General problems with "tenant"

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    General problems with "tenant"

    Hi,

    General questions really. Brief story is:

    + Friend of partner moves into house cash in hand, very casual. Goes on about a year. Paying slightly under the odds, no agreement, can go when he wants really.
    + Gets laid off/no job a number of months ago, giving wife the runaround, pi$$ing all over friendship. I take "control" and try and take the stress out of it for her.
    + Applies for housing benefit (on job seekers) to pay the rent and also filled in for the arrears owed.

    I think he's stalling for time now and we're waiting on the housing benefit.

    What are my options? If nothing happens in the next month I want him out by changing the locks and letting him get his stuff. Can't go living off my partner who has still to pay the mortgage. What chances are the housing benefit of actually paying and the arrears.

    Bit of a mess.

    Thanks,

    -S

    #2
    Hi

    Its good to be brief, but I think a little more info is needed for people to comment.

    Could you tell us more about the property being rented (house, flat, room in house, etc); is it owned by your partner/wife (I assume they are the same person?); whether the friend has exclusive possession of the proeprty i.e. has it to themselves; the amount of rent; what was agreed verbally when friend moved in.

    Preston

    Comment


      #3
      Don't go changing the locks for a start, that could get you into trouble. If the tenant is a month and a day behind in the rent then serve a S8 g8, 10, 11,. Also serve a S21 at the same time. You can download both from this site.
      Did your wife protect the deposit (if any) in a custodial scheme? If not, do it now. There can be severe penalties for not doing so.
      I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

      Comment


        #4
        As Preston pointed out, more info needed, if the tenant is a lodger though, just tell him to leave, no notice required.
        I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

        Comment


          #5
          Hi,

          Thanks for replying. More details are:

          Its a house, sole ownership, no other tenants.
          Owned by wife.
          £400/month, 4 months behind now.
          No deposit paid, very informal against my better wishes but I'm trying to pick up the pieces now.

          Also if the housing benefit comes through then that's fine, but if it takes months I can't have the arrears building up especially if they don't pay arrears which isn't certain (seems to be in exceptional circumstances).

          Did your wife protect the deposit (if any) in a custodial scheme? << No, don't know what this is

          Thanks.

          -S

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by scooby View Post
            Hi,

            Thanks for replying. More details are:

            Its a house, sole ownership, no other tenants.
            Owned by wife.
            £400/month, 4 months behind now.
            No deposit paid, very informal against my better wishes but I'm trying to pick up the pieces now.

            Did your wife protect the deposit (if any) in a custodial scheme? << No, don't know what this is so i'll take that as a no then!!! Was a deposit taken?

            Thanks.

            -S
            Is the tenant the only tenant in the property, how long have they been there for?

            Jax

            Comment


              #7
              Yes, the only tenant. At least a year I think.
              No deposit paid/taken.

              Comment


                #8
                Hi Scooby,

                You cant change the locks, although there is no written tenancy, there is still a tenancy still the same.

                Was a deposit taken?

                You will have to issue a section 8 notice and apply for possession via the county courts.

                The only other comment that I have is with regards to the housing benefit situation. Have you given the tenant a lease now or a statement of truth/rent? For the local authority. They will need this before they can make any benefit payments. If he is on JSA he is on what is called a passport benefit which is automatic entitlement. All he has to do is produce tenancy agreement, proof of savings (if any) proof of identity. It is then very easy for the benefits office to process. With reference to getting arrears paid off by benefits. Just my opinion, failing to claim is not a reason for asking for a backdate. I dont feel that it is a good enough excuse and on my knowledge it would be rejected. You need to go with the tenant to the housing benefit office in person to discuss the claim that way the tenant cant lie to you. Under new benefit rules the rent will be paid directly to the tenant unless you inform the benefits office of there arrears.

                jax

                Originally posted by scooby View Post
                Hi,

                General questions really. Brief story is:

                + Friend of partner moves into house cash in hand, very casual. Goes on about a year. Paying slightly under the odds, no agreement, can go when he wants really.
                + Gets laid off/no job a number of months ago, giving wife the runaround, pi$$ing all over friendship. I take "control" and try and take the stress out of it for her.
                + Applies for housing benefit (on job seekers) to pay the rent and also filled in for the arrears owed.

                I think he's stalling for time now and we're waiting on the housing benefit.

                What are my options? If nothing happens in the next month I want him out by changing the locks and letting him get his stuff. Can't go living off my partner who has still to pay the mortgage. What chances are the housing benefit of actually paying and the arrears.

                Bit of a mess.

                Thanks,

                -S

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks Jax,

                  Is the person/friend classed as a tenant if it is all cash in hand with no agreement. He effectively is living for free off us and I think the only thing he has his name on is the electric. And in my opinion its just somebody who is staying in her house for free now for 4 months we want to leave?

                  No deposit taken. No agreement given yet, they and I have just filled in the housing benefit forms but by the sounds of it the DHSS are just going to laugh at it couse of missing things which were never in place.

                  -S

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Scooby. The guy is taking you for a mug. There is a tenancy agreement, written or not. Serve the notices and follow through if he does not leave of his own accord. Stay within the law, penalties for illegal eviction can be severe. There are thousands of posts on this site dealing with this type of thing, so settle down and have a good read of them. Since you did not take a deposit you do not have to worry about the custodial scheme. Try and see it purely from a business perspective.
                    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                    Comment


                      #11
                      jta, You've read this thread for 10mins and your 1st sentence sums up exactly how I feel, mugs! But its not going on any further And this was a friend, I can only imagine what its like with a stranger!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by scooby View Post
                        Hi,

                        Thanks for replying. More details are:

                        Its a house, sole ownership, no other tenants.
                        Owned by wife.
                        £400/month, 4 months behind now.
                        No deposit paid, very informal against my better wishes but I'm trying to pick up the pieces now.

                        Also if the housing benefit comes through then that's fine, but if it takes months I can't have the arrears building up especially if they don't pay arrears which isn't certain (seems to be in exceptional circumstances).

                        Did your wife protect the deposit (if any) in a custodial scheme? << No, don't know what this is

                        Thanks.

                        -S
                        Hi

                        I agree with the other contributors that what your wife has created, almost certainly, is an assured shorthold tenancy.

                        Your only alternative argument, I think, would be to argue that there was no intention - on the part of your wife and your friend - to create a legal relationship and that essentially she allowed him to move into the property as "an act of kindness". The leading cases on this are interesting; one involves an owner who allowed wartime evacuees to ocuppy her property; in another an owner allowed his brother to move into his property to help him out;and in the third the landlord allowed the daughter to carry on living in a proeprty for a while after her mother - the tenant - had passed away. In each case the court of appeal found that there had been no intention to create legal relations and so there was no tenancy - and none of the legal protection which went with it.

                        From what you have said, though, I dont think any of this will apply to you. There seem to be no special circumstances around the original reason for accommodating your friend in the first place; you have charged a commercial rent; and the arrangement has gone on for some time. All in all, I think the courts are likely to see this as a tenancy.

                        In any case, if you were to argue that there is no legal relation, the legal wrangling could take as long or longer (if your friend contests it) as getting possession using the routes that others have already described.

                        With regard to HB, I also agree with the comment made that getting a claim backdated to before the date of claim is very difficult and a specific reason for the late claim is required. Slowness or ignorance are not usually acceptable reasons.

                        Good luck

                        Preston

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks Preston et al,

                          Can a section 8 possession be applied for with no tenancy agreement in place or should I draw up a quick one and give the person it, have the person sign it, wait a week or so and see what the Housing Benefit says and then go for possession (or at least the threat of it to the person). This is Northern Ireland btw. Sorry if this is elsewhere in the forum.

                          -S

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Hi, sorry, this might be very important.

                            I'm afraid I don't know whether there is the equivalent of the Housing Act 1988 in Northern Ireland; this is the principal legislation dealing with assured shorthold tenancies.

                            Others might be able to help or perhaps it would be worth you doing some searches on this point?

                            Preston

                            Comment


                              #15
                              HI Scooby,

                              Most of the information and advice on this forum relates to England and Wales, unfortunately I personally dont know any of the laws surrounding Northern Ireland.

                              I can only hope you find someone that is farmiliar with laws there.

                              All the best
                              Jax

                              Comment

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