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A friend just phoned me and asked my advice on how to get rid of a tenant. She has served a "Notice to Quit".
I have told her that the tenant must receive Proprietary information, EPC and current Gas safety certificate prior to the tenant moving in. The 6 months contract began in January 2018. I basically told her that her Notice to Quit was invalid. I have also found out that the tenancy is kind of on a weekly basis. I think the tenant pays rent every 4 weeks, so assume the term is weekly. I have also been told that the tenant has stopped paying rent on 10th September 2018.
So I am unsure what her options are. Can my friend, the landlord, rescue the situation by issuing the Proprietary information, copy of EPC and copy of current gas safety certificate and issue a new Notice to Quit? I would need to check if a minimum 2 months is required or 2 weeks if it is weekly rent, but complicated by the fact the rent is collected every 4 weeks (but assume is weekly).
The other option is that I believe if the tenant has not paid rent for 3 months, my friend would have alternative strategy and perhaps, there is another form for rent arrears of 3 months or more (so wait until 12 December).
I also know the tenant is on housing benefit. I explained to my friend that she could contact the council but her reply was she would not know who to contact with different departments, different numbers etc. I don't even know if the tenant is on Universal Credit. My friend was worried that if she did contact the council that the information is confidential so she would hit a brick wall..
So to countless landlords who have been in this or similar situations, I was wondering what the best course of action is as the law is stringent and exact when it comes to ousting a tenant.
I did also mention that it would be better in future to use a professional rather than Do-It-Yourself Notice to Quit.
I am meeting my friend this Tuesday at 12 noon, so any replies before them would be extremely grateful.
Get friend to email a copy of Tenancy Agreement and detail dates of when all docs were given to Tenant.
Was Tenant on benefits from outset - or part way through Tenancy?
I will look at the contract on Tuesday. I hope and suspect that it is weekly and that she collects it every four weeks as housing benefit pays out each month. Regardless, she is in a pickle. I was wondering if landlords fail to issue all docents from outset, can they issue during the tenancy before serving notice to quit. If it is weekly, I don't know if onll two weeks notice is required. The only saving grace perhaps is we are looking n the periodic period and close to 3 months without rent.
I did tell her to email a copy but she is not tech savvy. She has no printer or scanner!
Just seen contract, is weekly rent. Is now a periodic tenancy. The notice period might only be two weeks have to check if that is still the case. The notice to quit was signed by the tenant so was received but for some reason she gave the tenant two months notice. Anyway is invalid as the gas safety, EPC, etc. Was never issued to the tenant.
The council will need the tenant's permission for the landlord to be able to discuss the case with them. Once this is received they are generally helpful as long as your friend is prepared to work with them to solve problems. I would never take on a housing benefit tenant without getting their agreement to talk to the council.
I think she was too naive to do that.
Worst case scenario is that Tenant tells Council she is being evicted - and as we see daily on CH 5 TV - Council tells Tenant to remain in property until Bailiffs arrive but that Bailiffs will give 6 weeks notice of their arrival.
Landlord may then be obliged to escalate case to High Court - where Bailiffs arrive within 24 hrs (with nil notice) and give Tenant one hour to vacate property.
All of that process could take 6 months or more - with nil rent in meantime - and High Court costs of around £3000.
That kinda begs the question of whether Landlord may wish to be pragmatic - and maybe offer to fund some of the "moving costs" for the Tenant - just to get rid.
If Tenant has dependent children Council will not want her to be on streets - but mostly all they have to offer is one room B&B accommodation - so Tenant will want to dig in heels and stay put as long as possible - therefore best to work with Tenant in courteous manner to move towards a win/win situation of some kind.
Yep agreed. She does not want the rent, just wants shot of the tenant. So how can one serve another notice to quit when the necessary documents were not given to the tenant initially?
On another matter, my other friend as a tenant faces eviction but I told her the only way she can stay is if they failed to issues her an up-to-date gas safety as engineer came round but estate agent failed to give the tenant a new and up-to-date copy. Once the estate agent found this out, they issued a new gas safety to the tenant, ready for a new notice to quit!
Where HB pays rent which goes in to arrear LL may ask Council to pay HB direct once there are 2 months arrears.
Technically for example rent may be due on say 1st of month so if both Jan/Feb are unpaid there are 2 months arrears by 2nd Feb - or in this case 3 months already unpaid as due in advance not in arrear
Council will not pay arrears usually - so that is wriiten off by your friend
Yes agr I don't however, she is too stupid to know who to contact in the council. Who do we contact? She has no info. Could be universal credit. I will need to ask her Tuesday. For a free dinner, not sure I can help her or even if it is worth my time and effort!
Always good Karma to help others...start by contacting LA Housing Dept saying LL does not want to evict but has no option with mounting rent arrears