Help with the Eviction Process

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  • Help with the Eviction Process

    Hello I am hoping for some advice as I have recnetly had to take over managing my dads affairs after he has had a stroke.

    He has a retail premise. The previous tenant went bankrupt this year and the lease was assigned to an employee in May this year. No deposit or credit checks were taken and the guarantor was the bankrupt previous tenant. I am not sure if this was known to my father as his memory is now a blank. The file shows no paper trail of advice and the commercial surveyors dealing with it are stonewalling me.

    The tenant paid one months rent in May and nothing since although a verbal rent free of 3 months was given by my father after they had moved in and then told him they needed a few months to get established. However, my father ran out of goodwill after 3 months when still they didn't pay anything. Bailiffs have been in and peacebly took back possession - the note on the door now says the premises have been impounded for the landlord. There is approx £5-6k of damage although there was a reinstaement clause in the lease which obviously won't be honoured as their post shows they owe £££s. The commercial surveyors are not answering any of my questions as to why they took a tenant on with no credit checks done and a guarantor who is a bankrupt. They have also sent me an invoice for over £900 + VAT for services rendered with no explanation as to what this is for. Personally I think they have been professionally negligent in how they have advised my father. They have been taking 10% commission any have admitted that all they have done for this is bank the rent and pass it on to my father.

    I have a new tenant that would like to move in asap. They have agreed to do all the reinstatement work themselves as part of a rent free I will give them until the end of January. The previous tenants have left a large amount of shelving which I understand I can remove after 14 days and dispose of/sell - is this true as the new tenants say they will make use of some of it and skip the rest. With my father being incapacitated I have no access to his funds to take formal legal advice at this stage but don't want to lose these potential new tenants as we can't afford to keep the building empty indefinitely.

    Any advice about how I tackle the new tenants, the existing tenants or the commercial surveyors would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks

  • #2
    Re the assignment, it is customary for the tenant or assignee to be required to pay the landlord's costs (and surveyor's fees) in connection with the licence. Assuming solicitors were involved, one would expect an Undertaking on Costs to have been given. It is possible the surveyors dealt with the assignment (in conjunction with your father's solicitors) but were not paid so have invoiced your father instead. If so then whether your father is responsible for the payment depends upon what was agreed at the time. If none of that applies then it's anyone guess what the £900 is for!

    Whether credit checks/references should've been obtained, again that's a matter of instruction. I agree that it would make sense to assume references would've been taken up but your father may have concluded that since the tenant was bankrupt anything was better than nothing so took a chance in the employee. I don't think you should assume the worst of the surveyors, without knowing the facts. Surely you could obtain the information from them? As for charge 10% to collect the rent, again that's a matter of instruction.

    Now the premises have reverted to the landlord you are free to relet.

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