Problem Tenants

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    Problem Tenants

    Hi,I have a two bedroom house which I let out in November last year to a couple(unmarried).I let the house with the understanding no pets,no children,no dhss and no smoking.They agreed on all counts and I knew from references that he had good business and the rent would be paid weekly direct debit.The house had been completely redecorated,new kitchen,some new carpets and the tenant decided that the bedroom carpet(not new)was not good enough for her so she paid for a new one.Everything about them was telling me that they would be good tenants.They cared about having a nice place.Everything was fine until about July when I started getting a few phone calls from neighboring tenants that they were very noisy sometimes and it was suspected they were fighting.It seems that she is an alcoholic and goes completely off the rails.The police have been called numerous times and 2 weeks ago she was arrested for the second time and fined for being obstuctive by the police(£80)which she blames on her neighbours.She attacked one of the neighbours who refrained from making a charge because of the reprisals.I understand that she sets about her partner when drunk and sometimes he fights back.Its sort of normal.I warned the lady by letter and verbaly that any further incidents would result in notice to leave.She was upset to receive the letter but several incidents happened within days.So I issued a S21 to leave by 30/11/07.Thursday there was an incident and Friday the police contacted the gentleman to say come in to see us or were coming to arrest you.He went in voluntarily.She accused him of hitting her and cutting her lip.He is barred from going to the house until 18/10/07 pending further investigations.Meanwhile his partner is trying to make sure he doesn,t get back into the house.Both names are on the lease.The lady is maintaining that everything in the house is hers.What I would like to know is:-if she is arrested again and the man is able to retrieve his belongings and gives up his keys to us and we sign off the lease(meter reading etc) and give him his deposit back.Would I be acting wrongly.I am really worried about what the lady may do.She was sectioned apparently 3 years ago and is very unstable.I also understand there is a lot of pot smoking going on in the house.I have spoken briefly to the neighbour who was attacked and I advised her avoid contact until I can sort this out.Can any one out there give me any advise about the next step forward?Regards Mrs Digle
    Mrs Dingle

    #2
    Does the S21 expire at the end of the fixed term? Or is the tenancy now periodic?

    At the end of the fixed term, the man is free to walk away, leaving his wife with effectively a new tenancy if she is still in occupation.

    He would have to give you the house back completely free of her possessions if you were to accept the tenancy as completely surrendered, as if no one currently lived there; if you knew nothing of their history most landlords would feel that proper procedure had been followed.

    But I have a sneaking suspicion that if you know that she would not approve of his actions of clearing the house, you may be evicting her illegally by taking possession of the property .

    If lady tenant will not likely surrender, to cover yourself you should issue a Section 8 notice with grounds of antisocial behaviour ( discretionary...judge may not grant possession. ) as soon as possible, and apply for a court order ASAP.

    You need good legal advice.

    Please post back here with any feedback.
    All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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    Comment


      #3
      If on a joint ast then i think you are going to need "joint agreement" to accept termination ....
      I have a very similar situation at present with 3 guys who like to "party" all night ..have given them numerous warning as has noise pollution guys from council ....1of the 3 gave me notice that they would be leaving verbally ...when i spoke to the other 2 guys a few days later they knew nothing about it and have no intention of leaving .....
      So explained that all 3 must agree to notice and sign to that effect for me to accept it .....also explained to first guy that he could leave anytime he liked but would be responsible financially until such time as the other 2 decided to leave or a substitute T has been found .....

      Dont see how you can proceed unless you have agreement from all parties on ast......

      I would proceed with S21 and seek clear vacant possession and NOT get involved in any domestic issues between them ...especially in light of the fact that "the gentleman" is barred from even going to the property b4 18/10....

      be interested to hear what happens on this one ...

      Simon
      Last edited by Editor; 07-10-2007, 14:54 PM.
      A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
      W.Churchill

      Comment


        #4
        Hi,Thank-you for your comments.They are in a periodic tenancy.The original tenancy was only 6 months and I pointed out to them in the beginning that I would happily carry on with the tenancy after the sixth month privided all parties were happy.
        There have been other problems.She keeps buying puppies and her partner keeps getting rid of them(selling them on)as he knows that we don,t allow dogs.I think the problems between them are based on her alchoholism and she is very difficult to control when drunk.She has made many accusations against neighbours.She claimed that one had attacked her with a broom.I believe there is every chance that her claim that her partner has attacked her was a deliberate attempt to remove him from the house and it has worked.He,s the one with the business and the money and he payed for most stuff.She has claimed the shed in the garden is hers and all the contents(including 6 sets of golf clubs!!)are hers.She has refused to hand over the key to the padlock.I have suggested to her partner that he gets someone to put another lock on it which should secure his stuff.He is allowed to go to the house if he requests a police-officer to be present.This is only to prevent "a breach of the peace"She has told me she is going down to the social on Monday to see if she can get benefit.She seems to be under the impression that she only has to pay half the rent.He feels he shouldn,t pay any and is going to stop the direct debit.I have tried to explain that the lease holds them responsible together or severally and so whoever is in the house should be paying.Also she believes that she is not responsible for any damage HE did.I would like to know a bit more about a section 8 and what I need to start this process.This a method I haven,t used before.I had assumed that a section 8 was a route when they owed rent to you.Intriguing situation.From the outside I can see the funny side of this crazy situation but obviously I am very worried.There are a lot of witnesses to their punch ups.They often have them in the street and all the locals go out to watch.The gentleman next door ha shad enough and the police have sugested to him that he keeps notes.She went round to him and ripped them up in a temper.Any help you can give me would be really appreciated.She was sectioned 3 years ago and that may be the way it will go .Look forward to your reply Mrs Dingle
        Mrs Dingle

        Comment


          #5
          If the tenant seeks advice from the local authority about the eviction in an attempt to gain social housing and submits an application for homelessness, they may advise the tenant to remain in the property until you gain a court order.

          Therefore, if the tenant doesn't leave of her own volition at the end of November, you may have to take this additional step to gain possession.

          http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/Possession.htm

          I would advise you focus on the legal steps to secure eviction and do not involve yourself directly in external elements where you have no control or influence, such as the domestic problems of the tenants, including dispute of ownership of belongings, and their relationship with the neighbours. The tenant can seek legal advise about his belongings. The neighbour can call the Police - you are evicting the tenant and this is as much as you can do to resolve it for them.

          There's a section 8 notice here

          http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/agreements.htm

          And info here about grounds for possession.

          http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/ground...possession.htm

          Comment


            #6
            grounds for posession.

            Hi,Thank-you for that info.I have printed off 3 copies of the claim form for posession and also the section 8 notice and the guidance notes explaining different grounds .It seems to me that ground 14 applies as the tenant is nuisance to neighbours and is smoking pot in the house.Also her partner has left due to domestic violence and unlikely to return.If this applies then I would be able to apply for a court order immediatly and wouldn,t have to wait until the end of nov.Which would be so much better.I will speak to the police again tomorrow to see if they would be able to support my claim in any way as they have all the records of their attendances and could confirm my claim.Pot smoking in the house though may be aproblem as I don,t have any evidence.Do I just fill in the section 8 notice and give that ground and send it recorded delivery?Then should I sent copies of posession (x3)to the court with copy(not sure how many) of the notice and lease.I,m not sure how much this would cost.The last time I applied it was £130.
            The tenant is approaching the social to claim benefit to pay her rent,community charge etc.She is not seeking to be rehoused.She believes that she has a nice house,nicely furnished and when she,s ready her boyfriend will move in.She has already asked if she could carry on the tenancy with a new partner.I told her no.Which she accepted.She does change her story,idea,plan every 5 mins so isn,t reliable.She won,t necessarily do what she,s says and is economical with the truth.Like"I haven,t got a dog"."I don,t smoke in the house".I think I need to avoid contact with her at the moment although up to now we have had a good landlord /tenant relationship.Trouble is I like to keep a check on the property.I don,t want to fall into the harrasment trap though.I always insist that tenants seek their own advice.Thanks again Mrs Dingle
            Mrs Dingle

            Comment


              #7
              p.s. another question

              Hi again,I forgot to ask.Do I send 1 notice addressed to both the tenants.Or have I got to send 2 notices.1 to each.I don,t have the gentlemans address.Regards Mrs Dingle
              Mrs Dingle

              Comment


                #8
                Regarding Section 8; you cannot guarantee the judge will find in your favour with antisocial behaviour, but it will be worth a try if the case is heard quicker than going the s21 route.

                http://www.letlink.co.uk/letting-fac...-8-notice.html explains more about section 8

                You must serve both tenants; last known address can be used for husband if you cannot find new address. He may have a redirect.

                Joint tenancies are complicated; I think someone should write a case scenario of what happens when x occurs for every situation.
                All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                Comment


                  #9
                  getting worse

                  Hi,The gentleman told me on Sat morn to inform me that he was going to see a solicitor today(mon).I phoned their neighbour this morning to ask how things had been over the weekend.Apparently the gentleman appeared on Sat morning shouting outside that he had been locked up all night and needed a bath.He was allowed in to have a bath.Then last night(sun)he was banging on the front door or rather trying tokick it in and she was on the inside banging with something trying to keep him out.My neighbour(also my tenant) also told me that some damage has occured to the back door.All this and I understood he wasn,t allowed near there.She has been barred from many local pubs for disorder.I have the forms for the section 8 and I,m hoping to fill them in correctly this morning.Unfortunately the postal strike is going to slow the job.I plan to go and visit the property on friday to collect rents etc(routine visit).I am going to phone the police this morning to see if they can support the claim for a court order.If I send the section 8 jointly to them as apparently he is still visiting the property and they are still having contact.IMy thoughts are that as the lease is jointly held and the wording severally is used then one is resposible in the absence of the other.It is complicated.If I posted it Friday to them and they received it monday.How long should I give them to let me know whether they are moving out before proceeding with a claim for a court order?Thanks Mrs Dingle
                  Mrs Dingle

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hi,Just phoned the police and now have a list of 14 incidents dating from 12/10/07.All related to domestic violence and violence towards neighbours.Both parties are telling me that they have been told not to contact each other and so they are not.The neighbour is claiming that the man has been trying to break the door down to get in.The man says he has been nowhere near but is saying that she rung him over 80 times yesterday and at least 30 times today.It would seem that she has no money and is getting desperate for drink and cigarettes .He sent his friend round to collect his safe and guess what ?Its been stolen along with £8000.The lady still in the house has been in touch with the police this morning to claim that her girlfriends who came round to see her last night took jewelry,a watch,£50,cigarettes from her handbag and then took a load of cd,s when she went upstairs.I have an incident No. for 08/10/07 but am unable to get details due to data protection.I have the phone number of the man in charge of police data and I,m going to find out from him what support in writing he would be able to give me to support ground 14 for posession OR a route for the court to get this information direct to support what I,m claiming.
                    I also asked about criminal damage because of the attemps to break down the door.He said that would be straight forward.I prove the damage and by whom and they,ll do the rest. Because of the postal strike I am unable to send a section 8 before thursday unless I go to another area but because of the strike it may be delayed.So I am going to post it from the address area on Friday when I go to visit.Regards Mrs Dingle
                    Mrs Dingle

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Why not serve it on them personally with a witness? Or post it through letter box, with a witness?
                      All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

                      * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

                      You can search the forums here:

                      Comment


                        #12
                        serving of the notice.

                        I have spoken to the man and he is going to advise me of an address for him so that I can send him any notices.I have spoken to the lady and she has agreed to allow me entry to survey and fix a few problems.(Hole punched in the door etc!)Would my partner(landlord/husband) be a suitable witness or should I try and get someone else?Also when I am filling in this section 8.Should I put both names on both of the notices or individual names.I,m inclined to put both names on both notices but i,m not sure.Thanks Mrs Dingle
                        Mrs Dingle

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Oh dear! All Notices should be served on the tenants jointly at their last known address i.e. the tenanted premises. There's no point in serving a Notice to one tenant who has supposedly moved out as that implies he no longer is in residence, and what's more could just return if he wanted to.

                          By the way you will find the stating no pets or smokers is contrary to the Unfair Terms in consumer contract Regulations guidelines and unenforceable on a tenant, and stating no DHSS (as you put it) although the department hasn't exisited for several years is implying that you are prejudiced against all benefit claimants and breaches the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. Your only valid clause in those mentioned is the "no children" one.

                          I know these are far from your current problems but might make you understand that drawing up a tenancy agreement takes a lot more skill than everyone appreciates.
                          The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            MrsDingle: be aware that, as evident from other threads, I and others differ from Paul's understanding of the Unfair Contract Terms stuff!
                            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Yeah, toddlers don't cause cigarette burns and sh*t on the carpets (much)

                              Comment

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