Raymond Crooks BA (Hons) MA

Report
Thompson Crooks Solicitors
325 Shankill Road
Belfast
BT13 1FX
DX 3800 NR Belfast 10
T 02890 595551
F 02890 595553
Web: www.tclegal.co.uk
Raymond Crooks BA (Hons) MA
Partner
email: [email protected]
Raymond Crooks BA (Hons) MA
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Live in Greenisland and grew up in Carrickfergus
Married to Lynsey with 3 daughters aged 10, 9 & 5.
Hobbies include golf and rugby
Studied in University of Ulster and obtained a BA (Hons) in Government & Law and a
Masters in Administrative and Legal Studies
• Qualified with TM Heron & Son, Belfast now known as Diamond Heron Solicitors, Royal
Avenue, Belfast
• Thompson Crooks Solicitors since 2003, formerly V Thompson & Co Solicitors from 1998.
Three solicitors in practice covering most areas of law to include Conveyancing, ReMortgage, Commercial, Litigation, Administration of Estates, Criminal, Matrimonial and
Children’s Order Proceedings.
• Specialise in Domestic & Commercial Property deals and Creative Financing to include
Instalment Contracts, Options, Joint Venture Agreements & Shortfall Sales and
Repossession Proceedings, Chancery Court.
Raymond Crooks BA (Hons) MA
• Landlord since 1998:•
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First purchase was with a 12% from the Ulster Bank
Property burnt
Cannabis factory (don’t mention the blinds)
Brick bandits
Suicide/Death
Honey trap
Over exposed to Banks and Lenders
• Plus side that I’m still renting after houses 16 years later – not bankrupt!
• Still buying property to renovate and rent ( to fix my portfolio )
• Still enjoy the financial aspects of it but getting harder and more of a burden
Eviction of “PROBLEMMATIC” Tenants
• Has anyone ever offered money to a tenant to leave???
1) Reduces legal costs
2) Prevents further damage to property
3) Potentially reduces void period
• Main reason for Eviction – RENT ARREARS
• Protocol indicates “landlords and tenants act fairly and reasonably with each other to resolve
arrears”
• Tenants are entitled to Housing Benefit. If they are sitting tenants and their circumstances change
then legally they are allowed to claim Housing Benefit to pay arrears. You cannot reject their
Housing Benefit once they are in your property.
• County Court action for recovery of property if capital valuation is below £400,000 and if above
then it goes to the High Court.
Eviction of “PROBLEMMATIC” Tenants
• OTHER BREACHES:
Eviction can also be for breach of the Agreement itself possibly for not adhering to
the covenants within your tenancy agreement.
Tenancy Agreement must not have UNFAIR TERMS within the agreement. Unfair
terms are a substantial problem with numerous tenancy agreements.
i.e. - Imposing unfair financial burdens
- Transferring unreasonable risks to the tenant
- Unequal cancellation rights
• Stay clear of Jargon, must be legible and transparent!
• BEWARE old dodgy precedents…..
• ALL Amendments to the Tenancy Agreement must be in writing with at least 28
days notice.
Eviction of “PROBLEMMATIC” Tenants
• EVICTION is NOT always the answer to arrears:
1) Small claims court for any debt less than £3,000:
a) relatively cheap
b) simple online application
c) gives both parties a chance to state their case before court
d) solicitor not required
Eviction of “PROBLEMMATIC” Tenants
2) County Court proceedings for debt of between £3,000 and £15,000:
a) costly to process
b) more time and effort
c) legal costs and potential for other sides costs if you lose
3) High Court is for debt over £15,000! You need to consider another
business model or career….
Eviction of “PROBLEMMATIC” Tenants
• ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR INJUNCTIONS :
Under art 26(1) of the Housing (NI) Order 2003 private sector landlords can
apply for an injunction prohibiting a person ( not just a tenant ) from:
• “engaging in or threatening to engage in conduct causing or likely to cause
a nuisance or annoyance to a person residing in, visiting or otherwise
engaging in lawful activity in residential premises or in the locality of such
premises”
• “immoral and illegal purposes”
• Court must be satisfied of significant risk or harm to people or property
Eviction of “PROBLEMMATIC” Tenants
1) Injunction may be granted ex-parte
2) Tenant will be given chance to make representations after first
hearing
3) An injunction may be for a specified period and can be varied and
discharged
ENDING THE TENANCY
• You cannot recover a property without a Court Order- Art 56 of the RENT
(NI) Order 1978
• If the term expires and the tenant vacates the property voluntarily you can
take possession
• BEWARE if you serve a Notice to Quit DO NOT take rent after it has expired.
If you do so it can invalidate the Notice. It is waived by your conduct.
• Natural instinct to take rent especially if you are owed a substantial sum
but it can be used as a ploy to prevent further action!!!!!
ENDING THE TENANCY
• Notice to Quit can be served for a BREACH OF THE COVENANTS IN THE
AGREEMENT or if the agreement is periodic to end the Tenancy. Landlord
must serve Notice on the Tenant if Forfeiture or Re-Entry required for this
and must be in line with Section 14 of the Conveyancing Act 1881 which
must state:
1) the breach complained of
2) require it to be remedied if this is capable
3) require the tenant to pay compensation for the breach
Tenant may SURRENDER the Lease by deed or writing.
ENDING THE TENANCY
The landlord can claim for :
1) Recovery of Possession
2) Rent due until tenancy ends
3) Profits due to end of hearing, basically compensation.
HOUSEKEEPING ISSUES
The EJO and the Court Service do not like evictions. Government policy is to reduce evictions and repossessions
(in my opinion)
Examples of arrears??
Landlords are the bad guys and politicians love to bash the Super Rich Landlord. When thinking about renting
any property make sure all your paper work is watertight. Consider the following:
1)
Energy Performance Certificates- EPC. Was tenant given one? Do you have one? EU initiative.
Recommendations!!!
2)
GAS Safety Regulations – is your Gas Safety Certificate out of date? Must be every year.
3)
Furnished lettings – do they comply with the match and cigarette test?
4)
All electrical products must be safe?
5)
Are all other products safe and do they have appropriate warnings and information?
HOUSEKEEPING ISSUES
6) Is your insurance what you need? Are you in breach of any terms? If your house is vacant
do you need to inform the insurance company? If it burns down they ask for a copy of the
electrical supply to consider if it was empty or not. VOID PERIODS ARE POTENTIALLY LETHAL TO
YOUR PERSONAL WEALTH if not disclosed on time. Usually 30 days.
7) Anti-Discrimination Laws- are you a racist or homophobic? Probably not but make sure the
allegation cannot be made by your actions.
8) Immigration Act 2013. Is your tenant allowed to be in sunny NI??
9) Do you have consent to let from your lender if the property used to be your home? You
may breach your mortgage conditions and allow lender to increase your interest rate!
PRESENT & FUTURE ISSUES
• COUNTY COURT PRE-ACTION PROTOCOL OF EJECTMENT
PROCEEDINGS BASED ON NON-PAYMENT OF RENT (SOCIAL
HOUSING)
• Tenant Deposit Scheme
• Landlord Registration Scheme
• Abolition of Rate Reduction
• Welfare Reform
• Landlord Licensing
• Landlord stoning and flogging in the main square
WHAT WAS THE FIRST QUESTION I ASKED??
THANKS FOR LISTENING.
RAYMOND

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