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paulw
18-12-2005, 16:25 PM
I own a shop with a flat above which I have rented out to a young family on a short term tenancy agreement. I am now selling the shop and need the tenants out. I explained this to them and they seemed fine, they went to the housing office to apply for a council house, i gave them a good reference, and they came back and said they were told i needed to give them written notice. Their 6 month agreement ended in November and i didnt want to give them a new lease so as i understand it they are now on a rolling month-month agreement and in this scenario i only have to give them 1 months notice to depart. But they have come back from the housing office and said they have been told i have to give them 2 months notice then i have to go through the courts to get them out, and only then will they get a council house. (i cant believe the council are encouraging them to get me to take them to court!)

Can someone confirm the notice period for me please?

Also, i am a novice landlord and a bit useless/ignorant. The notice i gave them was a typed letter, is this acceptable or do i need to give them a proper form?

They also owe me 6 weeks rent from the beginning of their tenancy which they have blamed on the housing office for the last 6 month. I was going to let them off with this if they got out with no problems but could this be a better/quicker tool to use to get them out?

many thanks for any help.

paul

Energise
18-12-2005, 16:56 PM
You need to give 2 months notice (S.21) which must expire on the last day of a rental period.

Is the rent paid weekly or monthly?


There is some detailed info in the following 2 threads about S.21 notice

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=547&highlight=question+time

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=953&highlight=question+time

paulw
18-12-2005, 17:39 PM
thanks. bit complicated aint it?

ive just checked the tenancy agreement and i must have misread the notice period - so 2 months it is then!

so then. is my typed letter giving notice classed as a section 21 or is a special form required?

and because my letter only had one months notice which i issued 2 weeks ago, do i now have to give them a new section 21 with 2 months notice starting from today? or can i revise the original letter and change the date?

this is now going to cause problems with my shop sale as it will be completed within 4 weeks. will the new owner have to accept responsibility for evicting the tenants or will it still be down to me?

Energise
18-12-2005, 18:26 PM
There is no prescribed form but there is prescribed information needed to be included in the letter, you should issue a new one and you must get the expiry date correct.

The new owner would become the new landlord which could set whole new load of issues for you.

RichieP
18-12-2005, 19:54 PM
Tell them that, unless they pay off the money you are owed, you will evict them for rent arrears. The council will then say they have made themselves intentionally homeless and won't help them. Tell them you'll do it the Section 21 route of they play ball and pay up.

paulw
18-12-2005, 20:38 PM
thanks for all the info.

i know the local councillor pretty well so im going to speak to him and hopefully he will beable to pull a few strings and get them pushed up the waiting list for a council house.

ive learned a big lesson with all this. i was far too trusting when i took them in originally. i got no references and took no bond..a combination of me feeling sorry for them and me also being desperate to get someone in - it isnt the most desirable flat/area.

energize - you recomend issuing a new section 21, but do you mean the 2 months will start from now or the original date?

MrShed
18-12-2005, 21:00 PM
It will start from now, as from your description your initial notice will almost certainly be invalid. As is stated above, as long as the correct info is there, it does not have to be a prescribed form, but it is vital that the info is there, and correct - the dates are the most common pitfall of this.

Patois
19-12-2005, 08:23 AM
What has your tenants application for housing got to do with a councillor?
Their needs should be assessed just like anyone else.


(i cant believe the council are encouraging them to get me to take them to court!)
Can't you? - the Council provide a service to people in need of housing.
They are not there just for your convenience.

You should be ashamed of yourself - expecting the ratepayers to bail you out just because a local councillor is a 'good friend'.
He/she is not there to pick up your mess but to serve the interests of his/her constituents.

Also, i am a novice landlord and a bit useless/ignorant. You said it
ive learned a big lesson with all this. i was far too trusting when i took them in originally. i got no references and took no bond..a combination of me feeling sorry for them and me also being desperate to get someone in But they can't be that bad - after all you gave them such a good reference - Do you mean it isn't true? - What would a Court say if you evict for rent arrears?

paulw
19-12-2005, 11:19 AM
i am certainly not ashamed of myself.

as i understand things, my tenants have been given advice off the council to stay put after the section 21 expires and let me take them to court...once i eventually get them out then they will be given a council house.

i intend to speak to my councillor, he is not a 'good friend' but someone who i just happen to know quite well, and ask him if he can intervene on my behalf and arrange a house for them after the 2 month period...rather than block the courts up with expense for the 'ratepayers'. do you really think it is sensible for a local authority to be encouraging applicants for housing to wait till they are taken through the courts before agreeing to give them a house?

and as far as the reference goes then they have been good tenants apart from the mix up with the rent at the start.

Energise
19-12-2005, 12:37 PM
i am certainly not ashamed of myself.

as i understand things, my tenants have been given advice off the council to stay put after the section 21 expires and let me take them to court...once i eventually get them out then they will be given a council house.

It is the normal procedure throughout the country, your council does it every day.

i intend to speak to my councillor, he is not a 'good friend' but someone who i just happen to know quite well, and ask him if he can intervene on my behalf and arrange a house for them after the 2 month period...rather than block the courts up with expense for the 'ratepayers'. do you really think it is sensible for a local authority to be encouraging applicants for housing to wait till they are taken through the courts before agreeing to give them a house?

The landlord pays.

and as far as the reference goes then they have been good tenants apart from the mix up with the rent at the start.

The only legal way to evict a tenant is through the courts, that is the intention of the law.

cris/c
19-12-2005, 13:59 PM
Hi Paul,

Council houses are like gold dust, there are just not enough to go round, and people remain on housing lists for years. To wait for eviction before re-housing is the prescribed format followed by all councils across the country.

You can only imagine the scenario if councils stepped in and re-housed every tenant who have deliberately placed themselves in precarious positions just to hoist themselves up the housing ladder (not that I am saying this of your tenants) but it happens.

Rent arrears would count against your tenants. They would be deemed as making themselves intentionally homeless, so no council property. Furthermore, if there is no house available for your tenants, they could well find themselves in B&B accomodation, certainly for the short term.

If you follow the legal format, Section 21 court etc., you are unlikely to be able to complete your sale within 12 weeks let alone 4 weeks. Apart from that, I think it doubtful that your buyer's solicitor will allow his client to exchange/ complete with an ongoing situation like this.

Only your solicitor can advise you on that point, and I would get onto them asap.

Good luck

paulw
20-12-2005, 12:34 PM
i am going to try to 'buy them out'. i was going to suggest i give them money for a deposit elsewhere if they get out within 6 weeks. they may or may not take it but if they did they would be out quicker, my sale can go through, and i dont need to go to court. it will break my heart to give these $%"^%"^ my money mind!

justaboutsane
20-12-2005, 12:42 PM
paulw... I know you have stated that this councillor is just someone you know.. but I feel I have to reply.

A few years ago my Dad was a councillor until he had to quit due to ill health. He was also on the Housing commitee. NEVER ONCE did he use his connections to push someone up the housing list. To this day he has friends on the council and again even when I left an abusive relationship and moved home he did not even approach someone to get me a house.. Again my sister is being evicted and is currently waiting to be rehoused and My father has not intervened.

Any councillor worth their salt will do the same as my father .. and tell people like you to sort your own mess out. IF you had verified these people and checked them out and if you had looked into the process of eviction before issuing the notice to quit you would be in a much better situation now.

You got yourself into this mess and you now need to sort it out yourself... and that means by following the proper channels.

I wish you luck buying them off... but if they want a council place they are better off staying put and letting you take them to court.

paulw
20-12-2005, 21:51 PM
please let me try to explain. my intention was to speak to the councillor. The fact that i know him would only mean he would hopefully look into it for me rather than him dismissing it or perhaps putting it on a back burner if he didnt know me - if this is such a crime then shoot me now! there appears to be a number of people who have never asked a favour of someone who is in a better position to act than themselves. Yes, ive been careless but i need help.

Anyway, I hope it could be seen as a high priority case for the family with young children to be moved up the ladder as there is a definate chance they will be evicted and although most probably unlikely, homeless. As i understand, if the parents are made homeless then the children will be taken on by social services.

The councillor would be helping the family hopefully into a decent sized house to suit the children, myself and my family as the sale would go through and i can get on with my life, and also the new buyers of my property/business who can then begin to serve the community in the shop. In total about 14 of the councillor's constituents helped - would this not be a good job done?? (please be gentle - i know end of the day i'm looking after no.1)

MrShed
21-12-2005, 08:42 AM
Couple of slight thoughts:

- JSA, totally entitled to your opinion of course, but I think a little bit harsh on the poor lad :p. I can appreciate if in that kind of situation, perhaps considering trying it. However, I agree with JSA in that I believe speaking to him, realistically, can do nothing to help. What I would suggest with regards to this is merely to ask him if he knows what the priority is for re-housing in your area. I do not believe it has been mentioned on this thread, sorry if it has, that when the tenant is made unintentionally homeless,in other words when you give them the notice and consequently evict them, they will be bumped up the list and given priority.

- Try not to get so emotionally tied to your tenants, and just look at it in a rational and business manner. I appreciate this is difficult, but at the end of the day, you aren't being unreasonable, and they do have the option of trying to get into another privately rented home. If they cannot afford this, then this is not your fault! There is nothing wrong with a bit of empathy and compassion, just try not to let it influence your decisions.