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navaz133
26-01-2009, 12:55 PM
Hi everyone,

We had difficulty with our tenant since she has moved in. She just paid the first month rent with delay and after that no money what’s so ever. She kept promising to pay the money soon and after that she claimed she has lost her job and is on benefit and they will pay us the rent directly in a month time and we tried to be patient and not to pressure her because of her condition (although we were financially struggling, credit cards debts, mortgage and everything)...

After 2 months we finally got some money from City Council for her rent which does not even cover the whole monthly rent and they just paid for one month while she owes us 3 months rent(£4500). Our fixed term agreement will be finished by 20th of April and we were considering taking the matter to the court after giving her required notices. As far as I know the court will order to evict the tenant and not about the unpaid rent.

Now, my question is whether there is any hope to claim back the unpaid rent and if there is how?

Thank you very much,

Desperate N

MrJohnnyB
26-01-2009, 13:12 PM
Depends on the nature of the tenant. Did you carry out credit checks? You can of course persue her for outstanding rental amounts, the problem is whether or not she can/will pay.

SALL
26-01-2009, 13:19 PM
Hi everyone,

We had difficulty with our tenant since she has moved in. She just paid the first month rent with delay and after that no money what’s so ever. She kept promising to pay the money soon and after that she claimed she has lost her job and is on benefit and they will pay us the rent directly in a month time and we tried to be patient and not to pressure her because of her condition (although we were financially struggling, credit cards debts, mortgage and everything)...

After 2 months we finally got some money from City Council for her rent which does not even cover the whole monthly rent and they just paid for one month while she owes us 3 months rent(£4500). Our fixed term agreement will be finished by 20th of April and we were considering taking the matter to the court after giving her required notices. As far as I know the court will order to evict the tenant and not about the unpaid rent.

Now, my question is whether there is any hope to claim back the unpaid rent and if there is how?

Thank you very much,

Desperate N

Do you know that you don't need to wait till the end of term?
You can serve a section 8 (ground 8, 10,11) (2 week) notice, once two months rent is unpaid. Don't wait around untill the end of the term.

navaz133
26-01-2009, 13:20 PM
We just asked her to see her 3 months statements at the beginning which was alright and she had earning over £4000/m. Do you have any idea which rout we need to take to claim for the unpaid rent?
Thanks a lot,
N

navaz133
26-01-2009, 13:25 PM
Thanks for your helpful comment, I'm just worried that the court says she is on benefit and doesn't have any money so she'll pay her debts in installments, say £10/m !!!!

MrJohnnyB
26-01-2009, 13:29 PM
Thanks for your helpful comment, I'm just worried that the court says she is on benefit and doesn't have any money so she'll pay her debts in installments, say £10/m !!!!

Yep! It does happen! it just depends on what other earnings/assets she has. Often it can be more economical if you come to an agreement direct with her if at all possible (dealing from personal experience and not legal experience, someone else will be able to give you a much clearer explaination!)

Syd73
26-01-2009, 13:38 PM
I am in the process of taking a tenant to the small claims court for unpaid rent and damage to my property. I was advised that I could start a claim through the small claims court once she was 14 days in arrears, I was always under the impression they had to be 2 months in arrears, but this was not the case for small claims.

You should also serve a section 21 notice now so she knows you are not renewing her tenancy. If you email me I will email a copy of the one my solicitor produced for me, it's a word document, I have pasted it in below, but I can email the word template.

NOTICE REQUIRING POSSESSION
of XXXaddress of property XXXXXXXXXXXXX

(England & Wales - Housing Act 1988 as amended by Housing Act 1996 – Section 21 Notice)


We give you notice that we require possession of the
dwellinghouse described below by virtue of s.21 (4) Housing Act 1988 (as amended)


Tenant:

xxxxxx


Landlord:

xxxxx


Address of dwelling:

xxxx



DATE OF EXPIRY of this NOTICE:

XXX last day of tenancy xxx


Signed on behalf of (landlord):



------------------------------------
My solicitors details


Date this NOTICE is SERVED:

2008




NOTES

Tenants and Landlords please see note following:


• On or after the end of a fixed-term Assured Shorthold Tenancy a court must make an order for possession if the landlord has given notice in writing under Section 21.
• The landlord does not need to give any reason for requiring possession.
• Where there are joint landlords, at least one of them or their agent must serve the notice.
• Where there are joint tenants, it is preferable that each tenant be served notice.
• The notice should be served in person or through the letter box or by first class post – keep a copy and record the date and time, who served the notice (any witness), or Post Office proof of
postage receipt – allow 3 working days for delivery.
• Fixed-term s 21(1)b The length of the notice must be at least two months, and the notice
must be served before or on the day on which the fixed-term comes to an end.
• Periodic Tenancy s 21(4)a (i.e. where the tenant has stayed-on after the expiry of the fixed term)
a notice can be served after the fixed-term has ended specifying a date after which
possession is required being the last day of a period of the tenancy (usually the day before a
rent payment day) and not earlier than two months after the date the notice was given.
• Periodic Tenants – the landlord requires possession after the date stated in this notice or at the
end of the period of your tenancy which will end next after the expiration of 2 months from the
service upon you of this notice.

• If you as tenant do not know your rights after you have been served a notice requiring
possession see a solicitor, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or your local authority rent officer.

Syd73
26-01-2009, 14:18 PM
I have emailed the section 21 template notice as promised. I can recommend a good solicitor but this is for Newcastle upon tyne, they do not rip you off and have given me a very fair price for dealing with matters.

Smithson Law Firm
Wards Buildings,
31-39, High Bridge,
Newcastle Upon Tyne,
Tyne and Wear
NE1 1EW

http://www.smithsonlawfirm.com/

Tel: 0191 2331444

SALL
27-01-2009, 07:40 AM
Thanks for your helpful comment, I'm just worried that the court says she is on benefit and doesn't have any money so she'll pay her debts in installments, say £10/m !!!!

Yes the court might let her pay arreas in installments. To be honest, if she is on benifits, you might as well forget about the money owed and try to get her out of the property as soon as possible. Section 8 route would be quicker, as don't have to wait till the end of the tenancy term.

silvercar
27-01-2009, 10:55 AM
Councils pay rent 4 weekly in arrears, so while according to the contract she owes you 3 months rent, by paying in arrears you will get a payment at the end of the tenancy to cover the last 4 weeks rent.

Depending on your dates this should mean that there is "only" 4 weeks rent unaccounted for. The advantage of keeping this tenant is that you will have no voids and you know that the rent will now be paid direct to you and on time. If you discuss with the tenant how she can make up the shortfall before the renewal date, you could all end up happy.

I had exactly the same situation. Tenant was 6 weeks in arrears and I guessed (correctly) that December would be a difficult month to find rent. Deciding that I didn't have the heart to evict before Xmas, I contacted the council got them to pay me direct and negotiated with the tenant to sort out rent arrears before renewal. It did mean that there was a few weeks when there was actually 2.5 months rent owing, but knowing that the situation is resolved without having to throw anyone onto the streets helped me sleep at night.