Total Nightmare

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    Total Nightmare

    This is my partner's property so am writing on his behalf.

    He rented his house to a friend.. did not get a tenancy agreement signed..I know,, I know

    Then his friend left leaving the house to his gf and small child. We attempted a section 21 but the company were awful and it failed.

    As a result of the failed S21 it was agreed that she would sign a tenancy agreement...which was great..but now my partner and I have lost our copy.

    The tenant is currently ignoring all contact and we really need a gas cert and look inside the property. She has also had a pre paid electric meter installed without informing us.

    My suggestion is we get a management company in to work with her and get all certs sorted plus a new agreement signed. We live 400 miles from the property and with covid etc we cannot get there..plus she has threatened to call the police if we arrive and tell them we are harassing her.

    So any thoughts please...other than we are rubbish with paperwork....

    #2
    If you are (your words..) "" rubbish with paperwork"" then this is the wrong business for you.

    Doubt any s21 will be valid given no paperwork or proof of service, suggest you try bribery, if that fails the get trained up in landlord/tenant law (see below) and employ a compete net agent. There are good agents, but many are not, so be careful. To be a letting agent in England requires no training, n0 qualifications, no criminal records check, you could be dealing with anyone just out of Wandsworth nick.

    Recognise tenant does not have to agree to any new tenancy agreement nor any changes to the existing one.

    Might be worth (bear with me..) offering new tenancy, plus ALL the other paperwork, for lower rent. Much much cheaper than many years of not being able to evict and no rent.

    ** Start with
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com...and-tenants/p1

    & maybe this course with NRLA
    https://www.nrla.org.uk/training-aca...s-fundamentals

    400 miles? Are you & property both in same country, both England?? (I have property 500+ miles each way..)
    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


      #3
      Offer her money to leave and sell up. Not cut out to be landlords.

      Comment


        #4
        Your partner has created a perfect storm and you have pretty much no chance of getting rid of this tenant easily.
        His friend sounds like a complete [word I'm not allowed to use on the forum] to do that to someone doing them a favour.

        You can't just turn up unannounced, but it probably won't be harassment (which requires a series of things not just one).
        You can give the tenant written notice (under s11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985) giving a minimum if 24 hours notice at a convenient time to view the condition and state of repair of the property.
        That gives you a right of access - but it doesn't allow you to get into the property if the tenant locks you out or tells you you can't come in when you arrive.

        That notice would cover a general visit or the Gas Safety Certificate check.

        I'd actually try a different approach and see if you can get the tenant onside.
        They're probably worried that you're going to evict them (which you pretty much aren't going to be able to do unless they stop paying rent) and it sounds like you just want to get things working normally.
        Knowing that may reassure them.

        You can't stop a tenant getting a pre-payment meter installed - often the supplier insists on it.
        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


          #5
          I have to agree with JP here, this really is almost as bad as it gets.

          You have very, very limited options. The s21 absolutely would fail, you have no paperwork, so that's out.

          Section 8 only works if the person fails to pay rent, but even then you'd have to prove to a Judge that you agreed upon a value of rent, and that hasn't been paid - with no paperwork, even that is difficult.

          Personally, given you never consented to let this person stay there, I'd have gone the trespass route, claiming that this person has no rights to the property and you did not accept a transfer of tenancy, but now you've even taken that off the table as you've "leant into" the tenancy with the ex-partner and no doubt accepted money...

          It's a bloody long road, but:
          1. Get the GSC done and any other s21 requirements, give them notice and go around. Tell them it's a legal requirement (it is) and it's for their safety (it is)
          2. Convince the ex-partner to sign a new tenancy agreement, tell them it's because she's now the sole occupant yada yada, but get that done. Drop the rent slightly if you have to, but you NEED this.
          3. Issue every bit of paperwork again, GSC, ESC, EPC, how to let, everything - if you don't know how, pay an expert - but do not mess this up.
          4. take digital copies of EVERYTHING, store them somewhere you can't lose them, google docs, onedrive, anywhere.
          5. Once 6 months pass, issue your valid s21 notice, get a PO and evict

          That new tenancy agreement isn't worth the paper it's written on if you can't find it, or didn't issue the correct paperwork (again).

          Absolutely no enmity intended, but this is absolutely not the industry for you.

          Comment


            #6
            Yet another example of why not to rent to "friends" or family.

            That your partner ain't prepared to ask for help is, sadly, sorry to be blunt, another bad sign. But good for you wanting to help.

            Good luck, hope it works out.

            If you have more issues feel very free to ask some more!
            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


              #7
              Hi
              Thanks for the responses.

              We live in Wales and the property is in the N of England.

              My partner is more than willing to get help, I just wanted some idea of where we go next as the eviction company charged us a load of cash with no results!

              Do you think using a management company to establish a good working relationship with her would be a good way forward? The tenant pays rent on time and is paying below market rate. In time we would need to increase it but not this year. We just want to be able to make sure the gas cert is in place and make sure the property is in good order.

              Ideally we would move her on in time but fully understand this is a long way off.

              Thanks again.

              Comment


                #8
                Its difficult or in some cases impossible to correct initial errors and I dont think I would trust an agent to do it. I was serious when I said pay them to leave. It will probably cost less than paying a solicitor to get them out.

                Comment


                  #9
                  If they are paying rent that you are already ahead of a lot of landlords on here !!!! I agree an agent may simply make it worse, the distance between the properties is a real issue given the problems.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Any company that thinks they can get them out is fooling you, and just taking your money. Due to the lack of knowledge and experience, the law is on the T's side in this case. I hope you have protected any deposit, EPC, etc, otherwise you may be ending up paying them money in compensation.

                    Your only options are:

                    - Pay them to leave
                    - Sell the property in auction with the T's in situ

                    Unless the property becomes inhabitable, they wont leave, and unfortunately they most likely know this is the case.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by ash72 View Post
                      Any company that thinks they can get them out is fooling you, and just taking your money. Due to the lack of knowledge and experience, the law is on the T's side in this case. I hope you have protected any deposit, EPC, etc, otherwise you may be ending up paying them money in compensation.

                      Your only options are:

                      - Pay them to leave
                      - Sell the property in auction with the T's in situ

                      Unless the property becomes inhabitable, they wont leave, and unfortunately they most likely know this is the case.
                      This only applies if the tenant will not agree to sign a new tenancy and be issued the legal paperwork again.

                      If they do decline, then you're pretty much stuck unless they stop paying rent, but even a Section 8 is a rough road with no paperwork...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Just out of interest if someone else bought the property does the T have to sign the paperwork with a new Landlord?
                        Thanks all

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by HLGGG View Post
                          Just out of interest if someone else bought the property does the T have to sign the paperwork with a new Landlord?
                          Thanks all
                          Not necessarily, you'll transfer ownership by notifying the tenant. But selling with a T in-situ is hard and does affect the sale price.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Selling the property as it currently stands might be impossible (without a significant discount).
                            The situation with the tenant is such a mess that any landlord should want it sorted before completion (or demand a lot of money off to offset the risk).

                            You'd probably have to auction it just to get rid of the problem.

                            To be honest, while it's a mess, a regular rent paying tenant and the additional income is quite a decent asset.
                            I suspect that the tenant is very conscious of being asked to move out and reassuring them that you want to get things sorted so that you can all feel confident going forward might do the trick.
                            Writing them a letter (old school) letting them know that while this wasn't what either of you envisaged, you're sure you can sort things out so that she and her child can feel secure and you can not have to worry about anything going wrong.

                            And that you're thinking of trying to find a local agent in case anything needs doing (personally I wouldn't do that, I'd spend some of the money on a British Gas insurance product instead, but it's your call).

                            Non-threatening communication is the key here.
                            If I were in her shoes, I wouldn't want to talk to my landlord either, because what possible good seems likely to come out of it.
                            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


                              #15
                              Yes, you were rubbish with the paperwork. I've been rubbish with paperwork too.

                              When did you issue the new tenancy agreement? Are you in England? Did you take a deposit and protect it and give the paperwork?

                              I once evicted a tenant using S21 when I had lost the paperwork. I knew approximately when the tenancy started because I put the deposit in a bank account (you could in those days and the tenant got interest on it), and the tenant started to pay rent. The court accepted this and I was given possession. So all is not lost.

                              Your tenant can have a pre-paid meter if they want, but will have to have it removed at the end of the tenancy.

                              Your tenant is probably very stressed at the moment. We all are. She's just had her partner leave her so probably feels very vulnerable and that the whole world is against her. You haven't said why you want to evict her, but she now has a new tenancy so I assume she passed credit checks.

                              I would write a letter (that's one on those communications on actual paper) and send two copies - one from each of two different post offices and ask for a certificate of postage (free). This is to ensure that the tenant receives the letter and it's unlikely to get lost from both POs.

                              Maybe something like:-

                              Dear Tenant,

                              I have been trying to contact you about your Gas Safety Certificate as it is now due. Having an up to date GSC is a legal requirement and is to make sure that the gas supply and the gas cooker is safe for you and your family.

                              I've made an appointment for Mr Gasman to call round on (date) to do the safety check. If this isn't convenient can you get back to me with a suitable day or days before on on (date cert runs out), or contact Mr Gasman on (phone number) to arrange an appointment.

                              As a responsible landlord I (or named representative) must check your property is in good condition both inside and out. I can then address any issues that need repair. Some of the things I would like to check are; the fire alarms are working and in date; the amount of loft insulation; the condition of the roof, gutters and downspouts; any misted windows; and the condition of the paint on the external parts of the house. I am sorry that you feel I am harassing you, but this is not my intention. There are some things that I am obliged to do.

                              The government has decreed that all rented properties must have an electrical report so I will have to contact you about this in the near future.


                              Whilst I understand that my responsibilities might feel like an invasion of your time, I try and keep any appointments to a very minimum in accordance with the law so that you can live in the house knowing that is is safe and comfortable.

                              As you aware I have issued you a Section 21 notice as I need the property vacated due to (needing to sell, or whatever) and that this was incorrectly served. I will have to re-issue it. I hope to be able to provide you with an excellent previous landlord's reference. I have looked on Rightmove, Openrent, (add other sites) and there are some lovely properties that might suit you (give links).

                              I realise that moving house is stressful and can be costly so I would like to offer you a moving house contribution of (Ā£500) if you can vacate the property on or before (date ).

                              If there is anything else I can help you with, with regards to the tenancy, please let me know.

                              Keep in touch.

                              Regards




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