Tenant doesn't want to move out until he gets a Council house!

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  • Tenant doesn't want to move out until he gets a Council house!

    I rented my property to a professional couple last February 6th, on a 1 year standard assured shorthold tenancy agreement.
    As I now need to sell the property and it's now on the market, a section 21 notice was served 2 months before the scheduled end of the tenancy. The tenants are due to move out on February 5th.

    I received an email today from the tenant informing me that they have an appointment with the council about obtaining a council house and the appointment is on the 16th February. So they wont be able to move out until the council provides a home for them. They also stated as they don't know how long it's going to be before they're re-homed, they are not going to pay anymore rent after the 6th February as they don't know how long they will be there!!!

    I replied to them stating that I am unable to give permission for them to stay at the property after their contract has expired and that I have followed due process by serving the S21. I also have a potential buyer for the house and I don't want to loose them if the tenant refuses to move out.

    I received an email back saying that the Council have informed him that the law states I can't get them out if I don't have a letter from the court. As a side issue, when they rented the property they paid the rent to me and then about 4 months into the contract, they informed me they were now on housing benefit (even though the husband works) but I do not receive the rent from the council, I have always received it from the tenant. I don't know if this has any bearing at all.

    Therefore I need to know the following:
    1. What is the process to evict the tenant should he not move out on the expiry date?
    2. I am overseas so am I able to issue a court order online?
    3. Am I able to claim any expenses back from the tenant in relation to serving eviction notices on them?
    4. What is the time line for getting vacant possession once I have served notice on them?
    5. Given they'll have broken their agreement by not moving out, where do I stand regarding the deposit. Am I able to keep it all or part of?

    Any help/advise would be really appreciated.

    VB7

  • #2
    Originally posted by vb7 View Post
    I received an email today from the tenant informing me that they have an appointment with the council about obtaining a council house and the appointment is on the 16th February. So they wont be able to move out until the council provides a home for them. They also stated as they don't know how long it's going to be before they're re-homed, they are not going to pay anymore rent after the 6th February as they don't know how long they will be there!!!
    Rubbish. As long as they live in the property, they are liable for rent. Unless and until thy surrender the property to you, the law says they must pay you rent.

    Originally posted by vb7 View Post
    I received an email back saying that the Council have informed him that the law states I can't get them out if I don't have a letter from the court.
    Typical gatekeeping advice from Housing officers at the Council. One of these days, I'd like to feed them a taste of their own medicine.
    Yes, its correct that you can't just waltz in on 5th Feb and turn them out, much as you want to. You have to get a court order and bailiffs warrant of eviction (in most cases).

    Originally posted by vb7 View Post
    As a side issue, when they rented the property they paid the rent to me and then about 4 months into the contract, they informed me they were now on housing benefit (even though the husband works) but I do not receive the rent from the council, I have always received it from the tenant. I don't know if this has any bearing at all.
    It might do, depending on how long it takes to get them out. Now you know that they are on HB and they are refusing to leave. I suggest you write to the HB office at the council, inform them that the Tenants have stated their intention not to pay their HB to you for rent, and tell them that you will keep them informed and let them know when the T have 4 weeks of rent unpaid. If the T wrote this in an email, send a copy of email to HB office.
    The new govt guidelines states that if a HB claimant has rent of 4 weeks unpaid, then the council should pay the Landlord, but you have to request direct payment and show proof of the arrears to the council.

    Originally posted by vb7 View Post
    Therefore I need to know the following:
    1. What is the process to evict the tenant should he not move out on the expiry date?
    2. I am overseas so am I able to issue a court order online?
    3. Am I able to claim any expenses back from the tenant in relation to serving eviction notices on them?
    4. What is the time line for getting vacant possession once I have served notice on them?
    5. Given they'll have broken their agreement by not moving out, where do I stand regarding the deposit. Am I able to keep it all or part of?
    Question: Did you protect the deposit before issuing the S21??

    If so, then
    1. On 6th Feb, if they are still not out, then you need to apply to the court for possession by completing form N5B and sending it with £150 (cheque made payable to HMCS) to the local court (local to the property that is).

    2. No. Can't be done online. You can download the form N5B, but still need to post it. You will have to get someone in UK to do that for you.

    3. Yes, you can. The possession order usually includes a statement saying the defendant should pay the claimant's costs, but they hardly ever pay it back.

    4. You have already served notice. If it is valid and you follow 1. above, then if everything is in order, you are looking at 2-3 months if they dig in their heels and wait for bailiffs. 5-6 weeks to get the possession order (court dependent) and another 4-6 for bailiffs to attend. 2 months if you are lucky, 3 months if not.

    5. No, you can't keep it because they didn't move out. But you can claim dilapidations/rent arrears if provision has been made in the AST (for rent arrears).

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for all the info, I feel a bit better now I know the due process. I will inform the tenant tomorrow that I will be getting a court order if they have not vacated the property on February 6th. I will also be having a chat with the housing benefit department.
      Thank you.

      VB7

      Comment


      • #4
        Provided you have protected the deposit, then you need to obtain and complete form N5A from your local county court to apply for a possession order via the "accelerated" procedure. A fee of £150 is also required and the form should not be submitted until your tenants fail to move out on the 5th. The judge will now consider your application in chambers: if your tenants do not lodge an objection, and you have got the paperwork right, a possession order will be granted. This then enables you to use court bailiffs to evict the tenants. If the tenants do object then (hopefully) the judge cannot extend their tenancy by much before they will be required to leave. You need to take out another action in the small claims court to regain your rent as it is due from these tenants until the day they actually move out.

        P.P.
        Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

        Comment


        • #5
          Sorry, but do I need to fill out a N5A form or N5B or both?
          I can confirm the deposit was protected.
          Thank you

          VB7

          Comment


          • #6
            The accelerated procedure is via form N5B; you will need all relevant paperwork, i.e. AST, copy of s.21, proof of service, deposit protection certificate (if applicable), etc.
            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


            • #7
              Originally posted by havensRus View Post
              Typical gatekeeping advice from Housing officers at the Council.
              You do not expect the housing officer to misinform the tenant on the law, do you?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                You do not expect the housing officer to misinform the tenant on the law, do you?
                Actually, I have experience of a Council Housing Officer (HO) giving incorrect advice to a T on the validity of a s.21 notice. The HO gave the distinct impression she did not know the relevant Housing Law.
                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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tom999 View Post
                  Actually, I have experience of a Council Housing Officer (HO) giving incorrect advice to a T on the validity of a s.21 notice. The HO gave the distinct impression she did not know the relevant Housing Law.
                  Incorrect information is different.

                  The number who think they know the law far exceeds those who do.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                    Incorrect information is different.
                    Sorry, but giving someone incorrect information is still 'misinforming' them! Whether it is intentionally misleading them is another matter...

                    OP, http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...6&postcount=10 might help.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would love someone to bring a claim against a council for the little known economic tort of inducing someone to breach a contract, which this is a clear case.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                        You do not expect the housing officer to misinform the tenant on the law, do you?
                        No, I don't.
                        Note I also stated in same post that: Yes, its correct that you can't just waltz in on 5th Feb and turn them out, much as you want to.

                        A lot of the HOs don't know the law. And even those that do, seem incapable of, or unwilling to take a balanced view and give good balanced advice.

                        The gatekeeping is pretty much delaying the time when they have to deal with the situation - by rehousing!!
                        The "stay put till bailliff comes" is encouraging T to breach court judgement.

                        Instead, they advice tenants to stay put and cost the LL more time & expense in getting them out, knowing fully well the difficulty that LL will have in recouping the lost rent!!
                        But then again, they haven't a clue about financial matters or running a business, and as long as they get their salaries paid each month whether or not they perform, what do they care??!!.

                        I'm hoping one of these days, someone will take the bull by the horns and sue these HOs for .. assisting Ts in breaching court orders= contempt of court, loss of income, etc.etc.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vb7 View Post
                          Sorry, but do I need to fill out a N5A form or N5B or both?
                          I can confirm the deposit was protected.
                          Thank you
                          Form N5B is what you need and you can find it here.

                          Good luck.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Apologies for the minor typo - it was late at night and I was feeling somewhat tired!

                            P.P.
                            Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thank you everyone for your advice. I have downloaded and filled in the N5B. I will submit it to the courts if the tenants are still in the property after the expiry of their contract.

                              Many thanks again

                              VB7

                              Comment

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