26th March 2019
I recently had a landlord, who manages his own property, contact me, asking me to issue notice on his tenants as he wanted to sell.
As we don’t manage this landlord’s property, we didn’t have any involvement with setting up the tenancy or finding these tenants. All he wanted from me was to issue a Section 21 on his tenants, in order to get his property back. Rather than reel off a list of our services, and blindly follow his request, I thought it wise to ask a couple of simple questions first, to find out how I can help him best.
My line of questioning revealed that there was gas in the property and that he had never had a gas safety check done. Nor had he an EPC in place! Therefore, the landlord was in breach of two major laws.
The tenancy agreement he had in place didn’t make a good read either, to be honest the contract wasn’t worth the paper it was written on!
From one small conversation, where the request seemed simple enough, a minefield was revealed.
I gave the landlord my list of recommendations on what he should do: 1) arrange for a gas safety 2) arrange for an EPC. He wasn’t too keen on doing this himself, so we arranged this for him.
Once these were carried out, I then issued a Section 21 notice. Fortunately, the landlord had a great relationship with the tenants and the notice went very smoothly. The tenants left the property, and everything worked out well. However, this could have gone dramatically wrong. The tenants may have refused to leave. Or, they could have reported the landlord to the council. That’s only the tip of the iceberg; if anything had gone wrong with the gas supply at the property the landlord could’ve been facing jail time!
This situation occurred because the landlord had only focussed on cost. His focus was on saving money, so he found the tenants himself, no references, and he downloaded an agreement online. That explains why, with all greatest respect, it was useless. He did not want to use an agent, and he cut corners when it came to regulation. Claiming you didn’t know the requirements isn’t a good enough defence in court. All of this risk, just to save a few pounds.
Some landlords like to be hands-on, others like to be hands off. Either way, please ensure you follow the law, and health and safety requirements; as well as protecting yourself with the right paperwork. As an agent, we will offer you the services you want. We’re not going to force a fully managed package on to you if you would prefer to be hands on. If you do choose to do it yourself, we can assist you in the areas you need help in.