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

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  • SSD1000
    replied
    Hi All

    Had an update earlier in the week the tenants son finally got in touch. Goes his mother will try and pay something towards the Rent by end of Nov 2020. I have reiterated that I need access to do vital services and checks (Gas and Elec) however he is reluctant and saying not feeling to great etc. (Do not believe him for some reason)

    I just hope I can get access to the property soon and get the required certificates and safety completed. I want to do the repairs as mentioned previously but this depends on Lockdown and the tenants co-operation.

    Correct me if I am wrong if I give the tenants an updated Gas Certificate (it is valid until 15/12/2020) and a Electric Safety certificate can I give them Section 21 notice (not accelerated) as I have misplaced the tenancy agreement signed by them last October 2019? I did give them a "How to rent Guide" and a EPC Certificate that up to date and completed in 2018

    Please clarify Thanks

    Leave a comment:


  • nreid
    replied
    Originally posted by SSD1000 View Post
    My other question is now come next year 2021 as its VERY unlikely that I will be able to evict them this year unless they leave themselves (wishful thinking) can I evict them on the following

    A Section 21 6a
    Valid Gas Certificate
    Valid Electric Certificate

    Do I require anything else?
    If I fail to get the gas and electric certificates and the repairs done due to access not granted can I still evict the tenants?
    If you had these things fixed today, the best you could do would be serve notice and in May (six months from now), apply for a possession hearing. This can take three, four months (my guess is longer because of the backlog). So now we're around September 2021. Then you have to wait some more for a bailiff appointment. This could be December 2021. And that assumes that covid will somehow just trail away and disappear: if it doesn't, you're looking at 2022.

    Yes, it really is that bad. As I said earlier, the govt cares not one bit what they are doing and whether they are paying. If they were running a drug factory in the premises, you still would have to wait for all this to pass. The govt sees landlords as easy providers of private housing to people that they would otherwise have to accommodate at their expense.

    An idea that could work for you is one of the mediation services that can speak to the tenants for you. They are not very expensive, and are advertised somewhere on this site. It might not work, but it's good evidence to have for any future court action. You can show yourself as caring, reasonable, responsible. And I would suggest getting a solicitor to advise you - you might need a court order to get access to the gas and boiler.

    Sorry not to be more positive, the full horror of this situation we now find ourselves in is something I myself am still trying to get on top of.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stew
    replied
    Hi I cannot suggest anything further, my suggestion is don't send a letter but you keep wanting to.

    Look at the comments by nreid above then decide if your tenants are really that bad or they are still trying.

    All the best

    Leave a comment:


  • nreid
    replied
    I really suggest you find a way to make it work with them. They are in a position of strength and they surely know it. Put out of your mind any eviction as a quick fix : even if you had all these complicated matters and irregularities sorted out, nothing will happen until March and probably an awful lot longer as evictions are effectively banned anywhere there is coronavirus. The government does not care if they are paying rent or not, and they have no interest either.
    You might have these tenants until sometime in 2022, so I suggest you do the peace offerings and sweet chit chat.
    To put this in context, I have a tenant 16 months in arrears and I’d sincerely consider it a miracle if he is gone by the end of 2021.

    Leave a comment:


  • SSD1000
    replied
    Hi Stew

    Thanks for the update and input

    So my approach could be in the letter just say "can i please have access to the property to complete the required gas and electrical checks" as per regulations for health and safety?

    start the letter with "how are you" etc

    Then mention the need to do the repairs and list the repairs that I am aware of and put onus on them to say when are you available after 2nd December 2020 following the new lockdown

    and then end the letter with the mention of there is rent arrears however I am sure we can work towards decreasing them in the foreseeable please keep up with rent payments as and best you can


    My other question is now come next year 2021 as its VERY unlikely that I will be able to evict them this year unless they leave themselves (wishful thinking) can I evict them on the following

    A Section 21 6a
    Valid Gas Certificate
    Valid Electric Certificate

    Do I require anything else?
    If I fail to get the gas and electric certificates and the repairs done due to access not granted can I still evict the tenants?

    To note the last Gas check was done on the 11/12/2019 don't know if this helps

    The last rental payment was 15/10/2020 and was a partial payment of £235

    Leave a comment:


  • Stew
    replied
    ask yourself why would they want a new tenancy, they have one,, the AST rolled to a periodic, if I were them I would have no interest in signing a new tenancy it is not to their advantage?

    Why do you think they would want a new tenancy?

    Separate the rent from the repairs they are not connected legally.... don't keep following that approach it will get you nowhere in my view....

    All the best

    Leave a comment:


  • Stew
    replied
    While I understand you want to get it all out there it's too much,,,, you are attempting to go from the bottom to the top of a mountain in one go.....

    It actually looks like they are trying to pay... by that I mean three payments in one month sometimes,,, they don't sound like the rent avoiding tenants that some landlords have to deal with... payments are ad-hoc yes but they are still paying.. yes there are debts... but you are still winning..

    Imagine if like some other landlords you'd had not a £ for a year now,, you need funds to be able to weather the storm if they are only £1295 out of kilter and you are struggling I fear you have left yourself too short..(especially if you have not been maintaining the place)..

    I would deal with one thing at a time, the most important thing is to give the tenants chance to voice what needs fixing and get the CP12 done then move onto the next thing...

    Your letter while it might be accurate if I were them I'd find it too much and just throw it and keep on as I have been and deny you access...

    Focus on softly softly, take out any idea that "you" will be entering the house, the Gas Engineer will check the carbon monoxide alarm while doing the CP12 that is your most pressing issue I fear while rent even though it's ad-hoc is still flowing..

    Get the friend to knock and discuss dis-repair then when you have details get your friend to try and arrange the gas engineer

    Whatapp, text, letters, can seem very harsh and formal, some knocking standing back from the door given the lockdown smiling may be very helpful.

    You need to see your legal obligations that the house confirms with the relevant H&S standard as completly separate to you getting rent,,, that's the legal position so you need to adopt the same approach...

    Ask yourself is it fair someone has been paying rent (full or not) for a house with damaged windows etc etc... try and see if from there point of view.... but keep in mind you are receiving some money judging by the above

    Just my view I have no legal training

    All the best

    Leave a comment:


  • SSD1000
    replied
    Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
    Too much information.

    SSD1000 how much contact have you had with the tenants since 1st January?
    I have had dribs and drabs
    I typically contact them through whatsapp as I did go to them and knock on the door about the rent arrears in May to the point the ladies other son came out and offered to pay towards a month of the rent. And that was it then. I went back in August 2020 following discussions to resolve some repairs the flu pipe outside around the boiler was missing a brick I was going to do this the bath panel was damaged so i replaced this then I started talking to the son about rent and arrears after he was moaning about the repairs this is the point I mentioned that I may sell the property (yes big mistake) the woman was on the phone to the son and was like you need to give us notice of 3 months etc
    I left after they asked me to leave
    Following this I reconnected" (been the kinder word) with them and offered them some reassurance of a new tenancy and a new start with a £150 discount (goodwill gesture) towards the arrears

    Since August 2020 its been a case of few messages from them and detail from me

    It feels like they take the piss with me messaging them I give them details on when I can come around with a new tenancy and also to further get a professional in to fix the window in the attic and bedroom and ask how they are etc

    I am happy to follow the processes mentioned on the forum and seek professional guidance but it feels like a muddle.

    I have not been in this situation but just feels like the tenants are taking me for granted and a fool

    Leave a comment:


  • Jon66
    replied
    Too much information.

    SSD1000 how much contact have you had with the tenants since 1st January?
    Last edited by Jon66; 01-11-2020, 15:12 PM. Reason: Give up

    Leave a comment:


  • SSD1000
    replied
    Thanks Stew for the advice

    this is a letter I have drafted to send them but having read your response I might get a friend (male) to go and speak to them and get them on side and follow your notion of view.

    One thing to point out they did struggle to pay for 2 months to pay rent to the previous landlady when I looked at the books originally back in 2018.

    The letter I have prep'd is as follows:

    "Dear XXXXXXX & XXXXXX

    Please can you review the following and respond at your earliest convenience either through letter or text message/phone call.

    I am asking for your permission regarding the following:

    Gas and Electrical Checks

    The Yearly Gas Service and Check is due (Gas Safe).

    The Engineer will be in the area on Saturday 7th November 2020

    Please can you respond to the above at your earliest convenience and I will get the work scheduled.

    I will ensure the Gas Engineer takes precautions in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic and follows strict guidelines

    I also require permission from you to allow a Qualified Electrician to carry out a EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) on the property as part of regulations from June 2020.

    Please can you advise when you are available for this Engineer to come and carry out the checks as necessary.

    Carbon Monoxide Alarm Checks

    As part of regular checks I need to ensure that the Carbon Monoxide alarms fitted in the property are fully functioning and service any particulars if required. Please advise when I can come and do this. I will ensure all PPE safety equipment is worn and I follow guidelines as required

    Repairs

    Furthermore the repairs need to be viewed by a builder/workman. Can you please advise the best day and time to take place regarding the 2 windows in the property.

    Rent Arrears

    Your current arrears are as follows

    Total balance outstanding to date £1,295
    This does not include the upcoming period of 18/10/2020 – 17/11/2020

    I have also attached a list of all the payments received from yourselves to date from January 2020 – pre Covid-19 (see below)

    18/01/2020 - £525
    19/02/2020 – £525
    23/03/2020 - £100
    03/04/2020 - £50
    01/05/2020 - £100
    15/05/2020 - £100
    04/06/2020 - £100
    16/06/2020 - £100
    18/06/2020 - £300
    20/06/2020 - £200
    26/06/2020 - £100
    17/07/2020 - £535
    19/08/2020 - £350
    25/08/2020 - £70
    31/08/2020 - £115
    03/10/2020 - £300
    15/10/2020 - £235

    Total Received £3,805

    Rent for 10 Months is £525 x 10 = £5250
    Outstanding to Date: £1445 (5250-3805)
    Minus £150 (Goodwill Gesture August 2020)

    Total to End of October is £1,295


    I understand we are currently in a difficult period with work and income however I am more than happy to work with you and also the Housing Benefits team to help yourselves. I know it is difficult but please advise on how we can work to reduce the deficit in rent arrears going forward

    I am sorry for the inconvenience caused to yourselves and happy to work around your needs and requirements. Please contact me at your earliest convenience to book in the repairs and the yearly checks."


    Let me know your thoughts and the course of action i think I may follow is as follows:

    1 Get a friend to be the mediator or send the above letter

    2 Wait on a reply 5 Days would be sufficient I would think?

    3 If no reply with letter press ahead with communicating with an Agent or Solicitor

    4 Alternatively if no success with the Friend then proceed with option 3

    5 Hope that something can be put in place and get motions in wheel to get repairs done and get some income flowing and more importantly get the regulation checks done to standard

    Thanks again

    Leave a comment:


  • Stew
    replied
    Agree with Hudson,,,, most agents will not want to take it on for the percentage of the non existent rent they will get,,,,

    You mention

    "Alternatively, I have a friend who is a good communicator and experienced I could get a letter ready highlighting the need to do electric and gas checks and also ask the tenants for a payment plan going forward alongside when they want the repairs completed to the property?"

    forgot the letters,,,, forget mentioning the word eviction on here. You need something from them, they don't want anything from you except to live in your house, they are doing that free for now and it's not under your control.

    If I was you.... personally if your friend is a good communicator,,,,, I would get him/her to knock on the door, sometimes if there is a lady in the house a woman friend may be best...

    Send them with a peace offering some chocolates/biscuits,,,, let them introduce by saying you are stuggling to understand the concerns and repairs that are needed due to "your" lack of knowlege in the area and have asked them to help work on your behalf..

    Don't tell them to try and entry the property just ask the occupants to prepare a list of jobs they feel are needing work and agree a time to go back to go through the list with them and agree priority.

    At that point your friend may get into the house,,, at that point they can mention about the gas check and it's priority....

    If they just shut the door or won't answer then you will need an expert and expect to pay for that service

    You need to get lines of communication open again...... and you need to understand if they just have a problem with you and how you manage things, or they are trying to live for free and know the system.

    If in the past they have paid for years without many problems then its unlikley to be the later and more likely the way you are managing things maybe combined with finance problems.

    Your friend needs to tread very carefully, your friend needs to be viewed as being on the side of the tenants to get anywhere from this point onwards. Remember landlords have little on there side at this point in time,,,,, you need to understand that and work with what you have.

    They have paid in the past, they are not occupants that moved in and failed to pay month two, stop thinking about getting them out and more about turning this around, resolving the issues and hopefully repairing the relationship and getting rent flowing again from hopefully them or from UB.

    Just my personal advice I'm not legally trained,

    Hope things improve

    All the best

    Leave a comment:


  • Hudson01
    replied
    Originally posted by SSD1000 View Post
    Going forward this would help me with any queries when it comes to evicting them if need be?
    If all your '' ducks '' are not in a row in terms of electrical safety checks and other legislation changes then you will not be able to evict them..... take the advice given here if you ever want to see your property back, and yes tell your preferred agent EVERYTHING about the relationship breakdown between yourself and the tenants, they have to know everything..... and yes, they may decline to help.

    Leave a comment:


  • SSD1000
    replied
    Stew,

    Thanks for the advice

    Going of the idea of getting in an agent are there specialised letting agents who deal with these situations?

    Do I need to inform them of the difficult tenant and what the current situation is? I am worried that they will just turnaround and say no they do not want to manage the property due to circumstances etc (any experience from yourselves on this would be handy)

    Alternatively, I have a friend who is a good communicator and experienced I could get a letter ready highlighting the need to do electric and gas checks and also ask the tenants for a payment plan going forward alongside when they want the repairs completed to the property?

    Going forward this would help me with any queries when it comes to evicting them if need be?

    Leave a comment:


  • Stew
    replied
    SSD1000 I've been a landlord for a few years now and self manage, I do my own repairs, viewings etc and it's a balancing act to keep things moving along smoothly.

    People are making valid suggestions on here like EICR's etc and you think from a quick google that you know the answer, but I'm sorry to tell you but your understanding is not correct. Next year you will be in breach of that requirements.... in doing this yourself you need to be prepared to put in the effort to understand the regs and make sure you are keeping on top of it.... on top of the deadline next year if your tenant had an AST and this moved to a rolling periodic in approx the last six months that is classed as a new tenancy so you may already been in breach of that requirement

    Sending letters that can be interpreted as being in the wrong tone or threats will really backfire, statements such as if you don't pay I'll sell and you will need to leave cannot be enforced. This is especially true in the current times. The government has no interest in supporting you but equally wants you to fulfill your obligations. If you evict someone it only gives them more problems as they may have to provide emergency housing...... you have to help yourself, start reading and start educating yourself

    As there are so many issues, it's hard to see vihat the real issues here and why the tenants are not paying, are they unhappy with your standard of repair etc etc

    I doubt will find what your looking for free of charge, in my mind you have 3 or 4 options or combinations

    1) Join one of the associations NRLA for advice and help but also put in the legwork,,,get someone to check all communications make sure they sound fair and reasonable (follow with number (2)).
    2) Get someone, a friend, a trademan who you are friendly with BUT who has good communication skills to liaise on your behalf, get them to knock on the door and get a list of problems with the property from the occupants, then assure them you will rectify, give timescales.
    3) Pass the property to an agent who is experienced with these matters, but pick your agent carefully.
    4) Use one of the firms like those that advertise on the side Landlord Action to regain control of your property

    But going on the way you are, it just seems the learning curve is too long for you going it alone with what you need help with at the moment.

    You need to get your tenants back on side so you can start to address some of the repairs and legal obligations and hope they will start to pay something, once you start to repair things you can start to discuss partial payments etc.

    I believe when so many months behind the managed payments can be forcefully changed to yourself, I think this is 2 months minimum but you need to fully investigate this,,,, when you get a rejection you can then put in another case as the debt will be more, others on here have managed to get the payment made direct to themselves. Read and learn and read some more then make a plan

    Just my personal view

    All the best

    Leave a comment:


  • Jon66
    replied
    I'm beginning to think there should be a landlord register and an exam system before you are allowed to become a landlord of an AST in the PRS . . ..

    Leave a comment:

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