Tenant doesn't pay rent

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  • Tenant doesn't pay rent

    Hi,

    To sue or not to sue?

    I have a tenant lady with two kids on benefits that stopped paying
    rent. She is now 4 months behind and owes of £2900. Her electricity
    bills are above average for the property size since everything is
    electricity plus it possibly needs better insulation in the roof. I
    estimate her bills are maximum £1000 above average. We served section
    8 but we didn't yet take them to court because it will cost us £500
    just to do that and I am concerned she will launch a counter claim
    thus dragging us into protracted court case that will cost me more
    money. We also served section 21 so she now has 2 months to move out
    but my lawyer is telling me, that if she doesn't move out it will take
    up to 2 more months to get rid of her.

    I contacted council and her payments will be re-directed to me but
    this months payment has already gone out so that is another £725 I
    will never see again. She keeps denying that she didn't pay rent
    except in one payment in December when heating broke and she went and
    bought heaters on her own because she couldn't contact me. I have
    since then fixed heating and added additional heating. She told me she
    paid me for January but it is now February 6th and I think she is just
    lying and has no intention to pay.

    If I sue via section 8 now, I think I will win because the amount of
    rent she withheld is excessive. But it will probably cost me
    additional £500 to £1000 or even more perhaps if she deliberately
    drags it out. If I wait until section 21 takes affect (in 2 months
    time) I will have much easier time taking her to court and even
    without claiming missing rent I should be able to get her out but it
    could take up to 2 more months.

    So should I sue now and try to get her out ASAP or should I wait for 2
    months and hope she will move out without fuss? Has anyone experienced
    something like this before? Any advice?

    Regards, Martin

    PS: She has a guarantor (her dad) but he claims he is on benefits too.
    I think I have been conned.

  • #2
    It sounds like you have!

    I think you would do best to bite the bullet now, pay the court fee (this is only £120 if you use PCOL) and get her out with a section 8.

    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


    • #3
      I agree with P.Pilcher.

      This may be expensive if you use a solicitor, but it is DIY'able for MUCH less. Google PCOL and get the process underway.

      If you s21 or s8 tenant will not leave until you have your court order and probably bailiffs because if they do, the council will not rehouse them. Sad but true.

      Comment


      • #4
        Are you serious Snorkerz? Let me regurgitate slowly to make sure I got it right.

        If they want to move out but they don't want to pay for the moving expenses, they need to get s21 or s8 served, and then me getting court order and possibly getting even bailiffs, before the council will pay for their re-housing?

        Presumably however, the council would pay towards their new rent even if they move out on their own?

        Hmm, I will look into PCOL. Still, I think they are thieving from me because they could just withheld one month rent and use that money for moving expenses.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks P.Pilcher. I will look into PCOL. However I think she will contest my claim. Is it possible PCOL can transform into a normal trial? Will investigate ....

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by dobby View Post
            Are you serious Snorkerz? Let me regurgitate slowly to make sure I got it right.

            If they want to move out but they don't want to pay for the moving expenses, they need to get s21 or s8 served, and then me getting court order and possibly getting even bailiffs, before the council will pay for their re-housing?

            Presumably however, the council would pay towards their new rent even if they move out on their own?

            Hmm, I will look into PCOL. Still, I think they are thieving from me because they could just withheld one month rent and use that money for moving expenses.
            Its not the moving expenses (they don't get paid), but if your Ts want a council house (which seems to be the aim of every tenant) then they will not get one if they leave before they have to by law. Most councils will intervene once you have your possession order - but some wait until the Ts are literally thrown on the street by the bailiff.

            PCOL starts off online but will end up in the court local to the tenancy property.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
              PCOL starts off online but will end up in the court local to the tenancy property.
              Great, that is the last think I need. A court hearing on the other side of the country. I live in London and the property is near Bath . My only reconciliation is that I should be able to get the council to pay me directly in which case at least I won't be loosing any more rent.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by dobby View Post
                Great, that is the last think I need. A court hearing on the other side of the country. I live in London and the property is near Bath . My only reconciliation is that I should be able to get the council to pay me directly in which case at least I won't be loosing any more rent.
                Most ASTs have a clause that makes the tenant liable for any costs like this. This can be deducted from the deposit or claimed via MCOL from the tenant or guarantor.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi All

                  Im new to this forum and i thought i will join this treat as i have the same problem as bobby.

                  Let me shortly explain...
                  I live in London,the property is in Scotland.My tenant doesnt pay since 3 months and still stay in the property.Agent tried to contact her over the phone and letters and he visited the property but she didnt open the door,didnt answer the phone.Basically it was a problem since day one.Now, agent finally spoke with that women and she plays a game saying she doesnt have a credit on the phone to contact them,she doesnt answer private calls,she is waiting fo 2 wages and she will pay something...and this was 2 weeks ago.the debt colletors company is involved and contacted her but what she said to them was.." im ignoring the agency and i dont care if you want to chase me..."
                  The end of hers contract is 14 of march and she recived notice to quite by then.Im not a bad person but because this problem happend to me second time now (previous tenant run off) i want to do everything to get this women to pay every single penny.I m first time landlord so im learning and reading about this online,i know there are expensive ways to deal with this,but at the moment cant afford them.Aha the money she owns is 1500 pounds now.
                  Can you advise me if i should use different debt collectors,bailiffs,court, solicitor or who else.Im not waiting for that money but simply want her to pay and the same be responsible.

                  Thank you
                  Thomas

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tomski View Post
                    Hi All

                    Im new to this forum and i thought i will join this treat as i have the same problem as bobby.

                    Let me shortly explain...
                    I live in London,the property is in Scotland.My tenant doesnt pay since 3 months and still stay in the property.Agent tried to contact her over the phone and letters and he visited the property but she didnt open the door,didnt answer the phone.Basically it was a problem since day one.Now, agent finally spoke with that women and she plays a game saying she doesnt have a credit on the phone to contact them,she doesnt answer private calls,she is waiting fo 2 wages and she will pay something...and this was 2 weeks ago.the debt colletors company is involved and contacted her but what she said to them was.." im ignoring the agency and i dont care if you want to chase me..."
                    The end of hers contract is 14 of march and she recived notice to quite by then.Im not a bad person but because this problem happend to me second time now (previous tenant run off) i want to do everything to get this women to pay every single penny.I m first time landlord so im learning and reading about this online,i know there are expensive ways to deal with this,but at the moment cant afford them.Aha the money she owns is 1500 pounds now.
                    Can you advise me if i should use different debt collectors,bailiffs,court, solicitor or who else.Im not waiting for that money but simply want her to pay and the same be responsible.

                    Thank you
                    Thomas
                    Unfortunately Thomas, Scottish tenancy laws are very different to those in England and Wales. The majority of this sites members are E&W landlords.

                    Comment

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