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okaycuckoo

Landlord Anecdote

31 posts in this topic

Spoke with a letting agent a few days ago. She works with a small outfit with 40 properties on the books, all of them owned by the owners of the agency. Thought that in itself was interesting - I imagine they charge hefty fees to themselves. Most of it is residential and they prefer 12 month contracts. Surprisingly, commercial is holding up OK - high st stuff. They also have a building firm, which survived the great collapse.

Anyway, they have one flat that has been rented by the same tenant for the past 2 years. He pays every month on the dot by standing order. But whenever the agents turn up (notice given, all above board) they find the post piled up behind the door and no sign of current occupation. The tenant has personal effects in the flat, and he's not hiding under the bed.

They've contacted the bank, but of course no information forthcoming because of confidentiality.

No notion of the property being used for illicit purposes. No hint of dodgy behaviour. And it seems the utilities bills are being paid.

Is he dead? Dunno. Bear in mind this has been going on for 2 years.

Landlord is happy to receive rent, but the agreement has been breached because of non-occupation for more than 28 days. Landlord is concerned about maintenance of the property, so they're considering taking possession.

Any thoughts?

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They're hiding in the wardrobe wondering wtf the LL or LA keep coming in and disturbing the post.

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LHA to keep your accommodation in UK. ESA and DLA paid into a bank account to fund one's 2nd accommodation and living costs in Thailand.

Surprised he ain't subletting!

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[quote name='Seasonally Employed Youth' timestamp='1334422119' post='909013736']
LHA to keep your accommodation in UK. ESA and DLA paid into a bank account to fund one's 2nd accommodation and living costs in Thailand.

Surprised he ain't subletting!
[/quote]
One thing she said about housing benefit was that, although it's not paid direct you can apply to have payments direct once there's been default for 8 weeks. What I didn't know is that the LA puts up a bond in lieu of deposit, so that automatically covers the lost 8 weeks of rent.

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[quote name='okaycuckoo' timestamp='1334421626' post='909013730']
Landlord is happy to receive rent, but the agreement has been breached because of non-occupation for more than 28 days. Landlord is concerned about maintenance of the property, so they're considering taking possession.

Any thoughts?
[/quote]

That non-occupation clause really takes the biscuit... what the hell has it got to do with the landlord where you spend your time? please sir please sir can I go backpacking for 5 weeks? I know my only reason for living is to give you money and look after your precious flat but please sir please sir?

I don't know why they'd be concerned about maintenance, heating is on in the winter presumably or they'd have had a problem by now.... surely this is the best level of wear and tear a landlord can get from a tenant?

I don't know what's going on, but it's none of their business. That clause is ridiculous. And why are they coming round anyway? They don't know a good thing when they see it.

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[quote name='cybernoid' timestamp='1334423913' post='909013750']
That non-occupation clause really takes the biscuit... what the hell has it got to do with the landlord where you spend your time?
[/quote]
Insurance + I assume that they'd like to know that someone is likely to notice if the pipes spring a leak etc.

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[quote name='tbatst2000' timestamp='1334424388' post='909013757']
Insurance + I assume that they'd like to know that someone is likely to notice if the pipes spring a leak etc.
[/quote]

Normally caretakers get paid...

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[quote name='cybernoid' timestamp='1334423913' post='909013750']
That non-occupation clause really takes the biscuit... what the hell has it got to do with the landlord where you spend your time? please sir please sir can I go backpacking for 5 weeks? I know my only reason for living is to give you money and look after your precious flat but please sir please sir?[/quote]

Couldn't agree more. I now spend more or less all the time outside university teaching weeks (where for obvious reasons I have to be in the UK) with my fiancee in Alaska. Even before I met her, I spent a significant proportion of non-term time there anyway, for work reasons. My employer has no problem with this - thanks to the Internet and cheap telecommunications, I can do virtually my entire job apart from delivering lectures and seminars from anywhere in the world. In fact, my head of department is grateful for the arrangement, because space in our building is very cramped and my office can be used by teaching assistants, emeriti etc. when I'm not there.

When I go away, typically for periods of 3-8 weeks at a time, I do let both my LL and one of my neighbours know (my tenancy agreement says that I have to notify the LL if I'm going to be away for more than a month, not that doing so is a breach of the agreement in itself), and they have no problem. They also have my US mobile number. Thankfully, the LL is a very reasonable individual and there isn't any problem. I also let the neighbour know when, occasionally, a friend stays in my flat while I'm away.

In this case, unless the LL has reasonable grounds to believe that he or she could be legally liable in any way resulting from their tenant's long absences, then as long as they're getting their rent on time, they are none of the LL's business. If there is a genuine maintenance issue that requires access to the property, just write to whatever contact details have been provided by the tenant with words to the effect of "If I don't receive a reply from you by (insert date here), I'll assume that I have your permission to let myself and/or my contractor in on (insert date here) to carry out the necessary work". Problem sorted.

If the LL does have reasonable grounds to suspect that social security fraud could be taking place, then notify the DHSS and that's that. Edited by The Ayatollah Buggeri

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I haven't got a clue what it says in our rental contract but we treat the house as if it were our own. When we go away for a few months we make sure that everything is turned off and ask one of our daughters to pop in every week or two to make sure that everything is okay.

Like laws, rental contracts are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools.

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Downstairs from half of my flat is a tenant who never appears. Apparently his rent is paid, though the number of visits from the bailiffs over several years suggests that not all bills are dealt with so efficiently.

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He's in the nick. His crew are putting his share of the drug business in the bank to cover the rent. Will be out in a month or two. First job will be to throw a massive party and trash the place.

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[quote name='Stainless Sam' timestamp='1334428322' post='909013792']
He's in the nick. His crew are putting his share of the drug business in the bank to cover the rent. Will be out in a month or two. First job will be to throw a massive party and trash the place.
[/quote]
I'd like an invite. Nice suggestion.

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[quote name='SarahBell' timestamp='1334421785' post='909013732']
They're hiding in the wardrobe wondering wtf the LL or LA keep coming in and disturbing the post.
[/quote]

LOL I like that one.

How would the LL know the place is unoccupied for months? Do they sit outside with a video camera 24x7? Freaky stalkers.

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[quote name='Stainless Sam' timestamp='1334428322' post='909013792']
He's in the nick. [/quote]

+1
My initial thought

then I wondered- is the flat in the catchment area for a really nice state school?

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perhaps he stays with his girlfriend, but due to previously been chucked out and made homeless in the past when the relationship broke up, he feels the need to maintain a bolthole as security. i know ive thought of this in the past, and wished i had once or twice as well. nothing like known if it all goes wrong you are sorted.

Also its good to have a mailing address.

it could also suit them because his gf is claiming benifits as single and incase of any problem he can prove he dont live there, even though he realy does.

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Whatever the reason if it's LHA paying for it then it's tax payers paying for an empty property.





And for tenants who leave their property alone for more than 30 days are messing up their own contents insurance as well as the landlords buildings.
(unless they declare their absences of course)

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we should send a SWAT team to secure the place. ( So Where's Are Tenant?)

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Could be anything... possibly someone working away.

My first guess was an oil-rig worker where they work a few weeks on, a few weeks off.

Could also be military posted away.

Either way the landlord should mind their own business. There may even be laws broken due to access to the property without the tenants consent... legally they only have right to unapproved access in an emergency... everything else is by agreed appointment.

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[quote name='bajista' timestamp='1334434347' post='909013839']
+1
My initial thought

then I wondered- is the flat in the catchment area for a really nice state school?
[/quote]
Thanks, didn't think of that. I suppose someone that conscientious would visit the property, and would probably try to sublet it or "put it to work" in some way.

My guess is the guy is dead, and nobody has noticed.

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[quote name='bajista' timestamp='1334434347' post='909013839']
+1
My initial thought

then I wondered- is the flat in the catchment area for a really nice state school?
[/quote]
You can claim housing benefit for up to 13 weeks if in the nick.

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Could be a safehouse for terrists.

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[quote name='Seasonally Employed Youth' timestamp='1334439730' post='909013890']
You can claim housing benefit for up to 13 weeks if in the nick.
[/quote]

What for?

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