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  • FIRST POST
    • Kim.wigley
    • By Kim.wigley 9th Oct 18, 7:57 PM
    • 33Posts
    • 6Thanks
    Kim.wigley
    Landlord selling house
    • #1
    • 9th Oct 18, 7:57 PM
    Landlord selling house 9th Oct 18 at 7:57 PM
    We moved 200 miles ago in April. Put our house on the market, signed a 6 month tenancy. Weíve had 2 house sales fall through and are now letting our property and staying in rented.

    The landlords agent wanted to do another 6 months in September, at which point we thought we would be buying a house here so have been honest (and were honest the entire way through) of our intentions. Now the house sale has fallen through, Iíve asked their intention so we know if we need to find somewhere to live or can we sign for another 6 months. Agent said she would contact landlord and expects sheíll want us to stay - this was last Tuesday. Theyíve told us today that they put the house on the market(it went online Friday), and have someone wanting to view. Theyíre trying to keep us sweet, I think, by saying itís so unlikely weíll get notice this month (because that means moving 3 days before Christmas), as itís unlikely to sell quickly.

    The viewer wants to come any evening next week between 5.30 and 5.45. I get home with my children about that time, itís ridicilously inconvenient and quite frankly - Iím not sure I have any incentive to do the landlord a favour by allowing viewings. Am I within my rights to refuse? Someone must be home for a viewing because we have a dog that would get quite upset with strangers in his house unaccompanied!
Page 2
    • Okrib
    • By Okrib 10th Oct 18, 11:14 AM
    • 164 Posts
    • 133 Thanks
    Okrib
    I don't think anyone is against the landlord selling the house, I think they are against the landlord breaking the agreement, treating the tenants like second class citizens, and completely disregarding the tenants rights to peace. The tenants are paying rent to use the house as THEIR home. The landlord isn't doing them a favour. Would you let strangers in your house without any notice?
    Originally posted by lookstraightahead
    In the same way the OP (as landlord) will break the agreement, treat their tenants like second hand citizens and disregard their right to peace? The OP advised the landlord that they would only be there for 6 months. The landlord would have assumed that he would have a vacant property after 6 months, and planned accordingly. Why should the landlord accommodate the OP's change in plans when they have decided they want to sell?

    I used to do viewings at tenanted properties all the time. Most tenants were reasonable, and allowed viewings with fair notice. We would work around them to do it at specific times, and some wanted to be there, others didn't.

    I find it particularly hypocritical that the OP wants to use the system to ensure their own ability to stay in the property against the landlord's wishes, but presumably will have zero compunction about evicting their own tenants and doing whatever enables them to sell their home once they have found something they want to buy. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
    • macman
    • By macman 10th Oct 18, 11:21 AM
    • 43,308 Posts
    • 18,493 Thanks
    macman
    Your LL is clueless. The buyer won't exchange before you vacate, and you won't need to do that until a minimum of 8 weeks after notice has been given. But, since the deposit was not protected in 30 days, the S21 will be invalid. Allow another month for them to resolve that. So you have at least 3 months even if you leave 8 weeks after the S21 is correctly served. If you decide to sit tight and make her apply for a possession order and then bailiffs, then that's another 3 months minimum.
    It's entirely up to you how you want to play this, but I would be dictating your own terms to the LL in return for co-operation re. your departure date. And that negotiation should include your terms for compensation for non-protection of the deposit, unless she wants to do that via the court.
    This isn't an anti LL stance, it's an anti unprofessional LL stance.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • CarrieVS
    • By CarrieVS 10th Oct 18, 11:45 AM
    • 199 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    CarrieVS
    I don't think anyone is against the landlord selling the house, I think they are against the landlord breaking the agreement, treating the tenants like second class citizens, and completely disregarding the tenants rights to peace. The tenants are paying rent to use the house as THEIR home. The landlord isn't doing them a favour. Would you let strangers in your house without any notice?
    Originally posted by lookstraightahead
    That's so (more or less), but a lot of people have jumped straight to proposing obstructive tactics like trying to put potential buyers off by making the house look bad, apparently before the OP has tried normal, civil approaches like politely informing the landlord that "the proposed time isn't convenient, can they come at XYZ times; in general for future viewings ABC times would be convenient, and [OP] needs to be there during viewings to supervise the dog." If OP is concerned about whether they'll be expected to vacate the property for viewings, they can discuss that as well, and if LL objects then politely point out that it says nothing about that in the relevant bit of the agreement and they would rather not.

    If I read this correctly
    - LL's given advance warning of the viewing, offered the tenants a choice of days, and not proposed anything that's unreasonable in general terms - it just happens not to fit in with OP's schedule, which he presumably has no reason to know.
    - The agreement obliges OP to allow viewings if they're reasonable and with 24 hours notice in writing.
    - Notice hasn't been given in writing yet but as I understand it the date hasn't been agreed and it's well ahead of the 24 hour period, so there's no reason to suppose it won't be. Written notice of intention to sell could also still be given.

    It doesn't seem to me that LL's done anything particularly unfair yet. If they're unreasonable upon the appropriate, polite, adult response from OP, then let's talk about what OP can do to make it harder for them.
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 10th Oct 18, 11:59 AM
    • 24,306 Posts
    • 12,726 Thanks
    lisyloo
    I agree with Carrie.
    I am suprised that the advice is to force landlords to take someone to court when a contract is in place. I appreciate there are circumstances where this is unavoidable i.e. someone is prevented from making themselves intentionally homeless, but for normal wage earning people it's immoral to just shrug of a contract simply because the law makes it's hard for a LL to enforce (I'm not a LL BTW).
    • DottieDam
    • By DottieDam 10th Oct 18, 12:32 PM
    • 102 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    DottieDam
    Such bizarre views, especially since OP is a LL themselves and no injustice has been served (only a technicality on a late deposited deposit!).

    5:30 - 5:45 pm isn't a "ridiculously inconvenient" time - 5 am or 10 pm would be! It's just not a great time for you but then if you gave them a time (after 5pm or weekends) that worked for you then I'm sure they would oblige!

    The issue seems to be you don't want viewings because you aren't ready to move, which is inconvenient but so would the stress of court proceedings and constant fights with your LL!

    Maybe try and see the positive and view it as kick to get your house back on the market?

    Or approach LL and mention concerns about having to move just prior to Christmas? Based on what I've read on here, if you are in England or Wales, a pre-Christmas exchange sounds pretty unrealistic when it has just gone on the market.
    • Marvel1
    • By Marvel1 10th Oct 18, 12:42 PM
    • 4,198 Posts
    • 4,666 Thanks
    Marvel1
    Why is everyone so against the landlord? It's their property, and if they want to sell it they should be able to.

    Trying to find ways to get round this by a form being incorrect is wrong in my opinion. How would the OP feel if their tenants did the same to them when they want to buy a house and need to sell theirs?

    I don't envy landlords having to deal with people who are effectively looking to game the system to find ways to delay them doing what they want with property they own.

    You had planned on being there for 6 months. The landlord might originally have wanted someone to make a longer commitment to stay, but took you in on that basis. You both agreed to this. You were open about the fact it was probably only going to be for 6 months. Had you found a place to buy you would have happily served him notice to leave, meaning he had no income. Presumably you would have served notice on your tenants (thus potentially upsetting their plans if they wanted to stay longer?).
    Originally posted by Okrib
    Then landlord should service notice, wait for tenant to leave then market house for sale.
    • Kim.wigley
    • By Kim.wigley 10th Oct 18, 3:40 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Kim.wigley
    We don’t yet have a tenant in our house - our plan is to leave that house be until a tenant hands their notice in, to then sell again. I’ve budgeted for a void period to do this.

    My issue is not that the landlord is selling the property. It’s that they put the house on the market, after telling us they were about to give us a 6 month tenancy, and didn’t tell us because they don’t want us to put our notice in and leave their house empty. We’ve only been told because they have someone wanting to view - and have told me it must be one evening next week between 5.30-5.45 (the exact time I arrive home from work with 2 children who need feeding/bathing/bed).

    The more I’ve thought and pondered this, the more it’s irked me. She had our deposit money from the beginning of the tenancy, undeposited and able to do what they liked with it. It may have been an admin error, but that error allowed them unfettered access to OUR deposit. Given everything I have been told, I expect she is going to want to extract as much back as she can at the end of the tenancy (especially if there is a void period).

    This tenancy is a business transaction and not personal. If emotion is removed from it, we are paying for a home and the landlord has not fully followed the rules. I intend to as a landlord.
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 10th Oct 18, 3:56 PM
    • 24,306 Posts
    • 12,726 Thanks
    lisyloo
    and have told me it must be one evening next week between 5.30-5.45 (the exact time I arrive home from work with 2 children who need feeding/bathing/bed).

    If you are not expected to do the viewing can you not just carry on as normal with them there?
    • CarrieVS
    • By CarrieVS 10th Oct 18, 4:04 PM
    • 199 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    CarrieVS
    They ... have told me it must be one evening next week between 5.30-5.45 (the exact time I arrive home from work with 2 children who need feeding/bathing/bed).
    Originally posted by Kim.wigley
    Is there any reason they should have known that that's an inconvenient time for you? In general I wouldn't expect landlords to know their tenants' daily schedules. You sound like you feel they're doing this on purpose to make life hard for you but are you sure you aren't attributing to malice what is due to ignorance?

    Have you told them it's not convenient and they have refused to budge? If so then you have a fair reason to be upset, but if you're assuming that "they want to come at X time" means there's no possibility of rearranging, then I'd still urge you to ring them up and explain that that's a really bad time of day for you. (If they're reluctant, I suggest adding why it's inconvenient, i.e. let them know that you'll be in the house and very busy with activities that aren't conducive to having the place tidy.)
    • Kim.wigley
    • By Kim.wigley 10th Oct 18, 4:15 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Kim.wigley
    It’s currently all very polite, but they are aware that’s when I arrive home (the house was valued back in July so we had to organise times then for the estate agents, and it’s unchanged). I’ve said it isn’t a particularly convenient time, explained my reasoning, but she is still expecting me to do something.

    I will offer some convenient times for us (weekday daytime on days my husband has a day off), but I don’t think this is going to be suitable - it seems they want to view outside of normal “office” hours.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 10th Oct 18, 4:32 PM
    • 13,750 Posts
    • 19,905 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    I imagine a lot of potential buyers will want a viewing outside of normal office hours.

    You can't have it both ways. You were offered a new fixed term but declined. A periodic tenancy gives you more flexibility but less security.

    Regarding your plan to let out your current home and leave a tenant be are you aware you'll have to pay the higher rate of SDLT when you purchase your next home and will have a limited timeframe in which to reclaim the additional SDLT?
    • lookstraightahead
    • By lookstraightahead 10th Oct 18, 4:40 PM
    • 1,186 Posts
    • 1,035 Thanks
    lookstraightahead
    I would give them a list of times and dates suitable for you, and you don't need to be there either. It's your home while you are in it, and I do see why you are irked because they haven't acted professionally (as you say it's a business).

    From what I can make out, the op hasnt done anything wrong here.
    • Kim.wigley
    • By Kim.wigley 10th Oct 18, 5:23 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Kim.wigley
    You can't have it both ways. You were offered a new fixed term but declined. A periodic tenancy gives you more flexibility but less security.

    Regarding your plan to let out your current home and leave a tenant be are you aware you'll have to pay the higher rate of SDLT when you purchase your next home and will have a limited timeframe in which to reclaim the additional SDLT?
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    I think I may not have been clear. We were asked in September, prior to the expiration of our fixed term, if we might want to extend the tenancy for a further 6 months. I explained that we had accepted an offer on our property and made an offer to purchase a property however I was currently unable to either give notice or sign another term because neither were a certainty.

    2 weeks later (if that) our house sale fell through and I asked the letting agent know that we were now in a position to sign a tenancy. She left it telling me not to worry, she was sure her landlord would agree but she had to get the go ahead from her. A week later, without telling us (or responding to our request either way, and ignoring subsequent messages asking for a response), they advertised the property for sale. They've only told us 6 days later because they have a viewing and need our permission. The letting agent very nicely told me she thinks its highly unlikely we'll get our notice to move before Christmas (I explained my husband works in retail, its his busiest week of the year. I'm an accountant in practice, December/January is the busiest time of my year. We have 2 children under the age of 5 who will suffer if we have to move 3 days before Christmas). Its a bit of cat and mouse I feel at the moment - they don't want to let us know what they're doing incase we had our notice in. I shouldn't let them know what I'm doing, but I'm actually trying to be nice about it and give them warning.

    As far as buying another property goes, it's a totally separate issue. We cannot afford to keep an empty house on the market paying a full mortgage - we can only remortgage if we do it as a BTL, and that means intending to let the property. We have a 2 year ERC on this mortgage so it isn't in our interest to sell within that time. In 2 years, we will likely have saved enough to buy a new property (including the extra SDLT if that's still applicable) and will retain it as a rental investment until such time as a tenant decides to hand their notice in and then we will try to sell. This isn't actually relevant to my situation as a tenant though, I've only included it for context of the situation. Again, perhaps I've just overshared and it is coming back to bite me!
    • franklee
    • By franklee 10th Oct 18, 10:53 PM
    • 3,774 Posts
    • 4,084 Thanks
    franklee
    I think I may not have been clear. We were asked in September, prior to the expiration of our fixed term, if we might want to extend the tenancy for a further 6 months. I explained that we had accepted an offer on our property and made an offer to purchase a property however I was currently unable to either give notice or sign another term because neither were a certainty.

    2 weeks later (if that) our house sale fell through and I asked the letting agent know that we were now in a position to sign a tenancy. She left it telling me not to worry, she was sure her landlord would agree but she had to get the go ahead from her. A week later, without telling us (or responding to our request either way, and ignoring subsequent messages asking for a response), they advertised the property for sale. They've only told us 6 days later because they have a viewing and need our permission. The letting agent very nicely told me she thinks its highly unlikely we'll get our notice to move before Christmas (I explained my husband works in retail, its his busiest week of the year. I'm an accountant in practice, December/January is the busiest time of my year. We have 2 children under the age of 5 who will suffer if we have to move 3 days before Christmas). Its a bit of cat and mouse I feel at the moment - they don't want to let us know what they're doing incase we had our notice in. I shouldn't let them know what I'm doing, but I'm actually trying to be nice about it and give them warning.

    As far as buying another property goes, it's a totally separate issue. We cannot afford to keep an empty house on the market paying a full mortgage - we can only remortgage if we do it as a BTL, and that means intending to let the property. We have a 2 year ERC on this mortgage so it isn't in our interest to sell within that time. In 2 years, we will likely have saved enough to buy a new property (including the extra SDLT if that's still applicable) and will retain it as a rental investment until such time as a tenant decides to hand their notice in and then we will try to sell. This isn't actually relevant to my situation as a tenant though, I've only included it for context of the situation. Again, perhaps I've just overshared and it is coming back to bite me!
    Originally posted by Kim.wigley
    Without knowing the full details of your mortgage, if you wish to keep the residential mortgage until the ERC is up and let the property in the meantime then you really need to get consent to let from your lender. There's a good chance you will get that in your circumstances IMO.

    Plus the relevant landlord's insurance.

    I am slightly worried you intend to let your place knowing so little about deposit protection etc. I guess you intend a letting agent to fully manage. However as your renting experience shows letting agents aren't necessarily that efficient and the buck stops with the landlord. So time to gen up as that will benefit you both as a landlord and tenant.

    Frankly I give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you will treat your tenants as you wish to be treated as a tenant. You will understand where they are coming from.

    Did you check the DPS website and do they have your deposit? It sounds to me like you weren't given the deposit prescribed information (loads of stuff that tells you how the scheme works, rules of the scheme etc.) which would make any S21 notice invalid if it is served before the deposit stuff is put right. If so I would keep that up your sleeve as the sooner you alert your landlord to any shortfalls the sooner they can put it right and serve a fresh potentially valid S21.

    That said I do not think you are in the last 2 months of the tenancy yet are you, no S21 served yet? So presumably not viewing time yet anyway. Course if you mention that it may hasten the service of the S21. Tricky call.
    • Kim.wigley
    • By Kim.wigley 11th Oct 18, 6:10 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Kim.wigley
    My house is an entirely seperate issue. You are right in that Iím very unclear about things - Iím trying to educate myself (through official channels as well as through here), and yes we are using a letting agent. The property is based in Wales so is covered by RentSmart Wales (for as much as thatís worth - I havenít done the licensing course because weíre using an agent, but Iím presuming thatís to teach you your rights and responsibilities as a landlord). As per the mortgage - the residential has expired, CTL denied and a BTL mortgage is the only way to proceed. Weíve had 2 house sales fall through at the eleventh hour this year, and I cannot afford an empty house again for that length of time with full repayment mortgage so weíve dealt with that.

    Our deposit is protected with DPS. It may have got lost in the replies, the tenancy began on 23/04, the deposit was protected on 05/07 (supposedly due to an admin error but thatís fairly irrelevant the more I look into it) as per the certificate. I donít believe I have ever received particulars, my AST states it to be held in DPS and Iíve had an email from the scheme to sign up.

    Our fixed term expires on 22/10 at which point we revert to a periodic tenancy whereby we need to give 1 month notice, the landlord 2 months.

    We are now looking at moving - finding another property isnít proving to be as easy as ďjust moveĒ. Iíve also sent an email to explain how difficult 5.30-5.45 will be given our working patterns and the children, suggested an alternative time (daytime on Friday), and the response I had merely says ďthink it needs to be 5.30-5.45 as the lady worksĒ. Well, unfortunately so do we so itís difficult to allow someone into our home at those times with so much else going on. I still havenít received a formal request in writing, nor have we been informed in writing of the intention to sell (as per the AST).
    • Kim.wigley
    • By Kim.wigley 11th Oct 18, 6:12 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Kim.wigley
    Sorry franklee I’ve also misread your post.

    No S21 served yet. The letting agent has been open and told me that will only happen once they have an acceptable offer. My AST provides for me to allow viewings at a reasonable and convenient time in the last 2 months of my tenancy, or if the landlord wishes to sell and has informed me in writing.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 11th Oct 18, 6:19 AM
    • 13,750 Posts
    • 19,905 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    I think I may not have been clear. We were asked in September, prior to the expiration of our fixed term, if we might want to extend the tenancy for a further 6 months. I explained that we had accepted an offer on our property and made an offer to purchase a property however I was currently unable to either give notice or sign another term because neither were a certainty.
    Originally posted by Kim.wigley
    You have been clear. You were offered a new fixed term contract but it didn't suit you at the time so you didn't accept it. Now it doesn't suit the landlord to continue letting the property out longer term.

    2 weeks later (if that) our house sale fell through and I asked the letting agent know that we were now in a position to sign a tenancy. She left it telling me not to worry, she was sure her landlord would agree but she had to get the go ahead from her. A week later, without telling us (or responding to our request either way, and ignoring subsequent messages asking for a response), they advertised the property for sale. They've only told us 6 days later because they have a viewing and need our permission. The letting agent very nicely told me she thinks its highly unlikely we'll get our notice to move before Christmas (I explained my husband works in retail, its his busiest week of the year. I'm an accountant in practice, December/January is the busiest time of my year. We have 2 children under the age of 5 who will suffer if we have to move 3 days before Christmas). Its a bit of cat and mouse I feel at the moment - they don't want to let us know what they're doing incase we had our notice in. I shouldn't let them know what I'm doing, but I'm actually trying to be nice about it and give them warning.
    Originally posted by Kim.wigley
    This is mostly just noise. Should the landlord and/or the agent acting on his behalf communicated the situation better to you and sooner, yes but neither of them did. Should they be giving you notice in writing? Yes they should because that's what it says in your tenancy agreement and I think it is absolutely right that you go back to them on that point.

    As far as buying another property goes, it's a totally separate issue. We cannot afford to keep an empty house on the market paying a full mortgage - we can only remortgage if we do it as a BTL, and that means intending to let the property. We have a 2 year ERC on this mortgage so it isn't in our interest to sell within that time. In 2 years, we will likely have saved enough to buy a new property (including the extra SDLT if that's still applicable) and will retain it as a rental investment until such time as a tenant decides to hand their notice in and then we will try to sell. This isn't actually relevant to my situation as a tenant though, I've only included it for context of the situation. Again, perhaps I've just overshared and it is coming back to bite me!
    Originally posted by Kim.wigley
    I mentioned the higher rate of SDLT because it's noble to say you won't follow the process to end a tenancy and let the tenancy run until the tenants decides to end it but I don't believe that you will forgo the opportunity to reclaim thousands in tax to suit a tenant. Perhaps I'm wrong. Is the ERC on your mortgage greater than the additional SDLT you will need to pay?

    Your talk of switching to a BTL mortgage rather than asking your lender for consent to let and some of your comments about how a tenancy can be ended and deposits give the impression that you have done zero research into becoming a landlord yourself. I know it's not what your thread was originally about but please, before you become a landlord educate yourself for your sake and the sake of your tenants. The country doesn't need another amateur landlord and you are getting first hand experience of what it's like to have one.

    Read G_M's New Landlords: advice information and links, taken from his overall Guides for Landlords and Tenants: Tenancies in England and Wales.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 11th Oct 18, 6:32 AM
    • 17,152 Posts
    • 42,133 Thanks
    FBaby
    So you would have been happy to go if your property had sold and you'd bought somewhere local but because its fallen through and you now want to stay you are finding ways to be as difficult as possible?

    A 15 minutes visit is nothing. You don't need to show them, let the agent do it whilst you get on with what you'd do anyway.

    But I expect you are set to make everything as unpleasant as possible because if things are going wrong for you, it's only fair it should go wrong for others too.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 11th Oct 18, 7:50 AM
    • 14,662 Posts
    • 17,512 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    Iíve also sent an email to explain how difficult 5.30-5.45 will be given our working patterns and the children, suggested an alternative time (daytime on Friday), and the response I had merely says ďthink it needs to be 5.30-5.45 as the lady worksĒ. Well, unfortunately so do we so itís difficult to allow someone into our home at those times with so much else going on.
    Originally posted by Kim.wigley
    Why is it "difficult"? Apart from opening the door you need have no involvement with the viewing, it's no different to, say, to having someone around to measure up for carpets whilst you get on with whatever . However having said that you are perfectly within your rights to just say "no" to that time and you hold the whip hand in the form of not having to open the door

    I can see an S21 heading your way very quickly and I guess you'll be looking for another rental now to move into after Christmas as realistically they can't get you out before then.
    Last edited by AnotherJoe; 11-10-2018 at 7:53 AM.
    Please dont criticise my spelling. It's excellent. Its my typing that's bad.
    • CarrieVS
    • By CarrieVS 11th Oct 18, 8:39 AM
    • 199 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    CarrieVS
    Why is it "difficult"? Apart from opening the door you need have no involvement with the viewing.
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    As long as the people viewing don't want to see the bathroom while the little ones are in the tub, or their bedrooms when they're tucked in with lights out.
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