Difficult Tenants Not Replying Lack of Rent and How to Evict!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Difficult Tenants Not Replying Lack of Rent and How to Evict!

    Right let me start (Apologies if this has been posted in the wrong section of this forum or you have heard of this query previously

    I became a Landlord to further supplement my Pension one day in 2018. I bought a property with tenants in situ. (A few repairs needed to be done i.e. cutting down of weeds in the back garden a potential leaky window in the attic). I have attempted to get the repairs done however at times the tenants have been difficult and not given access.

    Recently during the Pandemic I attempted to do a few of the repairs and they were not happy with one of the Jobs done in August 2020. I said I need to talk to them about Rent Arrears (the common problem I hear you say as Landlords!)

    Prior to the pandemic since March the tenants have been more or less up to date with Rent Payments struggling a couple of times (They are partly funded by Housing Benefit I hear and have had reasons of not received payment from HB or their rabbits died so they had to get them removed and pay a Vet etc)

    Currently they are in arrears of £1075. They require a Gas Certificate check which is done yearly and this includes the Boiler Check

    I have done essential jobs at the beginning of the year they had Rats in the garden and coming into the house - they have a dog and this doesn't help I assume with the Dog feed left near the kitchen door. I got professionals into the property to resolve this and also had the gutters cleared out to resolve any future damp problems without their own knowledge.

    They were given a new tenancy agreement 6 month AST in October 2019 this expired in May 2020 Unfortunately I have lost my copy and they are not communicating with me through phone messages or whatsapp.

    We are currently at a difficult position. They pay occasionally the rent through bank transfer about 44% of the rent due each month has been paid 2 weeks ago. They are in £1,075 arrears. They are not replying to my messages even when I am offering a new Tenancy Agreement. I am doing this to cover myself in order to get a Section 21 on their (A**) and get possession.

    My next question is how can I evict them without a tenancy agreement? I lost my copy as having recently moved house before March 2020 and as you know things get lost and misplaced unfortunately that document set for the tenancy agreement is missing!

    To summarise I have the following problem:-

    They could complain to Council about lack of repairs and me harassing them for payment of rent

    I have given them a goodwill gesture and knocked off £150 of rent for one month
    The woman (Mother) works part time and the Son works in a warehouse occasionally they receive around 1/2 of the rent a month through Housing Benefit from my recollection
    They are in £1,075 arrears as of the date of posting this

    They require a Gas Check by Corgi Engineer in the next 2 weeks as per yearly checks they are not replying to my Whatsapp messages but are reading them as a I get a read receipt

    There was no deposit given or taken

    I think I have the original tenancy agreement from 2018 however not sure it includes the "Right to Rent Guide" or EPC Certificate with it I did give one but my copy does not have one I think.

    My question is clearly how can I evict them without losing a case at Court? I am already down on the rent and paying out a monthly mortgage on the property from my own pocket

    I understand we are in a pandemic but they are taking the P*** with Rent payments - these are still due are they not? We still have to pay the dear banks there flesh each month regardless why do tenants like these think they can get away with it? Do they think they can live free or pay below the expected rent and let arrears stack up and not worry?

    What are the regulations no to evict them I am at my tethers end with these individuals - to the point its affecting my daily life thinking about it

    I am not hear to whinge or moan just wanting advice from the experienced forum of landlords

    Please advise

    Thanks

    SSD10

    #2
    What immediately comes to mind is your unprofessional approach and lack of understanding as to how serious not complying with the statutory law is.

    Plus it's no good giving documents without being able to prove tenant's receipt.

    ​Go and do a course on how to be a landlord is my best advice, then next time you will be able to answer your own questions and not be in such a quandry.

    ​Someone else will be along to advise the best course of action I'm sure.

    Comment


      #3
      Hi,

      I did supply receipts of rent received from the tenants and this has come through bank transfers on bank statements

      I lost the tenancy agreement my copy having it signed with the right to rent, EPC documents during my house move recently items unfortunately got lost during the move.

      When I took over the property I gave them a new tenancy agreement in November 2018. I updated this regularly every 6 months as it was an AST. Rent never changed. The recent version of the AST I have lost. All I am asking is for the process of seeking possession. They owe me a substantial amount of rent as I have mentioned (£1,075) equating to over just 2 1/2 months and not showing any communication or movement on their side.

      I have tried to follow regulations i.e. kept a record of my communication, offered them a goodwill payment during the Covid crisis and have chased them to see their availability to book in a Corgi Gas Engineer to carry out necessary checks as I have done this on a yearly basis since taking over. I have also gone over yearly to check the Fire and Smoke Alarms where required and even gone out on Christmas day to resolve a leak they were having from the mains water supply outside the property.

      Comment


        #4
        I would advise serving the epc, how to rent booklet now, not right to rent that's something different, and get a s21 notice in the statutory form served asap and at least before the gsc check is due. The requirement is 6 months. Not having a copy of the TA may not be fatal as its outside the fixed term, use the one you have.
        You need to book the gas safety check now, today, and give 24 hours written notice (no more) of the engineers attendance to do the check. Keep a copy. Prepare a statement in writing from the engineer to get him to sign in case they won't let you in. You need to do this 3 or 4 times to satisfy the court you have made every effort. If you can't get the gsc done because they won't let you in, you should consider getting a court order for entry to do the gsc while you are waiting for the s21 to expire or at least make the application. That will mean a court will be more sympathetic.

        You could serve serve a s8 as well if the arrears get to 6 months.

        I'm sure somebody else will be along with helpful ideas.

        As I said. Do a landlord course on how to be a landlord.


        Comment


          #5
          Hi

          Thanks for the reply Jon66

          Let me be clear

          I served a new AST with EPC, How to Rent Booklet etc in October 2019. this was on a 6 month basis

          I lost the copy I had for myself however I assume the tenants have a copy of theirs.

          I went around to see them informing them in June that Water works may affect them on the road and asked for the rent payment as it was in arrears. The lady came out and said she is feeling harassed - I just don't know what I can do now? Following the ease of restrictions in August 2020 I arranged to go round to do some repairs and did a few until we started talking about arrears and myself outlining that I cannot keep them for free and that the bank will be in touch with me if I fail to make the mortgage payments on the property. I proposed that we work together I do not mind a months arrears but they have been taking the P***. Following this I offered a goodwill gesture of £150 off the rent arrears to help them to some degree.

          I am worried if I serve a Section 21 they will forego paying any rent from now until March 2021 when the Governments current eviction restrictions are in place for Covid-19. Essentially I could serve Section 21 and they may not bother paying rent for 6 months as this is the notice period we have to give now due to Covid - 19 unless I am mistaken?

          I have already informed my Gas Engineer the need to do a Gas Safety check and they said the coming Saturday 07/11

          I will look into doing a Landlord Course in the foreseeable thanks again

          Thanks

          Comment


            #6
            I would suggest that you retain someone who specialises in eviction as you clearly don't know what you're doing if you want to evict them.

            You are able to serve notice where there is no tenancy agreement, but issuing one and losing it is about as stupid / unlucky as things get.
            You're running a business that's essential for your income, you have to know what you're doing and be professional about it.

            You can serve notice, but the minimum period of notice is six months, and it's likely to take several months beyond that to actually evict them.
            You won't be able to serve notice under s21 when there is no Gas Safety Certificate current.

            Your tenants may stop paying rent altogether if you do serve notice, what do they have to lose?
            So why not simply sue them for the rent arrears through the small claims court?
            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


              #7
              Hi JP Keates

              Exactly the issue of unpaid rent will follow through for 6+ months if I serve notice

              I am more than happy to do a GAs Certificate I have done one every year previously its just now the tenants have become difficult

              I have been unlucky I lost the tenancy agreement and haven't been in this situation unfortunately but what with the house move I lost a few other things I am hoping I find them but its been hectic to say the least.

              Can I serve notice for possession without my copy of the tenancy agreement?
              I am more than happy to get a Gas Certificate if the buggers give me access to the property.


              If i sue them through the Small Courts what is the expected process and costs?

              Thanks

              Comment


                #8
                Look at money claim online and the cost depends upon the amount for which you are suing.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by SSD1000 View Post
                  Can I serve notice for possession without my copy of the tenancy agreement?
                  Yes, but you can't use the accelerated s21 route.



                  If i sue them through the Small Courts what is the expected process and costs?
                  Googe "money claim online" - the cost depends on the amount claimed, but likely to be between £100 and £200 (which you add to the amount claimed).

                  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


                    #10
                    Seems a nightmare!
                    So if they are due £500 rent and I serve notice today they could forego paying anything until the court case for s21 (non-accelerated route) for another 6-8 months which could cost me £4000 loss of rental income!

                    Plus I have to get access to get a Gas Check done by end of next month (November 2020) in order to have a valid S21 eviction as mentioned in the posts from yourselves previously

                    This government is not helping at all in this difficult period what about the landlord whos trying to help tenants and house individuals?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by SSD1000 View Post
                      This government is not helping at all in this difficult period what about the landlord who's trying to help tenants and house individuals?
                      The govt is not in the business of helping LL's, its there for the tenants (as we have seen over the past few years), as stated above, get professional help, you will be going round in circles with this. I can only see this getting worse for you and the arrears increasing...... stop and think about where you are going with this, you do not have the required knowledge, a forum is ok for general advice and information but in your case i would not rely upon it totally to guide your future actions.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hi Hudson

                        Thanks for your update

                        I will be seeking legal assistance are there any landlord based solicitors who can assist with my query?

                        What can I do in the meantime let the tenants pay mediocre rent or send a section 21 and wait on my hands for 6-8 months with potentially no income at all but paying from my own pocket? Even then I cannot submit a S21 unless I have a valid Gas Certificate which expires mid November 2020 as mentioned by JPKeates. Would it be wise to contact the local council authority and inform them of unpaid rent from the tenants who they are paying housing benefit too? Could they forward me rent payments or would they have to get consent from the tenants?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Once this situation is behind you, with your next tenants I feel you should consider employing an agent for full management, at least while you get yourself educated on landlord legislation and responsibilities. I would also advise joining the NRLA , their helpline is really useful.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by SSD1000 View Post
                            Hi Hudson


                            What can I do in the meantime let the tenants pay mediocre rent or send a section 21 and wait on my hands for 6-8 months with potentially no income at all but paying from my own pocket? Even then I cannot submit a S21 unless I have a valid Gas Certificate which expires mid November 2020 as mentioned by JPKeates. Would it be wise to contact the local council authority and inform them of unpaid rent from the tenants who they are paying housing benefit too? Could they forward me rent payments or would they have to get consent from the tenants?
                            Yes, sit and wait out the s21 is pretty much the option. It sounds as though you didn't go into this with your eyes wide open. For next time, it's a good idea to keep a contingency for exactly this happening. If you have only one property, at least the equivalent of one year's rent is a good idea. And absolutely essential if you have a mortgage, otherwise it impacts hugely on your lifestyle.

                            There is a homelessness prevention fund held by the local authority. Is it possible to try to be helpful toward your tenants? If you go in with a much more conciliatory approach you could suggest they make an application to the local authority or to one of the charities for help with their rent. None of the charities or the LA will help unless the tenancy is sustainable. What that means is if they are unlikely to be able to meet their rent payments in the future, they are unlikely to be assisted.

                            The local authority also operate the discretionary housing payments. These are available if the tenant is already receiving housing benefit. Application on a form to the LA.

                            This is stuff you really need to know these days. Please don't feel I keep moaning at you, but this is a business much like any other, and you need to know the statutory framework, sources of help and assistance, and how to deal with difficult and awkward tenants.

                            As the lockdown has just been announced, now is a good time to have a chat with your tenants to see if you can help them in anyway. Speak to the LA on Monday and see what they need to enable them to assist your tenants.

                            If you have a look on the Mumsnet homepage, (yes really) there are some useful links to the Turn2Us charity listings. This is a good source of help to establish whether there are any charities that might help.



                            Comment


                              #15
                              For evictions I understand there are some agents specialising in this some of whom advertise here.

                              Comment

                              Latest Activity

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X