Can't L evict bad tenant? Why months of waiting?

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    Can't L evict bad tenant? Why months of waiting?

    Hi all,

    I have a tenant who is an absolute pain! Need some advice, please;

    She moved in on 1st of May 2009, paid me month in advance and deposit in cash, both documented and receipts given. Although being told to pay monthly by standing order, she paid for two weeks only for June '09 saying she had problems and as a result needed time. Sent her a letter initially as she would not answer calls saying you need to leave in 2 weeks, no response so went down and finally spoke with her, she said she would pay the two weeks plus July's payment on 1st of July. Neither happened, so today the 4th of July 2009, I turned up at the apartment, knocked on the door for over an hour and although I could hear her inside the apartment, nothing, so I phoned a lock smith to come and change the locks. Meanwhile and unbeknown to me she phoned the police! Whilst waiting for the locksmith, I thought that I should ring the police and at least log what I was doing, whilst on hold (!), a patrol car parked up behind me so I decided to speak with the officer instead, rather than wait in a queue. When I started to speak with her, it came out that she was actually there for the same reason, but for the tenant!! I explained the situation and she was very sympathetic. She went spoke to the tenant and appeared a few minutes later to say she's not budging and I should just have the locksmith do their thing, which was done a little later. I told the tenant to leave by three and left along with the officer. The officer phoned me a little later asking if I had served court papers etc, I told her no, as I did not know about these. She advised me to return and give the tenant a key for the new lock as that was what the process was. I turned up and the officer was a little annoyed, travelling back and forth! Once I arrived I asked what would happen, if I did not give the tenant a key, was that an offence, she said no, it was a civil matter. I mentioned that I would be willing to compromise and give the tenant a key for the new lock, if she pays me something towards the rent, if not all, she said best thing to do is say this to her in-front of her. I did. The answer was a resounding NO, she would only pay into my bank, I asked her to give me something and I will give her a receipt in-front of the officers or transfer it using internet banking, everything was a no, so no money and no key. After a few moments going round in circles with the tenant, the officer said best thing to do was to leave.

    What can you guys foresee as a problem(s) in this situation? After reading stuff about section 8/21 etc I find it terrible to read that this tenant could potentially stay in the property for two months, possibly more if a legal route is sort to evict, without paying a penny! What penalties could/would be imposed if I were to evict/or change the locks again, (should the tenant have changed the locks after me leaving), without the necessary documents?

    #2
    You risk prosecution and imprisonment for harassing your tenant and for trying to evict her illegally. It is a criminal offence. You should not have knocked on her door for a whole hour, nor changed the the locks; given that you did, you should certainly have given her a key.

    You clearly have no idea of tenants' rights, nor of of your repsonsibilities as a landlord.

    As a starting point for your research: in order to begin the 'eviction' process, your tenant must owe you at least two months' rent. Read up about section 8 notices requiring possession; find out the legal way to do things, and in the meantime, leave your tenant in peace, however aggrieved you are that she has not paid the full rent. Do not go round to the property again and do not harass her.

    To b honest, your staggering naivété makes me wonder whether in fact you are a real landlord or a troll.
    '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
      Tenant Harrassment...

      Agree with MTG, if you wish to gain access to the property, you must give tenant 24 hours notice, and get their permission. If they refuse, you cannot simply change the locks. You must go through the correct legal procedure.

      If this isn't a troll post, you risk prosecution for harrassing the tenant. Its evident that you seem to have limited knowledge of housing/tenancy laws. If you don't know basic tenant rights or landlord's responsibilities, then you should not be letting properties - not only is this a potential danger to the tenant, but gives responsible landlords a bad name.

      Seek legal advice ASAP. There are solicitors on this forum who can help, or join a landlord's association and get the CORRECT legal advice.
      The information in my posts is provided 'as is'. This is not intended to be legal advice. Legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on this information or any part of it. I will not be held responsible for loss or damage arising from errors in the information or the way in which a person uses the information on this . For more information on your query use the '' link at the top of this page. Agreements, Forms & Notices can be found .

      Comment


        #4
        in the meantime Riz, why not sign the Downing Street petition:
        http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/rentarrears/

        might not do much good, but it's the least we can do to support the petitioner.

        The next step should be letters to our MP's - when it happens to a few of them, things might change.

        harry

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by harry1001 View Post
          in the meantime Riz, why not sign the Downing Street petition:
          http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/rentarrears/

          might not do much good, but it's the least we can do to support the petitioner.
          Nonsense. Why should we support this petitioner? He is a prat.

          Originally posted by harry1001 View Post
          The next step should be letters to our MP's - when it happens to a few of them, things might change.
          When what happens to a few of them? The need to evict their tenants? Don't think so, somehow!

          What exactly do you think this petition is asking for? As far as I can see it is a poorly drafted whinge with no specific objectives at all.

          You obviously haven't spotted that of the 114 people who have 'signed' online, about half are related to the person who produced it and one 'signatory' is identified only as 'I'

          Bin it
          '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


            #6
            Thank you for your advice!

            Mind_the_gap, are you for real?? Troll, you should really be a little careful how you speak to people, but I suppose it's easy to be that way on the net. I may be new to the letting business and have a lot to learn, but I certainly do not did not intend to offend anyone or harass. Are you a landlord? Have you been subjected to paying a mortgage with no income on that property, providing a tenant with what is in essence free accomdation? If yes, would you mind paying me on the tenants behalf, I'll pay you back when I get paid? Or even better why don't you let me a property, and I'll stop paying you after a couple of months! I'll then remind you of your kind comments!! You should really start practicing basics, which don't need to be taught, a few manners! As the wording in both your posts, are a bit childish.

            The police where present at the time and they said it was a civil matter and that I was quite within my rights. If it is a criminal matter, then I was obviously advised incorrectly by those that should be upholding that law.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by riz View Post
              The police where present at the time and they said it was a civil matter and that I was quite within my rights. If it is a criminal matter, then I was obviously advised incorrectly by those that should be upholding that law.
              Yes, but they aren't the only prosecuting authority and consequently tend not to bother. Be on the lookout for a letter from the housing department of your local authority. As you have been told already you have committed a criminal offence and face up to 2 years in jail and an unlimited fine. If your ex-tenant has taken any sort of legal advice I think you'll be looking at several thousand pounds compensation just for the civil offence. You deserve it.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by riz View Post
                Thank you for your advice!
                You are more than welcome.

                Originally posted by riz View Post
                Mind_the_gap, are you for real??
                If by that rather odd question you mean 'Are you real?', then yes, I think you will find that I am. Contact the forum editor if you wish and check. My advice was 'real' too.
                Originally posted by riz View Post
                Troll, you should really be a little careful how you speak to people, but I suppose it's easy to be that way on the net. I may be new to the letting business and have a lot to learn, but I certainly do not did not intend to offend anyone or harass.
                So hammering on your tenant's door for an hour, then bringing a locksmith to change the locks without her knowledge or consent was just a friendly reminder to her to pay the two weeks rent she owed you, was it? Of course it is harassment. Wake up.


                Originally posted by riz View Post
                Are you a landlord?
                Yes, although that is irrelevant.
                Originally posted by riz View Post
                Have you been subjected to paying a mortgage with no income on that property, providing a tenant with what is in essence free accomdation? If yes, would you mind paying me on the tenants behalf, I'll pay you back when I get paid?
                That, too, is irrelevant. Whether I have or not does not change the law, which is what you needed to know about.
                Originally posted by riz View Post
                Or even better why don't you let me a property, and I'll stop paying you after a couple of months! I'll then remind you of your kind comments!! You should really start practicing basics, which don't need to be taught, a few manners! As the wording in both your posts, are a bit childish.
                Please grow up. You asked for information and advice about what you had done and wanted to do about evicting your tenant, and you got it.

                Originally posted by riz View Post
                The police where present at the time and they said it was a civil matter and that I was quite within my rights. If it is a criminal matter, then I was obviously advised incorrectly by those that should be upholding that law.
                On that occasion it would appear the police officer misinformed you, as bedlington has explained.

                Ranting at me does not change the seriousness of your position one iota. Please don't shoot the messenger!
                '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


                  #9
                  Riz, Unfortunately the technicalities of the above are correct and the old options of yesteryear to remove non-paying tenants have gone and are subject to more rigourous conditions under the law.
                  My tenant has just left my property owing £4K, you MUST remove them following the correct process and there are lots of threads on this site, to help you.
                  For your own sake, immediately go back to the property and try and resolve this matter: Give her a set of keys and apologise. She will be doing what you are doing now, researching the internet to find out her rights, or even worse, she knew already and was hoping you would make the mistakes you have...

                  One other thing - Have you protected the tenants deposit (with an official scheme) and issued them with the Prescribed Information. DO a search on this also as you could also face a depoait plus 3xdeposit penalty. Do this TODAY also if you ahven't already.

                  I'm no expert, just once bitten...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Completely agree with MTG.

                    Riz, think it's time (err... actually it was time some time ago..) you got educated in what the responsibilities & duties of being a Landlord are: For your own good and to save you time, money and possible embarrassment later (tenants talk, the local press loves a story..).

                    RLA & NLA run training. There's a few books worth reading. Or lurk around hear reading the articles & posts which are very informative.

                    Landlords who behave the way you seem to have been behaving give the decent ones a bad name. The Police, sadly, are often unaware of the law as regards Landlord/Tenant: Judges & the tenant's solicitor turn out to be better informed when you get that far.

                    IMHO the money spent on training/books will be much less than what you would lose carrying on harassing tenants.

                    Cheers!

                    Lodger
                    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


                      #11
                      I totally agree with MTG - your behaviour is unbelieveable and displays a complete ignorance of the law and your ability to follow it! People like you are the reason why we "enlightened" landlords have to suffer legislation that has us waiting for months to get our properties back, usually hundreds (often thousands) of pounds poorer with very little chance of compensation at the end. How many headlines do you read where "Law-abiding landlord does a great job"?? NONE - it doesn't get reported. However when people like you come along pretending to be a landlord doing the kind of things you have described it gets noticed. You are just fodder for the people writing the rules and does NOTHING to further or improve the protection we actual landlords deserve. In a way I hope your tenant doesn't exercise her right to have you arrested so that it doesn't do more damage to what is already a pretty unfair system which seems to highly favour the non-paying tenant (IMHO). However, you completely deserve it and may be the only way to make you reallise what an arse you've made of yourself.

                      Just because you own and let out a property, it does not make you a landlord. I have been a landlord for over six years and manage (very successfully) over 40 properties. I have been asked by several people to manage their properties for them also. However, because I feel SO strongly about this job and about keeping EVERYONE protected, I am currently working my way through the Technical Award in Lettings and Property Management and am setting up a Letting Agency. I intend to become a member of ARLA once I am qualified. The legal aspects of the business you are dabbling in are a shark-infested water and you, my dear are about to have your leg ripped out of it's socket. I hope you have plenty of money in the bank to pay someone to sew it back on once you have retrieved from the gaping jaws of your tenant's solicitor!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        knoeledge in hindsite

                        Originally posted by riz View Post
                        Thank you for your advice!

                        Mind_the_gap, are you for real?? Troll, you should really be a little careful how you speak to people, but I suppose it's easy to be that way on the net. I may be new to the letting business and have a lot to learn, but I certainly do not did not intend to offend anyone or harass. Are you a landlord? Have you been subjected to paying a mortgage with no income on that property, providing a tenant with what is in essence free accomdation? If yes, would you mind paying me on the tenants behalf, I'll pay you back when I get paid? Or even better why don't you let me a property, and I'll stop paying you after a couple of months! I'll then remind you of your kind comments!! You should really start practicing basics, which don't need to be taught, a few manners! As the wording in both your posts, are a bit childish.

                        The police where present at the time and they said it was a civil matter and that I was quite within my rights. If it is a criminal matter, then I was obviously advised incorrectly by those that should be upholding that law.
                        Sadly Riz i do think you have made a few errors here. I have been a landlord for only a few years and have ten properties. I have found the advice given on this forum essential and always helpful. Particularly when trying to get rid of terrible tenants, you really do have to learn the laws and do everything by the book. There is a lot of information out there about what you can and cant do. The police were correct it is a civil matter but unfortunately you were well outside of the law. It seems sometimes the law favours the tenant, this has come about for good reason. Some landlords are bad landlords. I am a bit surprised the locksmith was willing to change the locks. I have only had 3 terrible tenants, the longest it has taken me to legally evict has been 4 months. The good tenants are out there and outnumber the bad ones. I think mind the gap was not being rude, just pointing out the bare facts. The illegal bit about your actions is actually referred to as harrassment in the court

                        Comment


                          #13
                          well said Karyn ....

                          Comment


                            #14
                            This is one of the funniest OPs on here for a while.

                            Please tell us you're a troll! I don't actually believe the tale of what you say about the police - who tend to be well genned up on Ts' rights, so I'm pretty sure you are.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Telometer View Post
                              I don't actually believe the tale of what you say about the police - who tend to be well genned up on Ts' rights
                              My experience is completely the opposite. As soon as they hear it's a dispute between landlord and tenant they just say it's a civil matter. The only involvement that they were willing to have when I was illegally evicted is to come along when I went to collect my possessions in case I breached the peace! The OP's attitude is almost identical to my former LL and is encapsulated by the phrase that she used to use a lot "It's my house I can do what I want".

                              Why resurrect this old thread anyway?

                              Comment

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