Firstly I really apologise for this very long post. I would appreciate if a few experienced landlords could take the time to read through all of this and give me a wee bit of guidance…
Thanks in advance.
Although I’m an experienced landlord myself my daughter is herself renting a house with friends as a university student for the upcoming year. She is dealing with a VERY ‘dodgy’ estate agency but is stuck with this agency as her 7 flat mates have already signed the agreement with this agency. She is joining their tenancy agreement…
However as I say the agency is…
I’ve been going through the contract for the past 2 weeks and dealing with them over a huge multitude of issues/falsehoods/inaccuracies etc…To advise the situation there are 8 students (friends) renting an 8 bedroom house. It is legally registered as a HMO but the students are renting the entire house as one unit. It is a maisonette over the first and second floors. There is a HUGE fire issue as the landlord has a washing machine and dryer directly inside the front door of the property. This is the only fire escape and therefore is illegal…
Additionally pls see a reply received from the agency below.
In the wording of section 11 there is nothing about giving explicit permission:
(6)In a lease in which the lessor’s repairing covenant is implied there is also implied a covenant by the lessee that the lessor, or any person authorised by him in writing, may at reasonable times of the day and on giving 24 hours’ notice in writing to the occupier, enter the premises comprised in the lease for the purpose of viewing their condition and state of repair.
This is the full document I’ve taken this from: Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
This applies when there are repairs that need to be made or for inspections of broken items/maintenance issues. Anything else that we could write in the contract would be superseded by government legislation.
You are allowed to refuse access but do not need to give explicit permission.
The contract states that you only have to give access for maintenance work the landlord is responsible for, official inspection, gas safety check and anything else the landlord is required to do in section 11 - as refusal would possibly endanger you and the property.
I BELIEVE THAT THE LANDLORD HAS NO TIGHT TO ENTER THE PROPERTY UNLESS PERMISSION HAS BEEN GIVEN?
For a routine inspections, often the landlord will be very accommodating and if you are unable to do a certain time he would usually be happy to rearrange. Are there any situations you are concerned about in particular where you would need to deny access?
The property, although technically shared, is let as an entire property including communal areas, i.e. the rooms are not separate lets, you are all on a shared tenancy, so the shared house/HMO in the way they are describing it does not apply. The situation they are describing is only for a property with separate room contracts. The landlord still needs to give 24 hours notice to access the communal areas.
The difference is when it comes to viewings - this is not covered in section 11 so will need permission from the tenants to go ahead. As it says in the contract ‘a prior mutually accepted appointment’.
We will contact you when it comes to the student properties going on the market - you will have the chance to let us know how you would like viewings to go ahead - whether you want prospective tenants to contact you directly/ landlord to conduct viewings with appointments/ us as the letting agents to conduct viewings with appointments. Due to the location of the property it’s unlikely that anyone would ever knock on the door to ask for a viewing unannounced.
Gutters - is a responsibility of the tenants to keep the gutters clean (different to keeping them in repair) but only if it they were cleared when you moved in and the landlord can prove that it was done. This is the ‘leaving the property in the same state as you found it’. Also, gutters are unlikely to be an issue in a 11 month tenancy - it more applies when someone will be living in a property for multiple years. Basically, the landlord can’t ask you to pay for this unjustly and our director has assured me that in his 25 years of working here students have never had to pay for clearing out guttering/piping.
AGAIN I BELIEVE THAT GUTTER MAINTENANCE AND CLEANING IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE LANDLORD?
Locks and codes - we won’t be able to put this in the tenancy agreement because adding a new clause would require us sending it to solicitors to write and approve, otherwise it will not be binding. We will get in writing from the landlord that he will change to code to the gate before you move in. If you get there and find that the code has not been changed we can get the landlord to change it for you.
WHEN WE VISITED THE PROPERTY THERE WERE LOCAL PEOPLE WITH THE KEYCODES FOR THE GATE TO THE PROPERTY AND WERE FREELY ENTERING THIS TO STORE THEIR BIKES ETC…
I’ve clarified with the landlord and the emergency exit (the one with the bar) can only be used from your side - there’s no bar on the other side for them to open it so there won’t be any people from the pub able to get in if there is an evacuation of the pub. Having not seen it myself, I hope that clears it up for you.
THE PROPERTY IS OVER A PUB AND THERE IS AN EMERGENCY EXIT FROM THE PROPERTY INTO THE PUB!!! I CANNOT UNDERSTAND HOW THE COUNGIL LICENCED THIS PROPERTY!
Additionally the kitchen is completely substandard - only has 1 (very poor) cooker, 1 sink, 1 fridge/freezer and about 5 kitchen units for a house with 8 people. It is tiny. There is no dining table or chairs! The sitting room has2 x 2 seater sofas and a very small coffee table which is the only table in the house…
Any input from experienced landlords would be appreciated.
I know my daughter should not be contemplating moving in there next year and I completely agree. However after the Covid year these are her only friends which she has made during the year due to everything being online and interaction so limited so no matter what she wants to (and will) share with these people next year. They signed the contract last November before she even met them…
The house is a disgrace; it’s filthy, very poor etc…it breaks my heart to even contemplate her living there in those conditions when I only rent out excellent quality Homes to all my tenants…
Anyhow I apologise from the very long post.
Best regards as always