Acquired property subject to sitting tenant

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    Acquired property subject to sitting tenant

    Can anyone offer advice ? I purchased a property with a protected tenant advertised as paying an agreed rental. I bought as a long term investment and was happy with the prospect of a long term stable tenant. Maybe nievely only time will tell ?

    My issue is that I wish to be a good landlord and comply with the law in return for receiving the rental payments. My trouble is that I cannot get the tenant to respond to any communication or pay any rent ? As they are not communicating with me it is difficult to determine why?

    Question is, how best to approach this issue. How long do I leave it before proceeding and what action can / should I take ? At the moment I am writing to the Tenant and calling to try to establish contact and detail their position. Ideally, I just want to establish contact discuss any issues they may have and address them, provide contact info and agree a rental payment mechanism, collect any rent arrears.

    Can anyone offer advice if they continue to ignore my efforts to address the above? All advice appreciated. Thanks !

    #2
    They will soon respond to a county court summons claiming possession for non-payment of rent! Expect though that some counter claims are likely to be made - i.e. you have not done this repair and that and so on.

    You need to serve a notice to quit before taking possession proceedings - do make sure this is the correct formatted one since if you get it wrong your case will be dismissed.

    Comment


      #3
      Protected Tenant

      David

      Thank you for your rely. Although this is not my preferred course of action so that I undertake the process correctly should I not be able to get the Tenant to cooperate with me, I propose to take the following course of action:-

      1) Having written and attended the property a number of times with no response, now follow up each visit with a letter sent recorded deliver detailing visit and position, i.e. rent arrears and ask them to get in touch.

      2) Repeat 1) above weekly for another 8 weeks. I read that this appears to be the minimum time one must allow before commencing any legal proceedings. Correct me if I am wrong ?

      3) If no response or payment after 8 weeks issue a letter indicating formal legal proceedings will be commenced, if the Tenant does not pay his arrears within 7 days of this letter. All correspondance sent recorded.

      4) If still no response, initiate legal repossession proceedings. I assume this maybe best addressed through a solicitor rather than myself to avoid me making a technical error due to being a novice at these issues.

      If you or anyone can advise whether the above is largely correct process and if not what else I may have to do ? If anyone can offer tips on other actions I can take to find out what may have gone wrong all appreciated.

      I am still holding out hope that this is a communication hiccup but, then again, I am not holding my breath either.

      Thanks for your assistance

      Beechwood

      Comment


        #4
        I answer this on the basis that the tenancy is a regulated one under the Fair Rent Act 1977 - commonly called a Rent Act or Protected tenancy.

        Issue a notice to quit now - again, make sure you use the correct form. When the NTQ expires in 1 months time, you can go issue a possession summons without waiting any further. However, unlike the Assured and Assured Shorthold tenancies, possession is not guaranteed as it is where the tenant is 8 weeks in arrears on an AT or AST. Possession on rent act tenancies is subject to the judges discretion and you are likely to end up with a suspended possesion order which means so long as tenant pays £x per week, the order is suspended - if it is broken, then you can order the bailiffs in to evict.

        So long as you follow the legal requirements over the notice to quit, any contact you attempt to make or letters you write are over and above the legal requirements - so yes, carry on with that line, in moderation - you dont want a counterclaim for harassment!

        Comment


          #5
          I need an answer - makes a change!

          David. Never having had to deal directly with any Rent Act tenancies, when you issue a NTQ, in what format is it required (if any) to be worded, and is their any guidance anywhere on the wording? Thanks!
          The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

          Comment


            #6
            This is the form required and the wording is laid down by the Rent Act 1977

            http://www.oyezformslink.co.uk/forms...ates/01120.pdf

            Note that printing this form will have the word specimen written across it to stop people "pinching it"!

            Comment


              #7
              Protected Tenant

              David, Many thanks for your clear response. Yes your assumption is correct ref tenancy. The reason for the weekly visits is because currently the rent is payable weekly so I am just complying with this requirement. Hopefully I am right to do so.

              As my intention is not to evict initially just get the Tenant to pay his rent and cooperate with me I will approach this issue considerately. However, if my efforts to get the Tenant to respond continue to go unanswered, I will initiate proceedings to quit occupancy. Clearly any efforts I have invested in trying to establish a good relationship will go out the window at this point therefore I see this as a last resort.

              One last question if I may, that being:- I understand that a protected tenant is one that has had a tenure before 1989 in my case. However, does the person(s) have to register their protection or is it automatic ? The reason I ask is a) I have seen in the past terms in property adverts saying tenant has not registered their protected tenancy ??? which kind of indicates that there is a difference between registered and not ? Is there ? and b) through my efforts to contact my Tenant, I can find no registration yet with any of the various authorities the tenancy is registered in any way including rent, etc ?? Is this normal ?

              Thanks again !!!! Hopefully my issue will resolve itself. If it does not then I will action as above.

              Comment


                #8
                The Rent Act 1977 introduced a new form of tenancy - the 'protected tenancy'. This was a contractual tenancy in which the tenant had the right to a fair rent and security of tenure. Protected tenancies have been replaced by assured tenancies under the Housing Act 1988 and, consequently, the Rent Act will generally only apply to tenancies created before 15 January 1989. Protected tenancies already in existence continue to have protection. Once the contractual tenancy has come to an end, the tenant gains security of tenure as a statutory tenant, on basically the same terms as the prior contractual tenancy and with an absolute right to continue living in the premises indefinitely.

                Your tenant would come under the above. The rent has to be registered every 2 years by the rent officer - either landlord or tenant can apply, but is is usually the landlord as it is not common for the tenant to apply for a rent increase!!! Look in your local phone book for the phone number of the local REnt Officer Service and phone them to se if the rent is registered with them within the last two years, if it isn't, then you can apply using form RR1 available from the rent officer or on their website.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have a protected tenant, so to answer your questions:

                  1) If they have lived there since or before 1989 (I can't remember the exact date) then they are automatically a Rent Act tenant.

                  2) When people mention about "registered" term with Rent Act tenant, then it means that the rent is registered. When the rent is registered then you can only revise the rates every two years with formal forms, unless there are subtantial enhancements to the property then it can be applied before two years term.

                  There is a very good document about Rent Act tenant and I suggest you to get a copy and read for yourself to understand these things, you may be able to find this document from your local council web site or the goverment site (someone did put a link in this forum before, do a search).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Inherited property subject to Rent Act sitting tenant

                    I have recently inherited a property which has tennancy subject to THe Rent Act 1977. I don't really want the hassle of managing the property but it has prooved very difficult to sell with the current tennants what are the chances of getting tennants out

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Suggest you check the threads but in essence very difficult. Look at the ODPM website to familiarise yourself with what rights these tenants enjoy.

                      Before you do anything take professional advice from a good (and I mean good solicitor who's well versed in property law)as it can be a minefield. The only ways usually to get them out is either they accept a pay off from you to surrender their tenancy or you get the courts to agree to move them to another premises that you will have to guarantee to purchase unless of course the courts find that one of the mandatory cases applies to your situation.

                      Is the rent registered and when was it last put up for an increase?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        (a) Unless the tenants are well behind with their rent, you cannot get them out and when they die the tenancy can be inherited.
                        (b) We have recently learned on this forum that if you wish to sell the property it must first be offered to the current tenants -the penalties for not doing so can be severe.
                        (c) The existence of such tenants reduces the market value of the property by about 50%
                        (d) A search on "regulated tenancies" or "regulated tenants" should bring up a load of useful, current information on the matter.

                        P.P.
                        Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          For a privately owned Rent Act tenancy there is NO legal obligation on the landlord to offer the property to the tenant first if the property is offered for sale. Whoever posted that is completely misinformed.

                          Most landlords trying to sell Rent Act property do offer it to the tenant first as a courtesy, usually though at market price knowing that the value drops by about 50% with a sitting rent act tenant in it.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Maybe you could offer the tenants to buy the property at say 80-90% of the market value.

                            If they want to buy it it will save you the hassle (unles syou wanted to keep the property of course) and you won't have to sell it at 50% of its value.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re. 1st refusal rules:

                              You should download and read the leaflet. Regulated tenants are considered qualifying tenants under the rules but it depends on other factors concerning the property also.

                              Comment

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