property management southend on seaRevenge Evictions

Over the last few weeks, an all party Parliamentary group has launched an urgent inquiry into so-called revenge evictions. At the time of writing, it’s just a few days until MPs are due to debate Sarah Teather’s Tenancies (Reform) Bill. The Bill seeks to protect tenants from retaliatory evictions and amend the law on possession notices for assured shorthold tenancies.

The bill will supposedly give renters more security and improve conditions in the private rented sector, making the eviction process better for renters, landlords and the courts. However, many landlords and lettings agents do not agree. If passed, the bill would make it illegal to evict a tenant within six months of a complaint about a disrepair which could cause considerable problems.

The landlord’s right to reclaim their property without proving fault is vital to most investors. People’s circumstances change. Most of the evictions carried out for our clients are because the landlord needs the property back for their own specific reasons. They may have recently divorced and want to live in the property themselves. They may have lost their job and need to sell for financial reasons. After all, it’s the landlord’s hard earned money that’s invested in the property and they ought to have the ultimate right to recover that property should they wish to, as long as the tenant is not in a fixed term agreement.

I’ve been in the lettings industry for nearly 10 years. In that time I have not had a single client decide to evict a tenant instead of carrying out a necessary requested repair.

I do know of several instances where a landlord is aware repairs are required but has been unable to afford to carry out the necessary work. In that situation, the landlord has decided to evict the tenant in order to sell the property or move back in himself: but never as a ‘revenge eviction’. There have also been situations where the relationship between landlord and tenant has broken down to such a point that it’s better if the tenant leaves before works are carried out.

If this bill does become law in the future, I can see numerous problems ahead.

For instance, what about the burden of proof? Will it be enough for tenants to say they have reported a problem? We have experienced tenants claiming to have reported a problem when we know they haven’t made us aware of the issue in reality. Our procedures are strict and fool-proof. We ask tenants to sign off property visit reports confirming they agree with the condition of the property and that any maintenance requests have been actioned. We know this is unusual and most other agents do not do this. However, it is an invaluable system if we ever need to prove our knowledge or ignorance of a problem.

At Pace, we find the majority of landlords simply want a good tenant and for their property to be well maintained. If they can afford to fix a reported problem, they are happy to do so. No official figures are available detailing the number of revenge evictions actually taking place. Therefore, how can a bill be passed in Parliament when there are no facts available on which to form a solid argument for the change in the law?

Amy joined the firm in 2011 as an assistant property manager and has earned her place as a Senior Property Manager. She is studying for her ARLA technical award and has already taken her LLAS Accreditation exam. Amy is a very efficient and organised person who likes to resolve all property matters speedily and accurately. As Senior Property Manager, she oversees the property management department on a day to day basis, and manages more complicated procedures including court papers and evictions. She keeps her team of property managers focused and coordinated, ensuring nothing is forgotten.

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"I am a landlady with many properties and have dealt with Pace for about 10 years. Marcus is very friendly, honest, efficient and helpful and has made my letting experience extremely easy always finding me suitable tenants. I have nothing but praise for Marcus who has been with Pace many years.

Mary R

After renovating a block of 21 flats to place into our rental portfolio we instructed PACE and gave them two weeks to let all the units on a sole agency basis. They marketed the flats for a week and conducted a strict open house event on the following Sunday for 4 hours. Within this slot 15 flats were let with the remainder let the following week.

The Director of Runwood Homes

As a landlord with multiple HMO properties, I have employed the services of PACE for a number of years now as they ensure I have my required specification of tenant placed in all my rooms. I only let rooms to employed applicants and very much favour their opening hours as this attracts and accommodates the right people.

Johnathon Simons HMO Landlord

Sara is my dedicated property manager and has been for some time. I have always found Sara to be a very professional member of staff. Sara always keeps me informed and provides regular visit reports, which is important for any landlord. Sara deals with any problem that befalls her, contacting me if she needs to. Sara will discuss any problem and invariably come to a solution.

Raymond Durrant – multi property landlord

The staff are always friendly and helpful, my special thanks to Sara, we have built a very special rapport and I feel very comfortable phoning if I need anything. I feel very happy that I have one person to deal with all of my issues.

Evelin Jenkins - Tenant

We cannot stress how much we appreciate having a dedicated property manager for our properties. We live 350 miles away and also spend a great deal of the winter out of the country. To be able to phone our manager who understands our properties and how we operate is for us complete peace of mind.

Peter and Maureen Mason – Multi property landlords

I was extremely thankful I chose PACE to conduct the sale of my property and extremely grateful to Sue Mellor who worked very hard to ensure a smooth transaction. She was most knowledgeable and professional throughout, always reachable and approachable. She was able to answer all the questions I posed.

Yvonne White

I've recently purchased a property with the help of Pace. I found the staff extremely helpful and friendly. My first contact was Katie, she showed me around the property and liaised with the vendor. After, I dealt mostly with Sue Mellor. She was very knowledgeable and helpful. She kept me informed throughout the process and was the first to congratulate me on completion.

Roni Miller

I just thought I'd drop you a line about Adele Moore who is managing my flat. Adele is doing a great job and is a credit to Pace. She has done, and continues to do, exactly what she says she will do and as a customer that is exactly what I want. Adele doesn't take things at face value and investigates things when she needs to, again a thing that clients will prize.

Tony Mihill - Landlord

Thank you to the team at PACE for firstly providing excellent property management services over many years and secondly for helping me to sell my property recently.

All your hard work has been very much appreciated. Special mentions to Sara, Amy, Sue and Billy for their friendly and professional service!

Charlotte, (Property Management & Seller)