Help! Nightmare Tenant!

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  • Help! Nightmare Tenant!

    My tenants have been in my property for 16 months and have a young daughter. They are receiving housing benefits but have never paid on time. I feel I've been very lenient with them and helped them out as much as possible. I have now had enough as it is a battle every month to agree with them how much is due (they pay in dribs and drabs) and the amount they owe is often greater than the Bond I hold. I would very much appreciate advice as to whether I can ask them for a larger Bond and/or evict them with two months notice. Many thanks.

  • #2
    Have you asked for the HB to be paid direct to you?

    Comment


    • #3
      I have the same issue with one of my tenants. She is also on HB and always in arrears but as she has 2 young children I would feel awfull if I had to evict. What I do is keep putting pressure on her to reduce arrears and pay on time. The trouble with HB is that a tenants benefit can be suspended on a change of circumstances.

      Remember, its not a straight forward process to evict with 2 months notice. There are set rules.

      You need to ask yourself the following.

      Does the tenant have a tenancy agreement?

      Has the assured tenancy period ended? You cant evict until the fixed term has ended. Ie 12 month tenancy, cant evict till end of 12 month term.

      You would have to serve a section 21 notice 2 months prior to tenancy ending!

      Was the deposit registered into a government scheme?

      Once a section 21 is served, it doesnt mean the tenant will leave after the 2 months notice.

      If she got young child then its unlikely she will leave. The council wont re-house her until she is legaly evicted by the courts.

      After the 2 months notice has expired you would then have to apply to the courts for a eviction order. Thid could take 2-3 months. Once a eviction order has been granted you still may need baliffs to legaly remove the tenant.

      As you can see from above it not always straight forward.

      There is another route called section 8, if the tenant is more than 2 months in arrears.

      Comment


      • #4
        Like daveg said, your first course of action should be to get the HB paid direct to you.

        Most councils allow it to be paid direct to landlord if tenant is more than 2 months in arrears, alternatively you have to get rhe tenant to make the request direct.

        Put pressure on the tenant to say that unless she notifies the council to pay you direct then you will start eviction proceedings

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        • #5
          Thanks to everyone for their replies. I've been down the road of having the benefit paid direct to me but the Council took a minimum of six weeks to process the change and this made matters worse. When they finally did process the change it was a nightmare as the Council never paid the correct amount and the tenants were meant to pay the difference, but only pay it in dribs and drabs. I really don't want to have to evict them because they have a young child, but the house is a tip and I'm at the end of my tether! Does anyone know if I can increase their Bond at this stage. They have four months left of a shorthold assured tenancy. Thanks again.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Habygirl View Post
            Does anyone know if I can increase their Bond at this stage.
            If they're not paying the rent, where do you think they will get the money to pay for a bigger deposit?

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            • #7
              You certainly can ask for a bigger deposit - but as Mrs Mug says - where will they get it from? And realistically, what will/can you do if they say no?

              Which leaves you with eviction.

              You mention giving them 2 months notice but 'notice' is just the first stage of the eviction process. You can serve a section 21 notice (over 2 months) or a section 8 notice (2 weeks) but they are just a precursor to court action unles they voluntarily leave - they are under no obligation to leave.

              You mention you have a deposit - was it protected in a government approve scheme within 30 days of receipt (or 5/5/2012 if that was later)? Likewise, do you know what information the law requires you to provide the tenant and have you complied with that?

              Comment


              • #8
                This is a business. It is up to the T to make sure they pay the correct amount on the correct date. It's up to the T to ensure their child has a home. If they can't pay your rent, be nice, suggest they find a cheaper place, and you will help them (by looking online etc) but in the meantime you must issue them a Section 21 as their arrears are putting your own finances in difficulty.

                Check the deposit is protected and info given. Serve S21 (lots of people on here can confirm the dates with you). Ask Snorkerz.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Covering a short-fall on rent can make a property unaffordable and all parties need to be realistic about this.

                  I would ask them to go through their incomings/outgoings to find out if a tenancy for them is going to be affordable. If it is not then it cannot be good for any of you to prolong the agony.

                  The agony for you being four more months of this and then having to evict them through the courts.

                  The agony for them living beyond their means but contractually obliged to making things worse and the probability of being shoved into B & B accomodation with a child.

                  The part that will hurt though is potentially writing off what they owe if they moved themselves to a property they can afford agreeing an early surrender.

                  Not easy I know.
                  I'm a good tenant with great landlords
                  I'm also a living, breathing, fully cooked female.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Berlingogirl View Post
                    Serve S21 (lots of people on here can confirm the dates with you). Ask Snorkerz.
                    Snorkerz tends not to do section 21 dates any more - it kind of conflicts with my business interests!

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                    • #11
                      Serve a section 8 and Sec 21 notice as soon as possible.
                      Are the council paying you directly, yes or no? Your previous answer was wishy washy.
                      Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                        Snorkerz tends not to do section 21 dates any more - it kind of conflicts with my business interests!
                        But he is very reasonably priced and this includes getting the dates right :-)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Rent Arrears on Furnished Property

                          My tenants are in rent arrears and as the tenenacy agreement is a fixed term, I cannot evict them until the tenancy agreement ends in July, 2013. If they continue to not pay rent, they will owe me in excess of £2,000.00. by July, 2013 and I have been advised that as they have no money, I would be wasting my time taking them to Court. As the property is let as furnished, do I have any rights to remove any of the furniture? Am very frustrated as I have gone out of my way to support them over the past 16 months.
                          Many thanks.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Don't take away the furniture. Once they have missed two (monthly) rent days, you can issue a section 8 notice, the first stage towards eviction.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Habygirl View Post
                              My tenants are in rent arrears and as the tenenacy agreement is a fixed term, I cannot evict them until the tenancy agreement ends in July, 2013.
                              Not under s.21 you can't, but you can under s.8 Housing Act 1988. When there is at least two months' owing and unpaid, that will give you a mandatory ground upon which to seek possession. I recommend you contact http://www.tenancyservices.co.uk/ (which is run by one the forum's experienced members).

                              If they continue to not pay rent, they will owe me in excess of £2,000.00. by July, 2013 and I have been advised that as they have no money, I would be wasting my time taking them to Court.
                              You're assuming they'll leave at fixed term expiry. Assuming this is an AST tenancy, then they are not obliged to vacate at fixed term expiry; if they don't, a statutory periodic tenancy will automatically arise under s.5 Housing Act 1988, replacing the fixed term tenancy. The only way you can end the tenancy is by obtaining a possession order. That means going to court.

                              As the property is let as furnished, do I have any rights to remove any of the furniture?
                              No.

                              Comment

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