Boiler Broken - Tenant in Arrears

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    Boiler Broken - Tenant in Arrears

    Morning

    My tenant is in arrears and I am about to issue proceedings. She is aware I am about to start proceedings.

    She is receiving HB but not passing it on to me and will not reply to any contact I have made (I am being careful not to ‘harass’ her).

    She has now made contact after all this time to say that her boiler is broken and I need to get it fixed as she has no heating or hot water. Where do I stand? I know the law says I have to provide this service but I have no money as I am paying the mortgage on the property but getting no income from it. I am aware that she is going on holiday so is enjoying her HB whilst I’m keeping a roof over her head! She has a child.

    Thanks for any advice.

    #2
    Were you silly enough to issue section 8 (and not 21 as well)?

    This is standard practice for defeating section 8.

    Comment


      #3
      The landlord's responsibilities to keep a property in good order are not affected by the tenant paying rent or not.

      You can apply to have the tenant's housing benefits paid directly to you if the tenant is in sufficient arrears.
      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


        #4
        While she is on hols get plumbers in to check boiler. Make sure you have documented assessment from them.
        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


          #5
          If you can't afford to repair the boiler etc due to insufficient funds should you be renting out?

          Comment


            #6
            Disrepair is a defence to section 8, so failing to to repair the boiler gives the tenant an easy way of deferring repossession.

            As the Winter is coming on, it could also result in an enforcement notice, from the council, under the HHSRS.

            Long leases can make repairs conditional on payment, but not ASTs. Even they have to comply with health and safety statutes.

            Comment


              #7
              It is a defence against section 21 as well if the tenant gets an improvement notice from the local authority.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                Were you silly enough to issue section 8 (and not 21 as well)?

                This is standard practice for defeating section 8.
                It's an AST and runs until next August so I wasn't silly, I just can't use a Section 21. Thanks

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by mariner View Post
                  If you can't afford to repair the boiler etc due to insufficient funds should you be renting out?
                  I didn't expect my tenant to keep her HB and for me to be out of pocket. Do all landlords keep a pot of money for these sort of issues (a tenant not paying their rent and building up arrears, then the landlord having to pay for expensive repairs as well as the mortgage on the BTL?).

                  Thanks.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                    The landlord's responsibilities to keep a property in good order are not affected by the tenant paying rent or not.

                    You can apply to have the tenant's housing benefits paid directly to you if the tenant is in sufficient arrears.
                    I will do this. Thank you.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                      Disrepair is a defence to section 8, so failing to to repair the boiler gives the tenant an easy way of deferring repossession.

                      As the Winter is coming on, it could also result in an enforcement notice, from the council, under the HHSRS.

                      Long leases can make repairs conditional on payment, but not ASTs. Even they have to comply with health and safety statutes.
                      Thanks. I have arranged for a plumber to attend so will see what he says, but just wanted to know where I stand with the issue of the arrears. You have been very helpful.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Lottie2508 View Post

                        I didn't expect my tenant to keep her HB and for me to be out of pocket. Do all landlords keep a pot of money for these sort of issues (a tenant not paying their rent and building up arrears, then the landlord having to pay for expensive repairs as well as the mortgage on the BTL?).

                        Thanks.
                        If they have any sense yes of course. Standard business risks ?
                        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


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Lottie2508 View Post

                          It's an AST and runs until next August so I wasn't silly, I just can't use a Section 21. Thanks
                          The general advice here is never to give an AST for more than six months.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Lottie2508 View Post

                            It's an AST and runs until next August so I wasn't silly
                            In retrospect, don't you think giving a 12 month tenancy to a high risk tenant might have been just a teensy little bit silly?

                            I didn't expect my tenant to keep her HB and for me to be out of pocket. Do all landlords keep a pot of money for these sort of issues?
                            Yup -unless they are gamblers, criminals or mugs.


                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by boletus View Post
                              ............Yup -unless they are gamblers, criminals or mugs.....
                              They'll be a few of us in those categories......

                              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

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