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View Full Version : Tenant disruptive; seeks collusive letting to HB claimant



RodCrosby
23-01-2009, 11:15 AM
Let a small flat to a tenant on 19th Dec (AST weekly £70/week)...told me he's working, Recommended by other tenants (on HB) who I trust. (they are mortified by turn of events)

I normally rent to HB tenants, with no real problems, but needed a tenant quickly this time, so took a working tenant. He looked OK, aged about 49.

He paid two weeks rent. I arranged to come up in the new year to set up standing order etc...

On that day I was invited into property to find two others in there. A "rough"-looking female, and another male. T told me, "How about putting the tenancy in her name, as she is on the dole and eligible for HB?"

I immediately smelled a rat, and felt very uncomfortable, and made non-committal noises, took her details, etc... She was very pushy, trying to get me to do it there and then. Left them there, with no firm commitments.

Made enquiries, found out she's a "nutter", who has been evicted previously elsewhere.

No rent from T since (will be three weeks rent due next Monday) . Sent him a letter (including SAE) last week asking for outstanding rent. No response.

Other tenants have since complained about "ding-dongs" between these two. Notice a pane of glass in their door has been broken. Rumours she may be a part-time prostitute.

Want them out, with the least possible hassle. Section 8? What are the best grounds to use? Is the ground 17 any use (misrepresentation - I guess that was his plan all along to get her HB to pay the rent, but couldn't reveal her before he was in, because of her obvious problems)

Presumably I'm in a reasonably strong position - he's still the tenant, and I think I know where he works (what's the best way of confirming that, btw?)

All advice gratefully appreciated..

jeffrey
23-01-2009, 11:53 AM
Section 8 of Housing Act 1988: see grounds 10/11/12/13/14/15/17, as applicable. These are all discretionary-only, though.

BUT the rent is weekly. Did you provide a rent book? See s.4 of LTA 1985.

RodCrosby
23-01-2009, 12:06 PM
No I didn't provide a rent book, as the idea was he would set-up a standing order from his bank. On the day I went up to see him I was faced with a difficult new situation, and I suppose I just froze, waiting to see what their next move would be...

I suppose I could drop him a rent-book in the post if it might be an issue in possession proceedings? I don't really want to have any more direct contact.

jeffrey
23-01-2009, 12:45 PM
No rent book = criminal offence; so see to it ASAP!!

RodCrosby
23-01-2009, 17:13 PM
Well thanks for that. That's a new one on me! I'll get one asap. How should I give it to him (if I want no further contact with him)?

Anything else I ought to check before giving him notice?

mind the gap
23-01-2009, 17:17 PM
Well thanks for that. That's a new one on me! I'll get one asap. How should I give it to him (if I want no further contact with him)?

Royal Mail Special Delivery (recorded, guaranteed, signed-for delivery by 1pm next day, proof of postage also supplied. Trackable online. About £4).

RodCrosby
23-01-2009, 17:19 PM
And if they refuse to sign? Presumably it'll be returned to me. Will that be proof enough that I attempted to give him a rent book?

RodCrosby
18-02-2009, 12:08 PM
I've sent him a rent book and reminder letters, but no response. According to other tenants he's still there with this woman.

Now I get a letter from the Council Tax dept "I would ask you to confirm that Mr X has not moved into the property and is not a tenant of yourselves. Information from Mr. X states that due to circumstances he has not moved in and I would ask you to confirm whether it is his intention to move in at all. Please contact us as soon as possible... otherwise we will assume that Mr. X is not a tenant and revert any council tax back to yourself."

WTF? He's now telling he council he's not living there, and they believe him!
Advice please...

Is this letter any use to me in proving abandonment? Or as help in obtaining possession?

The tenancy started on 19th December 2008, so I presume that I am now able to start Section 8 proceedings?

RodCrosby
19-02-2009, 00:18 AM
Stumped, eh?

How can the Council entertain such drivel, when he must have picked up their Council Tax demand at the property in question? If he claims he's not living in my flat, they must have asked him "Where are you living then?"

What's my best move?
If he claims he's not living there, how can I "evict" him, and the woman he's co-habiting with? :confused:

thevaliant
19-02-2009, 08:36 AM
Stumped, eh?

How can the Council entertain such drivel, when he must have picked up their Council Tax demand at the property in question? If he claims he's not living in my flat, they must have asked him "Where are you living then?"

Your first post mentions that you have an AST (signed I assume). Write back to the council INCLUDING a copy of the signed AST (and of course tell them he does live there because he obviously opened the letter!).

RodCrosby
19-02-2009, 11:12 AM
Yes I have a signed AST...

Why not just cut my losses with this joker and "change the locks, etc" while they are out?

How can he claim unlawful eviction if he's told the Council "due to circumstances" he "has not moved into the property and therefore is not a tenant of yourselves"?

thevaliant
19-02-2009, 11:29 AM
That is.... interesting....

I had been about to say illegal eviction, and I am sure it is, but it is interesting from a stand point if he has stated (in writing perhaps) that he does not actually reside at your property.

Personally - I'd go the formal route, but the way you suggest might work if he doesn't know the law.

Minister for ambiguity
19-02-2009, 11:31 AM
Do not change the locks!, it potentially makes your losses much higher not lessens them.

Although Frustating this will not bring an end to the problem, more likely to escalate them.

RodCrosby
19-02-2009, 13:20 PM
Or if I go down Section 8 route is the Council letter any use to me, as evidence of misrepresentation, etc - that he has either repudiated the contract or sub-let?

Mars Mug
19-02-2009, 13:28 PM
That council letter is asking you to confirm the situation, it does not directly say what they may have been told by the problem tenant.

RodCrosby
23-02-2009, 11:57 AM
Hi, it looks like I would be best to go down Section 8, according to advice given by SLC Solicitors.

I attach tenancy (personal details blanked out)

www.titanictown.plus.com/page1.jpg
www.titanictown.plus.com/page2.jpg
www.titanictown.plus.com/page3.jpg
www.titanictown.plus.com/page4.jpg

One niggle is that I may have made a boo-boo with the terms.

1. The tenancy was signed and dated 19th December 2008, and the tenant moved in that day. This was a Friday. He gave me £60.

2. The tenancy says "payable in advance by weekly payments on the Monday of each week. First payment to be made on 19th December 2008"

3. He then paid me £80 on Sunday 4th January 2009, and nothing since.

The question arises, what is the valid tenancy start date, Friday 19/12/2008 or Monday 22/12/2008? What is the date that the 8th weekly rent became unpaid?

Considering that I have had 2 weeks rent in total from him, I calculate the 8th week as falling due either today or last Friday. Or could it be some other date?

Btw, how would you rate the tenancy with marks out of 10. It's from the local landlords association, but the LLZ one looks more comprehensive. Bear in mind I usually rent to DSS at the lower end of the market.

Thanks for any advice

jeffrey
23-02-2009, 12:04 PM
1. The tenancy was signed and dated 19th December 2008, and the tenant moved in that day. This was a Friday. He gave me £60.

2. The tenancy says "payable in advance by weekly payments on the Monday of each week. First payment to be made on 19th December 2008"

3. He then paid me £80 on Sunday 4th January 2009, and nothing since.

The question arises, what is the valid tenancy start date, Friday 19/12/2008 or Monday 22/12/2008? What is the date that the 8th weekly rent became unpaid?

Considering that I have had 2 weeks rent in total from him, I calculate the 8th week as falling due either today or last Friday. Or could it be some other date?
1. The letting started on 19 December 2008, unless the AST contained another specific commencement date.
[Hope that you provided a Rent Book! See s.4 of LTA 1985]

2. The rent is due every Friday (w.e.f. 19 December 2008) @ £70 per week. T has paid £140 of this.

3. Result: adding ten weeks' period to 18 December 2008 (= 26 February 2009, this coming Thursday) means that- then and thereafter- more than eight weeks' rent is unpaid.

RodCrosby
23-02-2009, 12:48 PM
Thanks for your speedy response, jeffrey, and yes I provided a rent book.

Without wishing to contradict, I just can't get my head round why the 8th week didn't start last Friday. :confused:

19/12/2008 *paid
26/12/2008 *paid
02/01/2009 1
09/01/2009 2
16/01/2009 3
23/01/2009 4
30/01/2009 5
06/02/2009 6
13/02/2009 7
20/02/2009 8

Or is it basically because the whole of the 8th week has to "expire" before it is deemed to be unpaid?

Assuming it is this Friday 27th Feb, can anyone advise on the appropriate dates of service of notice, dates of issuing claim, etc.?

jeffrey
23-02-2009, 12:58 PM
Yes, point taken. You are correct. Sorry for my error: I did not proof-read.

The eighth week of rent fell due on 20 February and was unpaid that day. Next day (21 February) was the first on which there were eight weeks' rent unpaid. On and from 21 February, you can serve a s.21 Notice on g8 (also including g10/g11, to be on safe side).

RodCrosby
23-02-2009, 13:27 PM
Just as a point of information, the "Notes on completing a Section 8" here seem to be seriously awry. Perhaps someone can amend?
Were they originally these time limits? When did the law change?

Ground 8 - Both at the date of the service of the notice under section 8 of this Act
relating to the proceedings for possession and at the date of the hearing—
(a) if rent is payable weekly or fortnightly, at least thirteen weeks' rent is unpaid;
(b) if rent is payable monthly, at least three months' rent is unpaid;
(c) if rent is payable quarterly, at least one quarter’s rent is more than three months in
arrears; and
(d)if rent is payable yearly, at least three months' rent is more than three months in
arrears; and for the purpose of this ground “rent” means rent lawfully due from the
tenant.

RodCrosby
27-02-2009, 14:53 PM
Just about to serve my section 8, and have had a horrible thought.
As outlined at the top of the thread, the T tried to get me to enter a collusive letting with the female, and he has subsequently told the Council that "due to circumstances he is not my tenant." I listened to what they said, took her details, but gave no firm commitments. Unfortunately there was a fourth person in the room. I suspect I have been carefully set-up.

Nightmare scenario: I serve the section 8 on T, but both he and she (and "witness") turn up at court and swear that I agreed that the female was to become the tenant. [verbal agreement?] :mad:

Result: If the Judge believes them, Section 8 voided, and I have to commence again against the female?

Is this likely, or possible, and is there any way I can cover this potential twist now in the Section 8?

I feel I am dealing with experienced scammers here....

SALL
27-02-2009, 15:12 PM
Just about to serve my section 8, and have had a horrible thought.
As outlined at the top of the thread, the T tried to get me to enter a collusive letting with the female, and he has subsequently told the Council that "due to circumstances he is not my tenant." I listened to what they said, took her details, but gave no firm commitments. Unfortunately there was a fourth person in the room. I suspect I have been carefully set-up.

Nightmare scenario: I serve the section 8 on T, but both he and she (and "witness") turn up at court and swear that I agreed that the female was to become the tenant. [verbal agreement?] :mad:

Result: If the Judge believes them, Section 8 voided, and I have to commence again against the female?

Is this likely, or possible, and is there any way I can cover this potential twist now in the Section 8?

I feel I am dealing with experienced scammers here....

Personally I would say don't make things complicated for yourself and keep it simple.

Tenant A is your tenant and you have a signed tenancy agreement to prove that. If they claim the woman is your tenant then let them prove it to a judge.

RodCrosby
27-02-2009, 15:29 PM
Well, thanks for your response, but not very re-assuring. You say let them prove it to a Judge; this implies they could "prove" it!

The only money that changed hands was between me and the original tenant, while the woman was still in the "background." When I came up in the New Year to arrange a standing order with him, the woman was produced, and their "offer" to me made [make her the tenant.] I didn't say yes, but didn't say no, just took her details, and said I would think about it....

On reflection, it was obvious to me what they were trying to do, and no further contact was initiated by me. But no further rent came from him, either... :mad:

The local courts here are notoriously slow in dealing with possession cases. If I get the Section 8 wrong now, they could potentially still be there by the end of the year. It's got to be watertight.

thevaliant
27-02-2009, 15:37 PM
Well, thanks for your response, but not very re-assuring. You say let them prove it to a Judge; this implies they could "prove" it!

You have an AST signed by original tenant (X).

You suspect that women (W) will try to claim tenancy in her name. Let them prove it. If it gets that far, simply present paperwork to show AST in X's name. Ask for paperwork in W's name (they won't produce it.... they may be trying to set you up, but they aren't that clever to forge an AST).

Even if, by some miracle they do, then W hasn't paid either. So evict.

SALL
27-02-2009, 15:47 PM
Well, thanks for your response, but not very re-assuring. You say let them prove it to a Judge; this implies they could "prove" it!

The only money that changed hands was between me and the original tenant, while the woman was still in the "background." When I came up in the New Year to arrange a standing order with him, the woman was produced, and their "offer" to me made [make her the tenant.] I didn't say yes, but didn't say no, just took her details, and said I would think about it....

On reflection, it was obvious to me what they were trying to do, and no further contact was initiated by me. But no further rent came from him, either... :mad:

The local courts here are notoriously slow in dealing with possession cases. If I get the Section 8 wrong now, they could potentially still be there by the end of the year. It's got to be watertight.

I think they just won't turn up on the hearing day and you will have to arrange bailiff’s after the court order.

Well you can always get paid legal advice, then you can hold the solicitors accountable if give you incorrect advice.

But personally I think you are thinking too much. Yes you do need to get the Section 8 notice right, but against your tenant (who as you say is the guy and you have a tenancy agreement to prove that)

RodCrosby
04-03-2009, 11:26 AM
Hi, would some kind person just check these text files for wording etc, for the grounds and reasons.

If I post today, what date should I put for the "court proceedings will not begin until after"?

I take it I can still issue Sect.21 in the near future. Fixed term ends on 18th June 2009.

Thanks for all your help.

[just spotted an error in GROUNDS.TXT, which I've corrected. It's nine weeks as at 28th Feb]