Be aware of the sitting tenant
We have recently received several phone calls from new landlords who have bought properties with existing tenants in the property and within six months the tenant has stopped paying their rent. Most tenants are trying to claim that the property have maintenance issues and are not fit for rent. Obviously, each case is individual but it did prompt me to write this to remind landlords of the Deregulation act which has come into effect.
The Deregulation Act 2015 came about to try to protect tenants from rogue landlords evicting tenants for retaliatory reasons. Retaliatory Eviction normally come about when a landlord takes steps to Evict My Tenant Limited because the tenant has complained about the condition of the property, rather than carry out repairs.
However some savvy tenants have realised that it might be a way to delay any justified and legal eviction process.
For new landlords taking on a buy to let property with an existing tenant it is vital that any recent correspondence between outgoing landlord and tenant are passed on. The new process requires the tenant to put in writing to the landlord his/her complaints about disrepair. The landlord has 14 days to respond to the tenant, setting out when they will access the property, look at the remedies and carry out repairs.
Should there be a conflict between landlord and tenant on what or if any repairs are need then the tenant must make a complaint to the local housing authority.
The act gives local councils the power to serve an enforcement notice on the landlord, setting out “a reasonable timescale” for improvement works to be carried out. This is where some unethical and immoral tenants are taking advantage of the system as Landlords served with an Improvement Notice cannot issue a section 21 within six months of an enforcement notice being served.
The act does encourage landlords to keep their buy to let properties in a fit state for rent but as you can see it can potentially be used to delay a potential legal eviction depending on your local authority interpretations of the act.
In addition to the above act, recently there have been numerous changes to legislation that any existing and new landlord needs to be aware of, these include:
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Tenancy Deposit Protection
Additional Information Relating to Prescribed Information
The Section 21 Notice
If you would like free advice on how to remove a tenant and how these effect the tenant eviction process then please do not hesitate to give me a ring.