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Landlord Anecdote


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#1 okaycuckoo

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 04:40 PM

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?

#2 SarahBell

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 04:43 PM

They're hiding in the wardrobe wondering wtf the LL or LA keep coming in and disturbing the post.
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#3 Self Employed Youth

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 04:48 PM

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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#4 okaycuckoo

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 05:03 PM

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!

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.

#5 cybernoid

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 05:18 PM

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?


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.

#6 TheBlueCat

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 05:26 PM

That non-occupation clause really takes the biscuit... what the hell has it got to do with the landlord where you spend your time?

Insurance + I assume that they'd like to know that someone is likely to notice if the pipes spring a leak etc.

#7 thecrashingisles

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 05:47 PM

Insurance + I assume that they'd like to know that someone is likely to notice if the pipes spring a leak etc.


Normally caretakers get paid...

#8 The Ayatollah Buggeri

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 05:48 PM

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?


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, 14 April 2012 - 05:52 PM.


#9 Bruce Banner

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:02 PM

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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#10 porca misèria

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:29 PM

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.

#11 Stainless Sam

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:32 PM

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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#12 okaycuckoo

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:35 PM

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.

I'd like an invite. Nice suggestion.

#13 interestrateripoff

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:35 PM

Interesting, perhaps it's rented as a shag pad?
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#14 hotairmail

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 07:58 PM

What is the electricity consumption like?

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#15 Redcellar

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 08:05 PM

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


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.
Allegedly.




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