Tenant misleading everyone

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    Tenant misleading everyone

    I have a tenant who is been difficult I think due to health/mental problems,for the last year I have not been able to carry out epc,gas inspections.It seems tenant has been staying elsewhere ,I informed housing I could not enter the property and was advised by landlord liason officer to get a locksmith,enter and change locks.This was certainly not done and I informed him it was against the law.The tenant has always maintained they are returning to the property ,however I now have social workers who have been at the property while checks are done and have told me they have no where else to move tenant to even though they know my property is not suitable for the person.Today housing has stopped paying the rent,as 2 more people have told them tenant is not at property.So I have 2 social workers stating it’s tenants property ,can’t move them and a tenant who quite frankly I wonder if on the same planet .Any advice please ,someone told me they could claim all the rent back but I do have emails confirming she still wants the property.Yes I want tenant out but ex agent failed to do all the paper work correctly .Total mess

    #2
    Many/most in care will say they want to, intend to, go back home, even when that is not possible.
    (It can be heartbreaking having to constantly tell them that they can't go home).

    As Social Services are involved then what happens is going to depend on a few things:

    Is the tenant in hospital, a care home, or somewhere else?
    Is/was the tenant claiming Housing Benefit from the council, or UC-Housing Element from the DWP?
    ie. who do you deal with for your direct rent payments?

    Housing Benefit can be paid for 52 weeks (and maybe longer) when someone single is in hospital, if they intend to move back into the property on discharge from hospital.

    UC-HE is only paid for 26 weeks if someone single is in hospital.

    In a Care Home (permanently) or living somewhere else then the benefits should stop from the date they stopped living in the property.

    If HB/UC-HE has stopped and you have been overpaid rent direct from the council, or from the DWP, then they are legally entitled to recover it from you - because it's been paid on incorrect information and so shouldn't have been paid.
    Which then leaves you in the position of having to pay it back and having a tenant with rent arrears.

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      #3
      Thank you,no the tenant has been staying elsewhere for family reasons so I have been told,yet I have been told constantly that they need my property for safety reasons.Only last week I was told again tenant must stay in my property yet no sign of tenant.Yes I have been paid HB direct but until recently I was told tenant living there.It’s a mess ,social services / domestic violence put them in with my ex agents consent and it’s been a constant mess ever since.I have requested help from those involved

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        #4

        If you need to carry out inspections, EPC etc simply give the tenant 24 hours written notice to say you'll be attending and push it through the door.
        Confirm that it doesn't matter if they're not there, you'll let yourself in.
        When you visit to do the work, pick up the envelope in case you ever need it for proof.

        If they're not living there, they won't get housing benefit for the property (and so you can't have it paid direct).
        So I'd point out to social services that if the tenant needs the property they'll need to start finding the rent themselves.
        it doesn't sound like there's any point communicating with the tenant directly.

        If they pay the rent, it doesn't sound like a huge problem.

        Then sort out the paperwork and serve notice.
        If using s21 is impossible, try section 8 (the arrears will give you grounds).
        If the tenant isn't living in the property, you might be able to use the discretionary grounds to award possession (you wouldn't be making anyone homeless).

        If neither are possible, because the tenant isn't living there, it's not an Assured Tenancy, so get a solicitor to serve a generic notice to quit.

        You can't have someone who is unwell who (for whatever reason) wants a spare property they can't afford, just in case.
        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).

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          #5
          I think the NTQ may be your best option. The tenant could defeat it by returning to live there but that would at least enable you to get the rent payments reinstated. If they dont return, the tenancy will end. You can serve the notice at the property, but make sure its also sent to wherever the tenant is living and/or emailed so that they see it.

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            #6
            Since listing my question things have moved on,tenant has told social worker they will not be returning and HB have cancelled claim and paid a previous 4 weeks as per their conversation with social workers,which means no section 8 for now.Tenant told social worker she can’t speak to me as she can’t hear me on the phone plus I have no idea where she is.Until today a neighbour has informed me a woman and man have turned up again at the property from what I have been told this has happened twice in the last month.My tenant has a new baby but no child has been heard,I have asked someone to knock on the door and find out who it is in my property.Question if a third party can the police be called and would you inform social worker no child at property.

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