A few problems with HB Tenants - About to evict

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    A few problems with HB Tenants - About to evict

    I've had the same tenants for several years now, their rent is paid direct to me by Housing Benefits. There is a shortfall and I have never chased for various reasons. I currently receive 20-25% below market rent, but generally the tenants will paint themselves, along with putting new carpet down, hence one of the reasons I never chased.

    I suppose it could be said that I accept a lower rent because I get less hassle from the tenants, and because I've become emotionally involved. (I know I know I shouldn't but they do have children and I have known them for several years and they used to be a pleasent family). I also feel that they use our friendship to take advantage.

    There was a sum of a few hundred owing for nearly a year, and recently I paid for some work to be done that I can clearly demostrate was there responsibility. This was discussed with the tenants who disagreed with me and they said some quite hurtful comments. I therefore chased them for payment giving them a clear payment plan (allowing them to pay in managable installments) which unsurprisingly hasn't been met.

    I've decided that they have to go, and they are currently on a periodic tenancy.

    They signed a 12 month tenancy agreement on 14th April 07 with a weekly rent of £x (I'm paid every 4 weeks in arrears by Hosuing benefits). Do I simply serve them with a S21 dated today to expire on 13th December? (I ask as I'm unsure of the fact that the rent is stated as weekly if this has an affect on it).

    I also know they are refusing any letters from me so I'm happy to serve the S21 in person. How can I prove it was served? I can record the conversation would this be ok? as I doubt they would sign a receipt

    I know they won't leave and I will have to then go to court to get them out, so I assume I'm in for a 4-6 month process.

    Currently I pay the Water rates (long story). Could I simply call the water board and request a meter be installed (and therefore take the bill away from me)

    Comments/Views appreciated.

    #2
    Originally posted by Tweety View Post
    I've become emotionally involved. I also feel that they use our friendship to take advantage. Currently I pay the Water rates .
    That's what's happens when you operate a business as a friendship / charity.

    Just say you have had enough, the rent received does not cover your outgoings and the water rates and upkeep, so you will advise the water board that you are no longer responsible for the water, as you have tennants in, who are now responsible for the water rates.

    The water board will change the name on the bills, and your tenants will be responsible ( Tenants wont pay though ) But their HB / unemployment benefit will add cash for paying water rates.

    Also inform the Job centre that your tenants are now responsible for paying the water rates ( Change in circumstances )

    As to the rest of your problem - see advice on these boards S21 / eviction etc, to gain advice. You are also making them homeless, so expect agro / problems as a result of council, and children involved, but yes - will take time, but good things come to those who wait ( Or those that start proceedings now )

    R-a-M

    Comment


      #3
      Isn't a change from landlord paying water bills to tenant paying a change of the contract?

      Originally posted by ram View Post
      Also inform the Job centre that your tenants are now responsible for paying the water rates ( Change in circumstances )
      Why? What's the relevance? Will they care? Won't they just quote the Data Protection Act to you?
      I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

      Comment


        #4
        Who cares ?

        Originally posted by Mars Mug View Post
        Isn't a change from landlord paying water bills to tenant paying a change of the contract?

        Why? What's the relevance? Will they care? Won't they just quote the Data Protection Act to you?
        change of the contract, Only Tweety can decide that. It was just a suggestion for her to digest and consider. Tweety has the AST to view, not me.

        Data Protection Act -- So the job centre are going to send your letter back saying, sorry, Data Protection Act -- i think not.
        Better to inform the job centre by giving them PROOF of change, then they don't have to write to Tweety to confirm the tenants claim, if and when they claim ......

        Logical realy ... saves time...

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for your comments so far.

          I can confirm that the most recent tenancy agreement stated nothing about who was responsible for the water rates.

          Comment


            #6
            I don’t see a link between a job centre where someone goes to find a job, and water bills?

            When my tenant put in a claim for housing benefit she was sent a series of questions relating to what the landlord would do in various scenarios. As the tenant she could not of course answer without reference to me. So I suggested that she ask for the letter to be sent to me so that I could reply directly. The response was that they could not do this, they had to communicate directly with the person applying for benefit, because to communicate directly with me would in breach the terms of the Data Protection Act.

            Unless the tenant informs the relevant office themselves that they are now paying for something that they can claim for I don’t think the benefit people will do anything. I would have thought that the evidence of payment that they would perhaps want would come from a bill or the water company, why would they write the landlord to confirm that the landlord is not paying the bill? No one has written to me asking who pays any bills (gas, electricity, water, phone etc).

            Originally posted by Tweety View Post
            I can confirm that the most recent tenancy agreement stated nothing about who was responsible for the water rates.
            If you have paid the water bills for several years then I believe that would be considered a contractual arrangement.
            I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Mars Mug View Post
              I don’t see a link between a job centre where someone goes to find a job, and water bills?.
              If you want help with anything, you go to the job centre and ask to claim. They give you forms and forms and forms. The forms are returned to the job centre, some of which are passed on to the council

              This is if you are recently unemployed, or if you just need "income support", including housing benefit.

              If your change in circumstances, has changed, you go back to the job centre to be assessed. Sometimes if it's just housing benefit, you contact the council direct if you are already a claimant.

              As i don't know if Tweety's tenants are on pure housing benifits or HB and income support, i quote the lesser of the place to go to for the tenants.

              Sorry if i did not quote every option for every condition for tenants

              However, it is now immaterial, as "paying water rates by default" all these years, will have to be paid by landlord

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Tweety View Post
                There was a sum of a few hundred owing for nearly a year, and recently I paid for some work to be done that I can clearly demostrate was there responsibility. This was discussed with the tenants who disagreed with me and they said some quite hurtful comments. I therefore chased them for payment giving them a clear payment plan (allowing them to pay in managable installments) which unsurprisingly hasn't been met.
                Maybe you can elaborate?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Having sought advice from three other quarters I'm told...

                  • Serve the S21 asap ensuring I use the correct dates
                  • The S21 is best served by hand, if a receipt can't be obtained then a voice recording of it would be fine. If you suspect possible violence always bring someone along
                  • I could call the Water board and get a water meter installed. However if it went to court a judge may see this as wrong (even if it isn't mentioned in an agreement) purely down to the historics of the landlord always previously paying during the current tenants stay, and for the amount of money saved it wouldn't be worth the risk
                  • The last bit of advice was simple. Never, ever, ever, ever become emotionaly attached to your tenants. When they don't pay you the full amount then write them a letter, one filal letter, then evict.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    have the notice served by a process server who can then produce an affidavit of service.
                    Best Regards

                    PI Guy

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hi Tweety,

                      For what it is worth, my advice is to not notify the council about a change in Circumstances, as when this is done the tenants will stop getting HB and it will change to LHA in which case the tenant will receive the benefits.

                      Just go down the routes to evict, dont take it personally, this is after all a business decision. Serve the S21 and S8 notice and start proceedings to evict.

                      To ensure the tenant cant dispute receiving the S21 notice my advice is to post one by first class mail, and get a proof of posting certificate and also send another one recorded delivery, the court will accept that as being served.

                      Jax
                      Originally posted by PI Guy View Post
                      have the notice served by a process server who can then produce an affidavit of service.

                      Comment

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