Tenant not paying and not moving out either...

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    Tenant not paying and not moving out either...

    Hello,

    I have had a tenant at my property for 4 years, for the last 2-3 years her rental payments have always been hit and miss. Most months would be late payments with £100 short one month, £200 less the next but then £100 extra the next month etc so I thought as soon I was still getting the rent, albeit not how I wanted, I let her stay although I sat down with her numerous times asking her to sort it out.

    Fast forward to a couple of months ago... I told her I wanted to talk to her and agreed a time. Went around and said in a nice way that enough is enough and I need regular payments and arrears to be paid off or we will not be renewing the 12 month policy which was ending in around 6 weeks time. We came up with a a schedule of how she could pay the money back and all seemed fine. Although she didnt keep to it, I got £100-£200 here and there and that was it.

    Coming to end of agreement she rang me asking me to go around which I did, at which point she told me that she was unable to afford the rent let alone the arrears. I told her then that I will give her 1 months notice to leave the property and that she would pay off teh arrears after she had moved out also, she seemed happy with this.

    I went back a day or 2 later with a friendly letter written by myself saying this is 1 months notice and I also issued a Section 8 (which I downloaded of the internet) with a date of 1 month also. I asked for a signature to say she had got it but she refused (I did take my brother as witness & she called her next door neighbour round also for some reason).

    I had rang her a couple of times over the month to see if arrangements had been made to leave to which she said they had been. Anyway, the 1 month notice for her to leave the property and start date for section 8 was up today and I spoke to her this morning and she is essentially saying that she has nowhere to go now so isn't moving out and that she needs more time to sort something out. She left it essentially saying that I would have to go through the courts to get her out.

    What can and should I do? I have heard many stories about avoiding the courts and how it is very costly but I cant see her paying any rent or actively looking for somewhere to move to either.

    Thank you very much for your help and time in advance.

    #2
    Please take the time to sort out exactly how much she does owe you.

    Then give us the exact dates of the agreements she has, when she took the tenancy, how is the rent paid, monthly weekly or whatever.

    Confirm that the deposit is protected in a tenancy deposit scheme and that you have supplied her with the prescribed information.

    Then we will guide you through it.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

    Comment


      #3
      There are 3 options here that I can think of.

      1) You take a couple of big blokes round and have her physically removed. However the downside is that if she makes any sort of formal complaint you are in SERIOUS trouble. I'd not recommend this approach ever.

      2) You apply to the court for a possession order - wait about 4-8 weeks for the court date, wait another 2 weeks for the possession order to expire, book the bailiffs, wait 6 weeks for them, hope the tenant doesn't act mad and convince the bailiff he needs police protection, wait forever for the police to carry out a risk assessment ......
      Realistically playing this game will take at least 3 months (with no rent obviously) assuming she goes after the possession order is granted and before she is carried out by the bailiffs. And it will cost several hundred pounds which you have no chance of recovering if she really has no money.

      3) You wave a bundle of used notes under her nose and tell her that you will write off the debt and give the cash if she packs her bags and agrees to move out within 7 days. As much as I hate doing this it is often the cheapest option. [I'm not sure if such payments are tax deductable]

      I'd start option 2) and apply for the possession order. If you think option 3) might be worth it then you can try that as well.

      And are you sure the section 8 is perfect ? Slightest mistake and you are back to square one at the possession hearing as the judge will chuck it staright out. Perhaps also issue a section 21 as backup.

      Good luck

      Troll

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jta View Post
        Please take the time to sort out exactly how much she does owe you.

        Then give us the exact dates of the agreements she has, when she took the tenancy, how is the rent paid, monthly weekly or whatever.

        Confirm that the deposit is protected in a tenancy deposit scheme and that you have supplied her with the prescribed information.

        Then we will guide you through it.

        I will double check when I get home but I think she was on a 6 month Shorthold Tenancy Agreement which came to an end on 9th April 2011. Nothing has been signed since.

        Rent of £475 was supposed to be paid on the 9th of each month. What happened in reality was she would put cash straight into my account in dribs and drabs. £200 on the 10th, £100 on the 20th, £125 on 1st, £50 on 6th etc.

        Deposit is not in a deposit scheme.

        As of today she is over 3 months is arrears totalling £1475.

        Comment


          #5
          Can she get help from LHA with paying the rent? It may help in the interim

          Just for next time, ensure you get a guarantor, all my guarantors have to be home owners. Rent guarantees are also something to look into.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by I eat Billy Goats View Post
            There are 3 options here that I can think of.

            1) You take a couple of big blokes round and have her physically removed. However the downside is that if she makes any sort of formal complaint you are in SERIOUS trouble. I'd not recommend this approach ever.

            2) You apply to the court for a possession order - wait about 4-8 weeks for the court date, wait another 2 weeks for the possession order to expire, book the bailiffs, wait 6 weeks for them, hope the tenant doesn't act mad and convince the bailiff he needs police protection, wait forever for the police to carry out a risk assessment ......
            Realistically playing this game will take at least 3 months (with no rent obviously) assuming she goes after the possession order is granted and before she is carried out by the bailiffs. And it will cost several hundred pounds which you have no chance of recovering if she really has no money.

            3) You wave a bundle of used notes under her nose and tell her that you will write off the debt and give the cash if she packs her bags and agrees to move out within 7 days. As much as I hate doing this it is often the cheapest option. [I'm not sure if such payments are tax deductable]

            I'd start option 2) and apply for the possession order. If you think option 3) might be worth it then you can try that as well.

            And are you sure the section 8 is perfect ? Slightest mistake and you are back to square one at the possession hearing as the judge will chuck it staright out. Perhaps also issue a section 21 as backup.

            Good luck

            Troll

            No, I'm not sure if my Section 8 is perfect, would it be worth me taking a photo/scanning it and uploading it here for you to see? Obvsiously with address blanked out.

            And does number 3 actually work?

            I'm guessing the arrears will never be recovered as is a single non working mother on benefits since she split up with boyfriend. So rather than paying hundreds towards court costs, would it make sense to offer her a couple of hundred to get her out quick instead?

            One thing, if she doesnt accept and I then go legal route, could that backfire in any way?

            Comment


              #7
              That's an unfortunate case. What a pity!

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks Natt, defo will do. First property and first time with proper problems and think i'm learning the hard way here. Timing is sooo messy too, am getting married in August so have a wedding to pay for!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by GSP View Post
                  I will double check when I get home but I think she was on a 6 month Shorthold Tenancy Agreement which came to an end on 9th April 2011. Nothing has been signed since.

                  Rent of £475 was supposed to be paid on the 9th of each month. What happened in reality was she would put cash straight into my account in dribs and drabs. £200 on the 10th, £100 on the 20th, £125 on 1st, £50 on 6th etc.

                  Deposit is not in a deposit scheme.

                  As of today she is over 3 months is arrears totalling £1475.
                  Ok, She is in a statutory periodic periodic tenancy. You are able to issue a S8 grounds 8,10 and 11. You can apply for a hearing after 14 days.

                  You have not protected the deposit so until you do and supply the info you cannot use S21(4)(a).

                  You can download a S8 from this site, each ground you are relying on must be quoted in full.
                  I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jta View Post
                    Ok, She is in a statutory periodic periodic tenancy. You are able to issue a S8 grounds 8,10 and 11. You can apply for a hearing after 14 days.

                    You have not protected the deposit so until you do and supply the info you cannot use S21(4)(a).

                    You can download a S8 from this site, each ground you are relying on must be quoted in full.
                    I issued a Section 8 using grounds 8,10 and 11 on 7th May giving 30 days on there. Same time as I gave her a nice letter saying please move out within 30 days.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by GSP View Post
                      I issued a Section 8 using grounds 8,10 and 11 on 7th May giving 30 days on there. Same time as I gave her a nice letter saying please move out within 30 days.
                      Then, providing it was correct, you should have started proceedings by now.

                      No matter how nice your letter was it had no legal standing because you have not protected the deposit.
                      I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                      Comment


                        #12
                        And does number 3 actually work?
                        It can do if the tenant is actually able to move somewhere else. If you can back it up with convincing threats about getting their benefits cancelled and paid direct to you etc etc etc then you might just get them to go for it. You mentioned a couple of hundred quid. Consider that this will cost you a minimum of 3 months additional rent, + court + bailiff costs. It may be worth offering a more significant sum - perhaps 2 months rent.
                        I can see no legal problems from making such an offer.

                        since she split up with boyfriend
                        .

                        Is the boyfriend on the tenancy agreement ? Does he have money ? If so then there is a good chance he is still liable even if he no longer lives there.

                        Troll

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Been hectic few days so sorry not been able to post.

                          Her boyfriend is no longer on tenancy. I rand Housing Benefit yesterday and she was recieving more than the rent was but obvsiouslly using it for her own needs rather than using it to pay the rent. They have stopped payments and unless she proves she is up to date with the rent, money will automatically start being paid to me.

                          In the mean time, how can I start legal proceedings? Is this something I can do myself? Do I need some form to fill or can this be done online?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by GSP View Post
                            Her boyfriend is no longer on tenancy.
                            How was he removed from the tenancy?

                            In the mean time, how can I start legal proceedings? Is this something I can do myself? Do I need some form to fill or can this be done online?
                            What do you want to start legal proceedings for? Recovery of money or eviction? Both are DIYable but lets clarify your requirements first.

                            Comment

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