Claim rent arrears in HMO

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    Claim rent arrears in HMO

    Good morning.

    I have an HMO tenant who has not paid his rent for 2 months. S21 and S8 have been served and I will be applying for possession next month. Can I start the process in claiming for the rent arrears ahead of applying for possession? I am happy to risk the claim for future monies.

    I have a few HMO’s and late/unpaid rent does not happen often as I do my best to work with the tenant to prevent things getting this far. If other LL have any tips as to how they deal with situations like this, advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    #2
    There's a risk is that if you start a claim for the money owed, it will interfere with the section 8 claim if the claim includes rent owed.
    You'd be essentially claiming the same debt twice.

    It may not be an issue, but if I were the tenant, I'd make sure it was brought up.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you for the information.

      Would there be any risk if I start the claim for arrears now and if necessary, apply for possession using Section 21. The tenant is out of the fixed period. I think notification from the court would prompt him to address the situation now rather then it escalating to eviction.

      Comment


        #4
        Hi Seaes,

        So you have served S21 and S8 and both notices are expiring next month? There are pros and cons about using both notices for the possession. If you use S8 it might be quicker but there is no guarantee that possession would be given in court. If you use S21 for possession it might take slightly longer but the possession defiantly must be given as long as everything is in place and done correctly in terms of all required certificates provided to tenant and How to rent guidelines ect.
        We used both in past and most successful was using S21 for possession in court.

        So if you don't claim re t arrears with S21 possession court form then you could start the money claim now, however it's highly likely that the possession will take longer than month so tenant might fall much more in rent arrears and you would need to do another claim for any additional arrears I believe.

        Hope that helps in some direction, but as in previous posts, my advice is in no way a legal advice and is based on my own experience only.

        Comment


          #5
          Useful links - for checking s21 -
          https://nearlylegal.co.uk/section-21-flowchart/

          & from the experts..
          https://england.shelter.org.uk/profe...notice_invalid
          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Seaes56 View Post
            Would there be any risk if I start the claim for arrears now and if necessary, apply for possession using Section 21. The tenant is out of the fixed period. I think notification from the court would prompt him to address the situation now rather then it escalating to eviction.
            No additional risk.

            The plus side of using a separate claim for the debt is that rent owed is quite a simple thing to show.
            Rent is due when it's due and there's not really any defence to not paying it.
            The most a tenant can do is try and make some kind of counter-claim.

            The main issue is whether the tenant can afford to pay what they owe, and, if they can't afford the rent, what's their alternative?
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              #7
              This is all really helpful. Thank you all very much!

              Comment


                #8
                I would speak to the T and ask them to leave, and write off the 2 months rent with no further claims and the court proceedings - only if they surrender the tenancy immediately and leave. It's the quickest and simplest solution, otherwise you potentially may have someone living at the property rent free for a number of months, and may cause issues with other T's.

                If not then follow through, and get a CCJ on the T, once that happens the T will struggle to find private accommodation with another LL who carries out all reference and credit checks.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks. I have attempted to do this twice without success. I would much rather write the debt off and just move on. I have now filed the money claim so we will see how far this goes.

                  One good thing about claiming the debt before possession is having an address to serve the notice to. I guess this becomes more difficult when the tenant moves on without giving a forwarding address (assuming they do not move to a previous address listed on the reference check). If he doesn’t move (soon) and does not pay at least there will be consequences for his actions in the form of a CCJ.

                  Comment

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