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    • tim124
    • By tim124 17th Sep 19, 12:40 PM
    • 10Posts
    • 2Thanks
    tim124
    My landlord might be non-resident
    • #1
    • 17th Sep 19, 12:40 PM
    My landlord might be non-resident 17th Sep 19 at 12:40 PM
    We moved into a flat just over a month ago where the the landlord "manages" the property but has been a pain and barely contactable.

    When we collected the keys I spoke to him briefly on the phone and I questioned his residency as I really didn't want a landlord who was not contactable. He asked "why I thought it would be a problem" but never confirmed or denied it. He's given me an address in France to forward post to although I'm waiting for confirmation that he's ok with me deducting the cost of this from the rent!

    I've read about the Non-resident Landlords Scheme and I'm worried that if I don't deduct tax from his rent payments, I might be liable for the money in the future.

    The relationship has been strained already by his lack of putting our deposit in a scheme within 30 days. He seems crazily disorganised but has promised yet again to do this today. His lack of following all the landlord legal norms and nearly all communications being email put us in a very good position legally. I'm not too worried yet as he's owned the house for 25+ years so there's plenty of equity to go around if things go tits up! I don't want to worsen the relationship so we get evicted immediately when our fixed tenancy is up.

    So, how are we meant to know if our landlord is non-resident and can I be held liable for not reporting him while we are living here?
Page 2
    • tim124
    • By tim124 17th Sep 19, 2:35 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    tim124
    you seem determined to escalate what is a very easily solved matter
    Originally posted by 00ec25
    FFS. It's almost like you didn't read all the concerns I listed in my first post about not wanting to be evicted after the fixed term and not wanting to sour the relationship so early. I've also clearly explained that I want to do everything possible first before escalating the matter.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 17th Sep 19, 2:44 PM
    • 8,595 Posts
    • 8,484 Thanks
    00ec25
    The relationship has been strained already ....

    So, how are we meant to know if our landlord is non-resident and can I be held liable for not reporting him while we are living here?
    Originally posted by tim124
    FFS. It's almost like you didn't read all the concerns I listed in my first post about not wanting to be evicted after the fixed term and not wanting to sour the relationship so early. I've also clearly explained that I want to do everything possible first before escalating the matter.
    Originally posted by tim124
    so do nothing then and stop straining things
    or
    write to HMRC and get the definitive answer as the law requires you to do

    as I said, simple solutions.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 17th Sep 19, 8:17 PM
    • 49,603 Posts
    • 61,577 Thanks
    G_M
    You have 2 choices:

    1) avoid 'straining the relationship'. Accept the staus quo. Forward his post to France, keep postal receipts, and deduct from rent. Take no other action.

    2) investigate further, enforce your rights, and advise the LL what you are doing at risk to the relationship

    Points to note:
    3) the address provided in the AST 'for serving notices' can be anywhere in Eng/Wales. It can be his mum, his best mate, his agent or ... anywhere he chooses. The law assumes that if you write to him there, he receives it. If there is no address in Eng/Wales provided, you need not pay rent.

    4) failure to protect your deposit (or doing solate) is in many ways to your advantage. He can never serve you a S21 Notice (to evict) and you can claim the penalty at any time within 7 years of the tenancy ending

    5) If you have no gas safety report, for your own safety, you should pursue this. Initially by writing to him (at the Eng/Wales address!) and then by contacting HSE.

    6) His providing you a French address is a strong indication he is resident... in France. The precise residency status (6 months blah blah) is not for you to determine. Initially ask him for evidence thAT hmrc have granted consent for him to receive rent gross, ten contact HMRC and if advised by them start deducting tax.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/non-resident-landord-guidance-notes-for-letting-agents-and-tenants-non-resident-landlords-scheme-guidance-notes

    7) other failures he may have made (no EPC? No inventory? No gov leaflet) mostly act in your favour - either invalidate any future S21 and /or make deductions from deposit hard for him to justify.


    8)
    I don't want to worsen the relationship so we get evicted immediately when our fixed tenancy is up.
    well he can only do that by serving a valid S21 Notice, and we've already established that any S21 would be invalid..........
    Last edited by G_M; 17-09-2019 at 8:19 PM.
    • tim124
    • By tim124 20th Sep 19, 1:23 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    tim124
    This morning I spoke to the NRL scheme helpline. In the automated menu, there isn't even an option for tenants!

    They said that I should contact the landlord and encourage him to join the scheme and apply to get the rent paid gross. Because we have a joint tenancy we would both need to join and file separately which doubles the amount of paperwork required. They basically said that it's not fair to expect us to do it.

    I questioned whether leaving it up to the landlord was a great idea if we are technically liable and they said not to worry about being liable and that tenants cannot be expected to even know the scheme exists. They said they have personally rented for years and didn't know about the scheme until working on the helpline.

    It does appear that the tenants liability part of the rules is something that they have no intention of enforcing, and for good reason.

    4) failure to protect your deposit (or doing so late) is in many ways to your advantage. He can never serve you a S21 Notice (to evict) and you can claim the penalty at any time within 7 years of the tenancy ending
    Originally posted by G_M
    From what I understand, as he was late protecting the deposit, he would not be able to issue an S21 Notice until he has returned the deposit in full.

    The insurance based deposit protection scheme he has used is not valid for non-UK landlords but that is another issue entirely!
    • G_M
    • By G_M 20th Sep 19, 1:34 PM
    • 49,603 Posts
    • 61,577 Thanks
    G_M

    From what I understand, as he was late protecting the deposit, he would not be able to issue an S21 Notice until he has returned the deposit in full.
    Originally posted by tim124
    Correct....
    • franklee
    • By franklee 21st Sep 19, 11:08 PM
    • 3,778 Posts
    • 4,092 Thanks
    franklee
    Looks like HMRC are being more proactive about collecting non resident landlords tax now:


    https://nearlylegal.co.uk/2019/09/hmrc-propose-to-fine-tenants-for-not-paying-their-landlords-tax/
    • martindow
    • By martindow 22nd Sep 19, 11:00 AM
    • 8,297 Posts
    • 4,859 Thanks
    martindow
    I questioned whether leaving it up to the landlord was a great idea if we are technically liable and they said not to worry about being liable and that tenants cannot be expected to even know the scheme exists. They said they have personally rented for years and didn't know about the scheme until working on the helpline.

    It does appear that the tenants liability part of the rules is something that they have no intention of enforcing, and for good reason.
    Originally posted by tim124
    I would want that in writing to be reassured. Verbal assurances can not be relied on.
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