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  • FIRST POST
    • AmandaLC
    • By AmandaLC 13th Jul 18, 12:01 AM
    • 9Posts
    • 0Thanks
    AmandaLC
    Landlord: offshore company?
    • #1
    • 13th Jul 18, 12:01 AM
    Landlord: offshore company? 13th Jul 18 at 12:01 AM
    Hello all,

    I'm in the process of renting a property, the landlord as such is an offshore company and the letting agent manages the property... I know this is not unlawful but somehow this looks like I could be trapped if something goes wrong.

    Just to clarify: the letting agent name is in the contract as acting in behalf of the landlord

    Could I ask the letting agent to sign a contract where they can be legally liable or at least to include a clause in the AST where they will need to let me know in advance if they are no longer managing the property? what are the obligations of a letting agency managing a property during the tenancy? does that need to be reflected in the AST?

    Thanks!!
    Last edited by AmandaLC; 13-07-2018 at 12:24 AM. Reason: Clarification
Page 1
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 13th Jul 18, 12:13 AM
    • 6,636 Posts
    • 6,212 Thanks
    00ec25
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 18, 12:13 AM
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 18, 12:13 AM
    the clue is in the name: "agent".
    They are the landlord's agent.
    They do not work for you, they do not work for themselves, they work FOR the landlord and do what he asks them to do. You are nothing to them.
    • zagubov
    • By zagubov 13th Jul 18, 12:14 AM
    • 15,375 Posts
    • 131,343 Thanks
    zagubov
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 18, 12:14 AM
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 18, 12:14 AM
    Hello all,

    I'm in the process of renting a property, the landlord as such is an offshore company and the letting agent manages the property... I know this is not unlawful but somehow this looks like I could be trapped if something goes wrong.

    Could I ask the letting agent to sign a contract where they can be legally liable or at least to include a clause in the AST where they will need to let me know in advance if they are no longer managing the property? what are the obligations of a letting agency managing a property during the tenancy? does that need to be reflected in the AST?

    Thanks!!
    Originally posted by AmandaLC
    Don't rush into this. It could be complicated as in you could have to pay the tax on your rent to HMRC. Other posters will be along soon with more info.
    There is no honour to be had in not knowing a thing that can be known - Danny Baker
    • AmandaLC
    • By AmandaLC 13th Jul 18, 12:31 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    AmandaLC
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 18, 12:31 AM
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 18, 12:31 AM
    Thanks for the answers! 'll pay everything directly to the letting agency in a UK bank account so I assume that's something to take into consideration?
    • Simonr66
    • By Simonr66 13th Jul 18, 2:22 PM
    • 27 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    Simonr66
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 18, 2:22 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 18, 2:22 PM
    It could be complicated as in you could have to pay the tax on your rent to HMRC.
    Originally posted by zagubov

    Rubbish, any tax owed by the landlord to HMRC is payable by the landlord, as you are dealing with a UK based letting agent your rights as a tenant with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy are protected under UK law, it doesn't matter who the landlord is or where they are based
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 13th Jul 18, 3:13 PM
    • 6,604 Posts
    • 6,474 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #6
    • 13th Jul 18, 3:13 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Jul 18, 3:13 PM
    Rubbish, any tax owed by the landlord to HMRC is payable by the landlord, as you are dealing with a UK based letting agent your rights as a tenant with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy are protected under UK law, it doesn't matter who the landlord is or where they are based
    Originally posted by Simonr66
    I guess the point being made is that the LL currently has a UK based letting agent - so the agent will deduct tax from the rent and pay hmrc.

    ...But should the LL decide to sack the agent and deal direct with the tenant - the tenant will have the hassle of deducting tax and paying it to hmrc.

    (But I agree that's a bit unlikely.)

    If your landlord lives abroad and you pay over 100 a week, you need to register with HMRC and deduct tax from your rent.

    You also need to register with HMRC if you pay a UK representative of your landlord, such as a friend or family member, who isn't a letting agent.

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/paying-tax-on-rent-to-landlords-abroad
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 13th Jul 18, 3:19 PM
    • 12,419 Posts
    • 17,639 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 18, 3:19 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 18, 3:19 PM
    Rubbish, any tax owed by the landlord to HMRC is payable by the landlord, as you are dealing with a UK based letting agent your rights as a tenant with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy are protected under UK English law, it doesn't matter who the landlord is or where they are based
    Originally posted by Simonr66
    A small but important difference.

    That's not true about the tax. For non-resident landlords it's the letting agency or tenant who has to register with HMRC and pay the tax. Strange but true. However, in the OP's case because there is a letting agency then as long as the OP's rent payments go to the letting agent then it's the agent who is liable for deducting the tax and paying it to HMRC.

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/paying-tax-on-rent-to-landlords-abroad
    Last edited by Pixie5740; 13-07-2018 at 3:25 PM.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 13th Jul 18, 3:21 PM
    • 12,419 Posts
    • 17,639 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    • #8
    • 13th Jul 18, 3:21 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Jul 18, 3:21 PM

    Could I ask the letting agent to sign a contract where they can be legally liable or at least to include a clause in the AST where they will need to let me know in advance if they are no longer managing the property? what are the obligations of a letting agency managing a property during the tenancy? does that need to be reflected in the AST?

    Thanks!!
    Originally posted by AmandaLC
    You can ask but since the contract is between you and the landlord not you and the letting agent then I highly doubt they will agree. If the landlord ditches the letting agent then the landlord will soon tell you about it because he won't want you paying the rent money to a company he no longer has a contract with.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 13th Jul 18, 6:52 PM
    • 6,636 Posts
    • 6,212 Thanks
    00ec25
    • #9
    • 13th Jul 18, 6:52 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Jul 18, 6:52 PM
    Rubbish, any tax owed by the landlord to HMRC is payable by the landlord, as you are dealing with a UK based letting agent your rights as a tenant with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy are protected under UK law, it doesn't matter who the landlord is or where they are based
    Originally posted by Simonr66
    had you put some caveats into your comment such that it was clear you know about the Non Resident LL scheme and the relationship between that and having an agent, your post would have been credible

    however, as written, it is a sweeping comment so devoid of true context as to be rubbish itself.

    shall we start again?
    Rubbish, any tax owed by the landlord to HMRC is payable by the landlord, correct in certain circumstances. A big exception being where the LL is non resident in the UK and has not been given permission by HMRC to operate the NRL and furthermore the LL has not appointed an agent with an address in the UK to handle his affairs for him. In the latter case the tenant is legally liable to pay the tax to HMRC by means of deducting it from the rent he pays to the LL. Failure of the tenant to pay HMRC means HMRC will chase the tenant for the tax

    as you are dealing with a UK based letting agent your rights as a tenant with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy are protected under UK law, incorrect. there is no "UK" law, Housing law has variation between England, Wales (some differences) Scotland, (radical differences) and if one incorrectly includes NI as part of the UK, then there are also differences over there.

    it doesn't matter who the landlord is or where they are based yes it does for tax purposes, but you are correct the location of the LL has no bearing on which housing law applies to the tenancy itself, as that is dictated by where the rental property is located, not where the LL is located.
    Originally posted by Simonr66
    Last edited by 00ec25; 13-07-2018 at 6:56 PM.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 13th Jul 18, 7:00 PM
    • 44,714 Posts
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    G_M
    Thank goodness there are so many knowledgeable people here who can correct the drivel spouted by the unknowlegeable!
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 13th Jul 18, 7:12 PM
    • 12,419 Posts
    • 17,639 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    Northern Ireland is in the UK, as in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It's why the Cross of Saint Patrick remains part of the Union flag.
    Last edited by Pixie5740; 13-07-2018 at 7:14 PM.
    • AmandaLC
    • By AmandaLC 13th Jul 18, 7:35 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    AmandaLC
    Thanks all for clarifying a couple of things! One of my main concerns is related with the liability in case that something goes wrong during the tenancy as I assume the offshore company couldn't be persecuted, and it would be the same for the agency. what happen if the company is insolvent or it's dissolve while I'm a tenant at the property?
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 13th Jul 18, 7:54 PM
    • 12,419 Posts
    • 17,639 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    Thanks all for clarifying a couple of things! One of my main concerns is related with the liability in case that something goes wrong during the tenancy as I assume the offshore company couldn't be persecuted, and it would be the same for the agency. what happen if the company is insolvent or it's dissolve while I'm a tenant at the property?
    Originally posted by AmandaLC
    I know letting agents are not generally top of people's Christmas card lists but we don't tend to persecute them.

    Since you have no contract with the letting agent it's irrelevant if they become insolvent. In fact it will make little difference to you if the offshore company becomes insolvent. Your deposit has to be protected either in a custodial or insurance backed scheme and your tenancy doesn't end just because the owner of the property might change. Even if the property is repossessed by the bank your tenancy still doesn't end, the bank just becomes your landlord.
    Last edited by Pixie5740; 13-07-2018 at 9:29 PM. Reason: Typo
    • AmandaLC
    • By AmandaLC 13th Jul 18, 9:14 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    AmandaLC
    I know letting agents are generally top of people's Christmas card lists but we don't tend to persecute them.

    Since you have no contract with the letting agent it's irrelevant if they become insolvent. In fact it will make little difference to you if the offshore company becomes insolvent. Your deposit has to be protected either in a custodial or insurance backed scheme and your tenancy doesn't end just because the owner of the property might change. Even if the property is repossessed by the bank your tenancy still doesn't end, the bank just becomes your landlord.
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    That is really helpful!! I was a bit concern in terms of what could happen in that scenario. I know the deposit should be protected and at the end of the day is only money... However, what about liability if something happens in the house: latent defects, fire, etc? I know is very unlikely to happen and the landlord should have an insurance but for me is important to understand all the risk involved in doing business with a landlord that can't be persecuted.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 13th Jul 18, 9:34 PM
    • 12,419 Posts
    • 17,639 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    That is really helpful!! I was a bit concern in terms of what could happen in that scenario. I know the deposit should be protected and at the end of the day is only money... However, what about liability if something happens in the house: latent defects, fire, etc? I know is very unlikely to happen and the landlord should have an insurance but for me is important to understand all the risk involved in doing business with a landlord that can't be persecuted.
    Originally posted by AmandaLC
    I don't think you're allowed to persecute people these days, even if they are landlords.

    Why do you think the risk is any greater than renting from a landlord based in the UK? Any landlord could become bankrupt. Any landlord could fail to insure the property. Any landlord could refuse to carry out repairs. What they all have is an asset based here ie the property you rent and they all have to comply with the legislation of whichever part of the UK the rental property is in.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 13th Jul 18, 10:29 PM
    • 9,826 Posts
    • 10,970 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    That is really helpful!! I was a bit concern in terms of what could happen in that scenario. I know the deposit should be protected and at the end of the day is only money... However, what about liability if something happens in the house: latent defects, fire, etc? I know is very unlikely to happen and the landlord should have an insurance but for me is important to understand all the risk involved in doing business with a landlord that can't be persecuted.
    Originally posted by AmandaLC

    Amanda, the word is "prosecute" not "persecute"


    The risks are there whatever the location of the LL. If the house burns down for example, you'll have to move whether the LL lives in Birmingham Alabama or Birmingham West Midlands. Whether or not they have property insurance wont stop it burning.
    • zagubov
    • By zagubov 14th Jul 18, 12:46 AM
    • 15,375 Posts
    • 131,343 Thanks
    zagubov
    Thank goodness there are so many knowledgeable people here who can correct the drivel spouted by the unknowlegeable!
    Originally posted by G_M
    Seconded!
    There is no honour to be had in not knowing a thing that can be known - Danny Baker
    • G_M
    • By G_M 14th Jul 18, 7:11 PM
    • 44,714 Posts
    • 53,175 Thanks
    G_M
    Amanda, the word is "prosecute" not "persecute"
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    Spoil sport. I was enjoying that.....
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