23 Jun 2020
The last two weeks has been hectic and often people see what we publish and ask what exactly do we do?
Well here is the first half covering just some of the things we have covered in the last two weeks, no day is ever boring and it is a long read and these cases are all landlords just like you:
Landlords and COVID-19
Covid-19 has meant much more enforcement action against landlords and not because of the virus, but because the council enforcement staff are spending more time at their home desks processing paperwork backlogs.
In the last 14 days we have dealt with a few different matters many of which could have been avoided by choosing the right agent, checking things before doing them or just plainly complying with the law.
Breaking the Law
If you drive at 90mph you will eventually get caught.
If you break the law of the Housing Act 2004 or the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 you can expect to have enforcement action taken against you.
Here are some of the interesting battles we have been fighting:
Letting agent lets down Landlord on Licensing:
Letting agent did not apply for Selective Licence on house under its management and the landlord is being summoned to the magistrates’ court – fine expected £6000 – agent change and licence application required – we are handling everything including the representation in court. Landlord relieved that we know our way around the system and will attempt an out of court settlement and fine.
Online Licence application did not give discount price:
Portfolio landlord couldn’t pay for Selective Licences online (due to technical issues not applying his grandfathered discount) when making the application and therefore, he waited for the council to contact him, they did with summonses to appear in court and answer to why he had unlicensed properties.
This could have been avoided by checking his online account and calling the council the next day. Some hostage-like negotiations in progress right now. Crazy situation and the council is being ruthless, he has been a landlord for 20 years and been compliant for all those years, until now.
Naïve new Landlord needs Licence and Planning Permission:
New Landlord with a nice corporate job agreed to let his first house to a company for its employees working on a contract locally.
He then finds it now comes under HMO licensing, so applies for a licence to find that it is in an article 4 area and needs planning permission, a nice mess to sort out, the council have not been very polite about his errors and we need to push back on the bully person and get some decorum whilst we regularise everything.
Doctor duped by bungled rent to rent deal:
A NHS Doctor rented his house to a chap on a rent to rent deal and the house is now a HMO and has no licence and one of the tenants is claiming unfair eviction, the doc is in shock, and facing fines and rent repayment orders. His investment has just gone south. As a doctor he is excellent as a landlord he is embarrassed by this situation.
A fortnight flies by when you are busy – don’t judge – it could be you next
As you can see this is the type of work our firm deals with.
Each and every one of those landlords above is just like you, a good citizen doing what they thought was the best they could.
Most of our clients are the biggest and best landlords in the country who know things change so rapidly that must have a specialist like us on speed dial to advise act and defend when the enemy attacks.
DO NOT JUDGE, we are helping Landlords get out of trouble when they get into it.
Every landlord makes genuine mistakes, drops the ball and SOME get away with it and OTHERS do not.
The wrong day, the wrong moment, the wrong tenant and anything of the above can happen to you or your portfolio. Councils are ruthless and unforgiving and will destroy your business in one inspection.
Wishing you luck and if you have questions then get in touch via www/landlordsdefence.co.uk/contact or phone 0208 088 0788