HB tenant threatens to cancel claim to avoid rent being paid direct

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    HB tenant threatens to cancel claim to avoid rent being paid direct

    Please help me deal with a nightmare tenant.

    I have a tenant on HB on an AST where the rent £700 calendar monthly in advance, due on the 5th of each month.

    I need to sell the property [partly as he is always late with the rent, never paying it in full and on time but stretching out payment in dribs and drabs over the whole of the month].

    I served him a Section 21 which is due to expire on July 4th. He immediately stopped paying rent, changed the locks and refuses to let the estate agent in so I have no hope of putting it on the market.

    On April 5th £700 was due but I received only £200 on April 12th and nothing since.

    I have now applied for direct payment from HB but he is threatening to withdraw his claim if this is approved [out of sheer spite] so I have the prospect of him sitting in the flat till he is evicted with no chance of any further rent. I am now wondering if I should serve a Section 8 as well.

    Please could you tell me:

    Given the dates above [and a recent judgement that I understand changed the ruling on what qualifies as 2 months arrears where rent is payable monthly in advance], on what date exactly is the tenant 2 months in arrears?

    Should I serve a section 8 in addition to Section 21 on grounds 8, 10 and 11?

    For proof of arrears, do I just take along six months of my bank statements? He pays rent in cash into my bank account [I live 50 miles away from the property] so it is easy to see the pattern of payments.

    If he has deliberately cancelled his housing benefit claim will the court accept this as proof that he has no intention of paying any further rent and automatically grant a possession order?


    Grateful for any advice/suggestions please.

    #2
    Originally posted by didi123 View Post
    Given the dates above [and a recent judgement that I understand changed the ruling on what qualifies as 2 months arrears where rent is payable monthly in advance], on what date exactly is the tenant 2 months in arrears?

    Should I serve a section 8 in addition to Section 21 on grounds 8, 10 and 11?

    For proof of arrears, do I just take along six months of my bank statements? He pays rent in cash into my bank account [I live 50 miles away from the property] so it is easy to see the pattern of payments.

    If he has deliberately cancelled his housing benefit claim will the court accept this as proof that he has no intention of paying any further rent and automatically grant a possession order?


    Grateful for any advice/suggestions please.
    'In arrears' is a confusing term in this context. Stick to 'rent owing but unpaid'. So he could be in a situation where he owes you two months' rent on the day after Rent Day of the second month, assuming he did not pay on Rent Day of month 1, or on Rent Day of month 2. From your info, sounds as though if he continues not to pay anything, he will owe two months' worth on 6th June.

    You could then serve a section 8 ground 8, 10 and 11 apply for a possession order if T fails to vacate after 14 days. Possession order will be mandatory (irrespective of T's cancellation of claim) assuming T does not bring debt below two months' worth by time of hearing. However, it is not free - and the s21 will expire on 4th July - is it worth it?

    Yes, you will need a copy of his tenancy agreement and spreadsheet showing the rent payments (or lack of) - when due and when paid/not paid. Possibly other documents - I have never actually had to evict anyone yet so I may not have covered everything you need to know.
    '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

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      #3
      get yourself down to the council anyway - what have you got to lose? He is not going to pay you any more and he may not cancel his claim. The idea of him getting HB and keeping it is terrible - much better to leave him penniless as well as you rather than him living it up at your expense!
      Oh and if he does cancel ensure you speak to the Benefits Fraud hotline etc - make life as difficult as you can for him.
      Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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        #4
        Inform the council of the threat at once adducing any evidence you have of the threat to cancel the claim to prevent direct payment to you. The council may override his cancellation at the time and continue direct payment to the landlord if they are satisfied that he would, but for his cancellation, still have a valid claim.

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