PCOL or just give notice?

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    PCOL or just give notice?

    I have had tenants in a 2 bed property for around 18 months, they are now on a rolling contract. They have consistently been late with the rent, however, only by a few days generally.

    The rent is due on the 2nd of the month, last month they paid on the 7th (not unusual), this month they have only managed to pay a third of the rent last Monday and promised to pay the remainder yesterday, this didn't happen.

    I am not impressed with my letting agent who I have to chase every single month to ask where the rent is. As far as I'm aware they have never sent my tenants any formal correspondence to chase for the rent or to remind them to be timely. The agent only ever seems to contact me to tell me that the tenants are asking for a new kitchen or such like.

    However, I have spoken with the agents who are telling me I need to issue a PCOL? This involves several costs to me apparently and something I have to do, not the agent.

    I don't feel entirely comfortable in doing this. The tenants are "only" a few weeks behind with their rent, is a court going to evict them for that and also, what happens if they pay the rent in the time between applying to the court and the actual hearing?

    I do feel I would like to move the tenants on (I don't feel they are really looking after the property) and I would like to change agents. I am sure I could find better tenants than these people.

    Would giving them 2 months notice be better with a view of taking them to court for any arrears after that?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    #2
    Forget about agent doing anything about it: The longer they can charge you for "managing" matters the more money they make out of you,,

    Issue, TODAY, S8 G10 & 11. Tenants may just take the hint & start paying. Also issue S21.

    In your shoes I'd either want tenant to start sticking to their side of the contract (pay in full & on time..) or, if not, evict them. So see what happens over next few weeks & then proceed to court of necessary.

    My priority would be either paying tenant or repossess first, then worry about suing for the ££££ back. Until they go you don't know how much will be owed/due for damage.

    Was deposit protected within 30 days of being back & has PI been served?? If your answer is you assume the agent did it right - ask them those same questions...

    Cheers!

    Was
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      Have you (or your agent) spoken to the tenants to see what the problem is.

      A reasonable tenant for 18 months having a difficulty paying the rent this month wouldn't have me reaching for the s21 straight away.
      Paying a few days after the rent is due every month sounds like a timing problem for the tenant, not something I would normally worry about (or be phoning the agent about - how do they pay you, cash?)

      If they're strapped for cash you might simply be encouraging them to stop paying at all immediately in the hope that they win the lottery before you can sue them.
      And you will have a period when you can't rent the property (worse if they decline to leave without being evicted - which they may need to do in order to get housed by the council).

      If they can't afford the rent, they can't continue living there and you'll have to evict them - but that is a costly option and may take several months.
      You would evict them on a no fault (s21) basis rather than for not paying rent (or do both in parallel).

      Is there a deposit, was it protected within 30 days of being given to you and has the Prescribed Information been served?
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        Hi,

        Thank you both for your replies. I will check with the agent about the deposit, yes I assume it was protected, but I am aware I shouldn't just assume!

        The tenants have told me and the agent so many reasons for being late, tax credit issues, bank account cloned (several times), illness, being on holiday.....

        I don't want to evict them if they are going to pay and I don't mind if they're a few days late. Excuses for late payment have never been down to "timing" and as the rental due date is the 2nd of the month, I assume that if they are paid at the end of the month, a day or so later, shouldn't be an issue.

        However, I do wonder if because they have never been "chased" for payment when they are late, that they have just become a bit "blase" about paying.

        I understand the tenants pay the agent in cash every month.

        I'm inclined to see if they pay the rent due on the 2nd of this month by the 2nd of next month and if not, evict them but I'm not sure of the best way to do that. The agent seems to nothing, then tell me I need to evict them for not paying the rent. It's all or nothing with them.

        So if I evict them based on giving 2 months notice, what happens if they do not leave?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by CathyM View Post
          .... ... I understand the tenants pay the agent in cash every month.
          Call me cynical but I'd assume then they are on the fiddle somewhere.... What did they say their jobs were/sources of income when they moved in??
          So if I evict them based on giving 2 months notice, what happens if they do not leave?
          Tenant does not have to leave after expiry of notice, not does notice end tenancy: They simply entitle you to start proceedings through the court for possession (likely a couple more months till they are out)

          Hopefully after getting notices tenants will see sense & start paying: Or agree to go early (then you later sue for £££ owed..).

          Have you (rather than agent) issued S8 & S21 yet??

          Have you issued
          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

          Comment


            #6
            I haven't issued anything as yet, getting my head round what an S8, S21 and this PCOL thing that the agent has advised me to do. Agent has told me that tenant has promised to pay today but I'm not holding my breath.

            Why is the agent recommending the PCOL rather than the S8 or S21?

            As for paying cash, he works in a major supermarket, she doesn't work. She has a guarantor. I doubt he's paid in cash or receives tax credits in cash...

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
              Forget about agent doing anything about it: The longer they can charge you for "managing" matters the more money they make out of you,,....
              Issue the notices, please, for your own sake!

              In your shoes I'd fire the agent today also...

              Originally posted by CathyM View Post
              ....As for paying cash, he works in a major supermarket, she doesn't work. She has a guarantor. I doubt he's paid in cash or receives tax credits in cash...
              Exactly: as I said before...
              Call me cynical but I'd assume then they are on the fiddle somewhere....
              surely they don't have some other cash-only income they ain't declaring to tax man....

              Cheers!
              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by CathyM View Post
                Why is the agent recommending the PCOL rather than the S8 or S21?
                Because they don't know what they're doing?

                You're in business as a landlord.
                You have a tenant that has paid late for a while and now is paying unusually late.
                You have a business problem (and a useless agent).

                Have you spoken to the tenant to express your concerns and heard what they have to say?
                Have you considered the consequences of having to rent the property to someone new and how much that might cost you?
                Have you thought about why they pay in cash - which isn't suspicious, but it is odd in my experience?
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks for the advice. The rent has been paid up to date a couple of days ago.

                  I have sent them a letter letting them know that late rental payments are not satisfactory and a breach of agreement etc.

                  Subsequently one of the tenants has come off the agreement as he has moved out.

                  I'm hopeful this is a positive thing.

                  Comment

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