Tenant unlawfully sharing occupation and is in arrears

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    Tenant unlawfully sharing occupation and is in arrears

    Hi every one,
    I have read many threads and I have learnt a lot (probably too late tho). I now feel I have joined the club of 'the stressed landlords'. Not the club I wanted to be part of at all...!
    anyway, this is my story...
    - on 5 jan 09, tenant (mr T) moved in my house in one of the room with a fixed term ast (to end 04 july 09). He did not pay any deposit as he said he could not quite afford it as he was looking for a job (he had been made redundant). I accepted, stupid stupid me. Rent includes all the bills. He then applied for Housing Benefits and this covers fully his rent (and bills). He paid the first 3 months in full mid january (but could not pay the deposit before...!)
    - Recently i put my house for sale and also moved back in with my son (I checked with Shelter who said it was fine since one of the room was vacant). I am selling the house because I want to be closer to family (they are 5 hours' drive away!)
    - Around the same time, we had a girl moving in into the 3rd bedroom and she understands she is a lodger and will need to move out when (if!) the house sells. She is so far a very nice lodger.

    The tenant (mr T) is however causing me lots of stress and problems.
    ==> he is now refusing to pay rent. HB advisor told me it was not an offence not to pay landlord with HB and i needed to wait 8 weeks until I receive rent directly. HB advisor also told me that Mr T could apply again for HB (ie for another property) and his past 'fraud' would not matter...
    ==> he is making life for the other girl, me and my son very difficult. It's petty and nasty. For example, he leaves the gas fire on in his room all day, whether he needs it or not (as I pay all the bills), lets his dog pee in the yard or on the carpet of the attic (shared room), puts his music very, very loud (but says he can because it's before 11pm), insults and shouts at both me and the other girl, slams all the doors, denies access to his room when we have people coming to view the house (which I understand he is allowed to do), implies that I threaten him, damages the house on purpose (he lets his dog scrath the walls, pours water on all wooden surfaces in the kitchen and turns the bathroom into a swimming pool every time (I am not exagerating, I live with a very active toddler!). I could carry on with more but it gives you a picture. The other girl living in the house is being shouted at for no reason and she is fed up with him too but doesn't want to be involved (ie complaint etc). I am at risk of losing a nice lodger (who pays rent too!) because of Mr T.
    ==> also, the girlfriend of Mr T has almost moved in. It makes the house situation even worse as they are intimidating me and it's very uncomfortable atmosphere for us.
    ==> while he receives HB and income support, he also goes and work cash in hand for a local company (not sure of their names tho).

    I am scared to mention anything as he will say that i am harassing me and refuse him 'quiet enjoyment' of the house. That is what his sollicitor (legal aid) told me.
    I have written 2 letters to him as his sollicitor asked me to put any of my issues in writing. These have been copied to his sollicitor.

    Mr T only turned awkward and nasty when I told him we had to put the house for sale. He is on HB, on income support and has a dog and I think he will find it difficult to find somewhere else to live. I think that is why he is retaliating and hope that by the time he moves out, he would have been able to stay for another few months...

    Sorry if this is very long (are you still there??)
    * What I intend to do is to evict him (ie section 21 giving 2 months notice to leave) and most probably go to court / bailiff etc
    * What I am unsure about is how to make our cohabitation better til the house sells. THis means that I don't want his girlfriend all the time. I want the house to be peaceful and clean (ish!), i don't want any more sabotaging plans before buyers come and view the house, I don't want him to ring the police to say I am harrassing him or have him texting that the other girl is lying and is a criminal (?!). As my son is also disabled, it makes it difficult to enjoy the house when Mr T / girlfriend is around as unprovoked comments are the norm.
    * his ast fixed term will end 4th july. can he be evicted before that date on the grounds of not paying rent and making our life difficult (ie less than the 6 months?)?
    * also, if someone puts an offer for the house, will we have to go to court to evict him and would having a buyer speed up the process??

    I have heard of ADT / negotiations, what is your experience of it? Will his legal aid sollicitor (community law centre) be keen to arrange a meeting and discuss???

    The money side of things is relevant to me, but what is more important right now is Mr T out of the house.

    can anyone help?

    (stressed) sophie

    #2
    This is all rather confusing, I'm afraid.

    Who else lives in the house with the man you call 'Mr T', please? You? Your son? Another lodger? (Or all three?)
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

    Comment


      #3
      Hi Mind the Gap,
      thank you for responding, much appreciated. sorry if it's confusing. The rage and frustration have transpired a lot in my (too) long story.
      We all live there. Me, my son, the lodger and the tenant.
      From what I can gather, I need a section 21b (repossession of house) and a section 8 (for rent arrears). Is this right?
      I also wanted to know what I could practically do to stop the tenant from being impossible to live with. (ie negociations?)
      And what would happen if someone made an offer? would this make any difference to make him go or not?
      many thanks.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by sophie View Post
        Hi Mind the Gap,
        thank you for responding, much appreciated. sorry if it's confusing. The rage and frustration have transpired a lot in my (too) long story.
        We all live there. Me, my son, the lodger and the tenant.
        From what I can gather, I need a section 21b (repossession of house) and a section 8 (for rent arrears). Is this right?
        I also wanted to know what I could practically do to stop the tenant from being impossible to live with. (ie negociations?)
        And what would happen if someone made an offer? would this make any difference to make him go or not?
        many thanks.
        You cannot serve a section 21 since the fixed term of his tenancy has not yet ended, but you can serve a section 8, citing grounds 8, 10 and 11 if he owes you at least two months' rent and 14 for the antisocial behaviour/other breaches of TA. 14 days after that, you can apply for a possession order (assuming he hasn't already moved out). There will be a court hearing and assuming the paperwork is in order and he has not brought the arrears down to less than two months owed by that point, the possession order should be mandatory. It isn't instantaneous by any means, but it may get him out sooner than any other way. Read this site :
        http://www.letlink.co.uk/letting-fac...-8-notice.html

        You could offer him a formal surrender of the tenancy with no court action for the debt, in exchange for him leaving by x date. It's worth a try, but under no circumstances should you pay him anything until he moves out. Get the surrender formalised as a deed of surrender, if possible, then it is legally binding on him.
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

        Comment


          #5
          MTG: You can SERVE a section 21 but cannot ACT on it until the end of the agreement.
          GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

          Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by justaboutsane View Post
            MTG: You can SERVE a section 21 but cannot ACT on it until the end of the agreement.
            Yes, you're right, of course. I suppose I meant 'There's not much point serving it at this stage, as there's a quicker way to get him out'!
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you Mind the Gap and Justaboutsane. That link you gave was very clear, thanks.
              I don't know whether the formal surrender of tenancy would work, he receives Housing Benefits which means he keeps it at the moment!
              I also look at section 8 ground 14 but not sure how I can prove is being a living nightmare? would keeping a record of all his actions do?

              Comment

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