Tenant not paying rent and never has done !!!

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  • Tenant not paying rent and never has done !!!

    I let out my property for rent to a tenant about a month before Xmas. The lady is not working and she has three children who were in care at that time – she says they are still in care. (She split from her partner & got custody of the kids). At the time of letting the property out, she managed to convince me that she does not have enough money to pay any rent and promised me that she will be able to pay rent once she gets Housing Benefit. She also promised me that she will apply for Housing Benefit asap and that it was just a case of transferring the payments from her old property (where she was also paying rent, to my property). Foolishly, I took pity on her (single mum with 3 kids) and decided to give the keys to the property to her.

    She has now been living there for about 6 weeks and keeps telling me that she has not heard anything about her Housing Benefit claim from the council, and when I call the council, they say that they can’t discuss the application with me because the tenant has instructed them not to do so.

    Can you please advice what I should do in these circumstances?

    Thanks in advance for your response.

  • #2
    Do you have a written tenancy signed by tenant?? What is the date of the end of the fixed term?? When does the tenancy state rent is payable (eg weekly, every 4 weeks, monthly??)

    Others cleverer than me should be along soon but I think I'd write tenant a calm polite letter stating when rent was due, how much is owing, & that you will be taking eviction proceedings shortly in view of no rent paid, and would she please give you authority to discuss HB/LHA with council (give her a simple letter to sign & date).

    Also letter to council saying similar, but you would prefer to work with council & avoid someone becoming homeless if possible.

    Did you take references/creidt checks??
    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...

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    • #3
      If your tenancy agreement says you can use ground 8 of the 1988 Housing Act then you should serve a section 8 notice on your tenant, which is the first step towards eviction.
      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988…

      You could start court proceedings 2 weeks after that but that could easily take another 3 months from application to bailiffs.

      Doing it any other way will be illegal eviction which could end up with you in prison.

      I know this isn't the answer you want, but if it were easy to get rid of troublesome tenants then landlords wouldn't bother with advance rent, guarantors or deposits. You haven't been very business like here & it has come back & bit you on the back side.

      Write to the housing benefit office and tell them that your tenant owes you X weeks rent (type up a rent statement) and ask for the rent to be paid directly to you from now on. Once she owes 8 weeks they have to do this but it may take a few more weeks before they pay you anything because they need to investigate.

      If you have a mortgage to pay - get in touch with your lender ASAP as they will have encountered this before with Buy to Let mortgages so may be able to work out a plan with you.

      If you don't know what to do with eviction, there are companies that can help. however some can charge around £1000 for a standard eviction.


      The advice I give on this forum is for general information only. You are advised to seek specialist advice. I can provide such help on many tenancy matters including eviction, call 0800 270 7747 for details

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      • #4
        Hi Folks

        Many thanks for you replies.

        Theartfuldodger The answers to your questions -

        1. Yes I do have a 12 month short hold tenancy agreement.
        2. It was agreed that the rent should be paid weekly.
        3. On the agreement it states that "This agreement is an assured tenancy subject to the provisions of the Housing Act 1988'.

        I also have a guarantor, who is the tenancts friend. Both of them came to look at the property when initially deciding whether or not she would like to rent it . However, obviously, the guarantor seems to take sides with the tenant.

        Any further advice much appreciated.

        Comment


        • #5
          That you have a guarantor is good, it is irrelevant whose side they are on - the courts can decide who is in the right.

          Was the guarantor credit checked? What sort of paperwork do you have for the guarantee?

          Can you comment on whether you are allowed to use ground 8?

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          • #6
            New tenants, especially those of limited income, never more than 6 months initially: If it turns out you can't use S8 G8 (possible) you've very little option than to sit out the 12 months...

            Cheers!
            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


            • #7
              Ive had the same problem with a couple of tenants on social. She may actually be telling the truth regarding not heard anything from council. From my experience they do take ages sorting out housing benefits. 6+ can be the norm. Most councils allow the rent to be paid direct to landlord once the arrears is 2 months. I would also email/ write to council, not phone, explain that tenant is in arrears and ask that they pay you direct.

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              • #8
                Tenants have a right to request an 'advance' if it takes the council more than 2 weeks to sort out their housing benefit (starting as soon as the tenat has provided them with all the proof/documents they need).

                It's in regulation 93 of The Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2...lation/93/made

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by geek84 View Post
                  Hi Folks

                  Many thanks for you replies.

                  Theartfuldodger ....
                  Lodger not dodger: I don't dodge....
                  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


                  • #10
                    Sorry to come in late. I was sure I had posted a reply to this thread...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
                      Sorry to come in late. I was sure I had posted a reply to this thread...
                      Perhaps over at another place, MS. ???

                      http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/....php?t=4387935
                      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


                      • #12
                        Go to see the tenant, with a pre-written letter giving you authority to speak to the housing benefit dept about her claim.
                        Get her to sign it, and take it into the housing benefit office and discuss her claim.
                        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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