Evicting tenant (of 13 years) without a tenancy agreement

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    Evicting tenant (of 13 years) without a tenancy agreement

    Hi


    I would like some advice to help my mum regarding a tenant, please.

    My mum’s tenant (DSS) has been in her rented property for 13 years.

    In this time we have had a host of issues with the tenant and her family, they are continually wrecking the property and then telling the council the house is in disrepair. Four years ago £23,000 was spent on renovation work and already the tenants have destroyed everything in the house. We are continually repairing, fixing and making sure the house is safe every time they break something.

    The history is:

    13 years ago my mum let the house to Bristol Churches (a charity) who dealt with the tenant and the contract side. They paid my mum directly for its use. I believe 4 years ago, Bristol Churches decided to no longer deal in housing. STUPIDLY my mum NEVER ISSUED a new tenancy agreement with the tenant! My mum believed Bristol council had given her a contract and were dealing with her - they weren’t. My mum has been paid the rent directly by the DSS in this time. No deposit was ever taken either!

    We now want to get the tenant out and we feel we are trapped in a stalemate. We do not know what to do. The tenant wants a 4/5 bedroom house and wants the council to re-home her - they aren’t going to do this. We asked her to sign a tenancy agreement but has refused to sign this in front of the H+S officer who went to the property with us yesterday. She says we need to sort out a new property for her and that she isn’t signing anything and is looking for a property herself (she isn’t).

    Can anyone help us work out what to do with regards to:
    1. Will the agreement that was in place with Bristol churches still be valid?
    2. Can I do anything if this agreement cannot be found?
    3. Can we evict her without a tenancy agreement
    4. Can we evict her even though the DSS payments are on time?
    5. Can we do anything about the damage she is causing continuously?
    6. Do we need to hire a lawyer?
    7. Could anyone recommend one, if the answer to Q6 was yes


    Thank you in advance for any responses.

    #2
    It's a good thing for you that T refused to sign. Definitely contact Bristol Churches to get a copy of that agreement, then come back here for further advice.

    Comment


      #3
      I've evicted a tenant in the past where I lost the tenancy agreement, There wasn't a problem and the eviction went ahead as if there had been the agreement to show the judge. For the DSS to be paid to your Mum, the benefits office must be satisfied that there is a tenancy agreement in place. It might be worth asking DSS if they can provide your Mum with a copy of the agreement.

      Comment


        #4
        Serve a section 21 notice to the tenant.
        When it expires, your mother will need to go to court to repossess the property.

        The lack of a tenancy agreement is an issue - but the one associated with Bristol Churches is a red herring.
        The tenant became your mother's tenant when they started paying rent to your mother.

        You won't be able to use the accelerated repossession process.

        In this case, I would find someone who specialises in evictions to assist.
        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


          #5
          This post should be required reading for anyone who comes on here asking about rent to rent schemes!

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you for all your response, we will attempt to get a copy from the DSS and if not engage a lawyer.

            It's a shame as my mum was doing this for a charity at the time who dealt with destitute women and rental wise it has only ever covered the mortgage.

            Comment


              #7
              The only consolation is that there has been good capital appreciation in Bristol. It should work out - in the end!

              Comment


                #8
                At any time, did Bristol Churches serve notice on your mother? If not, I read that they are still the tenant and the occupant is their sub-tenant.
                If I am correct, this will not be an AST so beware of following AST advice.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                  At any time, did Bristol Churches serve notice on your mother? If not, I read that they are still the tenant and the occupant is their sub-tenant.
                  If I am correct, this will not be an AST so beware of following AST advice.
                  I can't believe that Bristol Churches did not send something to that effect to o/p's mother. Hence my view that o/p will most easily get possession with a copy of the AST agreement. Presumably, as far as the tenant is concerned, that is still in force, albeit that their immediate landlord is changed?

                  FTA: O/p might also want to ask Bristol Churches for any letter they sent tenant informing them of new landlord to pay rent to.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Firstly your contract would be on the basis of a Company Let as you first signed the tenancy with the church and not an individual. If you can not find or locate the tenancy (remember not all tenancy's are written they can also be verbal, but much harder process) the tenancy would have eventually turned into a periodic tenancy after the expiry of the AST.

                    Serving a Section 21 is not dependant on payment of rent, it is just to obtain possession of your property, if for any reason the tenant didn't pay, then it would be a breach of the tenancy, under section 8.

                    I would certainly speak to a specialist company to proceed with your eviction, make sure you have the following documents prior to serving any section 21, and no matter how good the specialist company is, if your paperwork is not in order, no one will be able to help you.

                    MUST HAVE's
                    - You need a valid Gas Safety Certificate, if the property has Gas
                    - A valid EPC certificate (these usually last 10 years, if the tenant has been there for longer yours may have expired you will need to organise for this to be done).
                    - How to rent guide, the latest is June 2018 from the following link https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...al_Jun2018.pdf you need to ensure you give them this.
                    - If you have taken a deposit from the tenant, ensure it is has been protected in one of the three government approved schemes (https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection) you must also provide the T&C's of the deposit scheme as well as Prescribed information. If you have not taken a deposit, not you need to do.

                    When you have these documents, make sure you write them down on paper, date on when you have given it to the tenant and ask the tenant to sign that they have received the documents, if they don't, you could tell them this in their best interest - under no circumstances tell your tenant you are evicting or obtaining possession back of the property.

                    NICE TO HAVE's
                    - Electrical report on the property,
                    - Legionnaires assessment
                    - Fire risk assessment

                    If you require any assistance with the Must Haves a good company that can arrange the certificates is www.premierredproperty.com they will talk you through. For the eviction process, I haven't used them but are highly recommended is www.landlordaction.co.uk they are not lawyers but specialise in evictions, but you need to make sure your paperwork is in order first.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      No tenancy agreement is big trouble. I know of a landlord who was in a similar situation, the "tenant" had spent over £20k in building works on the house and took the landlord to court and ended up walking away with the house.

                      Hope and pray that your "tenant" is not aware of his actual rights.

                      Comment

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