Ask Lorraine – I need to trace a Tamworth Guarantor

Ask Lorraine – My Tamworth tenants moved out after leaving rent arrears of nearly three thousand pounds and I have decided to persue the tenant’s guarantor for the money.

Up to the point of the tenants doing a moonlight flit I had been in contact with the guarantor through Facebook. I had made him aware of the arrears situation and his obligations as guarantor.

Tracing a guarantor
Tracing a guarantor

The moment I found out that my tenants had vanished, I also found out that the guarantor had not only deleted his Facebook account but his mobile number had changed as well.

Would you credit it? The address given by him at the start of the tenancy is incorrect, they’ve never even heard of him there!

I would like to trace this gentleman, I think possibly that he is still living and working in the Tamworth area.

Can you  offer any advice?

Cheers Naz

Lorraine’s Answer – 

Hi, You do not say what steps you had taken with the tenants to recover the unpaid rent or if you had served a section 8 or section 21 on them.  Did you conduct checks on the tenants or the guarantor ? from you email,  it appears that you did not, on the guarantor.

Try Nationwide Tracing Services Limited to find your guarantor or missing tenants, their fee is £35 which is paid only when they have traced the named person/s.

Should you wish to continue to self manage the tenancy,  I would recommend joining an association – The National Landlords Association, they offer great advice.

I hope you have success in your search.

Until next week.

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Has my Tamworth lodger become my accidential tenant?

My best friend came to visit me nearly three years ago, she stayed on and rented one of my rooms.  With low rent and fully inclusive of all bills, she had a great deal.

After 6 months I went to live with my partner so rented out another room in my house. Shortly after I moved out  my best friends son came to stay and has been there ever since.

When I was  advised recently I had created a HMO, I told my friend that her son had to leave the property, she advised that she would be vacating when he did. I then gave them a polite written notice that I wanted them both the leave.

When the second tenant left  6 weeks ago I locked her room to prevent it being used.

My question is – As nothing was ever put down on paper, Is my friend to be treated as a tenant?

What happens if she decides not to move out voluntarily? And how do I handle her son?

Many thanks

 

game over
game over

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As they can only be a lodger while you live in the property it looks like you have created a tenancy.

Keep things as pleasant as possible and hope that things do not break down between all parties.  If your friend and her son do decide not to move out, I would recommend that you seek professional advice as soon as possible.

I hope all goes well.

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As Lorraine – My Tamworth tenants are getting married, will this change the tenancy?

Make out the tenancy agreement with the current names. Once the couple are married make a note of the change and when writing, use the new name. 

A new tenancy agreemnt will not be required after the name change as it is still the same person.

Ask Lorraine – I am a Tamworth landlord with an EPC dilema!

You may find this article helpful   https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/energy-performance-certificates-for-the-construction-sale-and-let-of-dwellings

Ask Lorraine ; What Documents do I need for my Tamworth property before renting it out?

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Ask Lorraine – My Tamworth tenant has two dogs in the property, help!

Ask Lorraine – We have always stipulated that none of our tenants are allowed to keep pets in our properties. We are  not being unreasonable, my husband  has a pet allergy and suffers very badly with chest tightness, shortness of breath and wheezing whenever he comes in contact with them. We have always explained the reason for our no pets policy.

My husband called round to our latest tenants as they were  having an issue with the garage door. Imagine his response when he found the tenants had gone against our wishes and had two dogs in the property.

We now feel that we have lost all trust in our tenants and would like to know what are options are.

Thanks

B.W & S.W

Lorraines Answer – Landlords usually have a clause prohibiting pet ownership for  many reasons i.e potential damage to the property, noise, fleas, or even problems for future tenants if they have pet allergies.

Do you have a clause in your tenancy agreement prohibiting pet ownership at the property? If not then I would recommend that you include a clause for any future tenancies.

If you do have such a clause then the good news – you can give your tenants notice under section 8 clause 12 of the Housing Act 1988. This section covers a breach of the tenancy agreement.

No dogs or cats allowed
No dogs or cats allowed

Write to your tenants and ask them to remove the pets, ensure you refer to the clause in the tenancy agreement. I say write to your tenants as you should always document any correspondence with your tenants, if you have to take them to court you are able to supply any evidence requested by the courts.

If the pets are not removed, you will need to take the next step to seek possession of the property.  You can find form 3 plus lots of information on Eviction under section 8 clause 12 here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/as…

Should you not wish to get involved yourselves in the possession paperwork, then a solicitor or letting agent would be able to help.

Until next week.

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Ask Lorraine – My Tamworth HMO and damage.

Ask Lorraine – We have been landlords of 2 apartments for 6 years now and have always had fantastic tenants. My husband talked me into adding to our portfolio and we are now running  a HMO. Wow, what a whole new ball game!

The HMO is our former much loved family home, we always had top of the range fixtures and fittings and it was  possibly much nicer than other HMO’s.

Shared House
Shared house

 

 

 

 

Our problem is that my husband seems to be at the property every week sorting issues out. Last night a tenant texted to say that the corner of the marble worksurface in the kitchen is badly chipped. Infact he states that he found a rather large piece of marble on the kitchen floor which he’s left on the hall table, should we need the piece to repair the worksurface.

We cannot understand how this could possibly have happened, surely this is not down to wear and tear?The problem is that it will be very difficult to prove who actually damaged the worksurface and to charge them.

Best Wishes Lily

Lorraine’s Answer – Hello Lily

You have my every sympathy, renting out your own former home is always a recipe for disaster.  No matter how careful the tenants are, they will they be harder on it than you ever were.

One piece of advice – make it nice for them but don’t go to the same expense as you would your own home. Tenants may not deliberately damage your things but as they haven’t had to pay for them the they won’t normally have the same feelings towards them.

The problem with HMO’s is that you cannot prove which resident damaged anything in the communal areas, so basically the landlord has to carry out the repairs and swallow any costs.

You’ve probably already found that running costs of a HMO are much higher than that of a normal AST type tenancy. If you are carrying out weekly repairs it may be in your best interests if you do your sums and decide if running a HMO is still good for you. After all you are running a business!

With the added costs, come the legislation on HMO’s, these  are a minefiled for even seasoned Landlords, maybe a headache too far?

Whatever you decide, I hope you enjoy your property journey.

Until next week

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Ask Lorraine – My tenants have left owing hundreds in utility bills

Ask Lorraine  – We  had been renting our Tamworth  property out to a couple who really did seem to be respectable and trustworthy.

Tenants owe utility bills
Tenants owe utility bills

Once they had  moved out we found  they had left owing over £600.00 in utility bills.

Apparently the lady had contacted the utility suppliers and said they were only renting a room from us and  we were  responsible for the bills.

This was simply not true, the couple were renting the whole property. For the past 3 months, we have been in talks with the utility suppliers however as the couple have now  disappeared  we are being pressed to settle these bills. We have been burying our heads in the sand. Please help.

Anna

Bills

Lorraine’s answer  – Hi Anna,

Did you take meter readings and inform the utility companies before the tenants moved in?

Did you also inform the water company and council when the tenants moved in?

As the Landlord and owner of the property, you should really take responsibility to advise the relevant companies when  tenants move in and out. Don’t rely on others to do this!

You need to contact the Utility suppliers and explain that the tenants were liable for the bills, send them the Tenancy Agreement confirming this and make sure they change the owing accounts into the tenants names.

This will ensure their contracts are between them and the tenants plus it should prevent them coming to the property to install credit meters to claw back the outstanding debt from you.

For future reference, you can ask to become an additional name on the account (‘Third Party User’) the tenant has to request this but you can make the tenancy agreement conditional upon this. The landlord would not be liable for the bills, it would give the landlord a way to monitor the tenants account and perhaps be aware of any issues unfolding.

Good Luck.

Until next week

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Ask Lorraine – My Tamworth agent has given me 14 days to vacate my house

Ask Lorraine – Hello hun,

I’m after a little advice as I don’t have many options. My agent gave me a Section 21 on 19th January and has told me I’ve got 14 days to leave the property. I’ve been renting my home for nearly 2 years.

I have nowhere to go and 14 days is not long enough to find another property and pack up my stuff.  I will end up sofa surfing, yes I have paid the rent a few days late on the odd month but I’m currently up to date.

How can an agent treat me like this,  surely this can’t be right?

Name was supplied

14 days to leave

Lorraine’s Answer – I am sorry that you find yourself in this unpleasant situation and I hope that you do find somewhere to live.

I don’t know if communication has broken down between you and the agent/landlord or if there are underlying issues as to why the landlord requires the property back.

I will do my best to answer your question assuming that you are now on a periodic tenancy agreement.

Section 21

A landlord has the legal right to retain possession at the end of a tenancy but they must follow the correct legal procedure. This includes serving a valid section 21 notice which is the  easiest way for an agent/landlord to recover a property.

For a S21 to be valid there are a number of pieces of information that you should have been given during your tenancy, If not the notice will not be legal and cannot be enforced.

The notice to leave must be at least two calendar months or the same period for which rent is paid, whichever is longer. The notice should end on the last day of a rental period (the day before rent is due).

I do not have all the facts but would certainly recommend that you take your tenancy agreement, complete with any additional paperwork in your possession, to the Council. If the Council cannot help, Citizens Advice will be able too.

Please do this as soon as possible.

Please see below tenants guide to private renting, this will give you lots of helpful advice.

https://www.gov.uk/private-renting

I hope things turn out well for you.

Until next week.

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Ask Lorraine – My problem tenant

Ask Lorraine – One of my Tamworth tenants who has

ask lorraine my problem tenant
ask lorraine my problem tenant

been renting off me for nearly there years is on housing benefit. I gave this lady a chance when others would not take benefit tenants. Five months ago she became a nightmare tenant, she is now causing the neighbours problems and I am getting so many phone calls from them asking that I  resolve the situation. Three weeks ago I received a visit from two of her neighbours demanding that I  evict her. Unfortunately I live on the same Tamworth estate as my tenant.

ask lorraine mad woman

I served a section 21 notice straight away and after receiving notification from the housing benefit department I returned the £500.00 deposit. It appears that the council are on her side as they are now saying that my section 21 is invalid and they have told her not to move out. I have been advised that I must provide evidence that the deposit was protected in accordance with regulations.

For the sake of my tenants neighbours, I need this lady out of my life as soon as possible and hope that you can advise on the best course of action in order to evict her.

Help  A.J.

Lorraine’s Answer

Hi  A.J.

It sounds as though the deposit wasn’t protected within 30 days of being received, if at all?

If you served the section 21 before returning the deposit, you will need to serve  a new one as the council are correct, it is invalid.

In order to serve a valid section 21 there is also legislation paperwork that must be issued (and signed for) at the start of the tenancy. I would recommend checking out the government website      https://www.gov.uk/renting-out-a-property     to ensure you did issue this. Once you have your ducks in a row, serve a new section 21.

Good luck in your quest.

Until next week

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Ask Lorraine – Can I sell my Tamworth Buy-to-let with a sitting tenant?

Ask Lorraine  – Due to changes in my circumstances, I have decided to sell one of my Tamworth properties. Is there any way of selling with the tenants in situ. They are lovely tenants  who have been renting from me for a number of years,  I would like to ensure they are looked after.

Will other landlords buy tenanted properties or must I sell the house with vacant possession?

Many Thanks  Rodney

Tamworth
Tamworth

Lorraine’s Answer – Hello Rodney

I understand you are trying to do the decent thing by your tenants but you do not owe them anything.

There are many landlords who would welcome buying a property with a good solid tenant  in situ. Generally good, long term tenants are an asset to a sale, rather than a problem.

How about offering a financial incentive for the tenants to help you sell for the best price possible?

Whatever route you decide to go down, the new landlord is duty bound by your Tenancy Agreement until the end of its term, so please ensure that your tenants are made aware of this fact.

If your tenants become jittery with the idea of you selling and  a new unknown Landlord, why not let them leave without giving their full notice. At least this way you will have vacant possession.

Until next week

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