying with the order.

45002
17-02-2012, 12:35 PM
I need to refurbish a flat I own in London. The tenant is protected under the 1977 rent act



I want rid of him, how long can I reasonably spin it out.

.


I have no plans to take him to court, I intend to do what I have to, the only reason that the courts might be used would be to force him to allow entry, but it would not be me taking it there, it would have to be the council




Council wont take action on your behalf to gain entry,any court action has to come from the LL..




I had a glance through the Housing Act 2004 chapter on improvement notices etc. S.35 appears to give the court power to force the occupier to cooperate with repairs.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/34/contents

Only way for LL to gain entry,would be a possession order under case 3 or 4 of the Rent act.

But as jta is not the ordinal LL,there not much else that can be done..

westminster
17-02-2012, 12:52 PM
Only way to LL to gain entry,would be a possession order under case 3 or 4 of the Rent act,but as jta is not the ordinal LL,there not much else that can be done..
HA2004
35 Power of court to order occupier or owner to allow action to be taken on premises

(1)This section applies where an improvement notice or prohibition order has become operative.
(2) If the occupier of any specified premises—
(a) has received reasonable notice of any intended action in relation to the premises, but
(b) is preventing a relevant person [i.e. LL/owner], or any representative of a relevant person or of the local housing authority, from taking that action in relation to the premises,

a magistrates' court may order the occupier to permit to be done on the premises anything which the court considers is necessary or expedient for the purpose of enabling the intended action to be taken.

This suggests to me that, if the council serves a notice, and the occupier refuses to cooperate, then the court can make an order against the uncooperative occupier. Nothing to do with jta not being the original LL, or needing a possession order, etc.

westminster
17-02-2012, 13:00 PM
Council wont take action on your behalf to gain entry,any court action has to come from the LL..
Schedule 3 HA2004

SCHEDULE 3
Improvement notices: enforcement action by local housing authorities

Part 1
Power to take action by agreement
1(1) The local housing authority may, by agreement with the person on whom an improvement notice has been served, take any action which that person is required to take in relation to any premises in pursuance of the notice.
(2) For that purpose the authority have all the rights which that person would have against any occupying tenant of, and any other person having an interest in, the premises (or any part of the premises).


...

Part 2
Power to take action without agreement
3(1) The local housing authority may themselves take the action required to be taken in relation to a hazard by an improvement notice if sub-paragraph (2) or (3) applies.
(2) This sub-paragraph applies if the notice is not complied with in relation to that hazard.
(3) This sub-paragraph applies if, before the end of the period which under section 30(2) is appropriate for completion of the action specified in the notice in relation to the hazard, they consider that reasonable progress is not being made towards compliance with the notice in relation to the hazard.

45002
17-02-2012, 13:19 PM
Schedule 3 HA2004

SCHEDULE 3
Improvement notices: enforcement action by local housing authorities

Part 1
Power to take action by agreement
1(1) The local housing authority may, by agreement with the person on whom an improvement notice has been served, take any action which that person is required to take in relation to any premises in pursuance of the notice.
(2) For that purpose the authority have all the rights which that person would have against any occupying tenant of, and any other person having an interest in, the premises (or any part of the premises).


...

Part 2
Power to take action without agreement
3(1) The local housing authority may themselves take the action required to be taken in relation to a hazard by an improvement notice if sub-paragraph (2) or (3) applies.
(2) This sub-paragraph applies if the notice is not complied with in relation to that hazard.
(3) This sub-paragraph applies if, before the end of the period which under section 30(2) is appropriate for completion of the action specified in the notice in relation to the hazard, they consider that reasonable progress is not being made towards compliance with the notice in relation to the hazard.

The local housing authority may themselves take the action,but dont have to !


HA2004
35 Power of court to order occupier or owner to allow action to be taken on premises

(1)This section applies where an improvement notice or prohibition order has become operative.
(2) If the occupier of any specified premises—
(a) has received reasonable notice of any intended action in relation to the premises, but
(b) is preventing a relevant person [i.e. LL/owner], or any representative of a relevant person or of the local housing authority, from taking that action in relation to the premises,

a magistrates' court may order the occupier to permit to be done on the premises anything which the court considers is necessary or expedient for the purpose of enabling the intended action to be taken.

This suggests to me that, if the council serves a notice, and the occupier refuses to cooperate, then the court can make an order against the uncooperative occupier. Nothing to do with jta not being the original LL, or needing a possession order, etc.



But jta said I want rid of him, how long can I reasonably spin it out,as stated in his post yesterday http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?6503-how-do-I-deal-with-this-awkward-tenant&p=358580#post358580 so it comes back to a possession order and any successfully possession order on RT have only ever granted to the ordinal LL,unless it's deliberate rent arrears or serious criminal offence has been committed by RT.

But jta said today he wants council to take action on his behalf http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?6503-how-do-I-deal-with-this-awkward-tenant&p=358646#post358646

If a council/EHO serve a improvement notice or prohibition order on a LL and tenant refuse entry,LL has to start and pay for any legal action against the Tenant to lawfully gain entry,Not the council..

jta
17-02-2012, 14:11 PM
But jta wants rid of him anyway as stated in his post yesterday (http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?6503-how-do-I-deal-with-this-awkward-tenant&p=358580#post358580)

Whoa! You are taking that comment completely out of context. I have no intention of even trying to evict him, it's true I would like rid of him, but not at the expense of risking a prosecution of myself, neither will I harass him. I will try and do what I have to do with good humour. If he does refuse to let me in I will let the EH know and leave it to them.

If a council/EHO serve a improvement notice or prohibition order on a LL and tenant refuse entry,LL has to start and pay for any legal action against the Tenant to lawfully gain entry,Not the council..



Part 1
Power to take action by agreement
1(1) The local housing authority may, by agreement with the person on whom an improvement notice has been served, take any action which that person is required to take in relation to any premises in pursuance of the notice.
(2) For that purpose the authority have all the rights which that person would have against any occupying tenant of, and any other person having an interest in, the premises (or any part of the premises).



Unless I'm misreading something then that is exactly what this paragraph says. (Thank you Westminster)

It may even be that I request the council to do the work and then pay them, although I think that might be a bit pricey in the long run.

westminster
17-02-2012, 14:28 PM
The local housing authority may themselves take the action,but dont have to !
Yes, they may. You said they "won't" and that "any court action has to come from the LL", and this is clearly not what Schedule 3 says.


But jta said I want rid of him, how long can I reasonably spin it out,as stated in his post yesterday http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?6503-how-do-I-deal-with-this-awkward-tenant&p=358580#post358580 (http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?6503-how-do-I-deal-with-this-awkward-tenant&p=358580#post358580) so it comes back to a possession order
It's nothing to do with that comment by jta. It's about getting access to carry out repairs if the T refuses access.

You said, in reply to my link to section 35 regarding a court's power to order an occupier to cooperate with repairs, that the "Only way to LL to gain entry,would be a possession order under case 3 or 4 of the Rent act". Again, this is not what the statute says.

And note that s.35 refers to a magistrate's court - it would almost certainly be the council bringing such a prosecution (I doubt the LL would have to authority to bring a prosecution).

45002
17-02-2012, 14:33 PM
Westminster

Do you actually know what i mean by "Possession order under case 3 or 4 of the Rent act"

Anyway doesn't really matter now,jta now said what he wants to do,so it's a bit pointless going on about it..




Whoa! You are taking that comment completely out of context.

Never mind :x:

Good Luck !

What's the weather like in lacasabonita...............

jta
17-02-2012, 14:49 PM
What's the weather like in lacasabonita...............

The sun is shining, currently about 22C, Missus is in Birmingham seeing a new great grandson. The JD is at the ready, so not a bad day at all. Thanks for asking.

westminster
17-02-2012, 15:06 PM
Westminster

Do you actually know what i mean by "Possession order under case 3 or 4 of the Rent act"
Presumably you're referring to Part 1 of Schedule 15.

But, as the discussion is about getting access to carry out repairs (hence why I linked to s.35 HA 2004), not about regaining possession (which we all know is nigh impossible with a Rent Act T), I don't see how it's relevant; and it's simply not the case that the "only" way jta can get this access is under Case 3 or 4.

45002
17-02-2012, 15:21 PM
The sun is shining, currently about 22C, Missus is in Birmingham seeing a new great grandson. The JD is at the ready, so not a bad day at all. Thanks for asking.

11 degrees here,getting colder and raining in East Midlands :s:


Presumably you're referring to Part 1 of Schedule 15.

But, as the discussion is about getting access to carry out repairs (hence why I linked to s.35 HA 2004), not about regaining possession (which we all know is nigh impossible with a Rent Act T), I don't see how it's relevant; and it's simply not the case that the "only" way jta can get this access is under Case 3 or 4.

Yes,but as you said "nigh impossible with a Rent Act T"

It's the part of injunction and court order enforcing LL right of entry to T home inspections,repair work and so on,I disagreed with and is nigh impossible to obtain such a order.

Which I posted in several thread on the forums,including this one http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?26589-L-s-right-of-access-for-inspection-or-viewing&p=337812#post337812

jta
17-02-2012, 15:32 PM
I've had several suggestions, one that I quite like is offering the tenant a holiday for two or three weeks, that would save me the trouble of evicting a perfectly good lodger and getting him out from underfoot while the major work is completed. I could get a nice little package holiday for him in Tenerife for about £500. (Maybe I could just get him a single ticket) I'm joking.

Does that sound feasible?

wilfred
03-03-2012, 15:02 PM
I've had several suggestions, one that I quite like is offering the tenant a holiday for two or three weeks, that would save me the trouble of evicting a perfectly good lodger and getting him out from underfoot while the major work is completed. I could get a nice little package holiday for him in Tenerife for about £500. (Maybe I could just get him a single ticket) I'm joking.

Does that sound feasible?


A cheaper alternative would be to let him stay with you for a month in sunny Espania. You could get to know him, thereby preventing any breakdown of L & T relationships in the future.

mind the gap
03-03-2012, 22:06 PM
A cheaper alternative would be to let him stay with you for a month in sunny Espania. You could get to know him, thereby preventing any breakdown of L & T relationships in the future.

But presumably jta would be spending the three weeks overseeing the refurb, so his T wouldn't get to know him at all!

wilfred
03-03-2012, 22:11 PM
But presumably jta would be spending the three weeks overseeing the refurb, so his T wouldn't get to know him at all!

Oh, I never thought about that. If this is the case jta might also find himself with a squatter when he returns to Spain.

Pet
07-03-2012, 12:24 PM
I dont know if this is right or not... I was told in the past that if a property is declared not fit for habitation, it can be very costly to get it to the standards required to return it to habitable, simply because those standards have changed greatly over the years. Plus it might never be possible to have it habitable again.

Perhaps someone else knows a lot more about this than me.

Pet

jta
16-03-2012, 13:58 PM
I had a call an hour ago.

He died.

So, I'm sad the old geezer's gone, but elated I no longer have a regulated tenant.

I was in the middle of arranging a trip back to do the repairs needed, luckily I haven't booked yet so have not wasted money there.

I've already spoken to EH and they are dropping their demands, I am going to disconnect the electric, close the place up tight and declare it under re-construction then take my time bringing it into line with modern standards. That might take a year.

On a mercenary note I suppose that gives a boost to my portfolio as well.

papillon
16-03-2012, 14:50 PM
close the place up tight
VERY tight. Squatters, etc (fingers crossed, tongue firmly in cheek, etc.) ;)

JK0
16-03-2012, 19:59 PM
Mightn't it be an idea to leave the electricity on, so you can put some random light adaptors here and there?

jta
16-03-2012, 20:28 PM
Mightn't it be an idea to leave the electricity on, so you can put some random light adaptors here and there?

Maybe, I haven't really thought it through yet. My first instinct is to stop all utilities until I'm ready to do a full refurbish. There seems no point paying for them if no-one is living there. Other than changing the locks and adding some security there is nothing I want to do with the place for several months. By stopping utilities I think I should be able to declare the place uninhabitable and stop any council tax demands as well.

It's all about money innit?

JK0
16-03-2012, 21:15 PM
Just give meter readings and open a new account in your name. I am sure you can declare the place under renovation and suspend council tax, but you will certainly need a supply for renovations won't you? Won't you need water also?

You should be very cautious about telling utilities to cut off supplies, because they can be very snotty about re-connecting them. (They may require the place re-wired before they will re-connect.) That will make it very awkward to work on the place while you are renovating.

kmmr
16-03-2012, 21:36 PM
Where in London is it? Are you interested in selling?!

jta
17-03-2012, 06:13 AM
Just give meter readings and open a new account in your name. I am sure you can declare the place under renovation and suspend council tax, but you will certainly need a supply for renovations won't you? Won't you need water also?

You should be very cautious about telling utilities to cut off supplies, because they can be very snotty about re-connecting them. (They may require the place re-wired before they will re-connect.) That will make it very awkward to work on the place while you are renovating.

Good point, I hadn't thought that through, I'll be sorting it out today.

Ericthelobster
17-03-2012, 09:37 AM
I am sure you can declare the place under renovation and suspend council taxNot sure you can suspend it indefinitely, though?


You should be very cautious about telling utilities to cut off supplies, because they can be very snotty about re-connecting them. (They may require the place re-wired before they will re-connect.) That will make it very awkward to work on the place while you are renovating.Agreed. I've found myself in that position! You just need to ensure you're on tarriffs with no standing order and it won't be an issue to leave the gas and electric hooked up.

As regards water; that varies... once, in a similar situation to you I explained the situation and ended up paying a fixed fee of £30(?) for "building water"; that was for at least two years until the place was habitable and paying regular charges again. Otherwise, you might get away with no charge at all if you're lucky; if you're circumspect about how long it's likely to be empty!

jta
17-03-2012, 11:49 AM
Thanks Eric.

jta
17-03-2012, 14:33 PM
congrats on receiving the sad news. rather than leave the old place empty for a year or so, can't you just do a basic splosh of paint and let it short term on an AST. the market is such that anything will let and for unprecedented rents. London is awash with folk looking for a bargain on the rental market. It will find a rental level, probably at a worthwhile premium to the old reggie rent. You probably had some sort of space and water heating in compliance with s11 of the Act and frankly I wouldn't worry too much about a tenant holding under an AST complaining to the local authority becuase if they do, it can be said quite correctly that you need to obtain vacant possession to carry out a comprehensive programme of works and serve the tenant with notice to vacate.

My advice is not to leave accommodation empty in London - or for that matter anywhere else. Property outgoings will be payable, there is a risk of squatters and most seriously you'll void your insurance cover and if you spring a leak somewhere massive damage can and will be done.

I love your 'basic splosh of paint'. Hopefully it wont take me a year to make it liveable, I've just spoken to a council officer and it seems they will exempt it for CT for a year if it's being refurbished. I can't let it with a 1950's kitchen and bathroom and it definitely needs rewiring for which I've just got my first quote, 2.5K inclusive of parts. Leaks are not a problem because I will cut off the water if I'm not there.

The problem with letting it after doing minimal work would be to start getting complaints about all the things that I already know need doing, I would much rather go through the place and make it nice then let it at a premium price than have to deal with tenants and legitimate complaints that would cost more in the long run than doing it properly in the first place.

Anyway, here's another question, I'm thinking of chucking out the bath and replacing it with a nice modern shower, good/bad idea?

Ericthelobster
17-03-2012, 14:57 PM
Anyway, here's another question, I'm thinking of chucking out the bath and replacing it with a nice modern shower, good/bad idea?All about your target market, innit... though on balance I'd usually favour keeping a tub with a proper, plumbed-in shower over it (not a poxy electric one!) and decent protection against leaks.

Young professionals with no kids, or possibly old/infirm people who can't get out of a tub, are the only target markets for whom I'd consider a shower-only property, and only if there was definitely no room for a tub.

jta
17-03-2012, 15:52 PM
All about your target market, innit...

I agree, at the moment I'm thinking of turning the flat into a small HMO, there are 3 good sized rooms that would probably rent for around £400pcm each. It would have to be a good standard for that, but quite achievable in the area. By making it shower only I could gain enough room for a good sized airing/linen cupboard in the bathroom which the flat currently lacks.

jta
17-03-2012, 18:42 PM
personally I wouldn't rent by the room; I'd rather rent to at most two couples sharing and tell them that if they want to take in a lodger its up to them but there cannot be more than two couples on the tenancy agreement. Airing and linen cupboards don't seem to feature large in tenants' wish lists; however a washer/dryer does. What sort of heating have you got there?

What's your reasoning for 2 couples and a lodger? To me that would be overloading the place.

Heating, there ain't none, that's one of the things I have to do, at present I'm looking at economy electric radiators for each room hard wired into their own circuit, they are fully adjustable. There is no gas in the place and I want to keep it that way.

(The T used to use a butane heater which I said was a problem, the EHO agreed with me, but he would not get rid of it.)


A washer/dryer is not a problem to supply, they're cheap and I wont be paying for the leccy.

mind the gap
17-03-2012, 18:59 PM
I love your 'basic splosh of paint'.

My sentiments exactly, jta :(:

For a discussion on why it is better to refurb properly than tosh it out, see westminster's thread on that very theme:

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?45437-High-versus-low-cost-refurb-which-is-better

When it comes to rental properties, 'cheap and cheerful' is an oxymoron. (And I'm sure jta is not one of those!)

jta
17-03-2012, 19:03 PM
Economy Seven Storage heating is regarded by tenants as expensive to run;

I'm not talking about Economy 7 heating, see here

http://www.economy-radiators.com/?gclid=CPzl1pzP7q4CFYgifAodiRrLHg

mind the gap
17-03-2012, 22:55 PM
Interesting, they still cost triple the price of gas per therm!

Yes, but they don't need an annual CP12 or boiler service and they are less of a fire risk than gas appliances.

Losos
18-03-2012, 13:22 PM
jta - yes I did notice your OP was in 2007 but read it through as I'm trying to get up to speed on what a LL can (and can not) do. So someone has reported you to the council, I assume that you have been writing to the council at least once a year, a proper letter signed in blue ink and sent recorded delivery so when some 'jobs worth' contacts you with all the accusations they love to use you can show him / her that you have reported the tennant to them for the last five years!!!!

jta
18-03-2012, 14:03 PM
jta - yes I did notice your OP was in 2007 but read it through as I'm trying to get up to speed on what a LL can (and can not) do. So someone has reported you to the council, I assume that you have been writing to the council at least once a year, a proper letter signed in blue ink and sent recorded delivery so when some 'jobs worth' contacts you with all the accusations they love to use you can show him / her that you have reported the tennant to them for the last five years!!!!

You need to read it again then. It's all water under the bridge. The tenant died.

As to what a landlord can do with a regulated tenant the answer is 'not a lot'.

Making waves at council offices is not really to be recommended, this guy was terrified I would put the rent up if I refurbished, I would have of course but I would have still been constrained by the rent officer. Now I can get a proper rent for the place without interference.

jta
18-03-2012, 14:12 PM
you must do as you please

I will thanks. I do not want to put gas into the place that would lead to more expense for me for gas checks etc. My experience tells me that a tenant does not take that much notice of the sort of heating and this particular type has good reviews. Don't forget it's not me that will be paying to use them, I only need to supply them, for the whole of the flat it will be 3 large one small radiator and a heated towel rail, total cost around £2000, that's it, no maintenance required for at least 5 years (g'teed) and the whole flat will be on a maintenance contract anyway.

45002
18-03-2012, 14:55 PM
I had a call an hour ago.

He died.

So, I'm sad the old geezer's gone, but elated I no longer have a regulated tenant.

I was in the middle of arranging a trip back to do the repairs needed, luckily I haven't booked yet so have not wasted money there.

I've already spoken to EH and they are dropping their demands, I am going to disconnect the electric, close the place up tight and declare it under re-construction then take my time bringing it into line with modern standards. That might take a year.

On a mercenary note I suppose that gives a boost to my portfolio as well.

Is that all you can think of on someone Death.


You need to read it again then. It's all water under the bridge. The tenant died.

As to what a landlord can do with a regulated tenant the answer is 'not a lot'.

Making waves at council offices is not really to be recommended, this guy was terrified I would put the rent up if I refurbished, I would have of course but I would have still been constrained by the rent officer. Now I can get a proper rent for the place without interference.





http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/renting_and_leasehold/private_tenancies/regulated_tenancies#7

A Regulated tenancy does not end just like that on there Death!


The majority of tenants who have exclusive occupation1 of private rented accommodation and who entered into their tenancy agreements on or before 15 January 1989 will be regulated tenants under the 1977 Rent act

On the death of a regulated tenant their spouse or civil partner has priority for succession to the tenancy provided they lived with the tenant at the time of death. Paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 to the 1977 Act provides that couples living together as husband and wife or civil partners should be treated in the same way as married couples for succession purposes. Cohabitants, like spouses, would succeed to a statutory tenancy4 in these circumstances.

If there is no spouse or civil partner to succeed then any members of the late tenant's family that resided in the dwelling house at the time of the death and for two years beforehand will be entitled to succeed to an assured tenancy under the 1988 Housing Act.5 Residing means more than staying at an address, even if the quality of the residence is not permanent or indefinite.6

On the death of a successor spouse/civil partner, a member of the family (of both the original tenant and the successor) who resided in the dwelling house at the time of the successor's death and for two years beforehand, is entitled to a "second succession." This succession is to an assured tenancy under the 1988 Housing Act.7

Assured tenants have substantial security of tenure; the significant difference between assured and regulated tenants is that there is no concept analogous to "registered rents"8 under the 1988 Act. The rent for an assured tenancy is a full market rent.

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=death+of+a+regulated+tenant&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CHEQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.parliament.uk%2Fbriefing-papers%2FSN02004.pdf&ei=3_plT-KwGpKw8QPE3aSjCA&usg=AFQjCNHtwuX0zj-z5PTpSxC13IjrORMYzQ&cad=rja

I really do hope there No one ? hiding under the floor boards in your rush to boost your bank account.

PS:If you need to return to the UK,your need your Long Johns .....

jta
18-03-2012, 15:50 PM
If there is no spouse or civil partner to succeed then any members of the late tenant's family that resided in the dwelling house at the time of the death and for two years beforehand will be entitled to succeed to an assured tenancy under the 1988 Housing Act.5 Residing means more than staying at an address, even if the quality of the residence is not permanent or indefinite.6

Yes I know that, the fact remains he lived alone so as far as I'm concerned the flat is now available to be rented on an AST.


Is that all you can think of on someone Death.

What's that supposed to mean? Do you think I'm celebrating his death? The fact of the matter is that I have to deal with it, it's no good sitting on my hands with an empty property to fix.

45002
18-03-2012, 16:53 PM
Yes I know that, the fact remains he lived alone so as far as I'm concerned the flat is now available to be rented on an AST.



What's that supposed to mean? Do you think I'm celebrating his death? The fact of the matter is that I have to deal with it, it's no good sitting on my hands with an empty property to fix.

They maybe some living relatives ? who wish to clear out any personal belonging of the diseased tenant.

jta
18-03-2012, 17:08 PM
They maybe some living relatives ? who wish to clear out any personal belonging of the deceased tenant.

That is happening now, as soon as that's done I will be changing the locks.

Snorkerz
24-03-2012, 16:38 PM
2 couples is not an HMO, in HMO speak it is the same as two unrelated individuals, ie two households, Yes it is - more than 2 people comprising 2 or more households.