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Beware The Sword Of Damocles


Te Mata
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Hi Baboonuk

Thanks for that, although I think we've heard your definition of OR before (sorry if it appears that I'm not reading your posts - I am - but maybe I'm just not convinced).

Anyway, so far no decent definition of initial requirements, except that in s213(6) of the Housing Act 2004 which says:

"such requirements of a scheme as fall to be complied with by the landlord".

My feeling, and it is only that, is that the initial requirements are a LESSER test than the "held in accordance" test.

If so, then a sensible construction of the OR could be OR AT LEAST. In my view, this wouldn't be ridiculous in the context of sections 212-215.

Why? Because the policy is to allow the Tenancy Deposit Scheme to bite a landlord who doesn't comply. The bite = no right to evict. This is quite harsh, as the landlord's rather expensive asset is tied up.

So, the landlord should not be bitten if compliance with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme is met. Either secure the deposit, or take the appropriate steps to secure. Either way, imho justice would not be served if the landlord is complying and they cannot evict.

Baboonuk, if you are going to rely on your argument (i.e. deposit not yet secured when notice served), then good luck to you. It might work. But be careful.

As for me, the landlord's agent gave me the s21 before the information on the Tenancy Deposit scheme (albeit minutes). So, the deposit had been "held in accordance" and I presume the "initial requirements" had been met, so in my view s215(1) doesn't bite here.

However, this is where s215(2) comes in, and because I didn't know that the deposit had been secured at the time of the eviction notice, the s21 notice appears invalid. A technicality you might say. However, this is something which could be thrown into the mix if needed later.

Also, the landlord's agent didn't tell me within the 14 days, but I cannot see how that really matters. At first I thought I could fine the landlord under s214, but that only bites if the landlord hasn't given the information on the deposit to the tenant by the time court proceedings are started, imho. Any help here appreciated.

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Hi Baboonuk

Thanks for that, although I think we've heard your definition of OR before (sorry if it appears that I'm not reading your posts - I am - but maybe I'm just not convinced).

Anyway, so far no decent definition of initial requirements, except that in s213(6) of the Housing Act 2004 which says:

"such requirements of a scheme as fall to be complied with by the landlord".

My feeling, and it is only that, is that the initial requirements are a LESSER test than the "held in accordance" test.

If so, then a sensible construction of the OR could be OR AT LEAST. In my view, this wouldn't be ridiculous in the context of sections 212-215.

Why? Because the policy is to allow the Tenancy Deposit Scheme to bite a landlord who doesn't comply. The bite = no right to evict. This is quite harsh, as the landlord's rather expensive asset is tied up.

So, the landlord should not be bitten if compliance with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme is met. Either secure the deposit, or take the appropriate steps to secure. Either way, imho justice would not be served if the landlord is complying and they cannot evict.

Baboonuk, if you are going to rely on your argument (i.e. deposit not yet secured when notice served), then good luck to you. It might work. But be careful.

As for me, the landlord's agent gave me the s21 before the information on the Tenancy Deposit scheme (albeit minutes). So, the deposit had been "held in accordance" and I presume the "initial requirements" had been met, so in my view s215(1) doesn't bite here.

However, this is where s215(2) comes in, and because I didn't know that the deposit had been secured at the time of the eviction notice, the s21 notice appears invalid. A technicality you might say. However, this is something which could be thrown into the mix if needed later.

Also, the landlord's agent didn't tell me within the 14 days, but I cannot see how that really matters. At first I thought I could fine the landlord under s214, but that only bites if the landlord hasn't given the information on the deposit to the tenant by the time court proceedings are started, imho. Any help here appreciated.

A voice of reason. Definatley the spirit of the act (and in mho, the word of it to).

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If so, then a sensible construction of the OR could be OR AT LEAST. In my view, this wouldn't be ridiculous in the context of sections 212-215.

I'm confused.

Firstly, what would be the point a law saying "You can't do this, if you haven't done (a) OR AT LEAST (B)"? Who would bother doing (a) if they can get away with just doing (B)? It's a bit like saying "You can have my house, if you pay me £100,000 or at least £10"! Only an idiot would pay the larger amount.

Secondly, replacing "or" with "or at least" makes no sense in this context.

Consider, for example:

You can't be an MP at a time when

a) you have not paid £100,000 to the Queen, or

B) your teeth are not clean.

Look carefully at this example and you will see that it is in exactly the same format as S215(1) of HA2004.

So what does this mean?

If you haven't paid £100,000 to the Queen, you can't be an MP (even if you have clean teeth). If you don't have clean teeth, you can't be an MP (even if you've paid £100,000 to the Queen). So if you want to be an MP, you must have paid £100,000 to the Queen and you must have clean teeth.

Now replace "or" with "or at least":

You can't be an MP at a time when

a) you have not paid £100,000 to the Queen, or at least

B) your teeth are not clean.

What does that mean? Nothing at all; it certainly doesn't mean the same as my first example.

Now apply it to our case;

If a tenancy deposit has been paid in connection with a shorthold tenancy, no section 21 notice may be given in relation to the tenancy at a time when—

a) the deposit is not being held in accordance with an authorised scheme, or

B) the initial requirements of such a scheme (see section 213(4)) have not been complied with in relation to the deposit.

Now, forget for a moment what these two conditions mean. Forget whether it's possible to do (a) without doing (B) or vice versa. Just consider it like this.

If "the deposit is not being held in accordance with an authorised scheme", then no S21 may be given (regardless of whether "the initial requirements of such a scheme have not been complied with in relation to the deposit").

If "the initial requirements of such a scheme have not been complied with in relation to the deposit", then no S21 can be given (regardless of whether "the deposit is not being held in accordance with an authorised scheme").

If the deposit is not being held in accordance with a scheme, then it is "a time when the deposit is not being held in accordance with an authorised scheme, or the initial requirements of such a scheme (see section 213(4)) have not been complied with". Therefore no S21 can be given.

With me so far?

What you are suggesting is that we should read it as:

If a tenancy deposit has been paid in connection with a shorthold tenancy, no section 21 notice may be given in relation to the tenancy at a time when—

a) the deposit is not being held in accordance with an authorised scheme, or at least

B) the initial requirements of such a scheme (see section 213(4)) have not been complied with in relation to the deposit.

Which means something entirely different, and I'm not quite sure what it does mean.

You seem to suggest that it means that an S21 can be given if at least the initial requirements of such a scheme have been complied with, right? But this is not what it actually says, because we have now missed out the little word "not" and changed the phrase "no S21 can be given" to "an S21 can be given".

What it would actually say is "no S21 can be given if at least the initial requirements of a scheme have not been complied with". Does that make sense to you? It doesn't to me.

Let me suggest a compromise position.

In order to serve an S21, a LL must do two things; though not necessarily in this order.

a) the deposit must be held in accordance with an approved scheme.

B) the initial requirements of that scheme must have been complied with.

If he has not done (a), no S21 can be served, regardless of whether he has done (B). If he has not done (B), no S21 can be served, regardless of whether he has done (a).

The question is, then, what do (a) and (B) mean?

Based on the information in this thread (http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=567707) it seems that "held in accordance with an approved scheme" means "registered with an approved scheme". That doesn't mean the deposit has actually been sent to the scheme; it just means that the scheme is aware that the deposit exists. This can be done instantly online or over the phone.

Secondly, "the initial requirements of that scheme must have been complied with". I'm not sure what this means in detail. But what it means is that the LL cannot just tell the scheme the deposit exists; he must then take the necessary steps (which will be dictated to him by the scheme) to get the deposit actually protected.

What is important is that the deposit must be registered with a scheme before the S21 can be served.

A third thing that LL must do before serving S21 is give T the prescribed information.

There are two issues here:

Does S215(1) mean that both (a) and (B) must be complied with before an S21 can be served? People get confused here because the word "or" appears in the section; so they read it as

"An S21 can be served if the LL has done (a) or (B)", or, as you seem to be reading it, "An S21 can be served if the LL has done (a) or at least (B)".

What it actually says is

"No S21 can be served if the LL has not done (a) or (B)".

That means if LL hasn't done (a) or (B), he cannot serve an S21.

The second issue is, what do (a) and (B) actually mean? When it talks about the deposit "being held in accordance with an authorised scheme", does that mean the deposit must actually be in the scheme? Or does it mean the deposit must be registered with the scheme? Or does it just mean that the LL must be intending to put it in a scheme within 14 days? I believe it means either the 1st or 2nd, but not the 3rd. In other words, the LL must actually do something with the deposit before we can say that the deposit is "being held in accordance with an authorised scheme".

Peter

Edited by baboonuk
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  • 3 months later...
Has anyone any experience of insisting as a term of the contract that a S21 will not be used?

Doubt that is possible as it is part of the basic legislation....and how would it be of any benefit to you? Do you not want the Landlord to ever be able to gain repossession? Whilst I think having the S21 served at the time of signing the contract is sort of rude, all the agent has to do is server it 2 months before the end of the contract and one is in the same position...and serving at the time the contract is taken out means that it is less likely to be forgotten due to an administrative mistake...I see why they do it and as long as you are aware that an S21 has been served what difference does it make unless you always intended to breach the contract, which is unethical? Personally, I think the LL should point out he is serving the S21 at the time you sign the contract out of basic decency/politeness...but then you should read everything you sign too.

Edited by D'oh
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  • 1 month later...
An important point; if you are living under an expired s21, you can vacate at any time without giving notice, because you have already received notice to leave.

In that case, could you not just call the LA's bluff; write to them acknowledging receipt of the s21 and warning them that unless they revoke it, you are aware you can and therefore may leave at any time without notice?

Cuts both ways

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  • 3 weeks later...

Many thanks to all who contributed to this thread.

I was served an SoD at the beginning of my tenancy, but didn't realise the significance

until I read this thread. I had queried it and was given some vague twaddle.

At the end of the six month AST I then received a form which seemed to imply

another six month AST.

Having read the posts here, I phoned the Agent and said I would like to go on to

a periodic tenancy, please. The Agent immediately said I was already on one, so

I asked for written confirmation "just to set my mind at rest".

Following day I got a letter confirming a "periodic tenancy" and that I was only

required to give one month's notice. (Didn't specify their own period of notice.)

I have no idea whether they simply try it on and back down immediately if someone

rumbles them, or if they just want to protect the first six months to check out

if the tenant is reliable.

Who knows ?

But, whatever, thanks to yourselves, I now have my letter and am free of the

dreaded Sword hanging over my head.

Many thanks.

Edited by PotNoodle
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  • 2 weeks later...
Many thanks to all who contributed to this thread.

I was served an SoD at the beginning of my tenancy, but didn't realise the significance

until I read this thread. I had queried it and was given some vague twaddle.

At the end of the six month AST I then received a form which seemed to imply

another six month AST.

Having read the posts here, I phoned the Agent and said I would like to go on to

a periodic tenancy, please. The Agent immediately said I was already on one, so

I asked for written confirmation "just to set my mind at rest".

Following day I got a letter confirming a "periodic tenancy" and that I was only

required to give one month's notice. (Didn't specify their own period of notice.)

I have no idea whether they simply try it on and back down immediately if someone

rumbles them, or if they just want to protect the first six months to check out

if the tenant is reliable.

Who knows ?

But, whatever, thanks to yourselves, I now have my letter and am free of the

dreaded Sword hanging over my head.

Many thanks.

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Hi all,

New to this site and this thread but thought I'd add my bit. I see what Peter is saying but he is wrong. You can only NOT serve S21 if you have not complied with the requirements of the scheme - and one of those requirements is that you have up to 14 days to protect the deposit. You have committed no "offence" that precludes the use of S21 until after the 14 days are up. I do agree the wording is open to interpretation, but as a senior member of a leading landlords association, we have researched this thoroughly and are assured by central government that this view is correct, although of course it remains to be tested in court!

As for regarding S21 as a SoD, this is a little unfair. I always issue S21 at the start of a tenancy because in my long experience if you wait until there are problems you will lose and lose BIG. The tenant is allowed to do as they choose then disappear while we provide free housing, often for several months at a time. I ALWAYS fully explain its presence and why I'm doing it - most straight tenants are perfectly happy with this and understand my point. I do NOT advocate using it to deceive or hurt tenants who would otherwise be perfectly reasonable and fair.

Please don't hurt me, I'm only a landlord!

Regards to all.

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Hi Deltic21,

I'd like to start by saying that I'm a nice tenant for a landlord to have (look after the place, pay the bills on time, no hassle, looking to stay for a long period, stable job, etc).

My landlord is also great (friendly, reasonable, in for the long term, doesn't bother me but easy to contact if something were to go wrong, etc).

When I come to move out I'll do what I can to help my landlord avoid a long void (allow reasonable visits, clean and tidy the place, make it look like somewhere I'd want to rent, etc.). While I'm not obliged to, I'll do that because I want good landlords to be successful and I'm willing to expend resources to help make that happen. Moral reciprocity isn't rational, but what the hell.

However, if I were renting and the landlord decided to issue a S21 notice not to repossess the property but instead to try to work around law designed to protect vulnerable members of our society, the response would not be pretty. While I certainly wouldn't be willing to break the law, I'd be willing to expend time, effort and money to be a very expensive problem for them. Moral reciprocity isn't rational, but what the hell.

Maybe your business would work better if you worked with your tenants to make things go smoothly instead of effectively declaring war on your tenants while the ink on the contract isn't yet dry.

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Hi there,

Yes indeed, and I'm very pleased to report that my overall relationship with tenants is excellent, I would hope exactly as you describe. I genuinely believe myself to bend over backwards helping tenants and usually go well beyond the call of duty to ensure they are all totally happy. Offering them a good - even, if I say it myself, outstanding service - is extremely important to me and I am proud of the feedback I get from tenants, many of whom are almost friends now. I work closely with the local authority and take particular interest in the homeless. I detest the truly evil landlords, which, thanks to legislation, are in decline.

The problem for landlords is this. As with all businesses, experienced landlords know of future pitfalls. Whilst most tenants are lovely, honest people who respect their bills, the law is notoriously soft on those that aren't. They are "allowed" to run up 2 months of arrears before any action can be taken, beyond which another couple of months will pass before eviction occurrs and even after that a landlord is actively prevented from pursuing them for losses or damage by the authorities, all of whom - courts, councils, charities etc - are all extremely unsympathetic to landlords. All of these organisations will do their best to prolong the time a tenant can stay in a property free of charge, and it is disgusting that councils particularly will BEG us to take DSS/problem tenants then encourage them to cheat us. It is just too easy for everyone to say 'the landlord MUST be a rich fat-cat - let him pay for it'. This is simply not the case in many examples and severe pain can be inflicted on landlords and their families when the landlord may have been a model of care and compassion. Once you've had tenants ignore the rent for several months, play the system to their advantage, then buy a brand new car during the process (whilst sticking thir fingers up at you through the window) - whilst you continue to pay their housing costs for them - you tend to want to protect yourself as best you can.

This brings me back to the SoD S21 point. We KNOW for certain that if/when things go wrong it takes a very long time to sort out, and that losses will always occurr, even in the speediest of cases. If nothing goes wrong with that tenancy, great. If it does go sour, why should we be denied rights to protect ourselves? Even if a landlord uses SoD, then goes straight to N5b, then possibly through a court defence, then bailiffs, the losses will still be great. I am not even just referring to financial losses - the emotional strain this can put on landlords, not all of whom are greedy and hateful figures, is immense. Who's to say that the landlord isn't a 90-year old war-widow, crying herself to sleep at night because of no legal ability to deal with bad tenants? Whose to say you might not one day be a landlord yourself and meet such difficulties? Tenants know the weight of support they have - CAB, Shelter (who, incidentally and somewhat strangely, don't house any homeless themselves), Enviro Health departments, local authorities et al - who is there for the landlord?? Do they not deserve equal rights?

The SoD S21 CAN be misused by landlords, but I would hope (as with me) only in cases where it is apparent the tenant is not complying with the contract. In all other cases it should be left to one side and every effort made to maintain tenancy relations.

Long live the happy co-existence of landlords and tenants!

Best wishes to all,

Deltic21

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Hi there,

Yes indeed, and I'm very pleased to report that my overall relationship with tenants is excellent, I would hope exactly as you describe. I genuinely believe myself to bend over backwards helping tenants and usually go well beyond the call of duty to ensure they are all totally happy. Offering them a good - even, if I say it myself, outstanding service - is extremely important to me and I am proud of the feedback I get from tenants, many of whom are almost friends now. I work closely with the local authority and take particular interest in the homeless. I detest the truly evil landlords, which, thanks to legislation, are in decline.

The problem for landlords is this. As with all businesses, experienced landlords know of future pitfalls. Whilst most tenants are lovely, honest people who respect their bills, the law is notoriously soft on those that aren't. They are "allowed" to run up 2 months of arrears before any action can be taken, beyond which another couple of months will pass before eviction occurrs and even after that a landlord is actively prevented from pursuing them for losses or damage by the authorities, all of whom - courts, councils, charities etc - are all extremely unsympathetic to landlords. All of these organisations will do their best to prolong the time a tenant can stay in a property free of charge, and it is disgusting that councils particularly will BEG us to take DSS/problem tenants then encourage them to cheat us. It is just too easy for everyone to say 'the landlord MUST be a rich fat-cat - let him pay for it'. This is simply not the case in many examples and severe pain can be inflicted on landlords and their families when the landlord may have been a model of care and compassion. Once you've had tenants ignore the rent for several months, play the system to their advantage, then buy a brand new car during the process (whilst sticking thir fingers up at you through the window) - whilst you continue to pay their housing costs for them - you tend to want to protect yourself as best you can.

This brings me back to the SoD S21 point. We KNOW for certain that if/when things go wrong it takes a very long time to sort out, and that losses will always occurr, even in the speediest of cases. If nothing goes wrong with that tenancy, great. If it does go sour, why should we be denied rights to protect ourselves? Even if a landlord uses SoD, then goes straight to N5b, then possibly through a court defence, then bailiffs, the losses will still be great. I am not even just referring to financial losses - the emotional strain this can put on landlords, not all of whom are greedy and hateful figures, is immense. Who's to say that the landlord isn't a 90-year old war-widow, crying herself to sleep at night because of no legal ability to deal with bad tenants? Whose to say you might not one day be a landlord yourself and meet such difficulties? Tenants know the weight of support they have - CAB, Shelter (who, incidentally and somewhat strangely, don't house any homeless themselves), Enviro Health departments, local authorities et al - who is there for the landlord?? Do they not deserve equal rights?

The SoD S21 CAN be misused by landlords, but I would hope (as with me) only in cases where it is apparent the tenant is not complying with the contract. In all other cases it should be left to one side and every effort made to maintain tenancy relations.

Long live the happy co-existence of landlords and tenants!

Best wishes to all,

Deltic21

Hi Delta,

I'm with Alunharford.

If served with an SoD s21, I have absolutly no assurances that the LL will continue to behave honourabley, no matter how much of a jolly good fellow he has been. Disputes arise, and even the most genial can turn into monsters.

I agree it is too lengthy to evict delinquent tenants, and I sympathise with the plight of LLs in that position, but that doesn't make the SoD morally neutral.

Therefore, I would just leave without notice at the earliest possible point AS THE S21 IS REQUESTING ME TO DO. The LL presumes that I'm not trustworthy, therefore I will presume the LL is not trustworthy.

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Hi Delta,

I'm with Alunharford.

If served with an SoD s21, I have absolutly no assurances that the LL will continue to behave honourabley, no matter how much of a jolly good fellow he has been. Disputes arise, and even the most genial can turn into monsters.

I agree it is too lengthy to evict delinquent tenants, and I sympathise with the plight of LLs in that position, but that doesn't make the SoD morally neutral.

Therefore, I would just leave without notice at the earliest possible point AS THE S21 IS REQUESTING ME TO DO. The LL presumes that I'm not trustworthy, therefore I will presume the LL is not trustworthy.

One could argue that it is LA's and not LL's driving the issueing of SoD S21's and most likley without the LL's knowledge or consent as this gives them a stronger case for a new contract and hence new fees.

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This brings me back to the SoD S21 point.

The SoD S21 CAN be misused by landlords,

From your long letter, the above is all that matters.

If the SoD21 can be misused by landlords, then any LL using it is deliberately starting off a

contract and a relationship with an action guaranteed to cause distrust.

Do you make it clear to the Tenant, as soon as they approach you (or your Agent)

about renting a property that you will be immediately issuing a notice of eviction?

I'll bet you don't.

I'll bet you deliberately wait until they stump up the first month's rent, the deposit and

the "arrangement fee" (all by Banker's Draft, no doubt) and have moved in, burning

their bridges and committing to six months - yes, THAT is the moment that they will

suddenly discover, amongst the other paperwork - oh! What's this ?

Well [email protected] me, I've been given notice to quit.

Thanks a bunch.

Having been both a Landlord and a Tenant, I absolutely detest this underhand, deceitful,

unprofessional attempt to circumvent a lawful contract, to undermine the professional trust

that should be cultivated in the pursuance of any contract and to overturn the attempts that

the Government of this country has made to establish a system that is fair to both Landlord

and Tenant.

This is the reason for the length of your letter.

People who try to justify their obviously unjustifiable actions always write loooooooongggg

letters.

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My 2p worth.

The effect of the S21 from your point of view is that it allows you to vacate the property without giving any notice after the expiry of the AST; wheras under an SPT you would have to give 1 months notice.

I think if my landlord were to adopt this practice my first step would be to write to them reminding them of this fact; inviting them to withdraw the notice and pointing out that if they wish to keep the notice in place you reserve the right to use it to your own advantage (ie, they will learn of your intention to vacate the property perhaps a week in advance).

I have to say I'm surprised that the LL's wish to use this S21 procedure; seems to me a way to p*** off good tenants, offers only limited protection against bad tennants (you'd work out they're bad within 4 months surely); and leave yourself out of pocket to boot.

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The effect of the S21 from your point of view is that it allows you to vacate the property without giving any notice after the expiry of the AST; wheras under an SPT you would have to give 1 months notice.

Which is surely undesirable from the Landlord's point of view. I can see why letting agents like issuing these things -- it forces a renewal and the associated fees -- but an SoD practically guarantees a void, and offers only the illusion of protection; you still need your day in court to evict a tenant, and an S21 is anulled if the tenancy is renewed anyway.

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My 2p worth.

The effect of the S21 from your point of view is that it allows you to vacate the property without giving any notice after the expiry of the AST; wheras under an SPT you would have to give 1 months notice.

I think if my landlord were to adopt this practice my first step would be to write to them reminding them of this fact; inviting them to withdraw the notice and pointing out that if they wish to keep the notice in place you reserve the right to use it to your own advantage (ie, they will learn of your intention to vacate the property perhaps a week in advance).

I have to say I'm surprised that the LL's wish to use this S21 procedure; seems to me a way to p*** off good tenants, offers only limited protection against bad tennants (you'd work out they're bad within 4 months surely); and leave yourself out of pocket to boot.

indeed, I think I pointed this out as well in another thread when a LL was moaning its hard to get long term tenants. The problem is current practices in the market place scare the best tenants away, (6 month agreemants, agent fees and SoD).

The best advice I give to any LL is cut out the middle man, do the advertising yourself, and try to stick to annual or 2 year agreements, dont do any SoD rubbish and dont charge for silly things like credit checks (why even do a credit check) and renewal fees. If you treat the tenant with more respect you will get it back.

You want tenants like me?

6 years with current landlord (4 in first property, 2 in the current property)

no rent arrears ever.

low hassle, lot of things I let go and dont bother LL with.

Bring him new tenants, have got him 2 new ones so far.

If I decide to move then one thing I will be doing is deliberatly avoiding agents and looking to deal with landlords direct.

Edited by Chrysalis
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Chrysalis, you are a dream tenant for sure. Well done. As it happens, I do not often take credit checks myself, yet strangely if I wanted to rent so much as a TV I get every aspect of my financial life examined in full!

Pot Noodle, you are clearly not the fair-minded individual you think you are.

My long response was an attempt at a measured and fair explanation of where (good) landlords are coming from. I think I explained that I always make the S21 absolutely clear to tenants and always give them the option not to take the tenancy if they have any doubts about it. Quite clearly it is NOT underhanded or deceitful.

I also explained how difficult it is to trust people when a) they are complete strangers to you, and B) you've been stung - badly - a number of times. As with ANY business, it is NOT AT ALL 'unprofessional' to protect yourself. (Even less so as a private individual with 1 house rented out, possibly even your own home). If you steal a tin of beans from Tesco that's a criminal offence you can be pursued for. If you steal several thousand pounds worth of rental income/time from someone offering you a home, that is a civil offence that will get the landlord nowhere. If Tesco ( or any other shop) can say they will prosecute the smallest offender, why cannot a landlord say "if you trash the place, upset the neighbours or don't pay rent, you'll be moved on" ? Hardly unfair. And why does your response not include a wide condemnation of the vast number of tenants who set out to cheat the landlord knowing there is absolutely nothing he can do about it. If I did ANYTHING at all underhand - ANYTHING - all of the above agencies would be all over me in an instant, with legal aid to boot for the tenant. If tenants do EVERYTHING they can do to destroy a landlord, there isn't the slightest redress available.

That's the real unfairness.

Good luck to everyone. I am not the enemy yet by identifying myself as a landlord I seem to have become it...!

Deltic 21

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Chrysalis, you are a dream tenant for sure. Well done. As it happens, I do not often take credit checks myself, yet strangely if I wanted to rent so much as a TV I get every aspect of my financial life examined in full!

Pot Noodle, you are clearly not the fair-minded individual you think you are.

My long response was an attempt at a measured and fair explanation of where (good) landlords are coming from. I think I explained that I always make the S21 absolutely clear to tenants and always give them the option not to take the tenancy if they have any doubts about it. Quite clearly it is NOT underhanded or deceitful.

I also explained how difficult it is to trust people when a) they are complete strangers to you, and B) you've been stung - badly - a number of times. As with ANY business, it is NOT AT ALL 'unprofessional' to protect yourself. (Even less so as a private individual with 1 house rented out, possibly even your own home). If you steal a tin of beans from Tesco that's a criminal offence you can be pursued for. If you steal several thousand pounds worth of rental income/time from someone offering you a home, that is a civil offence that will get the landlord nowhere. If Tesco ( or any other shop) can say they will prosecute the smallest offender, why cannot a landlord say "if you trash the place, upset the neighbours or don't pay rent, you'll be moved on" ? Hardly unfair. And why does your response not include a wide condemnation of the vast number of tenants who set out to cheat the landlord knowing there is absolutely nothing he can do about it. If I did ANYTHING at all underhand - ANYTHING - all of the above agencies would be all over me in an instant, with legal aid to boot for the tenant. If tenants do EVERYTHING they can do to destroy a landlord, there isn't the slightest redress available.

That's the real unfairness.

Good luck to everyone. I am not the enemy yet by identifying myself as a landlord I seem to have become it...!

Deltic 21

Utter nonsense.

There are plenty here who have identified themselves as landlords, including me.

Listen, I ran a manufacturing business once upon a time. I had non-payers too. But if I treated all new business as if they were potential criminals, I would never get new business. Credit checks etc, yes certainly, but using a loophole in the law to short-circuit the proper notice is just not cricket.

As you can see, it causes the alienation good business.

Good luck to you too, but it's your actions (by covertly removing T's rights) that make you the enemy, not that you are an LL.

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That's the real unfairness.

Find a business that is fair then. No-one forced you (or anyone else) to become a landlord - you chose, with open eyes, to go into that business and, I would assume, researched all the risks associated with it first. I too work in an industry that everyone seems to hate - financial services - but the difference is, when I get punted with almost no notice (which is bound to happen to me at some point in my career) you won't find me moaning about how unfair it all is. I knew what investment banking was like before I went into it and expect to take the rough with the smooth. If you can't stand the heat etc.

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I could say "absolutely agreed. I'll take my profits and evict a huge number of people to free myself of the grief". But that's not why I do it and as you say, most businesses will have problems sooner or later. The key difference is that Wayne L's manufacturing business or your financial services are allowed to fairly pursue those who knock you in court. You are allowed to know certain details of your customers that I could never hope to know. We have to take people on trust, especially when taking DSS tenants through the local authority. If a business doesn't pay you, nobody says 'oh, but you will have to wait for them to not pay a second time before you can even start proceedings'. Nobody tells you that you have to keep providing a service knowing full well you will never be paid for it. No advice agency assumes you are the bad guy to start with.

My contributions to this forum are nothing to do with sour grapes, or some wealthy individual screwing the poor people, or tub-thumping for landlords - I thought my first posting was clear about that. I just cannot allow the sort of anti-landlord mindset that some posters have to go unchallenged because there is always more to it. Some people here might think it's hilarious that a tenant says "We're not paying the rent this month because we're all off to Magaluaf" or "Why should I pay rent when the kids want an x-box - they come first" (both genuine quotes), but there's a much less funny side to it. I can't be a bad landlord - I once bought one family a new Citroen Xsara which the judge seemed to think was the minimum of my responsibilites! Are you supplying such largesse to anyone at the moment?

The upshot of all this is that fairly soon S21 will almost certainly be removed altogether, thus finally removing any remaining worries from tenants minds. Where that will leave the supply of housing for those who most need it, goodness only knows.

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incidently as I dont work and claim housing benefit (due to health) I understand landlords who will be wary of me, so if I do move I would likely offer a new landlord at least 3 months rent up front. But what I wont accept is short tenancy agreements and agency fees. If anyone is wondering how I even have 3 months worth of rent spare, well I currently dont perhaps 2 months worth, I am grateful for survival in my situation, my income goes on living costs mostly, and my luxury is the internet and the occasional takeaway, perhaps sky sports every now and then (but not all year). I dont keep my bank balance when I can help it right on the edge. But if I was planning on moving I would cut back on food etc. so I could save up at least 3 months rent prior to moving, thats the type of person I am. But someone like an estate agent who will try to whore fees out of me, I wont deal with.

The reason I dont think credit checks are right is I simply think they are a inaccurate way of judging someones ability to pay rent, someone with 5 £1000 loaded up cards could very well have a good credit rating but barely managing to meet the min payments each month and on the verge of not meeting their living costs, whilst someone else may have a bad rating simply because they unknown to the credit companies. Someone with a CCJ may have it because they chose to pay the rent ahead of a credit card during a rough period, which in my opinion is correct as priorities should be roof over your head. Of course I have seen people with bankruptcies pass credit checks for rental so the fail criteria must be pretty low or non existant as I think credit checks are just a profit machine for estate agents.

deltic21 out of curiosity do you consider dss tenants a higher risk because of experience or as hearsay from others?

Edited by Chrysalis
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