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View Full Version : Four tenants on benefits; two constantly break rules



lincoln
30-01-2009, 09:18 AM
Morning everyone, I though I would register on the site as I need some professional help.

I have a rented property, and it has 4 DSS tenants in it. I wanted to sell the house at the end of my fixed term in May, and thought I would gove them notice. I went the wrong way about this, but I am goiin to rectify this with a S.21 to all 4 tenants. I have read up about the s.21 and that is fine.

However, I have 2 tenants in there that are constantly breaking the tenancy agreement.

T1) Plays very loud music, have 3 complaints from neighbours (neighbours I know as I used to live there). Another neighbour has done a petition and sent it to the local Environment Services. They ahve writtena nd said he is breaking the Enviro Protection Act 1990.

I have a problem as I stupidly never gave this tenant a tenancy agreement when they moved in. Because I was filling in the benefit form, it said if you don't have an agreement. I have read that this is irrelevant as they would be bound have the AST housing Act 1988 or something.

In building up evidence against this tenant, he has also left rubbish piling up in the garden (along with the other 3), got a dog that he is mean't to be paying me for, but is behind with 3 months pay (he has a worning to pay or the dog goes).

I may be confusing people here, but it is not as confusign as it is in my head. One thing you should know is that I am worried that he thinks I can't issue a S8 as I am also breaking the agreement by not doing several things in the house. They got EnvHealth round to look, and it needed a boiler, hot water (both now done) also some damp (now done) a wired fire alarm and some stairs emergency lighting (not done yet).

Would they be able to counter the S8 and say I am also breaking the AST?

Does this has any effect, knowing the courts can sway towards the T?


T2) Again, a constant pain, mainly because they don't do anything except live off the state. Points:

Rubbish again in the garden
Yesterday I witnessed them smoking drugs in the garden
Post has been opened in my name (not usre it is this T)
Telephone was plugged in and a bill for £400 was ran up (again can't pin pont on this T)
My debit card was opened and used by someone to top up a mobile.
Got a picture of a Bong from the room


Would a S8 be successful?

How do I stand with all 4 tenants bearing in mind the collective issues, i.e the rubbish, phone bill, debit card, post opened (postal Act 200 Section 84)?

The other problem is that these people have nowhere to go, so I feel the courts will give them time if it went down that route.

So I want to know if?

I am also breaking the agreement?
Does my position have any bearing on a S8?
Would it cost me a fortune in court fees based on the info above?
Am I right in saying once a S8 is issued, I can't enter the property for 14 days? What happens if I need to do some plastering up the damp?
What do I do about the phone bill? How can I get my money back? (also they all denied using the phone!)
Do I get a solicitor/online company to issue the S8 as it is more official? Can I do it myself and save costs?
Also, if I have to pay court fees, baliff fees, will I get these back?

I apologise for all the questions, but I am at the end of my tether, and I need a guardian angel to help me with all my questions!

Thanks in anticipation for all feedback.
John

PaulF
30-01-2009, 14:56 PM
Firstly read up on S.11 Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 to see your statutory obligations to tenants, and to see if you have complied.

A S.8 Notice depends on which Grounds you want to use if you go to court.

There's nothing wrong in writing to your tenants pointing out the breaches of your tenancy agreement.

Any illegal activities should be notified to the police.

Why is post belonging to you being delivered there, especially a debit card? Do you live there too, because if so, your legal position might be completely different?

Paul Gibbs
30-01-2009, 15:29 PM
the tenant that has not signed a tenancy agreement is likely to have either an oral tenancy (depending what you discussed) or an implied one by them paying rent to you (whether it be paid by them or on their behalf).

you can issue a s21 notice - but I do not think you can use the accelerated procedure against all tenants as one of them does not have a written tenancy agreement.

(I am assuming they all have different agreements as opposed to all being on the same agreement)

If you want them out you have a few options: -

1. serve s8 and issue claim on those grounds
2. serve s21 and issue a normal claim (non-accelerated) for possession
3. serve both s8 and s21 and sue under both notices for possession.

IMO introducing a s8 notice will muddy the waters - they will defend those allegations and also possibly counterclaim (by way of set off) for you breaches of the agreement (if you are in breach) this will mean a messy case that a judge will have to pick through - I expect you will get possession but it may take time.

query whether it is better to use section 21 notice only as there is no defence as such. They could still counterclaim but I think that is less of a risk than if you also used s8. (they would also have serious issues on getting legal assistance as their prospects of success are so low).

If you do use s8 you might want to consider letting solicitors deal with that for you.