Jump to content

A Financial Sign of The Times.


Lisa O`Brien
 Share

Recommended Posts

I`ve just found out that my landlord has not been paying the mortgage for this house I rent off him, or for the four others he "owns". I`ve lived here,very happily for the last 5 and a half years,and this house was a real "find". In the catchment area for my son`s secondary school of choice,and a spectacular view of the Mourne Mountains from my living room window. Rent only £100 a week, and he didn`t have a problem with me having a pet. Me,my [ballet-hating]15 yr old son and Blackie the cat. Being from Manchester originally, I have no relatives here;my son`s late father`s relatives are all in Ireland,but are at least 50 miles away. The estate agent said the For Sale sign will probably go up next week.Very nice and very helpful,but they won`t know if any buyer will want to continue to rent out,or will want to move in themselves. She suspects it will be bought as a rental property so ,hopefully, she thinks we will be able to continue to live here. Sorry folks,I`m rambling, but I just wanted to "tell" people about it as it has left me extremely upset and in floods of tears since this morning. Putting things into context,I realise the fact the landlord is having 5 houses re-possessed must be far more upsetting and traumatic for him than me. It`s just that I always felt an inner calm here,and came to realise, just in the last 6 months or so, that I would like to spend the rest of my life living in this house. Fingers crossed,the new landlord will allow me to stay, and he`s not some sort of a nightmare like I had once before. Thanks for reading,folks. Feel a bit better now.!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So sorry for you - how horrible. And good of you to feel for the landlord - my initial reaction was more "how stupid of him not paying the mortgages"! As Janet says, make sure you take advice (is there anything about being a sitting tenant? No idea, I'm hopeless at legal stuff) and make sure you chat up any viewers

 

Hope it all turns out OK for you x

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You need to go and get legal advice as soon as you can, either from a solicitor who specialises in housing (landlord and tenant) law or from an advice centre which has someone who can advise on this area of the law. If you are on a low income you may be entitled to Legal Aid. DO NOT MOVE OUT of the property under any circumstances as this could be very prejudicial to you legally. Your rights depend on you staying in the property. You may be able to stay in the property regardless of a change of ownership. This will depend on the type of tenancy which you have. In England the local authority has a duty to provide certain categories of homeless people, which includes a person with a child or children, with accommodation (which could be a B&B initially). I don't know if there is a similar law in NI but, if there is, you could apply to the local authority for re-housing. I cannot stress how important it is that you go and get good legal advice about your legal position without delay. When you go and see the solicitor or adviser make sure that you take your tenancy agreement and any other papers relating to your tenancy with you.

 

Finally, there's no need to panic just yet. If the law is the same as it is in England you cannot be evicted from your property without a court order and this will take some time for the freeholder or mortgagee to obtain (assuming that the freeholder or the mortgagee is entitled to one).

 

I wish you the best of luck.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really sorry to hear of your situation and would echo the advice above - seek legal advice immediately.

 

I would not waste any emotional energy on your landlord and his feelings either. He has presumably been taking money off five lots of tenants but not paying his mortgages and so must have had some notice that he was in difficulty and therefore had options to find a solution ie sell at least one house to meet costs etc. As it is he has dumped it all on you and the other tenants with no notice whatsoever.

 

I do wish you all the best and hope you have a happy outcome.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks to everyone for your help,support and comments. I KNEW I was doing the right thing telling everyone on here.! Firstly,I was never given a tenancy agreement to sign in the first place.I kept asking for one and he kept stalling.Then one day he just said,"Look I`m not going to treat you badly or anything,can we just do without the T.A.?" So I said yes.To be fair to him ,he has been a great landlord.His mother lives just next door,and if ever anything was needed,then all I had to do was knock next door, and it would be sorted straight away.They are a really nice family. I had serious problems with the landlord from hell about 8 yrs ago,in my previous house.He would just turn up to "inspect" the house without giving me any notice at all, and left me powerless to complain, with the constant argument that if I wasn`t happy with the arrangement then I could always find somewhere else to live. This landlord,however,has not once asked to look around the house and even when visiting his mother next door,he stays well away and lets me live my life in peace. I would never be able to afford the mortgage, as it would be completely beyond my financial reach.I phoned the estate agents who have taken over the house, and they were really lovely and really helpful. They advised me that whatever I do I must NOT pay the man a penny in rent.My Housing Benefit was stopped and taken over by the Estate Agent this morning.They also said that they must give me[or the new vendor must give me] 2 month`s notice to leave if they either sell the house or, unlikely, decide to move in themselves.Someone`s coming round next Friday morning to photograph the house, then I suppose just a few days after the For Sale sign will go up. I suppose it`s the uncertainty that`s the frightening part.I would love the new buyer to allow me to continue to live here.They may want a fresh start with someone new ,or someone they know, or move in themselves.I could be given anything between a few week`s notice or it might not be sold for a year.How am I supposed to know? Anyway, I won`t bore you all with my woes ,but will let you know of any developments. Thank you all so much.xx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You poor thing: that is truly awful, but not as rare as you may think. I can only underline that you need to get legal advice as soon as possible. I hope it turns out all right for you, and with not too much hassle.

 

Incidentally, for anyone taking on a rental property, you are perfectly entitled (and even should) to ask your prospective landlord for proof of ownership of the property. Whether that extends to whether he's actually paying the mortgage, though, I don't know.

 

Having a sneaky look around on here http://landlordzone.co.uk/ might be worthwhile, too.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had serious problems with the landlord from hell about 8 yrs ago,in my previous house.He would just turn up to "inspect" the house without giving me any notice at all, and left me powerless to complain, with the constant argument that if I wasn`t happy with the arrangement then I could always find somewhere else to live.

 

That is totally illegal, BTW. The only right he has to immediate entry to the property is if there's an emergency which requires it. Otherwise he has to give notice - I think it's a minimum of 48 hours or something.

 

I'm not sure whether your not having a tenancy agreement is a good thing or not. My guess is that you may have acquired a de facto tenancy through living there that long, but I could be wrong, so definitely get legal advice.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is the property actually being repossessed by the mortgage company? Are the estate agents acting for the mortgage company or for your landlord? I thought that repossessed properties were normally sold at auction. You need to go and get legal advice as soon as possible, firstly about whether you have the right to stay in the property and, secondly, about whether the local authority has any duty to rehouse you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What an awful position to be put in through no fault of your own!

Little comfort I'm sure, but remember a home is the people (and cat!) in it, not the bricks and mortar and it sounds like you've created a happy one.

If the worst happens, you, your son and cat still have each other and can build a new home together somewhere new and will probably come out the other side with a closer family bond.

The very best of luck to you all xxxx

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Hello everyone.Just to give those interested a bit of an update on things regarding the house I rent. My son`s aunt asked how much the house would cost,and I told her I had no idea.However,It is only a 3 bed terraced,which is fairly old .She seemed [as did my son`s grandmother] very keen to find out the price asap, and asked for the estate agents contact details.This is the same aunt who wanted to pay for my son to go to private boarding school in Dublin with fees of 4,000 euros a term,not including uniform,meals,books,etc. So,I`m well aware her and her husband are not short of a bob or two. Everyone I spoke to about it seemed convinced,like me,that my son`s late father`s family wanted to buy the house to enable me and my son to have a bit of security,and could stay here for the rest of our lives.[Well,me anyway]. I must point out here for those that don`t know.Sean`s father died five years ago when his son was 10. He was a chronic alcoholic and we were not living together.I walked into his house one day as no-one had heard from him for 2 days.I found him, stone cold dead,lay on top of his bed.He had had a huge argument with his mother a few days earlier,who told her son he had been nothing but trouble her entire life and she never wanted to see him again.We all think he committed suicide,as he was always suicidal in the past. Everyone in his family knows it was suicide,except for our son.He just knows the drink killed his father,and I`ll never tell him otherwise.  Since his father`s death,his father`s family have been fantastic to me and my son;they really have. I get the feeling part of it may be so I don`t decide to move back to Manchester,because then they would hardly see my son at all. Anyway,to cut a very long story short,I though it only fair if they were going to spend thousands buying this house they were aware of the condition of it. I would rather they have gone into it with their eyes wide open than turn round to me and say,"Why didn`t you tell us such and such needed fixing?" So,I wrote my son`s aunty a long email,telling her how grateful I was at her and her mother`s very generous suggestion,and they would get the housing benefit,so it would effectively pay for itself. However,I told her one or two of the problems in the house that needed fixing. I think the whole house needs re-wiring,as all the fuses are 5 Amp,and every few weeks,all the electrics "blow",leaving me with a torch trying to fit a new fuse in.There is only one place I know of which still sells 5 Amp fuses,and the man told me they went out with the dark ages.The other major concern is something called the flue which leaks rain water into it and has to be replaced at a cost of £80 a year,every single year,when what is really needed,I`ve been told,is a brand new boiler. Other, minor things too,like the house being freezing cold in winter despite the double glazing,and handles that have snapped off the windows. I did explain to her there were other houses in the next village that may initially cost a few thousand more but will probably be more modern and not need any money spending on them.Considering they live over 100 miles away too, I thought that might be more practical an investment. But I seem, in trying to be totally honest and up front,to have put them off ,not only buying this house,but in buying any house for us.The For Sale notice is up on the website,and it`s very cheap,priced to sell.Because of the lovely village this house is in,with a spectacular view of the mountains,plus all amenities a 2 minute walk away,it`s going to be snapped up fairly quickly,I think. I suppose the new owner,like the last,isn`t going to care about getting these repairs fixed.He will get his £100 PW rent and nothing will be done.So I find myself in a horrible,uncertain situation through no fault of my own,not knowing how much longer me,my son and my elderly cat have to live here.Just one final point.The next village to us has lots of houses both for sale and to let. But I have recently found out it is as rough as can be, and is full of Travellers,who let their dogs roam the streets,barking morning,noon and night. Blackie,my cat, would just love that. So,we`re definately a bit in limbo at the moment,and my son in the 5th year at school too, not knowing if his grades will be good enough to enable him to stay on at 6th form. Uncertain times all round. Will keep you all posted of developments.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TQ, I do urge you to go and get some legal advice. You may be entitled to be rehoused by the Council. It sounds as though your landlord has been in breach of his legal obligations to maintain your property, as well as his obligations under his mortgage. If your son is being affected by all the uncertainty surrounding your housing situation it might be worthwhile informing the school of this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi everyone,yes I have had legal advice.Because I never signed a tenancy agreement I don`t have many rights at all.Except that if I have been living in the house for 5 years[it will be 5 yrs in 3 weeks time] then any new owner,landlord,etc,if they want me to move out have to give me one month`s notice.But basically,that`s the only right I have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do hope you have a positive outcome.  You should make the 5 year mark as it normally takes more than 3 weeks for a house sale to go through and a buyer will have to factor in the cost of repairs.  Any house survey/buyers report is bound to spot them.  And if someone is buying the house to rent out I would imagine that legally they still have to maintain the house to a certain standard or they would be in breach of any tenancy agreement.  Certainly if a new landlord lets you stay you need to list all the faults quite clearly from the outset in writing and save a copy so that he cannot try and blame you for damage to windows etc further on down the line.

I would also contact your son's school and explain the extra stress he is under.

I wish you all the best and hope that you are able to be happly and settled again as soon as.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have yet more people traipsing through the house today to view it.People,about 4 a day,have been looking around my home every day since it was put up  for sale. I heard one woman who was upstairs looking round with her husband the other day,"It`s a bit cluttered,isn`t it?". What the hell`s it got to do with her? Because there is a For Sale sign up in the front garden now as well as on the website since yesterday,a man was literally walking past and noticed the house.He knocked on the door asking to come in and look around.I was about to go and tell him what to do with his idea of looking around,when the estate agent on the phone asked me to let him in and said it will only be a quick look around just downstairs for 5 minutes.Felt I had no choice but to let him in. I was trying to make dinner, and my son was doing his homework. I told the man of the repairs that are needed,like I tell everyone who comes round.It needs a new boiler and it needs re-wiring,as every few weeks,the electrics "blow". He just grunted and said this was ,if he bought it ,an investment property,and he had no intention of spending a penny on it. What a charming individual.The closing date for the house being on the market is next Wednesday,20th. It can`t come quickly enough. Happy days. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh dear TQ.  I thought the electrics on rented properties had to be checked for safety at fairly regular intervals.  The horrible man could be liable if you have pointed this out and something happens.

 

Fingers and toes crossed for you.  I do hope you have a positive outcome.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh dear TQ.  I thought the electrics on rented properties had to be checked for safety at fairly regular intervals.  The horrible man could be liable if you have pointed this out and something happens.

 

The gas certainly does.  Annually.  (At least in England and Wales).  Not sure whether the electrics are voluntary, still - the appliances used to be.  I would expect it to be obligatory to check the wiring etc. though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...