tenant getting ready not to pay rent

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    tenant getting ready not to pay rent

    Dear all

    I have a difficult tenant who has randomly deducted rent on more than one occasion, claiming after the fact (i.e. when I pull them up on it having checked my bank account!) that it was because they are owed some sort of compensation for high utility bills (my fault apparently), or because they were inconvenienced several months back as I failed in my landlord duties - again the correspondence trail and official maintenance documents, invoices, etc. strongly show otherwise. They also virtually never pay by the due date for rent and are sometimes weeks late paying.

    I have issued a section 21 and I am concerned that they are getting ready (based on the amount they have underpaid this month) for the last 2 months to withhold in rent the equivalent of their deposit taken - i.e. so that I won't have any deposit left over to pay for damage done to the property, or for earlier rent defaults in the tenancy.

    Any suggestions on what to do to stop them? If they are planning this then the shortfall would be 1k (max) overall so I would not bother with court over it.

    Ta!

    #2
    There is little you can do if the tenant decides not to pay but if you need to go for a court order (if tenant does not vacate) it could be more than 2 months rent owing.

    Maybe try to find out where/if he works so if you bring a money claim against him you can make an attachment of earnings. Does he own a car outright? That could be a source of money using HCO officers.

    Mostly though we have to bite the bullett, receive nothing (maybe the deposit) and make a better tenant selection next time.
    Sounds like you are well shot of this one!



    Freedom at the point of zero............

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for that. I can't see it's worth the hassle of court for 1k loss. I doubt they are deciding to stay past the end of the section 21 date knowing them, they will be off by then but in their heads be saying "bloody money grabbing landlord, I won't let him stiff me on the deposit so I'll withhold that amount in rent in the run up"

      Yet they will have selective amnesia and ignore all the other money they owe me prior to this, all the prompt repairs I have conducted (plus improvements), all the times they were very late with rent (on one occasion by nearly two months). I've spent a fortune on the house and got every repair done in 24 hours literally. Have put up with late payments for over two years.

      I hope their next landlord/agent gives them a dose of reality and treats them how they treat other people!

      Comment


        #4
        I seem to be in a small minority on this suggestion but I'd serve him a new s8 each and every time he's short or late: Sounds like you can serve s8 g10&11 today. He might take the hint you understand the law & might take further action. Nothing to stop you also starting MCoL today (LBA first) for such rent as is owing, and gently, politely, explain he probably doesn;t want the CCJ he may get soon, and does he think he might need a reference as you are happy to supply one (full, honest, would prefer to be able to say no arrears)
        https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

        Evict if you need to with s21.

        It's a nasty world out there
        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


          #5
          Lots of people push the situation because, often, no one pushes back.
          If someone is taking the p155, definitely make the effort to take them to court and recover.
          After the first time it gets quite routine, and all the stress is with the defendant.
          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


            #6
            Small claims court
            It is easy
            It is worth the hassle

            Comment


              #7
              I know it sounds lame of me, but I just want this tenant gone even at a 1k loss, if it means court/threats of court to get the shortfall back.

              They will no doubt counter-argue that the property and my conduct was at fault and entitled them to the rent 'discount' which they single-handedly implemented, if it ever came to court. I think I would win but they have been quite vicious in their accusations in trying to explain why they haven't paid full rent.

              Note they never give forewarning of late or underpaid rent, they just do it as they see fit and then when I contact them in writing to ask what's going on once I see it has happened, the accusations then start flying. I can't imagine a court would have much time for their conduct - but nonetheless I will be so glad to see the back of this tenant that I will swallow the losses and I don't fancy all the muck raking.

              Comment


                #8
                fandango, I have given s21 notice to my tenant and t has stopped paying rent altogether. I've had some great advice off here but I'm not going to act on it unless she is still there post the date to leave on the s21. Then I'm going to serve s8 and start small claims for rent arrears. I will try and get hb paid direct too. But like you, I just want her gone and am prepared (reluctantly)to write off 2 months rent arrears.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I never (emotionally) write off arrears**: Always want court judgment against tenant (thus CCJ, problem for ex-tenant) and hope eventually they get PAYE job or some asset I can go after. And I'd do the same against an agent who owed me, or, if ever a tenant, a landlord.

                  Apart from anything else I'm sure you'd want, if doing credit checks, to know about CCJs other landlords have ensured, it's part of paying back..

                  ** But I did (hasn't happened for some years) put them down against tax as bad debts, then if I collect, declare the income..
                  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


                    #10
                    Tenants behaving this way should not be tolerated, get them out. Ensure you start a small claim against then for rent arrears and see it through, a CCJ against them is very important so other landlords can avoid such tenants. Many Landlords here will thank you. Whats more like artful says they may pay up one day but at least the immediate effect of the CCJ would be to stop them accessing private housing.
                    Any advice I give is my opinion and experience, I am as you also learning.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Fandango, hopefully you have a move inspection report, provided to T for checking, for assessing T damage or a list of repair costs made & not covered by Ins?
                      You cannot ask T to pay for any 'improvements.
                      You can & should proceed with s21 or s8 for Court Repo. T may illegally stop paying rent on receipt, so ask Court for hearing costs against the T (£350 - £110) & SCC for your losses. (T CCJ has some satisfaction for you even if T does not pay).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks for all your replies all. Yes I have a third party inventory in hand but what good will it be if I have no deposit funds to apply damages against! Since the tenant is likely going to not pay the final few weeks of rent to ensure that I have no remaining deposit funds to claim said damages out of.

                        It sounds like my costs if I win (i.e. legal costs) are recoverable against the tenant though? That is some incentive to try.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Consider applying the deposit to any damage and persue unpaid rent through SCC that will be easier for you to prove.
                          Any advice I give is my opinion and experience, I am as you also learning.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            What I shall do is write to the tenant (with proof of posting) stating they have failed to respond, re-iterating my demand for payment and giving them 4 weeks to pay. I will specify that if they do not settle the outstanding amounts then I will begin proceedings through the small claims court and a CCJ is a likely outcome for them.

                            I have done this before and I know that you need to give sufficient notice and time to pay in a formal written demand (usually 4-6 weeks) before you start any court proceedings.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              err I'd suggest a revision, demand immediate payment, as part of a "letter before action", if not sorted within the period given (I'd put 1 or 2 weeks) apply for small claims by MCoL.

                              You are owed the money NOW, not in 4 weeks time...
                              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

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