Tenant has dementia-can I get arrears?

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    Tenant has dementia-can I get arrears?

    This is a post by Ritzi

    Tenant has dementia - can I get arrears?

    Help please.

    My tenant, who was a regulated tenant having lived in the property since 1959, has dementia. She has now moved out into a care home run by the local Council. All communications re the flat went through her son. He did not tell me his mum had moved out and still has her stuff in the flat. That was 3 months ago and he has stopped paying the rent. The flat looks like it has been ransacked. Also there is now a smell from food stuff left there.

    He keeps telling me that he will have the flat cleared but the weeks go by and he is doing some stuff but is it little by little - he is in no rush. My questions are: Can I go to the small claims court for the rent owed by his mum - would there be any point? I'm certain that the council tax on my flat was being paid by the Council so not sure if she had much savings. But is there any action that can be taken against the son if he has power of attorney but is repsonsible for the mounting debt - it's about £1,500 now - and he has savings of his own.
    Can I just change the locks even though some of her things are there?
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

    #2
    Don't change the locks. You could get into a lot of trouble if you did that. If the tenant is never going to be fit enough to occupy the flat again the best thing is to get the son to surrender the tenancy, get it properly documented. The rent owing up to date is a minor consideration as against the extra value the property is worth to you with vacant possession.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

    Comment


      #3
      Sitting tenant......now in a home

      your best bet (if the son will not hand over the keys voluntarily) is to go for a possession order on the grounds of non payment of rent..

      Comment


        #4
        Possession order costs

        Thanks for the replies - any idea how much might it cost to get a possession order?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jta View Post
          the best thing is to get the son to surrender the tenancy.
          He cannot do this unless he has authority by an Enduring/Lasting Power of Attorney (or by Court of Protection Order).
          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
            He cannot do this unless he has authority by an Enduring/Lasting Power of Attorney (or by Court of Protection Order).
            #1 seems to imply he has, or soon will have, power of attorney.

            Ritzi, I appreciate that it is a very unsatisfactory situation from your point of view and it is costing you money. However, the son is probably also under a lot of pressure at present and it may not be as simple for him as it would be for us, to get organised and move his mother's stuff out of the house. Having a parent move into residential care with dementia can be extremely stressful emotionally and having to sort out all her affairs might just be the thing he cannot face. It is in some ways more difficult than coming to terms with the death of an elderly parent, since the practical tasks are far less clear cut and he might be trying to tackle them on his own.

            If you could meet him (perhaps somewhere other than the property) and get him to agree a surrender and offer any practical help you can with clearing the house, it may result in your gaining possession of it sooner than if you wait for him to do it in his own time. It may even be worth trying to agree that if he takes out any treasured possessions and allows you to donate the rest to charity (or dispose of it, as appropriate), you will not puruse the full amount of unpaid rent.

            Good luck - it will require tact and firmness, this one.

            If he does not have power of attorney, I'm sure the residential care home where she now lives must have come across this situation very often and would be able to advise him (if they won't speak to you) about how best to wind up the tenancy in the situation. It may also be worth contacting Age Concern who are always helpful when it comes to advice about practicalities.
            '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
              Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
              #1 seems to imply he has, or soon will have, power of attorney.
              It says "if". Perhaps OP was just guessing.
              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

              Comment

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