LANDLORDS – Don’t get your fingers burnt this Bonfire Night!!

A landlord friend of mine, although I’ve been trying to convince him to allow me to look after his properties properly, has a couple of properties that he lets out himself. He has let one such property out to a friend of his and his mate.  Given that one of these tenants was a so called “mate” he decided to cut the usual corners and let the property out without drawing up a tenancy agreement or do the necessary checks etc.  A decision he quickly grew to regret!!!

These tenants have now stopped paying rent and are proving to be the stereotypical “nightmare tenant” It also appears that the one of the tenants has a solicitor as a father and are able to quote their rights and are happy to sit in the house, without paying rent until they are lawfully evicted.

Even  though there is no written tenancy, there is still a verbal agreement so a Section 21 Notice can still be issued giving at least 2 months notice to leave (with an eviction date ‘after’ the end of a tenancy period (e.g. if rent is due on the tenth of the month, the Section 21 must expire after the ninth).   The one problem he will face is that, because there is no written tenancy, if the tenants do not leave he will not be able to obtain a possession notice through the accelerated process and will have to go to court. 

Our advice to all Landlords is, while it can seem a pain getting tenancy agreements, inventories, references etc done when the relationship is amicable at the start, it is much, much easier than resolving an issue later on when you haven’t.  Never could the saying “prevention is better than the cure” be truer.