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    • Sueinbirmingham
    • By Sueinbirmingham 26th Jun 13, 12:01 AM
    • 1,483 Posts
    • 4,076 Thanks
    Sueinbirmingham
    • #2
    • 26th Jun 13, 12:01 AM
    • #2
    • 26th Jun 13, 12:01 AM
    Just a note about the landlord giving you notice to inspect - that's fine but I've found it worthwhile to make sure my landlord isn't anxious about entering if he thinks there's a problem. You don't want to come home to a flooded flat because he waited for you to get home before coming in after the downstairs neighbour complained their ceiling is dripping. If you get run over, it's nice if you feel confident that the landlord will feel ok to pop in to make sure things are ok when the neighbours say your dog is howling.

    There are all sorts of things that can go wrong that you might be grateful for the landlord and your neighbours sorting out in a hurry while you're out or away, so before you get too heavy about privacy, I recommend agreeing with your landlord that it's ok to come in if he thinks there's a problem that can't wait until you come home.
    • Patjan
    • By Patjan 26th Jun 13, 8:25 AM
    • 31 Posts
    • 52 Thanks
    Patjan
    • #3
    • 26th Jun 13, 8:25 AM
    • #3
    • 26th Jun 13, 8:25 AM
    You rightly say that all prospective tenants should read their contract carefully before signing. However, as a landlord myself, a major concern is that the tenant(s) don't go on to have friends, boyfirends, etc. more or less moving in, or using the premises as a kind of base when in the area. The occasional overnight-or-two stay is obviously OK, but care should be taken to ensure that a more "permanent" occupation doesn't occur.
    Again, more from a landlord's viewpoint, each tenant should realise that (probably) every Tenancy Agreement will include a clause stating that the prospective tenant cannot sublet under any circumstances - hence the caution above, as it may be difficult to evict a friend of the original tenant who has effective occupation, if that tenant subsequently leaves or diasppears.
    The best advice I can give is to strike a harmonious relationship with your landlord, and show him that you will be/are a responsible tenant. After all, it his/her capital which is invested in the property, so he/she will inevitably wish to protect it and its income-earning potential. Naturally, you should expect reciprocal behaviour from the landlord.
  • milford99
    • #4
    • 26th Jun 13, 8:42 AM
    • #4
    • 26th Jun 13, 8:42 AM
    I thought i`d add my bit.
    Certain agents and landlords have -----ed it up for people like me.
    I do my own letting, in my own home and other lets, (no fees).
    I dont use a contract, it`s verbal once they have settled in after a night or two they love it. From all over the World and i get invites when they return home.I`m safety conscious 3 alarms (2 fire, 1 carbon monoxide) and all girls staying.
    I had a religious yank guy last year started bullying so he had to go.
    Only once took part of deposit when a girl burnt the carpet with the steam iron.
    Maybe it`s illegal, But it`s not wrong.
    Bye for now.
    Paul.
  • Smith 007
    • #5
    • 26th Jun 13, 8:55 AM
    • #5
    • 26th Jun 13, 8:55 AM
    However, as a landlord myself, a major concern is that the tenant(s) don't go on to have friends, boyfirends, etc. more or less moving in,
    Originally posted by Patjan
    I think you will find it is no business of a landlord who a tenant chooses to stay in their HOME. Including the tenants sexual partners.

    A friend or partner a tenant invites to stay, even for an extended time, is nothing to do with sub-letting (or lodging, providing the tenant does not accept rent payments from them).

    If you clearly do not understand rental law and wish to have a say in your tenants private life, then can I suggest being a landlord is not for you?

    It is truly bizarre how some landlords think they own their tenants.
  • MrHeathcliff
    • #6
    • 26th Jun 13, 9:42 AM
    Council tax discount if living alone
    • #6
    • 26th Jun 13, 9:42 AM
    I didn't see it mentioned in these tips, but if you are living alone, you can apply for a 25% reduction in your council tax.

    That applies to homeowners as well as renters, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
    • matchmade
    • By matchmade 26th Jun 13, 9:51 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    matchmade
    • #7
    • 26th Jun 13, 9:51 AM
    • #7
    • 26th Jun 13, 9:51 AM
    Thanks to MSE for producing a useful guide for tenants, and to Martin for his sensible thoughts on "there's no shame in renting". British people generally have an unnecessarily hostile and adversarial attitude towards landlords, which seems partly to be a hangover from the Rachman/rent control days, and partly a cultural attitude that somehow owning a house is best, living in a council house is lovely because you get a cheap heavily-subsidised rent and lifetime tenancy for free courtesy of the state, but private renting is the worst of all worlds. Private renting isn't for everyone, especially if you have pets or children, but it's an eminently practical and low-stress life compared to the roller-coaster of home ownership.

    There's also a common perception that "rents are too high" and "you're just paying the landlord's mortgage", but in reality, most landlords make about 5% gross, which barely covers their mortgage interest and admin and maintenance costs. Private landlords do not make high profits, and are largely dependent on long-term capital gains unless they are able to pay down their buy-to-let mortgages from other resources. This is why so few big investors get involved in renting property in the UK: the profits are low, the maintenance costs high, and the risks of a dodgy tenant wrecking the property or failing to pay rent simply too great. Councils and housing associations are only involved in high-maintenance social renting because they have a social conscience remit and ultra-cheap borrowing costs because they get their money from the Government.

    It's a shame the guide doesn't include more information for people who houseshare: sites like spareroom.co.uk and Gumtree are far more effective ways of finding a place to live if you can't afford a whole flat or house. Landlords also advertise direct on these sites, so you can avoid the high fees of letting agents who advertise on sites like Rightmove.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 26th Jun 13, 10:09 AM
    • 8,595 Posts
    • 8,484 Thanks
    00ec25
    • #8
    • 26th Jun 13, 10:09 AM
    • #8
    • 26th Jun 13, 10:09 AM
    Your guide should tell tenants that the terms of the contract should be negotiated not just accepted, for example:

    you state "If your tenancy agreement states you must get the property professionally cleaned, you may have to provide receipts to prove you've done it."

    the OFT guide on tenancy unfair contract terms cites "The landlord may, if the tenant fails to keep the property in a clean and presentable condition, employ the services of a professional to do so and charge the tenants any costs incurred" this is an unfair contract term and should be deleted

    the title "Renters need a TV licence, lodgers often don't" is very misleading. As you correctly point out the ONLY time a lodger does NOT need a licence is if they are related to the LL or are an employee of the LL - that is surely an exceptional circumstance not the rule so it should read normally do need not don't need given that lots of people will skim read
  • Peter Puffin
    • #9
    • 26th Jun 13, 10:16 AM
    Renting
    • #9
    • 26th Jun 13, 10:16 AM
    The wider context of high rents is important.
    High rents post 2002 have driven the housing market to a point where the IMF considers the UK housing market overvalued by 30%. It is really important for tenants to understand that it was their landlord's speculation that drove the "Bust" of mortgage providers such as Northern Rock and received the Bail Out in 2008 with casino banking operation is the City; not the public sector. High levels of Housing Benefit are a subsidy to landlords not the poor and this should be subject to a Fair Rent Act. A Fair Rent Act would help rebalance the economy towards manufacturing, incentivise work by reducing the high costs of housing and reduce poverty.
    It is unethical that a large section of the 25 billion is being spent on the high rental returns of the private sector that drove the housing boom; if the market had "corrected" then these landlords would have gone bust and this would have released affordable houses for first time buyers; the entire Bank of England policy with regard to QE has been to prop up the housing market at these high levels.
    • Comstock
    • By Comstock 26th Jun 13, 10:26 AM
    • 319 Posts
    • 105 Thanks
    Comstock
    Some of the 50 tips skirt round this, but none have answered it. Do you need landlords permission to erect TV aerials/satellite dishes? My current landlord is a perfect peach, but I can't houseshare forever.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 26th Jun 13, 10:36 AM
    • 49,603 Posts
    • 61,575 Thanks
    G_M
    Tip 16

    Add "in writing" to the title to drive that message home
    • G_M
    • By G_M 26th Jun 13, 10:37 AM
    • 49,603 Posts
    • 61,575 Thanks
    G_M
    Add a tip linking to:

    Ending/Renewing an AST (what happens when the Fixed Term ends?)(What is a Periodic Tenancy?)(How can a LL remove a tenant?)(How can a tenant end a tenancy?)
    • G_M
    • By G_M 26th Jun 13, 10:38 AM
    • 49,603 Posts
    • 61,575 Thanks
    G_M
    Add a tip linking to:


    Rent increases (how and when can rent be changed)
    • G_M
    • By G_M 26th Jun 13, 10:39 AM
    • 49,603 Posts
    • 61,575 Thanks
    G_M
    Add a tip linking to:

    Repossession(What happens if a landlord's mortgage lender repossesses the property you are renting?)
    • G_M
    • By G_M 26th Jun 13, 10:46 AM
    • 49,603 Posts
    • 61,575 Thanks
    G_M
    Some of the 50 tips skirt round this, but none have answered it. Do you need landlords permission to erect TV aerials/satellite dishes? My current landlord is a perfect peach, but I can't houseshare forever.
    Originally posted by Comstock
    If it involves screwing an aeriel etc to the structure of the building, then most certainly, yes, you need the LL's permission, and you should get it in writing to avoid misunderstandings later.

    Most LL's would have no issue with this.

    The ones that DO have an issue (and are perhaps reluctant to agree) are of course exactly the LL's it is most important to have written agreement from!
    • Comstock
    • By Comstock 26th Jun 13, 11:47 AM
    • 319 Posts
    • 105 Thanks
    Comstock
    I
    The ones that DO have an issue (and are perhaps reluctant to agree) are of course exactly the LL's it is most important to have written agreement from!
    Originally posted by G_M
    Indeed, or even avoid renting from in the first place. I could actually use this as a litmus test, couldn't I?

    As in, if they are being a bit arsey about a TV aerial or dish, what else would they be arsey about?
    • buckwem
    • By buckwem 26th Jun 13, 11:58 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    buckwem
    Don't Pay Rent Before Agreeing Inventory
    If you are a student often the contract is signed 6 months before you move in. The flat could be subsequently damaged (read totally trashed) by the current students and not in the state you viewed when you want to start your rental.

    In the case of one rental the landlord wanted the direct debits setup to pay the rent one week before the rental period started. The agreement was generic and had no commitment to furnish or any draft inventory.

    If you pay the rent you are legally accepting the state of the flat at the time you pay the rent.

    First, get at least a draft inventory at the time of contract signing that would entitle you to easily terminate the contract if the items are not included.

    If the property is advertised on the the Internet - create a PDF copy of the web pages and photos so that you have a record of what they advertised. The listing will be taken from the internet once the agreement has been signed and you no longer have a record of the condition of the property.

    Do not pay any rent before viewing the flat and agreeing the inventory.

    Unless repairs are formally written into the contract the landlord is not committed to complete the repairs. So get any agreement in writing with clear timescales and penalties e.g. reduced rent until the work is complete.
    Last edited by buckwem; 26-06-2013 at 12:04 PM.
    • buckwem
    • By buckwem 26th Jun 13, 12:21 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    buckwem
    Think Carefully About Bill Management Companies
    Rental agencies may suggest using bill management companies such as Glide. This may make things easy when you want to split the bills and means the risk if someone else in the flat is not paying bills it is now not your problem. You only have one service provider to deal with. This all comes with a cost.

    In one case the cost for broadband worked out at 34 per month that could be obtained elsewhere from 20 per month. The same cost could have purchased fibre broadband with twice the download speed and 10 times upload.

    Some postings on forums seem to indicate an overall cost of 3-4 per person per week to manage the service. For a flat of 6 people this could be 1000-1250 per year.

    Make sure you use the MSE links to assess the cost of individual bills and compare against the quote from the bills management company. Then assess whether the additional management cost is worth the benefits you will receive.
    Last edited by buckwem; 26-06-2013 at 12:53 PM. Reason: typo
  • GloriaAndrewCar
    I will definitely have a read of this!
    Last edited by GloriaAndrewCar; 26-06-2013 at 12:31 PM. Reason: spelling error
    • dvandenburg
    • By dvandenburg 26th Jun 13, 3:54 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    dvandenburg
    addition for #40
    Hello

    for #40 pertaining to removal services I recommend also using anyvan.com as a different way of managing your removals. You enter the details and registered removers bid for your trade. In the end you can choose whoever you want from the bids, most have insurance and the site also includes a feedback and rating service similar to ebay's.

    Have used this for my last few "man with van" needs and have been very happy with the site and my chosen services!
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