Tenant Done A Runner - No Notice Given

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    Tenant Done A Runner - No Notice Given

    Happy Easter Everyone!

    Firstly, what a great resource, I've been reading all afternoon and have certainly discovered a fair amount in a short time. Thank you all.

    My predicament goes as the title suggests. I am a live-in landlord and have had a tenant, who was also a close friend, leave mid-contract with no notice served. The contract stipulates 2 months notice must be served, but in fact the tenant sent me a text out of the blue from the Van Hire shop saying something along the lines of "not being a coward mate, but renting a van and packing up stuff today...". By the time I was home he was gone.

    The tenant in question also owes me £138 in bills and also some I had loaned him. I took no deposit as he was a close friend and couldn't afford it at the time His contract is due to expire at the end of August 2008. He did not leave his key.

    I have seen him once since when he came to collect some items, he refused to tidy the room but promised I would have my money owed within 5 days. There are some minor areas of damage in the room, broken bed slats, broken blinds, stains on the wooden floor.

    This took place at the end of February. It has taken me until now to get a tenant for the room beginning April 1st. The loss of income has been very difficult and stressful in terms of paying my mortgage, for which I am currently short.

    The tenant has not paid the money owed, or of course, the rent due for this month's empty room.

    Is there any route I can take to get this money back from him? Is it likely I will? I do know he is working and even just bought a new car. I do not know his current address but I do know it is his family address where he resided a few years ago so was unable to complete the PCOL process.

    I'm so sick of losing sleep over this! If you have any tips as to how I can proceed it would be much appreciated, many thanks!

    Happy Easter

    Anthony

    EDIT: I think I should call him a lodger? Although he does have a tenancy agreement.

    P.s. Made a video of the house with mobile phone and posted with Gumtree ad. Two empty rooms were rented within the afternoon. Highly recommended. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrLcPX1ugbI

    #2
    Not sure of the exact lodger/tenant situation here in that yes, he was clearly a lodger but you gave him many more rights that necessary. I don't know whether you can demand two months' notice, either?

    Regarding the mechanism of claiming the money back, that's straightforward - issue a small claim against him in the County Court. Ultimately that will lead to a CCJ against him, and you can get an Attachment of Earning order against him if he refuses to pay.

    In terms of the damage - do you have a signed inventory from him when he moved in? If not you have realistically very little chance of claiming that back if he declines to pay.

    However I'll let others answer the query of how much you will be able to claim from him.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks Eric,

      The contract states two months notice must be given although I'm not seeking two months reimbersement, just the time the room was empty I think is fair. I'm not worried about the damage, it's been fixed and I can deal with it, the inventory is in the contract and signed.

      Will the court process work even if we don't know where he is living? I suppose they can find him, it's not a cave in Afghanistan by any means Thanks for your help.

      Comment


        #4
        Will the court process work even if we don't know where he is living? I suppose they can find him, it's not a cave in Afghanistan by any means
        Sorry misunderstood your first post; thought he was living with parents. Yes, you'll need an address for him before you start proceedings - the courts won't track him down for you.

        P.s. Made a video of the house with mobile phone and posted with Gumtree ad. Two empty rooms were rented within the afternoon. Highly recommended. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrLcPX1ugbI
        That's a brilliant idea! It conveys so much more than just a couple of photos. The URL would even fit easily into a local newspaper advert. You could add a commentary too, presumably. I'll certainly be borrowing a video camera and doing this for my next advert.

        Comment


          #5
          Seems like I need to do some sleuthing then.

          Commentary would have been good, but I'm one of those who can't deal with hearing their own voice on recordings so decided perhaps not worth the cringe factor! You could go down the MTV Cribs route, if you've got the cojones, otherwise some CGI penguins, fancy titles, an Ennio Morricone sound track and Morgan Freeman voiceover and you've got an Oscar worth ad ready for viewing

          Comment


            #6
            This is really not worth pursuing as you don't have anything other than a common law agreement. If you just look at the government's rent-a-room relief scheme where you don't even have to disclose income if it's a certain amount.

            You can't demand any great length of notice as there is no landlord and tenant relationship - he's just a lodger and therefore offers nor enjoys any security of occupation. Two months is entirely unreasonable and perhaps 7 days maximum might have been more appropriate. You might find this very difficult to ask a judge to enforce it in court, and wonder if you can prove loss of income. Give it a try by all means but don't be too optimistic.
            The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

            Comment


              #7
              Sounds like a right old balls up!

              So basically I have no protection with lodgers?

              Ok it's about to get more complex:

              Whilst the house is mine, it's on paper owned by my mother. Purely because getting a £250k mortage when you're a 24yr old student (I was at the time) is an impossible task. She has nothing to do with any payments, deposits, or mortgage and does not live here etc. All my tenancy agreements have been with me. If I make new ones, with 1 month notice and the agreement is with her, I should be ok, and everyone will be protected fairly? I'd like to make sure everything is done properly from here on in, I suppose it was all a bit haywire as I have only had friends live here until now.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by cayman_s View Post
                Whilst the house is mine, it's on paper owned by my mother. Purely because getting a £250k mortage when your a 24yr old student is an impossible task. She has nothing to do with any payments, deposits, or mortgage and does not live here etc. All my tenancy agreements have been with me. If I make new ones, with 1 month notice and the agreement is with her, I should be ok, and everyone will be protected fairly?
                So presumably you pay for the mortgage out of the rent income - what happens to whatever rent income is left over?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Left over!!?? HAHA. I wish. My mortgage is, MASSIVE Have to put in extra at the end of each month. What difference does this make anyway?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by cayman_s View Post
                    Left over!!?? HAHA. I wish. My mortgage is, MASSIVE Have to put in extra at the end of each month. What difference does this make anyway?
                    OK, hadn't realised you had just the one lodger/tenant.

                    I was just thinking, who is the landlord here, you or your mother? If your mum, then presumably you could be a tenant and your co-resident also a tenant, or maybe you are a tenant and you sublet to him as a tenant too?; whereas if you are the landlord, then your co-resident is a lodger. However I don't know whether it's as simplistic as that, ie if you can decide that you are the LL given that your mum owns the property, not you. Maybe someone else can help?

                    You also ought to learn about the pros and cons of tenants vs lodgers!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      No, 4 bedrooms, 2 (me + 1) in at the moment and 2 moving in April 1st. Rental income only just covers the interest only on the mortgage.

                      Well I suppose I could be subletting as it is my name on the contract, but as you say it sounds quite simple, which usually means it's not the case.

                      Doing some tenant vs lodger reading now. Thank you for your help, especially on Easter Sunday!

                      Comment

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