Tenant not communicating

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    Tenant not communicating

    Hi there,

    I'm new to forum posting, so apologies if I've posted in the wrong section.
    After reading some of the horror stories on your forum, I realise I have been a very fortunate landlord. Ten years with one tenant and no problems with rent, damage or repossession. I now have a new tenant who started his AST on 14/4/07 for 6 months. Until November 2007 he was regular at paying his weekly rent (£70). Then he started to slide. With various excuses it rose to 5 weeks in arrears (£350) At the beginning of January we had a chat and came to an agreement that he would pay £100 per week (rent + £30 off the arrears) This he agreed to and signed an agreement to that effect. Since then he has paid 3 weeks of £100 but has missed the last 2 weeks. I have tried contacting him by phone but his phone goes straight onto voicemail. I have left 3 text messages urging him to contact me, but to no avail. Just in case he has had phone problems I arranged for a friend to drop a note through the letterbox.
    If he doesn’t pay next Friday the total arrears will be 7 weeks.

    Until now our relationship has been friendly and informal, as it was with my previous tenant. As he isn’t returning my calls to contact me I am feeling rather frustrated. I realise that my informality may be taken advantage of and the only recourse is to take charge of the situation and to remind him of his duty as a tenant


    1, Could you please give me advice on what I should include in a letter to him.

    2, Would I be in my rights to also write to his guarantor (his Aunt) explaining the situation.

    Many thanks

    #2
    Originally posted by yangoccam View Post
    1, Could you please give me advice on what I should include in a letter to him.
    1) How much he owes;
    2) What you want him to do; and
    3) What you will do if he doesn't.

    Unless you want to serve notice on him; in which case there are other things you need to include, like notice periods.

    2, Would I be in my rights to also write to his guarantor (his Aunt) explaining the situation.
    Yes; explain that if he doesn't pay, they'll be liable.

    By the way, why is the rent weekly? Doesn't this mean you have to have a rent book? I vaguely remember some such rule.

    Someone else will confirm or otherwise.

    Peter

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by pcwilkins View Post
      3) What you will do if he doesn't.
      And then, most significantly, do it !!

      Comment


        #4
        If you have a telephone number for his aunt, give her a call. Whilst she may well have guaranteed his rent, she may not be delighted about him taking her up on the guarantee. Don't let it slip too far.
        The contents of this note are neither advice nor a definitive answer. If you plan to rely on this, you should pay somebody for proper advice.

        Comment


          #5
          I would contact the Aunt immediately to let her know situation, and say that you will be asking her to pay the rent if you hear nothing from T within 7 days.

          You are entitled to ask her for immediate payment.

          Don't take the no-communication personally. Its an 'ostrich effect'. But don't tolerate it either.
          All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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          You can search the forums here:

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            #6
            Originally posted by Bel View Post
            Don't take the no-communication personally. Its an 'ostrich effect'. But don't tolerate it either.
            Yep. Classic tenant behaviour in my experience, when they get into problems paying rent. Personally, once I realise they are in ostrich mode I just give up attempting to contact them as it's too frustrating, and just send letters instead - also it gives you a good paper trail for when you almost certainly end up submitting court papers.

            (I have a classic ostrich at the moment, who owes me several months rent and is now awaiting the imminent arrival of bailiffs for reposession... the other day I got a phone call from his mother who was aghast that her offspring was apparently just going to be turfed out on to the street (first she'd heard of any of his 'difficulties))

            Comment


              #7
              Hi again

              Thanks to everyone for your quick replies and apologies for my slow response.

              Not sure how to add quotes.

              In reply to pcwilkins;

              The rent is weekly because he works weekly and he asked for it. I do have a rent book- does that complicate matters?

              He finally contacted me on Wednesday (by text) saying that he had lost his job, but had got another one. He was sorry but he wouldn't be able to pay me anything until next week (which, if he defaults will be 8 weeks). I have phoned and text him several times since then but he has not responded.

              As Ericthelobster says, it looks like he is taking the ostrich strategy. Which is unfortunate because I am an understanding person and have myself been in difficult times in the past. I don't want to go down the formal route, not just because of the hassle for both of us but because it then becomes just another example of people not playing the game which leads to more legislation generally...etc and the potential of me being less accommodating with the next tenant.

              I will send him a letter (registered) and also his Aunt (I don't have a number for her) explaining the situation.

              Thanks again,

              I'll let you know what occurs.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by yangoccam View Post
                In reply to pcwilkins;

                The rent is weekly because he works weekly and he asked for it. I do have a rent book- does that complicate matters?
                No, not at all (I don't think so anyway). I just wondered.

                Peter

                Comment


                  #9
                  We had exactly the same problems with one of our tenants, a working 23 year old - Non payment of rent, then promised weekly payments which didn't materialise and finally ostrich syndrome.

                  We went down the paper trail, as suggested, served notice of eviction, told him we were going to court to get a ccj and then finally told him we were about to apply to his mother for arrears.

                  He paid up, in full, two days after the mother threat.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hi again

                    Since my last visit here I sent a letter to my tenant plus a copy to his Aunt (guarantor) explaining he owed 8 weeks unpaid rent, hadn't paid any since 15 02 08, and hadn't returned my phone call/text requests to resolve the matter. The out come is that his Aunt has had a word with him (she didn't know about the problem - and I believe her) and I have requested a chat between all three of us this Sunday 30th March.

                    What I intend to do is discus how he intends to deal with the unpaid rent but at the same time serve s 8 and s 21. To cover myself if the situation doesn't improve over the next month or so.

                    Tenancy Agreement signed Sunday 14th April 2007

                    Weekly rent paid on Friday

                    Section 21 will be served on ( and dated ) Sunday 30th March 2008

                    Section 21 expires Thursday 29th May 2008

                    Section 8 part 5 says

                    The court proceedings will not begin until after…..

                    ( what date should be here? Thursday 29th March 2008? )

                    Are these the correct dates?

                    Thanks for any help.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      You let for six months, which expired on 13 October 2007. A new tenancy period began on 14 October and each successive 14th.
                      So your Notice under s.21(4)(a) has to expire on a 13th. If served on 30 March, earliest expiry would be 13 June. You could begin Court proceedings on or after 14 June.
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Being kind and understanding has never got me anywhere.
                        Other example's of Ostrich mode are - silence. You know they are up to something. These people are so predictable

                        Not having a great time myself at the moment - with one of lodgers smoking 'herbal cigarettes' and not sure how to tactfully broach the subject.

                        I hope he is not on anything else!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Not so much "broach" as "roach"?
                          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            How much is the deposit you hold, and have you protected it in one of the TDS schemes? if not you wont be able to use s.21.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                              You let for six months, which expired on 13 October 2007. A new tenancy period began on 14 October and each successive 14th.
                              So your Notice under s.21(4)(a) has to expire on a 13th. If served on 30 March, earliest expiry would be 13 June. You could begin Court proceedings on or after 14 June.
                              Just noticed that rent is stated as 'weekly'- are you sure?
                              If so, my above reply needs revising as follows:

                              A new tenancy began on Sunday 14 October and each successive Sunday.
                              So your Notice has to expire on a Saturday. If served on Sunday 30 March, earliest expiry would be Saturday 31 May. You could begin proceedings on or after 1 June.
                              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                              Comment

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