Having blogged about some day-to-day activities it’s back to “A Practical Guide to Managing an HMO”.
However you decide to run your business, I can’t stress enough the importance of being a member of a landlord association. Tenants can be canny things and, before you’ve even finished the word “eviction” they will be sitting in the queue of the nearest Citizens Advice Bureau. Unless you are a property solicitor by profession, the law surrounding Assured Shorthold Tenancies can be tricky if the tenant wants to contest it.
Tenants can be badly behaved, dealing drugs, committing murder, stealing from old ladies BUT THEY STILL HAVE TENANCY RIGHTS. Jail or dying in hospital does not mean the end of the tenancy! With a landlord association you have telephone access to fellow landlords who fully understand the law and can advise you, correct forms and tenancy agreements and the opportunity to attend meetings and network with other brave souls attempting to earn a crumb. (Actually, at the meeting I attend I’m convinced they are all millionaires and I’m the only one hoping to register a profit before the next maintenance bill arrives.)
Steve’s Section 21 (Notice for Possession)
After suggesting to Steve (verbally) that the house doesn’t suit his lifestyle and he may want to find another that does, I set about issuing a Section 21 Notice for Possession. However, last night in bed I was reading Tessa Shepperton’s (Landlord Law) e-book on Assured Shorthold Tenancies – Your Complete Guide to Section 21 (well, I’d finished Girl Who Played With Fire and wanted a light read) and realised, through her words that, because he’d moved room in the same property I’d effectively created a new tenancy and he was still within the statutory 6 months fixed term. Eek! A quick call to the National Landlords Association (www.landlords.org.uk) and they confirmed that this was indeed the case and talked me through the correct paperwork to issue. As I’d had some concerns about him at the beginning, he’d given me a guarantor so I can pursue her for rent arrears. In the meantime, Local Housing Allowance are still paying his rent (with a £112 a month shortfall) so at least I’m partly covered. If there’s any more anti social behaviour I’m sure the other big boys in the house can keep things calm (or call me if they’re being wimps).