Homeless team offering to pay rent arrears

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    Homeless team offering to pay rent arrears

    So my tenant has over 8 months arrears and I've now received a court date to evict them. I've had a call and I wanted to hear your thoughts as I've not come across this situation before, the homeless team have offered to pay the debt as long as I sign another 12 month contract with the tenant. The upside is I get the money, possibly receive rent for another year and a s21 can always be issued in the future. The problem I have is that they can't guarantee that I'll receive rent, it's paid through Universal credit but as shown by the debt, this can be stopped at any time, it stopped again this month without notice. Communication with the tenant has just broken down, she told me she didn't want to deal with this through me anymore but do it through court. The homeless team just cannot be trusted, they have continuously stalled the process by giving the tenant incorrect information, they even had them hire a van ready to move out only to be told there was no accommodation and they'd have to wait for a court order. Has anyone had this kind of offer given to them and how did it turn out? Would turning down this deal have any impact on the court decision?

    #2
    Accept rent arrears but refuse to sign new tenancy. And copy your local councillors/head of housing committee


    I your shoes I'd continue (or start today) court proceedings.

    Presumably there are several s8s, grounds 8, 10 & 11 ??
    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
      They're desperate, but the gain (the arrears) isn't worth the risk (12 months plus of new arrears).

      How about a counter offer.
      If they pay the arrears, you won't actually execute the possession order that you have and the tenancy can continue on a rolling basis, but if the rent stops being paid, you'll execute the possession order.

      They don't last indefinitely, so you might find yourself having a tough decision in a few years (I think they're valid for six years, but you should definitely check that!)
      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


        #4
        My biggest concern is signing another contract and having to start this whole process again. Current notice is on grounds for 8, 10 & 11, court date is in a months time. I could make a deal after court, they're trying to rush me into a decision but I'd want to make sure I have a possession order in my hands first before letting them pay anything and getting it thrown out. They do last 6 years and that could be a good option if they agree to it. I issued a s21 which is up in January so there's that to fall back on.

        Comment


          #5
          Sorry, I miunderstood "court date to evict them" as that you had a possession order - my mistake.

          If they pay of the arrears, you might find that your eviction attempt fails because with less than 2 month's rent owed, ground 8 will fail and the other grounds are discretionary.

          I'd tell the homelessness team to speak to you once you have a possession order, because if they then agree to pay the debt, and rent continues to be paid, you won't execute the order that you will then have.
          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


            #6
            I personally may not be tempted, as you've stated communications have broken down (which is a big one for me) the T is clearly getting the money from the Government, but not passing it onto you. Get rid of them, you may never see the arrears, and you may have significant repairs you need to do but it's better then carrying on and the stress of wondering if they will pay this month or not.

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              #7
              It is tempting indeed, but as you have stated the tenant and the homelessness team cannot be trusted, lets face it without trust what do you have. I would continue and get rid, let the council deal with her.

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                #8
                Never grant a new tenancy to a tenant in arrears is an old landlord maxim for a reason.

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                  #9
                  You would just be pushing the problem down the road - I would evict now.

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                    #10
                    Don't take up the offer. Apart from all above I would not want to deal with an un-communicative tenant. Sounds like a load of trouble if you go down this route.



                    Freedom at the point of zero............

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                      #11
                      It's a common tactic. It's just to thwart your case pending them coming up with some reason, (allegations of damp usually does the trick) to thwart you in future.
                      To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Did the Homeless Office really suggest arrears would be paid as a lump sum? I'm guessing not. I am currently having arrears being paid to me from my tenant's Universal credit account. The payments are tiny compared to the debt and are sporadic. I have no confidence that the arrears will ever be paid off this way so execution of a Warrant of Possession is in hand as that is top priority. CharlesT - a non lawyer so ignore my opinion at your pleasure.
                        Last edited by CharlesT; 28-10-2021, 20:19 PM. Reason: Fat fingers - small keyboard

                        Comment


                          #13
                          A homeless team try to negotiate with me as well in the same line. I did not budge at all - because basically at the end of the day it is up to the tenants to pay the rent and the rent arrears. You shouldn't have to extend the term to get what is rightfully your by law. and there is no guarantee that tenant will pay UC rent to you. I did not sign a new contract, went ahead with eviction and the homeless team did find a home for the tenants (perhaps not a good one), but the tenants were not homeless.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Well in the end the homeless team couldn't be bothered to call me back to discuss the offer and the tenant has also stopped paying rent again so there's no chance they'll be getting an offer to stay. I believe a few councils have recently adopted the approach to pay off the debt instead of housing them. UC were paying me arrears of £40 a month which isn't even 0.01% of the total debt, it's a complete mess, I've been trying to get them to reinstate the rent as she's still living at the property but been told they can't do it without her contacting them so not much chance of that.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Get some advice from Bill at UC Advocacy. He may be able to help you get the direct payment reinstated.

                              Comment

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