Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • greendoor665
    • By greendoor665 18th Sep 17, 11:50 PM
    • 59Posts
    • 120Thanks
    My friend, the amateur landlord
    • #1
    • 18th Sep 17, 11:50 PM
    My friend, the amateur landlord 18th Sep 17 at 11:50 PM
    A friend of mine is going travelling for 4 months and has decided to rent out his flat while he does it. He is intending for the tenant to remain in the flat while he is away and more or less move straight back in when he gets back. He is handling everything himself and found the tenant on gumtree. He has given the tenant a 4 month contract, presumably using a template he found on the internet.When he told me this it straight away set off alarm bells in my head, as I have read numerous posts on here about the various rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. I'm right in thinking that a section 21 cannot be issued to expire before 6 months is up, even if the contract is shorter, yes? Therefore anything less than a 6 month contract is meaningless?

    This tenant told my friend he is from overseas and is here on a short term contract. After viewing the flat, he was desperate to get my friend to take him as a tenant, even though my friend had other viewings lined up. My friend was worried as the last time he let the flat out the tenant left without paying the last 2 months rent and left some damage - he told the prospective new tenant this and the new tenant offered to pay the deposit and entire months rent up front in cash, so my friend accepted him as a tenant. I later found out that the new tenant ended up only giving him one month's rent plus the deposit (which is only half a month's rent!), promising to pay the rest next month. The flat is fully furnished and my friend is leaving his brand new fairly expensive TV in it for the tenant to use but has removed his other possessions.

    I started asking a few questions like has he given him the government right to rent booklet (no) or EPC (no). No gas certificate as flat is electric only. He hasn't got landlord insurance yet. My friend has no grasp of basic tenancy law and hasn't really considered what will happen if the tenant doesn't leave for some reason. I asked him what would happen if the tenant doesn't leave and explained how he would need to serve a section 21 and then go to court in the worst case scenario. Oh well he said, at least I will still be getting the rent. I then explained t him how the tenant could stop paying and this would still be the case. Oh well he says, I have a key. I then had to explain to him that the tenant could legally change the locks, and that even if he didn't, using the key for anything other than pre-warned inspections or emergency maintenance could mean my friend is breaking the law rather than the tenant.

    I didn't check this with him when I spoke to him yesterday but I would bet he hasn't protected the deposit or given the tenant an address to serve notices on in England and Wales, so there are a numerous reasons that he cannot legally serve a section 21. I doubt if he even checked his tenant's ID so he could be anyone, and he probably hasn't checked their immigration status. I'm not sure if he's done a full inventory and check in report with him either. I don't know if he has consent to let from his mortgage provider, and he's definitely not declaring this income to HMRC...

    I tried to warn my friend twice that he was not complying with the requirements of being a landlord and this could come back to bite him, but he was not that bothered. His attitude seems to be this guy will pay his mortgage and a bit extra while he's away. My attitude is he has left himself wide open to this guy not paying him a penny more rent,living in his flat for free for many months and eventually (after a long protracted battle) leaving my friend with a damaged and TV-less flat!

    How screwed do you think he is? Having just re-read G_M's excellent guides, I think quite a bit!
Page 2
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 8th Jan 18, 2:01 PM
    • 5,179 Posts
    • 7,271 Thanks
    Thanks for the update. Very glad to hear it.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 8th Jan 18, 6:38 PM
    • 43,357 Posts
    • 51,028 Thanks
    Boring/uneventful update: my friend returned from travelling and the tenant moved out on the agreed date having paid in full and causing no damage other than 1 broken wine glass which he fully admitted to and offered to pay for...
    Originally posted by greendoor665
    Which disproves everything that was posted in this thread.

    Clearly there's absolutley no need for an EPC, GSC, deposit (and certainly not registration), tenancy agreement, S21 on return, tax declaration, or any of the other pointless, expensive and complicated things suggested in this thread.

    Life's a breeze!
    • capital0ne
    • By capital0ne 8th Jan 18, 7:02 PM
    • 361 Posts
    • 186 Thanks
    And presumably he'll be declaring his income to HMRC?
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 8th Jan 18, 8:00 PM
    • 57,892 Posts
    • 51,261 Thanks

    Life's a breeze!
    Originally posted by G_M
    Until it isn't..........
    Financial disasters happen when the last person who can remember what went wrong last time has left the building.
    • greendoor665
    • By greendoor665 8th Jan 18, 9:35 PM
    • 59 Posts
    • 120 Thanks
    I very much doubt he'll declare the income.

    As much as I don't want bad things to happen to a friend, I kind of wanted him to learn a lesson through this, but he didn't.
    • sam_r2d2
    • By sam_r2d2 8th Jan 18, 9:49 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    I very much doubt he'll declare the income.

    As much as I don't want bad things to happen to a friend, I kind of wanted him to learn a lesson through this, but he didn't.
    Originally posted by greendoor665
    He will come unstuck if he carries on - he's just gone into a casino and put his house on red. Eventually it will land on black!
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,581Posts Today

8,218Users online

Martin's Twitter