Can I evict all 4 T for one portion o f rent persistently withheld?

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    Can I evict all 4 T for one portion o f rent persistently withheld?

    Dear All,

    My T recently complained that the electric radiator was not working and so her room was cold. I had a tradesman attend. The radiator had tripped off as she had been hanging towels on it. We fixed, told her if it stops working again due to her action, we will charge a call out fee. I also asked her if we could install a thermometer so we could see how warm, or not, etc her room was getting. She refused and also refused to tell me why she refused. It happened again and this time she withheld rent because of it. This time she denies she hung anything on the radiator but the problem was the same. In any case we reset quickly again, easily enough. As far as I know there are no further outstanding problems. She has just emailed me stating that she will be withholding rent going forward. No reason given.

    I have no idea why. I can't be bothered to ask. The radiator is fixed, I know of no problems other than she wants the vent to be closed (no) and the secondary glazing put back (again, no, both measures were implemented because they were not ventilating the property and persistently complaining about mould behind the chest of drawers against the external wall, despite my repeated explanations about moisture and mould - sigh).

    Three if them live there with her, and there are two guarantors (they are students - my first ever and I'll never do this again, it was a sentimental let).

    Can I evict all even if the other three are paying rent (joint tenancy, paid together). If so, how can I ensure it happens, I really want them all gone. They are a combined nightmare and I find myself not being moved to be a good LL. I'm finding myself just doing the minimum now, and I don't like this new side of myself! They are a huge headache, and it truly is like speaking to children ALL THE TIME. They are 20. Maybe 20 years olds are children, I don't know what to tell you. I just want them to be someone else's problem. I've told them many times I'll release them from the contract.

    What might I be missing? I can't understand her sounds for not paying, and I've explained that she and her flatmates, and guarantors will be named in any court proceedings.

    It's a strange one, but I want the simplest route out as possible, if any.

    What are your thoughts?

    #2
    It seems wrong to evict three tenants who meet their contractual obligations.i would buy her a cheap fan heater,which she can return ubder guarantee should it fail.Cost £20

    Comment


      #3
      It’s a joint tenancy so you can’t bring the tenancy to an end for just one person, it would have to be ended for all of them. As a joint tenancy each tenant has joint and several liability for the whole rent so you can write to all of them stating that they are now in arrears. Those who are paying might then cajole her into paying up.

      However, if they’re still in a fixed term then arrears are probably the only way you’re going to be able to evict them sooner. Section 8 ground 10 can be used with any amount of arrears but it’s a discretionary ground. Section 8 ground 8 is a mandatory ground and can be used when the tenants owe 2 months rent.

      I am slightly concerned about the removal of the secondary glazing in the property? Did you do this during the tenancy? Have you left them with single glazed windows? If you do try the Section 8 route I wouldn’t be surprised if the tenants went to the university for advice which could leave you in a worse position. You might be better to ride it out until the end of the fixed term. Hopefully the tenants will hate your place so much they’ll leave of their own accord and you can try to recover the arrears from all the tenants and the two guarantors.

      Comment


        #4
        I'm sure they will make my life difficult.

        They already went to the university about the mould. I really wonder what that university is about if they can't inform their students about condensation....

        Maybe I'll leave it and just take them to court for the rent arrears at the end of the tenancy (it will exceed the deposit by far by then). I'll treat the win as a windfall. Lucky days.

        Thanks

        Comment


          #5
          Serve s21 and s8 today. Explain to paying 3 that if not sorted you will evict all (suggest verbally only, calmly & politely, ideally with witness to see you are being reasonable and not harassing).
          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


            #6
            Ah no. There is double glazed windows in the apartment. we removed the secondary glazing because they needed help with managing their own condensation, it was shocking. I'd walk into the flat and it would be foggy......

            The secondary glazing was installed to help with noise when there were metal single glazed windows. They were retained even when double glazing was installed.

            If I out the secondary glazing in, they'll complain again about the mould. It's lose lose. Only the room is not cold, it's just not toasty either. they ant that so they have bought an electric heater and say they will charge me for the purchase and the excess electricity.

            You can't write this stuff. England is the wrong place for people who need to be that hot. on a budget.

            Comment


              #7
              If they're drying clothes on the radiators you could buy a tumble drier that vents to the outside.

              Comment


                #8
                There’s nothing to stop you taking them to court now for the money owed.
                The letter before action to the four tenants and the guarantors might make them start to take things more seriously.

                But the property doesn’t sound suitable for students.
                Has it been an HMO for long?
                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


                  #9
                  Your problem with the eviction route is that s8g8 is your only realistic option and if 3/4 tenants are paying it will take around 8 months before the condition is met. If you add a further optimistic 6 months for a possession order and bailiffs, the students will likely be long gone before you can do anything. I suggest you follow jpkeates advice above.

                  Comment

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