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New contract and change in law

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Author Topic: New contract and change in law  (Read 137 times)
Posts: 13

Accidental landlord.

« on: December 16, 2020, 04:43:36 PM »


Our tenants have finally moved out after giving us a lot of grief.

One issue I had was overcrowding. We rented the 3 bed house to father, mother and 3 children.  Then came the baby and I could not evict a family because another baby is born and then came the nanny (they did not tell us and used one of the two sitting rooms as her bedroom, our curtain rail was her wardrobe).  I absolutely want to avoid a repeat as the wear and tear is beyond anything I could have foreseen and we are having to redecorate and sand down most wooden floors.

I have been too soft with the previous tenants and I am not going to be bitten again but I am unsure about what the legislation says.  Am I allowed to specify in the future advertisement and tenancy contract  "no more than 4 occupants" ?  Or is it something I can only do under hand when I screen applicants?

Also, since our last tenancy, apparently the law has changed and one cannot refuse dogs and cats. Is it true?  I am allergic to cats and I do not use an agent so for the day to day maintenance I need to go in there to assess issues so tot get trades in.  I would not mind so much a dog but only an adult dog as puppies chew and even 300 of extra deposit would not replace a stair post and bannisters refitting.

So where do we stand now?  How do we limit any potential damage whilst staying within the law? This is giving me headaches....

The last question I have is about referencing as now the landlord pays.  Do you do a quick screening before sending off for proper referencing? I was thinking to ask to see the last P60 and the last 3 salary slips as if the potential tenant tells fibs the cost of the referencing is due and I have wasted money for nothing.  How do you deal with this now?

« Last Edit: December 16, 2020, 05:00:33 PM by natjojo »
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2020, 09:01:56 PM »

If you're telling us the law has "apparently" changed regarding pets, it would be best to cite it? What have you been reading? Who have you been listening to down the pub? I don't know how long it was since your last tenancy, but for as long as I've been around it's certainly been a poor show to attempt an outright blanket ban on pets... everyone should be at least able to ask permission, and the Landlord should give that permission unless they have "a good reason"... hmmm... what could a good reason be? Allergies... seems a good one to me.

For occupants... you don't need to do anything underhand... most people are normal, right? You probably just got unlucky. I wouldn't lose sleep over this aspect. You say you screen applicants and don't use an Agent, then this means you're doing your own viewings etc.? At this stage you can ask your questions... like "who will be in the property?" ...and assess the answers. If your property is a good find, then you should have your pick of prospective Tenants and be able to steer safe.

Referencing is a pain... I have started to ask for a Holding Deposit so the prospective Tenants put some "skin in the game"... if they fail referencing for any reason and the tenancy cannot go ahead then I will retain that... I've not had this happen yet. If someone is ready to hand over a nominal Holding Deposit then they're pretty sure that they'll pass referencing... if not, then you have your answer straight away.
Posts: 13

Accidental landlord.

« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2020, 11:37:44 PM »

Thanks for the tip on the holding deposit.  That seems a good compromise to me. How much do you ask?

This tenancy was 28 months long and a lot has changed last year I believe, together with this new EIRC certification, I did read somewhere about pets.  Must go and find it...
And I am really allergic to cats!
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« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2020, 10:17:46 AM »

I did read somewhere about pets.  Must go and find it...

You might be thinking of the restriction on how much deposit can be held now. Previously, landlords who allowed a pet would often take an additional deposit to cover any additional damage/cleaning costs. The law doesn't regard this any differently from the rest of the deposit so if you've already taken the maximum at the start of the tenancy it's no longer an option.
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2021, 11:36:25 AM »

I believe a proposal has been put forward to change the law re pets, in that pets are and should be classified as a family member. There was a podcast on Propertyhub describing this. Of course as a landlord, it does seem at odds with the law on deposit levels, given the damage pets can cause ( or should I say are allowed to cause if tenants are not responsible). Suspect that landlords will push to be well within there rights to increase rental if law changes ?
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