T is a pain but unpaid rent has not reached two months

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    T is a pain but unpaid rent has not reached two months

    Hello all,

    I have been renting out my previous home to a young couple and there two children for two years. The original AST was never renewed, as after living at the property for 15 months they decided they wanted a council house. The requested I serve them notice however I declined unless I found new tenants. They have never really paid on time, however as long as the rent was paid I never minded. I found new tenants however when I came to show them round, I requested that the house be in as nice a condition as possible, it was a sh*t hole. Since then I have neglected to look for new tenants. Last month they only paid half the rent, followed by the rest mid-month. This month they have paid less than half and are saying they cannot afford to pay the rest, the have reiterated there desire to leave but need me to evict them to get more points on the council house register. Im now looking to evict them, but there not two months in arrears, can I still evict under section 8? What grounds should I state?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Regards

    James

    #2
    Originally posted by JazzyJames2001 View Post
    Hello all,

    I have been renting out my previous home to a young couple and there two children for two years. The original AST was never renewed, as after living at the property for 15 months they decided they wanted a council house. The requested I serve them notice however I declined unless I found new tenants. They have never really paid on time, however as long as the rent was paid I never minded. I found new tenants however when I came to show them round, I requested that the house be in as nice a condition as possible, it was a sh*t hole. Since then I have neglected to look for new tenants. Last month they only paid half the rent, followed by the rest mid-month. This month they have paid less than half and are saying they cannot afford to pay the rest, the have reiterated there desire to leave but need me to evict them to get more points on the council house register. Im now looking to evict them, but there not two months in arrears, can I still evict under section 8? What grounds should I state?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Regards

    James
    You could still attempt to evict under section 8, citing grounds 10 and 11 (some rent owing and persistent late payments), plus ground 12 (non-rent breach of contract (assuming the house has been damaged rather than just kept in a dirty state). The problem is that these grounds will not guarantee a court order for possession as they are only discretionary.

    However, if they want to leave,what's the problem? Let them leave - or require them to via a section 21 notice if necessary - and save yourself the expense of a section 8 which may not work anyway. Claim the cost of cleaning/repairing from their deposit (which is presumably protected) and move on. You cannot force them to tidy up or clean for viewings, so I wouldn't bother until they are out. Allow a few days to blitz it then re-start viewings in earnest.
    '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


      #3
      Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
      However, if they want to leave,what's the problem? Let them leave - or require them to via a section 21 notice if necessary
      Presumably the idea is they will jump up the Council housing priority list if they are evicted - if they leave voluntarily they will have 'made themselves intentionally homeless', which will not impress the housing people. (They can still be deemed 'intentionally homeless' if they have withheld rent in order to provoke the landlord to repossess - the council are likely to contact the LL to ascertain the circumstances of the eviction).

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
        Presumably the idea is they will jump up the Council housing priority list if they are evicted - if they leave voluntarily they will have 'made themselves intentionally homeless', which will not impress the housing people. (They can still be deemed 'intentionally homeless' if they have withheld rent in order to provoke the landlord to repossess - the council are likely to contact the LL to ascertain the circumstances of the eviction).
        Yes, I suppose so. I'd still use a section 21, though.
        '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


          #5
          Are they on Housing Benefit? If so, you should advise the council.

          Do you have a guarantor? Have they given you anything that might be construed as notice?

          Comment


            #6
            Hi all,

            Ive been in touch with the homeless section at the council, as I work for the local authority, so wanted to give them the heads up. They have said the tenants need to contact them. However I have been told by the tenants that they have spoken to Homeless section before and they have said they cant do anything until I give them eviction notice. They have not given me anything formal except a letter asking me to evict them. However this was six months + ago. Unfortunately no deposit was taken, only a months rent up front, this was a recommendation by my uncle who has around 30 properties stating that the deposit scheme should there be an issue, costs more to get the money out than what the deposit is worth. Could I persue them for damage (if its not rectified prior to them leaving the property) by Moneyclaim.gov.uk which is what Im likely to have to do for the rent Im not going to get for the next two months.

            For jumping up the council list, yes, however not sure how they are going to view them, as she voluntarily left her job, as 'they would be better off' however two months later they cant afford the rent, and say they are living on £40 a week.

            So what would you guys recommend, Section 8 or Section 21? Section 21 is just a pure I want the house back? While Section 8 is stating a reason? Id love to state the reason, as I feel stabbed in the back to be fair. However I just want them out now.

            James

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by JazzyJames2001 View Post


              So what would you guys recommend, Section 8 or Section 21? Section 21 is just a pure I want the house back? While Section 8 is stating a reason? Id love to state the reason, as I feel stabbed in the back to be fair. However I just want them out now.

              James
              There is nothing to stop you serving both (a belt and braces approach, if nothing else), however the s8 will not definitely result in a possession order unless at the time of the hearing, the rent owed is at least two full months' worth - assuming the contract stipulates rent is payable monthy).
              '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


                #8
                Housing Benefit, they get a small amount, not sure how much. I shall however contact someone in there today to let them know.

                James

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks, I shall serve both. Can I serve both say today, with the requirement of the notice ending at the 31st of October. End of the monthly payable period.

                  James

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by JazzyJames2001 View Post
                    Thanks, I shall serve both. Can I serve both say today, with the requirement of the notice ending at the 31st of October. End of the monthly payable period.

                    James
                    Yes, that would give them at least two months' notioce. However, if October 31st is the last day of the rental period (i.e., rent due on 1st of each month) you should state on the notices that your require possession 'after 31st October 2010'.
                    '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


                      #11
                      Originally posted by JazzyJames2001 View Post
                      Unfortunately no deposit was taken, only a months rent up front, this was a recommendation by my uncle who has around 30 properties stating that the deposit scheme should there be an issue, costs more to get the money out than what the deposit is worth.
                      Your uncle is talking rubbish. The DPS (http://www.depositprotection.com/) protection scheme is free to use, and their dispute resolution service is also free.

                      Could I persue them for damage (if its not rectified prior to them leaving the property) by Moneyclaim.gov.uk which is what Im likely to have to do for the rent Im not going to get for the next two months.
                      You can pursue for any loss, whether unpaid rent or damage, but if the T is on benefits the likelihood of enforcing the CCJ successfully is remote.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by JazzyJames2001 View Post
                        Thanks, I shall serve both. Can I serve both say today, with the requirement of the notice ending at the 31st of October. End of the monthly payable period.
                        It's important to get the expiry date of the s.21(4)(a) notice correct. What date (dd/mm/yy) did the fixed term commence, and how long was the term?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi, Just a word of caution ive been in this situation Tenant wanted me to evict so they would be able to get a council house and said they would not pay any more rent. So i sent a section 21 notice requiring possesion with 2 months notice .By the time the two months notice was up I had new tenants in place to move in, current tenant was then told they have no couincil housing available and to stay put until evicted. Now with 2 Months rent arrears I had to get a court order, more expence and time. I got this and tenant still not moving out so had to get balifs even more expence and no rent being paid. Eventuly tenant moved out 2 days before balifs were due to evict owing nearly 4 Months rent plus costing me all the legal fees since learnt they were given a couincil house. Contacted couincil for forwarding address they refused on data protection grounds. House was left a tip , Trail of unpaid bills. Lost my new tenant as this one would not move out when agreed due to couincil telling them to stay put. Legal fees to pay. Cannot find old tenant to claim rent arrears and legal fees as couincil will not disclose new address and to top it all I get a phone call 6 Months later from counicil the couincil tax department asking me for their forwarding address as they have not paid their couincil tax whilst living in my Property. This is probably the worst case that can happen but if there is no couincil housing available then this is the advise and protection the couincil will give them at your expence. If they are on housing benefit and dont pay the rent to you and keep it as was the case surely theft from the taxpayer .The couincil say they are entitled to it and it is up to them what they do with it . The whole system is a complete joke and just encourages people to not pay rent etc and play the system again and again Hope the new government will make some changes here but not holding my breath

                          Comment


                            #14
                            As I understand it if T is evicted following a section 21 notice then the council can consider T to be unintentionally homeless, and would offer assistance in re-housing them.

                            If T is evicted following a section 8 notice then the council can make a finding that T is intentionally homeless, and therefore will offer only limited assistance.

                            The service of a section 8 notice, even on discretionary grounds may encourage them to clear the arrears.

                            You could serve a section 8 notice now on discretionary grounds, and then not act on it. The purpose of that notice is to try to get the arrears paid. If they keep the arrears below 8 weeks / 2 months then it’s up to you whether you try to evict on discretionary grounds.

                            If it gets to the stage where ground 8 can be used serve a new section 8 notice relying on the mandatory ground and discretionary ones.

                            If you use section 21 then there is no incentive on T to pay, however, it would be a cheaper eviction (if you use solicitors) and would allow you to get tenants in who are less hassle for you.
                            PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thanks guys, food for thought.
                              I may speak to my friends in the Homeless department and see what there course of action maybe, this would then be beneficial to me to decide my next course of action.

                              Would starting the moneyclaim.gov.uk now be beneficial as by the time they are due to move out, It will be in advance stages.

                              The tenants are only on a small amount of benefits, he's a postie. Amazinly they have a 50" LCD and a smart looking BMW on the drive, yet they cant pay the rent.

                              On another note, when the council do a review of affordability, to find out if they have made themselves intentionally homeless, surely they should take Rent as a primary payment and all else falls second? Except for general living exp.

                              James

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