Rant from tenant - any truth? (Long)

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    Rant from tenant - any truth? (Long)

    I've been having problems getting rent arrears paid from my tenant (over 8 weeks unpaid and on LHA, which at least is now paid directly to me). We had a verbal agreement that for a period of time (short but unspecified) she would pay £10 per week off the arrears. She has paid £80 so far but this dates from the beginning of April so hasn't been every week. A month ago I wrote saying that she had four more weeks to continue to pay £40 and after that must either pay off a substantial amount of the arrears or increase her payments to £35 per week. This was on the basis that she had apparently applied for a social loan. Today I received the following rant and before I respond, together with a Section 8 and Section 21 notice I just want to check if any of it has any merit.

    Her email:
    "I have taken legal advice as to the outstanding rent arrears and have been told that as the agreement was ten pounds a week this cannot be changed to thirty five pounds to suit yourselves as I am on benefits and that amount per week along with all normal living expenses will push me into poverty without being to provide properly for my children when you take into account gas, electricity, water rates, etc. My dad went guarantor for any damage done to the the property not for rent arrears as when you are on housing benefit you cannot ask for a guarantor. I did ask for from the begining for the rent to be paid direct to yourselves in which case this whole unfortunate mess would not have happened but I appreciate your kindness in me getting the interest on it. I have also been told that if the court is involoved that as I am paying ten pound per week even if it is not what you would like personally it will be thrown out out as i am not refusing to pay what is outstanding but I cannot meet the demands you are imposing after agreeing to ten pound per week. The rent is now being paid direct to yourselves and there is no chance of any future hiccup. I have also been told that due to the fact the garden is insecure i have the right to withhold any rent money. I have paid to have the garage knocked down as it started falling down which means the back garden is open to everyone. You also promised to have a security light installed which has never happened. With regard to the mice i have spent over one hundred pound on various different traps which still havent worked and has resulted in my chest freezer being ruined as they have chewed through the wire and I have lost all my food. I really would like to stay your tenant but feel that things are really a bit one sided as I have had
    to decorate due to plaster falling off everywhere but I am being penalised for poor workmanship that you paid for."

    My view: We had a verbal agreement for £10 and there is no reason I can't ask for this to increase if I am offering this as an alternative to eviction.
    Guarantor - the Deed is not for damage but for rent arrears, she is wrong
    LHA paid direct - wasn't something in our control until she became 8 weeks in arrears.
    Court throw it out - don't see why it would affect the section 8 (may impact ground 8 if she pays off enough to be under 8 weeks at point of hearing)
    Garden insecure - When she occupied there was a derilict garage at the rear of the garden. Behind this was a communal access route with a locked gate for the properties using it. She has reported problems with youths in her garden in the past but the garage itself is not the source of insecurity, they can get over the low fences that have been there all along.
    She did mention the state of the garage deteriorating (about a month ago), by phone, and I asked for her to put it in writing if she wanted to knock it down. She never wrote, and this is the first that I've heard of it happening - has she illegally damaged my property now?
    Security light - she has asked and I haven't done it yet, partly because of ongoing issues with payment and communication. Wasn't great on my part but not sure if this is a substantial issue or not.
    Mice - no mice were present when she let the property (newly renovated) and the only reason they are there now is as a result of her occupancy and hygene habits.
    Decorate - she asked to decorate in colours that her daughter liked, which I was happy with. There has been no damage to the plaster and this was checked out about 2 months ago. She has also not made any other requests to decorate.

    Sorry this is so long.

    Mike G

    #2
    What are you asking?
    If you serve a valid sec 21, it's all irrelevant.
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      Assuming this is an AST in England or Wales,

      (i) When does/did the fixed term end?
      (ii) Have you protected the deposit?
      (iii) How much is the weekly rent and how much rent is currently owing but unpaid?
      '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


        #4
        Clarification

        Sorry, I'm just asking if any of what the tenant cites affects a Section 8 notice.

        She is on an AST in the periodic term (fixed term ended Oct 09), owes just over 8 weeks rent, paid fortnightly and there is no deposit (a deposit bond was provided by the council)

        Comment


          #5
          No the terms the she has stated as a problem are more of a rant and I believe more so intended to further her point that she would continue to pay the previously reduced rent.

          You can have a Guarantor for rent arrears whilst on HB so not sure where she has this advise........ unless you have only entered repairs on the G agreement??

          If you aer expecting her to pay £35 a week a housing solicitor will tell her to write this to you as it is more than she will be able to pay .... and should be followed with the G.

          You can take a guarantor to court for rent arrears whilst the tenant is in occupation, however have you discusse the rent arrears with him?

          Have you writen to the council and informed them that she is in arrears? after 8 weeks missed rent they will pay you directly to the end of the tenancy.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Springfields View Post

            Have you writen to the council and informed them that she is in arrears? after 8 weeks missed rent they will pay you directly to the end of the tenancy.
            It's in the first sentence.

            They will not necessarily pay the landlord direct until the end of the tenancy, but choose to pay the tenant directly once they are no longer eight weeks in arrears.
            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by mgravelle View Post
              Sorry, I'm just asking if any of what the tenant cites affects a Section 8 notice.
              No - go ahead and serve a s.8 notice and a s.21 notice.

              Comment

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