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Good Morning,I have a tenant who moved in to the premise in April 2017 with her partner and paid the rent without fail every month until July 2018. I met with the tenant in early July to say that we needed to put the house up for sale, as my Wife has been placed at risk of redundancy and we need to use the equity to ensure that we reduce the mortgage on our home and prevent us from losing our family home. Since that date she has been late paying rent every month and has been consistently 2 months behind since August, we have issued a S8 and received one month’s rent and in October issued an S21, with a date to leave of 19th December.The tenant has completely ceased any communication with us, we have offered to meet her to discuss a payment plan, asked her if she is having problems paying the rent and if there is anything we can do to help her, but to no avail. She has suggested previously that the reason she was late with July’s payment was due to the housing benefit being delayed, which wouldn’t explain a lack of payment since then.On Sunday we received a long text message saying that her housing officer has told her not to leave on 19thDecember, so we are left having to pay a mortgage and other associated costs on a house that we are receiving no income from and really don’t know what to do next, if this continues too long we will lose our family home and that is something that I cannot allow to happen. The tenant has also refused to let the estate agent show people around the house, so we cannot make any progress in that regard, we would not have an issue with her staying in the house until it was sold if she paid the rent and accommodated the viewings, but we feel she is being unnecessarily difficult, although probably within her legal rights.My wife is in tears about this on an almost daily basis and the stress is incredible, on 20th December we will seek possession and costs in the Court, the tenant has a guarantor so we have included them in the action, but it seems ludicrous that we feel as though we are suffering a significant detriment through no fault of our own and all since we explained our critical need to sell. She has had 5 months’ notice of what we need to do and 2 months of the S21, yet is refusing to leave as she is saying she will have nowhere to go and I am gobsmacked that the Council are “allegedly” instructing her to stay rent free in our property and put at significant risk our own family home.Any help or supportive words will be very much appreciated and are definitely needed.
Simply/email write to her, don't worry if you get no reply, just keep copies. She is not required, legally, to reply.
Also serve s8g10 & any other valid grounds TODAY. Yes, s8g10 may be validly served if only 1p is underpaid only 1 day, and if given a chance verbally explain that there will be no reference or a full & honest one, and you always feel obliged, to save tax-payers money, to inform council of arrears and what thus "intentionally homeless" means.
s21 does not end a tenancy nor require tenant to leave, hope yours was valid, check it here...
Simply start eviction process through courts on s21 (not s8... easily defended..). Likely timescales 6months + - see the experts here
Suffering through no fault of your own? She is absolutely legally entitled to remain until court, PO, PO expiry, bailiffs. Just as you have an absolute legal right to evict via s21. Both, as defined by Housing Act 1988. Anyone with even little knowledge of housing law would inform her of this. Suspect council haven't advised her to not pay, simply to stay until eviction: Why would you want council to waste money unnecessarily by takeing expensive action when not required?
Unlikely she "has" to permit viewings, and even if there is a clause in tenancy saying she does, it's probably worded as "in last 2 months of tenancy".. and until she's evicted by bailiffs you won't know when that 2 months starts, so unenforceable.
I've had way worse tenants... Good luck anyway
Hi Michael and welcome.I am sorry that your first post here is reporting such a plight. Unfortunately, what you described is a business risk of being a landlord and it is something that you will have to develop a pragmatic response to.It should also be taken as a learning opportunity, so that you can ensure that you put protocols in place to reduce the risk of it happening again. If you win and learn, there is positive outcome to even the most awful situation.The first thing to understand is that this is a real problem and it does have a solution. Strip away all the emotion, look on it as a business risk that manifested, and ensure you get the best advice, and the problem will be solved. Then actively put in place protocols so that you don't experience this again. The link above gives some examples.First of all, the council are wrong to instruct her to stay until eviction. This is a old tactic because they are so short of social housing. That doesn't really help the situation though.I have had this exact same situation, and it went to bailiffs.There is not a lot you can do I am afraid. You could financially incentivise the tenant to leave. Maybe offer her a payment of £500.00 to leave the property and/or allow viewings. The payment would only be made on sale of the property or when she had confirmed she has left.I appreciate that could stick in the craw, but it might work out to be a less expensive option than waiting for the eviction. You could get your property back and get it re-let, reducing the financial impact.The other option is to sell the property to a professional property buyer who will buy for cash, but want a discount. A friend of mine offers a reputable service and he specialises in buying tenanted properties, even with delinquent tenants in situ. He can complete in as little as 7 days, so there is no need for you to lose you house over this.I do empathise with your situation and you and your wife are welcome to call me if you feel it would help to have a chat. All my contact details are on the Contact page at the footer of the site.Rest assured, with the right advice and support, you WILL get this sorted. You have reached out and that is what Property Tribes is here for. Take a deep breath, stay calm, and the answer will present itself. I have no doubt of that.
Vanessa Warwick Landlord and Co-Founder of PropertyTribes.com **If you have got value from Property Tribes, find out how you can support it in remaining a free to use community resource**
If they are in more than 2 month arrears I’m sure you can apply to the council to get the rent to be paid direct to you.
I’ve had two similar situations recently. I sent a letter explaining the situation, how much rent would be outstanding including the two months notice, court fees ,bailiffs fees etc. I then offer to write off the whole lot on condition that they leave the property in good condition, at the end of the notice period. If not I will pursue the total debt to the maximum extent of the law.
I quote “ can’t pay, we will take it away” tv program with bailiffs possessing goods cars etc.
one left in June, one has agreed to my terms, and hopefully will leave in January.
it is annoying to lose , in my case 4 months rent, but by giving the tenants something I had no chance of getting anyway, I have reduced costs, time and even more lost rent.
As mentioned previously, it is all part of being a Landlord. The worst part!
Whilst I echo all the above about having to go through the formal process...And the 'council tell me to sit tight until I'm physically thrown out' is something we hear far too often.One possible angle is to explain to the tenant that the council officer is breaking the law - and at least should be assessing their housing need right now.https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2017.../1/enacted- and off the back of that ask for the name of the council officer - then talk to them and find out if that is what they actually said - and regardless of what the council officer says they did (they lie through their teeth when they realise you've caught them out) - raise a complaint about that individual officer breaking the law.It might not get you anywhere - but then again it might - or the council might not be quite so fast to say 'sit tight for baliffs' the next time round.
DISCLAIMER just my personal opinion - for legal advice consult a qualified professional grown-up.
You need not concern yourself with what Council advises her, they often tell tenants to stay in the property to give themselves more time to find tenant housing. Just pursue the eviction order, section 21 / section 8 is giving them notice, you then have to go through court to enforce that notice. This is what you need to be doing.
If you are not a member of the Residential Landlord Association (RLA) It may be worth doing so to obtain advice. They have a helpline, documents and so forth to assist you in this process, its rather cheap.
_________________________________________________________________________My posts are not financial advice but often me rambling - passing time on a coffee break.Our team at Bespoke Finance offers Limited Company Buy-to-Let and Cheap Life Insurance._________________________________________________________________________
Wow thank you for all of your advice, we are sure the S21 has been issued correctly and all of the required documentation provided, so will be instructing the solicitor to progress with gaining possession on 20th December
We have been advised to contact the housing officer and ask for them to pay any housing benefit directly to us, is that worth pursuing please?
Also is there any value/risk to us explaining that we have no issue her staying in the house until it is sold so long as she agrees to leave, enabled estate agent viewings and pays the rent, we would take 60% of the rent until that time, if she agreed to leave upon completion of a sale. The critical element for us is to free the equity before we default on our family home, any other options or advice to achieve this would be more than welcome.
If you can receive the HB directly, wouldn't that null and void your chances of getting the property back as it could be seen as working with the tenant so that they could remain, especially that close to Christmas which, whilst it wouldn't be a factor at any other time of the year, may be here?
Plus for practical purposes a typical LA will be shut down for around 10 days over the Christmas/New Year period - and they are never in a hurry to deal with such matters at the best of times.
I wanted to update you all, the tenant has left, we got a text message to say the keys were under a flowerpot and naturally walked into a fair amount of damage and destruction. We have completed most of the repairs and are about to go to the small claims court for the rent arrears and costs of repair over the deposit amount.
It is a small victory, she’s out and we can now proceed to try to sell the house, but does leave a feeling of being violated and we have learnt a lot.
Thank touto you all for your help and advice, my parting thought is that the law is very heavily weighted against me in these circumstances and that can’t be right.