Tenant stopped paying rent.

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    Tenant stopped paying rent.

    Property in London, 12 month AST now lapsed to periodic from Sept 26th 2019. Monthly rent, Deposit taken and assured by agent. single mother with young child.

    Hi all, I would like to ask about my tenant who has been paying her rent ok till recently. She has missed 2 payments and is now in arrears of around £2700. We have sent her a notice of a Sec8/21 but have not yet applied to the courts. I would prefer to remove her on a section 8 but am told by my agent that she has to be 2 clear months behind before we can do this which she currently is.

    She has applied for a DHP from the council and been granted it, a payment of £300+ should be paid this month direct which will take her to less than 2 months debt in which case its not worth me going for a section 8 I am led to believe. This will seem to go on for some time with her debt being just under the 2mnths making the only way to get rid of her a section 21, but she is on a periodic...what advice would you guys suggest as the best course of action to get rid.

    Sorry this is a bit long.

    thanks


    #2
    Being periodic is an enabler for section 21, not a bar to it.

    Comment


      #3
      The two month issue relates to section 8, ground 8 which is a mandatory ground.
      You can still serve a section 8 on other grounds, but they're discretionary.

      Ground 8 requires that the tenant owes two month's rent when the notice is served and when the court hearing takes place.
      So, if you serve notice under s8 (grounds 9, 10 and 11) today, the criterion will be met.
      The £300 will reduce the debt, but, by the time the court case is heard, more time will have elapsed and the tenant will once more owe two months rent.

      Worst case, the tenant will keep accessing emergency payments which will limit the debt to the two month criterion, which is better than nothing,


      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
        Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
        The two month issue relates to section 8, ground 8 which is a mandatory ground.
        You can still serve a section 8 on other grounds, but they're discretionary.

        Ground 8 requires that the tenant owes two month's rent when the notice is served and when the court hearing takes place.
        So, if you serve notice under s8 (grounds 9, 10 and 11) today, the criterion will be met.
        The £300 will reduce the debt, but, by the time the court case is heard, more time will have elapsed and the tenant will once more owe two months rent.

        Worst case, the tenant will keep accessing emergency payments which will limit the debt to the two month criterion, which is better than nothing,

        thanks, grounds 10/11 of sec8 I like, not so much on ground 9, the DHP payment of £300 is the first one, there will be others up to March 2020 of around £112pm making a total of around 880 in total which will bring her debt down to around £1800 so she will be under the 2mnths rule just as she's not paying the shortfall of rent that the council are paying direct, but perhaps I can still use sec8 grounds 10/11. There are landlords much worse off than me I know but I want her gone, 3 times now she's promised to pay a lump sum, all lies, and of course she's getting advice from the council. I don't want her going back into the private rented sector and doing this to another landlord, she deserves a CCJ.......I thought they can only get a DHP payment the once.

        Comment


          #5
          The issue is that grounds 10 and 11 are discretionary, and the most likely outcome is a suspended possession order.

          But you seem to be ignoring the future rent amounts when calculating the rent owed.
          If the rent is a thousand pounds a month or more, next month she will still be more than two months rent owing, the additional payments don't come anywhere near a month's rental per month.

          Alternatively, s21 and small claims for the arrears.
          It's more complicated to get a ccj registered for rent arrears as part of a s8 hearing.
          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


            #6
            If someone has unexpectedly ended up with no income, even though rent is a priority debt, life support is an even higher priority, so there may be no money available in the short term.

            The way the benefits system works is that it can take a long time before any money starts coming in, so it may be that, even with the best of intentions, paying the rent has to be dropped.

            If they are in such a position, evicting them is not going to get your money back. I think you need to look into the precise circumstances and see if there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

            Note that you should budget on six to eight months before they are out, even if you get all the paperwork right. If you cannot cope with that loss of rent, your own finances were already in difficulty.

            Comment


              #7
              The rent is £1250pm, council are now paying a direct sum of £1139pm so her debt only rises by £111pm as she's not paying the shortfall as I understand it. she currently owes around £2700 which rises by that 111pm less what the DHP payments towards the debt are going to be as I have been informed but not received any yet this month, supposed to be £330 this month and approx £112pm for the following months up to Feb 2020 making a total payment of approx £880, take this off the £2700 = £1820+444 for no shortfall of rent for 4mnths=£2264 total debt by feb 2020, this will keep her debt well under the 2mnths needed (£2500) till Feb., so cannot serve an 8 for arrears...I believe I have this correct. So in a bit of a quandary as to how best to proceed to get rid....sec8 on arrear grounds seem to be a no no so a 21 seems the only way?...either way I have been told it'll cost approx £2k and take between 6>9mnths.

              Comment


                #8
                Serve the section 8 notice before the debt is reduced - that way there's an incentive for the tenant to keep the rent below two months in arrears for the next 12 months (at which point the notice will expire).

                So you can wait, with rent coming in (even if a but short every month) and see if your tenant does manage to clear some of the arrears (and you should still have some deposit).

                You can serve a s21 notice as well, and decide what action to take.
                Take the time to make sure the s21 is going to be valid before you serve it.

                What does your tenant say has happened to mean they're suddenly unable to pay their rent?
                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


                  #9
                  She said her father died and she had to pay for funeral costs, according to my agent, he said that 85% of tenants use that one, he's heard it all before, however if she can prove that, that may cause an issue?.............4 times now she said she was going to set up a DD for different amounts to try and get her debt down, none of which has happened as it didn't this month either. I am sympathetic up to a point and not vindictive but.........thanks for your continued responses.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I don't tend to believe the death of a relative excuse.

                    Funerals are paid for some time after the funeral itself and the costs come from the deceased estate. Now assuming that that the deceased had no assets then that means they would have received government assistance instead. Finally, a funeral will run you about £3,000 unless you have been persuaded to take a more expensive package, so even is they had been paying off the funeral costs, there is now no excuse why they would still be late.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      tbh I didn't and don't believe it myself, I guess we will never know the real reason and it doesn't matter much. As I said prior I'm still getting most of my rent direct now (which is how it should be for L-lords) so its not a desperate situation, I do not have any mortgage anywhere. My previous tenants were not on UC, they were there for 10yrs and didn't miss a payment, this is all new to me, I guess we all have to go through some S*it sometime. Perhaps the best way is to just let it carry on for now as I'm getting council payments albeit a bit less as if she goes and I get someone else in all this crap could start again?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        There's obviously some reason why a perfectly reasonable tenant should suddenly stop paying rent, probably not a funeral, but you never know.

                        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


                          #13
                          She won't get a CCJ as the result of eviction proceeding; you would have to chase the debt itself, for that.

                          Is the state only funding part of the rent because:

                          - the tenant has been means tested as able to pay part;

                          - your property has more bedrooms than she needs; or

                          - you are charging more than the LHA rate for your area?

                          If the last is the only reason, the council should not be holding that against her in terms of intentional homelessness.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Damn I pressed wrong button and prev post deleted, anyhow to reply>

                            Tenant has been means tested for the 6 x DHP payment to be made direct to agent but council stated that she needs to pay rent shortfall, especially after DHP payments stop to avoid eviction.

                            2 bed flat, single mum with young child.

                            Current rate is not max for area but close, in line with most same properties.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              As she kept 2mnths UC payments of £1250, council are now paying direct the sum of £1139 for her rent. DHP payments were means tested.

                              So really the only advantage of getting rid of on a sec8 is its in theory faster and no defence allowed, just the judges ruling?

                              So would you sec21 now or sec8 later?

                              Comment

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