Questions And Answers With John Howard | #AskTheLandlord, May 2019

In our fifth edition of the #AskTheLandlord campaign, we speak to John Howard, who kindly answered the questions sent into ideal flatmate by our users this month.

John Howard is one of the most experienced property developers and investors in the UK today, with nearly four decades of experience in the industry. John’s proficiency stems from the sale and purchase of over 3,500 houses, apartments and developments within the UK.

Some ideal flatmate tenants have asked us five questions this month about their tenancy, here are John’s answers:

1 – My daughter, professional aged 28, is looking to move out of her current flatshare. Her Dad and I are happy to help her rent. Would landlords be happy to rent a two bedroom flat/house to one person who would then find a flatmate? Obviously, we would guarantee at least one month’s rent with her until she found a suitable flatmate. Is this an acceptable thing to do? She’s looking to stay in Hackney.

It’s a very common situation where two people share the flat and the rent. However, I normally go into the transaction together and both signed the shorthold tenancy. I would explain to the landlord what the situation is and I would stand guarantor for your daughter with the rent.

However, when another person moves into the flat they will also need to be put on the shorthold tenancy agreement.

2 – I rented a house, signed the tenancy agreement and now the landlord called me and said that there has been a mistake about the rent and he wants to change the terms. What are my legal rights and can I refuse any changes?

If you have already signed the tenancy agreement and moved in, then there is nothing the landlord can do for at least the term of the tenancy agreement. However, as soon as they are able legally to serve two months notice on you to vacate the property they will do so. I would anticipate that happening and recommend finding other suitable accommodation early.

3 – My landlord has asked me to turn my heat up so other tenants can have warmer rooms. What can I do to keep my bills down?

I’m sure there is nothing local he can do to make you turn your heat up however if he is, that’s not a good landlord. I would look to find alternative accommodation.

4 – A friend of mine had a circumstance where her landlord was demanding she left because she’d found a tenant who would pay more as rents were rising in our part of East London. What are my rights in this situation?

If the landlord wishes to get vacant possession they have to serve two months notice on her, assuming that she signed a shorthold tenancy agreement and not before a minimum of six months occupation.

5 – If we wanted to buy a new TV and subscribe to SKY, can we ask the landlord to pay for this or would it be up to us to pay?

I like to think I’m a decent and honest landlord, however, I will never stretch to pay for a new TV and sky for my tenants. You can always ask but I think I know what the answer will be!

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