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  • Problem Tenants

    Tenants not leaving

    Hi,

    I am after some advice on the following. My brother who passed away had one rental property which he had tenants in for a number of years. I know when I viewed the property with him 4 years ago the property was in good condition as my brother renovated the property. The estate agents found tenants who have rented it for the past 4 years.

     

    However, last year I went to view the property and was shocked by the condition of the house (carpets ripped out, house stinks of dog wee even though according to the tenancy there should be no pets, kitchen cupboards broken, holes in the wall) Personally, I am very annoyed at the estate agents for letting the house get in such a condition.

     

    This year I decided with my sister in law that it would be better to give the tenants their notice so that we could renovate the whole house and obtain the market rent for the area as the rent had not been increased for a number of years. The tenants should have left the property last week but the estate agents have just told me the following,

     

    “the tenants will not leave the house as the council has told them if they leave the house under section 21 then the council will not give them a house to live in, if they get an eviction order then they will get a house from the council to live in”

     

    Can someone provide some help on what we need to do? I have never experienced anything like this with my own property as I always have rent guarantee insurance and its usually people leave their tenancy problem free.

     

     

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    his is standard from councils as if they left on their own accord they would not be classified as homeless. You will therefore have to go to court and get an eviction order . Made sure you are doing the process correctly and in accordance with the rental agreement.Get legal advise straight away and start the procedure.

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    Thanks. Is it quite costly to do this?


    Would I need a solicitor to do this or could I do this myself? I only have experience with a small claims court where I did all the work myself for an issue.

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    We had LHA tenants and gave them notice under Section 21, they should have vacated early August, the Council told our tenants the same thing that they would not house them until they were evicted. We had to go through the Courts, involve the Bailiffs and we didn’t get our house back until November.

    As members of the NLA, we took their advice and guidance and we were able to do this ourselves rather than using solicitors.  I’m not promoting the NLA, but in my experience their membership fee is well worth it for the advice and help they give.  If you don’t do things in the right order, it will take you much longer to gain possession of your house.

    I’m afraid you have a bit of a slog, just go through the process and you’ll get your house back.  Good luck.

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     Thanks for the advice Saresh.

    Did you ever have any issues with rent being paid from your tenants? The current tenants have always paid the rent on time and its a mixture of the council paying and the tenants paying a small amount on top.

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    As others have said, this seems to be standard practice from councils (although I don't think it's supposed to be) and I went through the same a few years ago.

    You do need to be very sure that you've got everything in order and you're following the process correctly.  You can absolutely do it all yourself and the actual court process is not very expensive (I think it was a few hundred pounds when I did it) but I do recommend either reading up lots, using NLA/RLA advice or if you'd rather spend money instead of time, involving a solicitor with relevant experience.

    In my experience I was dealing with the tenant directly, they had no problem with it and didn't try to object to the court process. Thankfully the council didn't force it all the way to bailiffs at least.

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    As Saresh says you could do it yourself, but without some sort of experience in such matters I would advise the  proper legal route. Get a solicitor that works in the tenant/landlord sector. Should you get the procedure wrong then the court  will throw it out.

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    Hi Landlord 123,

    This is all to common, we run 100's of cases a year, where tenants are staying put, so they can obtain an eviction notice, so that they can approach the council to be re-housed.

    If you need some help, feel free to call us on 0333 321 9415, we offer fixed fees to obtain a possession order and eviction, the process will take 4 months approx.

    regards

    Paul Shamplina

    Landlord Action

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    Founder of Landlord Action and Brand Ambassador for Hamilton Fraser

    The estate agent's advice is no longer correct. As of April 2018 a council has to treat someone as homeless if they have a s21 notice due to expire in the next 56 days (8 weeks)

    If the council does not assess their homelessness need and just turns them away - then the council is breaking the law, and the T need to be more assertive about getting the council to assess their need.

    Since it's a recent change then it would be not at all surprising if some councils were still shall we say - not complying with their legal duties.

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2017.../1/enacted

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    DISCLAIMER just my personal opinion - for legal advice consult a qualified professional grown-up.

    Thanks Owen, that is useful to know. Dare I say it common sense is finally in the system, but as you say how quickly Council's will make changes will be interesting to see. We went down the eviction route with bailiffs twice, once a s.21 and once a s.8, it was painful in both instances but in each instance didn't do it myself. As long as your tenancy agreement states the tenant is liable for the court fees that may make them sit up and take notice too. Landlord123 make sure you notify them of the charges and keep that notification on record. 

    I think it has been very unfair for tenants who are already in a vulnerable position to get a CCJ purely because of a council policy to make tenants sit tight until a very awkward and emotionally charged throwing out of the property.

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    Thanks for the advice. I didn't expect the council to tell them that they had to be evicted to be able to get a house. If they are liable for the fees afterwards, would it actually be them or would it be the council who are liable as they pay the majority of the rent.

    I will need to check with my sister in law what her landlord insurance covers and check if it covers legal fees.

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