Landlord deceitful regarding property ownership

We have been renting a property from a landlord who advertised on this site, we have been in it now for about 6 months, and we have just received a notice of eviction from a solicitor as the property belongs to the bank due to the fact that the landlord has not paid the mortgage.

Not sure where we stand on this, as now it is a huge issue for us and causing severe stress to both myself and my partner, i presume OpenRent do not perform any checks on landlords who register on this site…?

Hello, I’m a new landlord on this site and going through the rental process presently with my first tenant. I was asked to submit proof of ownership on the property I was advertising (a requirement from Rightmove IIRC). Not sure if any further checks are completed regarding the mortgage status on properties though? someone from OpenRent will reply soon no doubt…

That does not help us now though, we feel we were scammed by a so called landlord avertising his property on here, i have asked for our £675 deposit back, and he is just ignoring all my phone calls, text and emails…!

Hi Allan, I’m sorry to hear about this.

As @Stuart11 mentioned, we do perform checks on landlords and comply with all licensing display requirements where is needed, e.g. in Scotland, to make it easy for tenants to follow up and dig deeper. We can’t go into tonnes of detail on the checks publicly as that would make them easier to cheat. More info here.

In terms, of checking whether landlords are going to stop paying their mortgage in the near future, it simply isn’t possible to know that. (If we were able to predict when someone was about to stop paying their mortgage, then we would probably be making billions of pounds as a FinTech company by now.)

Lenders are able to serve a Section 8 eviction notice if repossessing the property from a mortgagor who is defaulting on the loan. Their ability to do this is a central part of the Housing Act (1988). Sadly. there’s nothing that we can do about that.

This is clearly an area where people like us who live in the Private Rented Sector have very bad tenure security. The notion of banks being able to repossess properties if the mortgagor defaults is one of the cornerstones of buy-to-let and the rapid expansion of the PRS.

Clearly, it is very unfortunate that renters who pay their rent on time every month can have this happen to them, due to no fault of their own, but that is unfortunately the way the system was deliberately designed in the late 80s.

I wish you the best of luck finding a new place as quickly as you can. I would recommend speaking to the bank’s representative and explaining your situation and asking if they can accommodate your requirements in any way. They may be willing to be flexible with the move out date, etc.

Best wishes,

Hi Sam,

Thank you for your reply, i found out earlier from the solicitor dealing with the repossession, that it was served on our so called landlord prior to us moving into the property, so he had advertised it here knowing all too well that is was being repossessed probably for him to make a quick few thousand pounds before it was taken away, now i also have the hassle of trying to get our deposit back through the courts.

Least i have all the documents, communications etc to hopefully get it back via the court system here in Scotland.

We have now found another property, not on this site i hasten to add, and hope we can settle there with none of this garbage happening again…

No agent or tenant will know whether landlord is paying his mortgage. He is a scumbag. I hope your deposit is in a protection scheme?

Hi Colin3,

He is a scumbag, and i have checked the following web sites and nothing has been registered by him for our depost.

Letting Protection Service Scotland
Safe Deposits Scotland
my|deposits Scotland

And since he was not actually our “landlord” because of the reposession order, i would presume he had commited some kind of fraud as we were still paying rent direct to him.

Going to be fun times ahead to get our depost back, I am now seeking my own legal advise and probably can sue him in some form or another, but not too sure at present how it all works…

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From what I have read it seems to be that you have negated your due diligence in this matter Allan as tenants have responsibilities also you know.
Firstly before the tenancy commenced you should of checked that the landlord was a data controller with the ICO And that He was registered with the deposit scheme etc I clearly understand that if your story is true that your landlord is a rogue however this does not negate you having your own responsibilities of due diligence And therefore I cannot sympathise.

The first thing you need to do in any respects is have your own lawyer check out the AST and advise you accordingly.

If you don’t want to pay and you want to get the advice for free then you will need to contact the CAB, Shelter and/or PSU.

Should also be contacting your local council and speaking to the private housing enforcement department.

In fairness I dont think any of my tenants checked up on me . It probably never occured to them to do it

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I agree, i think the majority or tenants don’t check anything such like, but they should be making basic checks rather than just passing all blame to landlord.
Too many people nowadays seem to ignore their own responsibilities for due diligence like those people who sue people for the coffee being to hot etc.
I was attacked by my neighbors dogs who killed me as a 2.5yr old but i had wondered next door so i blame my own parents and myself rather than the dogs or dog owners for instance

In fairness Allen the vast majority of landlords own their homes with a mortgage so this is in no way special or unusual and assuming they pay their mortgage this never results in any problems, they are indeed still your landlord. In this instance it sounds like someone knew they were going to lose the house and decided to squeeze a bit of cash out of it before doing a runner, it’s unfortunate but nothing you, or indeed this site, could really have done to prevent it. Personally I’d stop paying the rent asap and look for somewhere new, alternatively talk to the bank that owns the house and see if they’ll let you pay the rent to them directly and stay in the house, they might try and sell the house with a tenant in place.

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Hi Allan,
I’m really sorry to hear about your trauma with this rogue “landlord”.
Doesn’t help you for the past, but going forward, you can always register with Land Registry and pay £3 online to find out the proprietor of any property (although some older ones still may not actually be registered). At the same time, you can put a Property Alert on any property for free (up to 10 allowed for monitoring) - - and they’ll email you if their are any impending transactions with L/Registry, as well as 6 mthly updates…

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Correction - should read “there”!

Great advice, something I wasn’t aware of.

Hi Allen,

Sorry to hear about your landlord troubles and hope the new place you have found goes better, please ensure you complete your due diligences prior to moving in though.
I’m not familiar with Scottish law, but I see that you did not have your deposit secured in a custodial scheme. As an English landlord one of the benefits of using Openrent is not having to touch or have any responsibilities for the tenants deposit, I know it gives tenants here extra peace of mind.

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Hi Dean, Yes, I find it really useful - and, as well as giving my tenant a copy of Title at Day 1, I’ve told them how they can check it at any time themselves. KR’s, Sue

Hi Allan, yes you have fallen foul of a rogue landlord, please do not tar us all with the same brush.
I could have had a little sympathy with your landlord if he had fallen on hard times after you began renting and had the house repossessed, but from what you say he has deliberately set about taking rents and a deposit that he is not entitled to in anyway. I hope you are able to get some justice.
Oliver 4 has made a good suggestion to contact the bank and see if they will let you pay rent to them and sell the house with a sitting tenant, although of course you will still have lost your deposit to the rogue.
As Dean4 says with Openrent tenancies the deposit is safe for both tenant and Landlord.

Can you trace the rogue through the account you have been paying rent into?
Worth a try?