Eviction advice

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  • ba_baracuss
    replied
    Thanks for the replies again all.

    WebLand - I don't know her DOB unfortunately. Anything I can do to make her life a little bit more difficult I will do, but without DOB it seems I am stuffed here. The fact they are paid it and can keep it when it's supposed to be used for rent is a joke.

    I have considered your last suggestion also as this whole thing as others have said is totally biased against landlords and is full of legal tripwires designed to screw us and help them. I'm going to contact my MP and ask why the government (she is a tory) have allowed tenants to be immune from eviction and pay no rent during covid while not covering any of that themselves, i.e. they're making us provide free accommodation at OUR expense. This tenancy was my only source of income until she stopped paying rent since my business has tanked during covid and I've also had 0 government support BECAUSE I am a landlord. Work that one out.

    Robert694 and Hudson01 thanks guys. My tenant was married when she moved in, had a decent job herself and so did her husband. They were both known to me and were decent - she had lived in my property with her family previously and her husband was known to my dad through work. Since then all of that has changed. I don't even know WHY she has stopped paying rent.

    I've printed out all of the paperwork required for a valid eviction document and am planning on sending it to her recorded delivery, but before I do that I am considering contacting the police as suggested and asking if they would accompany me on an inspection if she as expected ignores a request that I make to do so. I know she has a staff dog which means I'm not going to be able to enter with my own key. Don't know what their response will be but I'll try so at least I might be able to communicate and find out what's going on. After that I may succumb to paying for specialist advice as I fear any eviction route I take will be scuppered by government/council legal tripwires.

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  • theartfullodger
    replied
    Originally posted by Robert694 View Post
    ba_baraccus
    So my tenant stopped paying her top up of £40 per week back in December 2019. Eventually I served her a section 8 with all required accompanying documents.
    Complete waste of time !
    She went straight to the council and they told her to ignore it. Told her l have to take her to court.
    Well done council !
    ,......

    Not well done council so much as well done Thatcher. S5(1) of Thatcher's 1988 Housing Act
    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/50/section/5

    says...
    5 Security of tenure.
    (1) An assured tenancy cannot be brought to an end by the landlord except by—
    (a) obtaining—
    (i) an order of the court for possession of the dwelling-house under section 7 or 21, and
    (ii) the execution of the order,
    ..etc etcc etc
    "Execution of the order" is Bailiffs/HCEO. A tenant in receipt of s21 or s8 notice (yes, "section 7" above is correct) can entirely legally ignore it until landlord takes it to court etc etc. Maggie said so.

    An AST is a variety of Assure Tenancy. It appears someone at t'Council has given her the correct advice regarding HA 1988 (I'd not usually trust a council to give correct legal advice). The same act that permits us landlords to serve s21 or s8 notices.

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  • Hudson01
    replied
    Originally posted by Robert694 View Post
    She went straight to the council and they told her to ignore it. Told her l have to take her to court.
    Well done council !

    The perfectly able bodied none working, know every trick in the book, parasite is continuing to pay the council tax, presumably in case her relationship ends and she can then move back in to my flat.
    To date it owes me over £4200 !

    The council, the law, and every other interfering body are always on the tenants side, us landlords don’t have a leg to stand on !

    So ba _baraccus l think you’re in for a very expensive and stressful future and it’s highly likely that yourself, l and many others will continue loosing a small fortune.
    You clearly speak from experience, and although i have not dealt with this in my LL guise (thank god), i have spoken with LL's as part of my job who are in your position, they too feel that the whole system is against them and i have heard more than a few times that they will never .... ever, rent to anyone on UC again, right or wrong...... it is a thinking that will cause all councils a great deal of problems in the future as more LL's sell up, don't buy more properties and do not rent to those who rely upon social housing/housing benefit.
    Last edited by Hudson01; 12-05-2021, 07:35 AM. Reason: spelling

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  • Robert694
    replied
    ba_baraccus
    So my tenant stopped paying her top up of £40 per week back in December 2019. Eventually I served her a section 8 with all required accompanying documents.
    Complete waste of time !
    She went straight to the council and they told her to ignore it. Told her l have to take her to court.
    Well done council !
    She moved out of her own choice to live with her new girlfriend. The council stopped paying her housing benefit instantly when l told told them she had moved out.
    The perfectly able bodied none working, knows every trick in the book parasite is continuing to pay the council tax, presumably in case her relationship ends and she can then move back in to my flat.
    To date it owes me over £4200 !
    Hey ho no problem.
    The council the law and every other interfering body are always on the tenants side, us landlords don’t have a leg to stand on !
    So ba _baraccus l think you’re in for a very expensive and stressful future and it’s highly likely that yourself, l and many others will continue loosing a small fortune.


    Leave a comment:


  • WebLand
    replied
    ba_baracuss

    If she gets UC, you can apply on line for Alternative Payment Arrangements/Managed Payments to Landlord of the Local Housing component of her UC. Go to:

    https://directpayment.universal-credit.service.gov.uk

    You'll need to know your tenant's date of birth.

    The form is easy enough to fill in. I wouldn't have high hopes of a positive outcome, or indeed any response whatever from UC, having done this myself and got nowhere. UC will be alerted and contact your tenant to find out what's happening and ask her some awkward questions. But she holds veto over any direct rent payments, which is where all the problems lie with this crazy system.

    Go for it, and good luck.

    In tandem with this, I personally advise you to put about £2K of money aside and contact a reputable eviction specialist to agree the best strategy of what to do.

    Leave a comment:


  • ba_baracuss
    replied
    Thanks all for your advice.

    With regard to naive's reply, cash for keys is something I would consider, but she is not contactable. She changed her phone number, does not answer the door and ignored an informal letter I sent.

    landlord-man that also sounds good but I'm not sure if they would allow me to visit when they do. I may contact them to ask though, thanks. I would imagine if they visit without me, they wouldn't give me any details of what they found?

    I understand all of the paperwork that is necessary to get rid of squatters like this, and if it comes to court there is no way of proving that all paperwork was provided, so I am sending copies of everything such as gas test, deposit protection etc, and adding a covering letter asking her to get in touch and explaining that I will begin eviction proceedings if she does not. I'll send it recorded delivery.

    Also, WRT universal credit - she gets this and is obviously keeping it all. Do I have any recourse with the council about this? I should be getting that money, not her.

    Leave a comment:


  • landlord-man
    replied
    As you have indicated that the lady may be mentally vulnerable, perhaps write to her advising that you plan to undertake an inspection on xx/xx and wish to check that she is coping OK.

    Contact the Police and let them know you have concerns about your tenants mental wellbeing - be honest with them about the debt and lack of contact etc - and explain that you have indicated to the tenant your plan to visit on xx/xx at xx time.

    The Police will pay her a visit to check on her as part of their duties - but if you are lucky, they will agree to visit when you do (but obviously if other things come up they cant).

    You (and the Police) get to see the Tenant and you hopefully get to see inside the property. If Tenant refuses access, you can refer to Police being there if you have to show in court that you'd tried to gain access.

    Leave a comment:


  • Naïve
    replied
    @ba_baracuss I've been in a similar situation in the past, and went through the formal way of evicting a tenant.

    Just giving you an overview of what could happen. In the worst case, if you decide to follow the formal process of eviction, you could be stuck for several months until there's a hearing. In the hearing she can apply for an extension - another 3 months. Only then you'll be able to apply for a writ (another month or so) - the right to get the baillifs in the story. The baillifs could cost over £1000 (do a bit or research), or you could wait for the county court baillfsw. Factor in your stress, having to go to court, the time you'll invest into this. Also, she'll not be happy she's being evicted and will have a CCJ and may treat your property accordingly.

    I'd consider mentioning to her that you need the flat back, and offer her some cash to hand you back the keys, move out and forgive her debt. But only giver her money once she's out and keys in your hands!

    It's up to you to assess what the situation is, but it may be better to cut your losses now than to wait several months until she's out. If there's no guarantor and she is one of these people who don't care about her credit score / CCJ / bankruptcy it's likely you'll never see your money back.

    Try and get in touch and speak with her first, assess the situation. But consider all strategies to move on quickly...

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    It is most definitely allowed.

    Leave a comment:


  • ba_baracuss
    replied
    Thanks again for the reply.

    She has 2 kids if that helps with which notice is applicable.

    I will look into the section 8, thanks. She owes 3 months + rent now.

    She gets/got universal credit so presumably she's pocketing that herself and giving me 0 for whatever that's worth. I read elsewhere that it can be paid direct to landlords which I thought was no longer allowed.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Originally posted by ba_baracuss View Post
    So with regard to the gas test, would it being late, even though it was due to the tenant, not invalidate an S21?
    Not having one at all when the tenancy began is fatal to a section 21 notice.
    Being late doesn't (although it might in future).

    I drove up to it a few weeks ago on an evening and there were lights on. She won't have gone anywhere when she can live there for free.
    If she owes two month's rent, use section 8 not section 21.
    If she owes six month's rent, the notice period is much reduced.

    If she doesn't reply to a letter, then what? If they don't reply can you enter anyway? She has what looks like a Staffy that would make actually entering if she is out impossible.
    If the tenant doesn't refuse you access, you have a right to enter.
    She can stop you at the front door though.

    What else would your suggestion achieve?
    Not much -it's an opportunity to communicate.

    Your point should be that if you evict her using section 8 for arrears the council won't help her at all (deliberately making yourself homeless is an issue).

    But if she lives on her own, the council are going to give her a room, not a property to live in anyway.
    She needs to find herself somewhere else to live or start paying rent plus the arrears.

    Leave a comment:


  • ba_baracuss
    replied
    Thanks for the reply. I will do that with regard to the documents.

    So with regard to the gas test, would it being late, even though it was due to the tenant, not invalidate an S21?

    I drove up to it a few weeks ago on an evening and there were lights on. She won't have gone anywhere when she can live there for free.

    If she doesn't reply to a letter, then what? If they don't reply can you enter anyway? She has what looks like a Staffy that would make actually entering if she is out impossible.

    What else would your suggestion achieve?

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    If you don't have proof you gave the tenant the EPC or the How to Rent booklet, you can do it now before you serve notice as a fall back. You would confirm that you gave them to the tenant at the start of the tenancy, but if the tenant persuades the judge that you didn't you have the fall back.
    My advice would be to give the tenant everything you need again as a bundle of documents (including deposit protection PI etc).
    There's a slight risk that doing this gives the impression that you didn't do it originally, but it's probably less of a risk than the judge electing to believe the tenant.

    The gas safety certificate is a problem.
    There's a theory that if you can show that you have made at least three attempts to get it done and the tenant has refused, you might be OK, but that's anecdotal, and not what the legislation actually says.
    But it's not something that should stop you trying.

    The electrical certificate isn't a problem for notice.

    Note that all of the above only applies to a section 21 notice, none of these issues invalidate notice under section 8.

    Why not start by giving written notice of your intention to inspect the property (at a convenient time, maybe mid afternoon on a weekday), no need for the tenant to be there if they don't want to be, you can use your own key.
    And turn up and see what happens - it sounds like they won't actually say no before you go, and, even if they refuse to let you in, you know they're actually still living there.

    Leave a comment:


  • ba_baracuss
    replied
    How are the requirements here confirmed either way? I don't have proof I provided the energy certificate or how to rent book.

    As regards the gas test, it was due late last year, but the tenant refused to have it done until after christmas making it overdue. I assume this will have screwed me here?

    Also, I understand there is a new electrical safety check you have to do now. I imagine not having that would also invalidate trying to get her out?

    Given that she is refusing to communicate, how would I even get that done?

    Leave a comment:


  • ba_baracuss
    replied
    The delay because I don't know what's going on. The tenant has been all over the place for a while due to family issues etc, and so it's possible that she has had some kind of breakdown or something and may not even be at the address. I'd imagine she could get council help for the rent. If I go the eviction route, I am concreteing guaranteed losses of a lot of money for myself, and also a load of aggravation and a damaged property in a right state when she eventually leaves. It's now at the point when I don't have any options though.

    Which of the above do I need? Also I assume this ludicrous delay is still in force which allows her to stay for free for another 6 months or something?

    Leave a comment:

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