MCOL, Tenants plus Guarantor

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    MCOL, Tenants plus Guarantor

    Hi

    Grateful for some help with a MCOL.

    Tenants have stopped paying (after I had served valid S21). I have tried contacting tenant by telephone but they are not picking up. I have sent one letter and a couple of text messages chasing the rent.

    I've never done a MCOL. MCOL Website states 'Pre-Action Protocol must be followed' but their list of protocols in force (below), has nothing listed for Private Landlord/Tenant Rent Arrears Protocols in force

    18. The table sets out the protocols currently in force and from which date.
    Personal Injury 6 April 2015
    Resolution of Clinical Disputes 6 April 2015
    Construction and Engineering 9 November 2016 2nd Edition
    Defamation 02 October 2000
    Professional Negligence 16 July 2000
    Judicial Review 6 April 2015
    Disease and Illness 8 December 2003
    Housing Disrepair 6 April 2015
    Possession Claims by Social Landlords 6 April 2015
    Possession Claims for Mortgage Arrears 6 April 2015
    Dilapidation of Commercial Property 1 January 2012
    Low Value Personal Injury Road Traffic Accident Claims 30 April 2010 extended from 31 July 2013
    Low Value Personal Injury Employers’ and Public Liability Claims 31 July 2013

    Questions
    1) Should I simply go ahead and send a Letter Before Action, addressed to both the Tenants and The Guarantor giving them 14 days to bring the rent up to date, stating that if the full rent is not paid within that time, that I will be making an Application to the Courts and will be naming both the tenants and the guarantor?

    2) Also, is it acceptable that I name the Guarantor on the MCOL, when he has only had the one letter (LBA - giving 14 days notice to pay before MCOL)?

    3) Is it acceptable to do multiple MCOLs for the ongoing rent as it falls due? I really can't see these tenants leaving as per the S21 date.

    #2
    I would send a brief, calm & polite, LBA to both tenant & guarantor then fairly rapidly start to MCOL process: Good advice etc on citizens advice.

    I would also send an s8 (& at least g10: can be served if only 1p is underpaid) to tenant & guarantor.

    It would be a shame if council heard about s8, arrears & therefore decided they were "intentionally homeless" & not entitled to be rehoused.
    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


      #3
      Hi Artful - I can't find the advice on the website.

      It's OK - have found it now - thanks.

      Comment


        #4
        Your questions

        1) Yes. No other specific pre-action.
        2) I personally would sue only the tenant - while keeping guarantor fully informed. If tenant fails to pay sue G based on judgment
        3) Can do more than one -- but not monthly! - I would do one now, and then another a month or two before likely eviction (while you have the address for service).

        Comment


          #5
          We have the same difficulty. What do you suggest regarding the amount claimed through the MCOL when a non paying tenant is still in occupation? For example the tennant owes £3,500, but you anticipate this will rise to £4,500, before the eviction is completed, and you also have a deposit of £1000. Would you use the £3,500 figure for the MCOL and clearly state which months' rent this relates to?

          In my case I am not too concerned about trying to recover the highest amount possible as I dont realistically think we will recover it.
          Thanks for the advice of going after the tenant first. I am concerned that if we dont obtain a CCJ against the tenant, the tenant will do the exact same thing to another landlord.

          Comment


            #6
            The deposit is irrelevant to the claim. You can only claim what is owed at the point of the claim - which is outstanding rent at that point. You do not owe the deposit back at the point of claim (and it is not yours anyway).

            You may as well wait until a day or two after a missed rental payment to start the process.

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you. This will be my next course of action.

              Comment


                #8
                I believe JPK mentioned he tried to sue someone still in residence without success. The rent was several months in arrears. The judge said that every time the person paid rent, the debt from months ago was cancelled, so he could not find in JPK's favour.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Prepare a Rent Statement showing how much rent was due/month, when payments were received and the current Balance.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Claymore View Post
                    3) Is it acceptable to do multiple MCOLs for the ongoing rent as it falls due? I really can't see these tenants leaving as per the S21 date.
                    The judge will hate that - the courts prefer a single action for everything owed.
                    They (almost certainly) won't allow multiple fees to be claimed as it's an abuse of process.

                    You might want to create a claim to show you're serious, but you'll (probably) lose a lot of fees if you raise a lot of separate cases.
                    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


                      #11
                      Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                      I believe JPK mentioned he tried to sue someone still in residence without success. The rent was several months in arrears. The judge said that every time the person paid rent, the debt from months ago was cancelled, so he could not find in JPK's favour.
                      Thats interesting. The tenant is not paying any rent, although we have started to have their housing benefit paid direct - this is paid in arears, and the council state on their paperwork which rental period the payment should apply to, which are much more recent months. In the eyes of the court, does this mean the 3 months rent from before we started recieving housing benefit starting are still outstanding? Or, in the eyes of the court do any payments get automatically credited against the oldest debt? The housing benefit does not cover a full months rent.

                      The tenant currently owes three months rent, so, if the oldest debt is continuously being cleared, I am thinking I could start court action right after the next month's rent fulls due, and only chase the 2 most recent months rent. That way we could allow for 2 month's worth of housing benefit payment, and the rent from those most recent 2 months would still be outstanding. From what I understand if they dont contest the MCOL we would achieve a CCJ quite quickly, but if the tenant were to contest and drag out the procedure (as they seem to enjoy doing), does anyone know how long the process could take?

                      I have tried searching for other landlords who have experienced similar problems, but any links to other posts would be really helpful.

                      I would really like to get a CCJ against the tenant, however small the amount, whilst in occupation as otherwise they will do the same to another landlord, as they passed a credit check.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        It's a judge. They hate landlords, and will do anything to screw us over.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          If there is a reference to the period the rent is covering, in theory, that's what's being paid.
                          In the case where the judge decided otherwise, the rent was simply paid with no reference to what it was paying (it wasn't even always the right amount).

                          Your best bet is a single claim for everything owed, when no more debt can be incurred.
                          A complete schedule of all rent due and all payments made will establish the debt.

                          Trying to collect a moving target is really difficult.
                          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


                            #14
                            Good news:

                            I did a letter before action, saying unless full arrears were paid before such and such date, an application will be made to the Courts without any further correspondence. Just opened the post and there was a nice cheque from the guarantor. Tenants are supposed to leave in a couple of days but looks like they are staying so next steps will be the Court Eviction Process. Nice to know the Guarantors are at least decent people.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              You are lucky because most guarantor agreements aren't worth the paper they are written on. These guys probably don't know this.
                              For the future (I know this isn't always 100% possible) try not to accept a guarantor arrangement, instead see whether you can get 6 months rent up front or 3 months deposit + 3 months rent (even better)

                              Comment

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