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Dannime80
16-03-2009, 13:04 PM
Hi, I am currently renting my house out to a nightmare tenant, she was claiming housing benefit when she moved in and it was taking ages to sort out, it turned out they had been paying her and she hadn't been passing the rent on. The outcome is her tenancy is due to end on 26th April, she is to date £1300.00 in arrears, she has informed me that she has no intention of moving out or paying any rent. Her boyfriend has moved in, I have no idea when and she is refusing to allow us to do an inspection, claiming she isn't in at the times I tell her. I can't send any letters recorded delivery as she goes out at 7am and doesn't return until about 6pm. I sent 1 letter recorded and as far as I am aware it is still at the post office as she wasn't in to sign for it.

I have since found out she is in court this month for selling her ex landlords settee, and in Crown court in June for housing benefit fraud.

I just need advice on the quickest, cheapest way to get this nightmare tenant out.

Thanks

Paul_f
16-03-2009, 13:48 PM
Hand deliver a Section 8 Grounds 8,10 & 11 and take a witness with you, and you can issue court proceedings within 14 days if there is 2 months rent unpaid at the time of the service of the Notice and when the hearing takes place (Ground 8). Grounds 10 & 11 will stand you in good stead if ground 8 fails.

Lots of information on the forums about S.8 Notices and you can download most Notices for free from the home page.

mind the gap
16-03-2009, 14:02 PM
Grounds 10 & 11 will stand you in good stead if ground 8 fails.

No, they won't. They are discretionary grounds only, and if ground 8 fails (e.g. if T makes unpaid rent up to less than 2 months' worth before the hearing) they would be very unlikely to result in a possession order.

A Section 21 notice requiring possession is your best back up option if ground 8 fails (although it seems unlikely that it would, in your case) You say her tenancy is due to end on 24th April so it sounds as if you have already served that.

jeffrey
16-03-2009, 14:36 PM
No, they won't. They are discretionary grounds only, and if ground 8 fails (e.g. if T makes unpaid rent up to less than 2 months' worth before the hearing) they would be very unlikely to result in a possession order.
But T seems unlikely to pay anything at all. Court might well give discretionary possession in this case.

mind the gap
16-03-2009, 15:25 PM
But T seems unlikely to pay anything at all. Court might well give discretionary possession in this case.

If OP relies on grounds 10 and 11, that must mean that T has already paid something to reduce the debt, in which case judge may take that as a sign that more might be forthcoming, surely?

That aside, I cannot imgine T admitting to being unlikely to pay anything at all, so how would LL establish that unlikelihood, if T claimed they had every intention of paying, once their boat came in, once they'd paid the bill for the dog's angina treatment, and funded their trip to Australia to be at the bedside of their dying great uncle, etc?

Would T's other misdemeanours be taken into account (e.g the alleged benefit fraud and theft of settee), or must they be dealt with entirely separately?

In your experience, Jeffrey, how likely are grounds 10 and 11 by themselves to result in a possession order?

jeffrey
16-03-2009, 15:33 PM
I cannot imgine T admitting to being unlikely to pay anything at all, so how would LL establish that unlikelihood, if T claimed they had every intention of paying?
Read what OP stated:

The outcome is her tenancy is due to end on 26th April, she is to date £1300.00 in arrears, she has informed me that she has no intention of moving out or paying any rent.

mind the gap
16-03-2009, 15:36 PM
Read what OP stated:

I did; but unless LL has proof T told her that, would it count for much?

Also, I've amended my post - please see first parag. above (#5)

jeffrey
16-03-2009, 15:40 PM
How likely are grounds 10 and 11 by themselves to result in a possession order?
Well, they're discretionary- so it's up to the Court to adjudge the balance of probabilities.

mind the gap
16-03-2009, 15:50 PM
Well, they're discretionary- so it's up to the Court to adjudge the balance of probabilities.


Does that 'boil down', in practice, to how shifty and feckless the claimant appears to be, or does the Court follow more objective criteria? Are there guidelines - or it is a bit of a lottery, depending on which judge you get?

I only ask, as I cannot imagine anyone paying out for litigation purely on the basis of grounds 10 and 11, since that must mean T has paid back some of the arrears already - which must surely go in their favour...?

Or is this not how it works?

jeffrey
16-03-2009, 16:09 PM
Alternatively:
do you think that Parliament had nothing much to do that day so it enacted provisions without guessing that anyone might use them?

mind the gap
16-03-2009, 16:52 PM
Alternatively:
do you think that Parliament had nothing much to do that day so it enacted provisions without guessing that anyone might use them?

That is exactly what I was wondering, although it has to be said there are some laws which are rarely invoked, aren't there?



I began by assuming, (on the basis of advice offered here on LLZ), that grounds 10 and 11 by themselves, being discretionary, should not be relied upon to gain a possession order. Jeffrey suggests that they do indeed result in one, sometimes.

I am interested to find out is how likely that is, in practice, and how the Court might arrive at its decision.

It is almost certainly academic in OP's case, but I am interested anyway. Does anyone know? If not, I'll leave you all in peace.

jeffrey
16-03-2009, 16:57 PM
I began by assuming, (on the basis of advice offered here on LLZ), that grounds 10 and 11 by themselves, being discretionary, should not be relied upon to gain a possession order. Jeffrey suggests that they do indeed result in one, sometimes.

I am interested to find out is how likely that is, in practice, and how the Court might arrive at its decision.

It is almost certainly academic in OP's case, but I am interested anyway. Does anyone know? If not, I'll leave you all in peace.
Here are 407 cases thrown-up by a Bailii search. Once you've read them, please report back.
http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/sino_search_1.cgi?sort=rank&datehigh=2009&query=Housing%20and%20Act%20and%201988%20and%20Sch edule%20and%202%20and%20ground%20and%2010%20and%20 ground%20and%2011&method=boolean&highlight=1&datelow=1989&mask_path=ew/cases

mind the gap
16-03-2009, 17:05 PM
Here are 407 cases thrown-up by a Bailii search. Once you've read them, please report back.
http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/sino_search_1.cgi?sort=rank&datehigh=2009&query=Housing%20and%20Act%20and%201988%20and%20Sch edule%20and%202%20and%20ground%20and%2010%20and%20 ground%20and%2011&method=boolean&highlight=1&datelow=1989&mask_path=ew/cases

Thank you for your helpfulness.

Dannime80
16-03-2009, 17:13 PM
Hi, just wanted to clarify a few points, the tenant has been in arrears since the beginning of the tenancy, during the first 2 months she made some effort to try and catch the arrears up, for the last 2 full months we haven't received a penny. The rent is £112.50 per week so she is well over the 8 weeks/2 months arrears point.

I stated that the tenancy was due to end on 26th April as it was a 6 month contract that started on 27th October, obviously we are not going to renew the contract but I doubt very much she will leave then anyway.

I spoke to a company that specialises in evicting tenants and they have quoted me £95.00 to send a Section 8 and a Section 21, they informed me that if I fill the forms in incorrectly they won't be valid and we will have wasted time, how difficult are they to fill in?

As for handing them over personally that is an option, I would actually have to request a police escort as last time I went over to take some belongings out of the shed (that aren't included in the tenancy) she went mad and actually assaulted my mother resulting in the police being called. Because of the way she was reacting the police told me I would be best calling in at the local station when I am making an inspection to request an escort incase she carries on this way again.

It is just such a nightmare and has totally put me off renting, this is my first time.

bunny
16-03-2009, 20:07 PM
Hi, just wanted to clarify a few points, the tenant has been in arrears since the beginning of the tenancy, during the first 2 months she made some effort to try and catch the arrears up, for the last 2 full months we haven't received a penny. The rent is £112.50 per week so she is well over the 8 weeks/2 months arrears point.

I stated that the tenancy was due to end on 26th April as it was a 6 month contract that started on 27th October, obviously we are not going to renew the contract but I doubt very much she will leave then anyway.

I spoke to a company that specialises in evicting tenants and they have quoted me £95.00 to send a Section 8 and a Section 21, they informed me that if I fill the forms in incorrectly they won't be valid and we will have wasted time, how difficult are they to fill in?

As for handing them over personally that is an option, I would actually have to request a police escort as last time I went over to take some belongings out of the shed (that aren't included in the tenancy) she went mad and actually assaulted my mother resulting in the police being called. Because of the way she was reacting the police told me I would be best calling in at the local station when I am making an inspection to request an escort incase she carries on this way again.

It is just such a nightmare and has totally put me off renting, this is my first time.

A few questions as much as answers;

Is the rent paid weekly or monthly as stated in the tenancy and if weekly have you provided a rent book if it's weekly in the tenancy?

If the tenancy started after 6th (?) April 2007 or if you have renewed the tenancy after this date did you protect the deposit in a goverment scheme?
(I could assume it started after this date due to your reference to a 6 month AST but I'd rather not assume) If the deposit isn't protected then a S21 will be invalid. However a S8 can be served using grounds 8, 10, 11. If it's weekly rent though and you haven't issued a rent book then this might be invalid but I'm not sure, the legal eagles on here will answer that if required.

You are a novice by your own admission and I think £95 might be money well spent because you seem to have a very difficult tenant and are not familiar with the notices. If you know what you are doing with the notices then it would easy to say that they are easy to fill in but landlords fall foul all the time and the notice is rejected by the court. The result being, you have to start all over again costing you more and more money in not only legal fees but potentially lost rent which may be unrecoverable or recoverable at a nominal rate like £1 per week.

You are clearly stressed out by this tenant. You've got a bad un, they aren't all like that. Get them out and as quickly as possible and learn as much as you can about tenant selection to try and ensure it doesn't happen again.

wolfey
16-03-2009, 23:03 PM
i think you may find you need to serve notice on your tenant even though the original agreement was for a year. i think it is normal to serve two months notice before the 'end' of the tenancy in order for it to end on that date. in the event you do not serve notice the tenancy does not simply finish at the end of the period and your tenant will continue to have rights to live there until proper notice has been served.

you may find your tenant is still entitled to housing benefit regardless of any suspension or overpayment that took place. i would immediately ask housing benefit to stop making any payments to the tenant and make any future payments direct to you.. you never know this may go on for a while before you get the property back - and they are happy to do this on reciept of proof of arrears (like a rent book).

from what you say there will still be at least 2 months arrears even if you do get something out of them!

Andrew38
16-03-2009, 23:37 PM
Employ someone to ask them to leave politely ;)

Dannime80
17-03-2009, 11:30 AM
Hi, right according to the tenance agreement the rent is £112.50 per week, however she was paying us in bits so I have filled the rent book in as each month just for the total amount paid that month, we have both signed the rent book, the last time it was signed was 14th Feb where it clearly shows arrears of £850.00 at that date and both of our signatures.

The tenancy was for 6 months, not a year.

I do think that we would be best employing someone to do it but I know that she will not take any regard of the notices, they will probably end up sitting in the post office as she won't be in to sign for them. Then it will cost even more to move onto the next step.

I have spoken to someone who works for the police and he has advised me to hand deliver the S8 and S21 this evening, but to call in at the local police station first for a police escort to avoid trouble and also so there is a reliable witness.

I have downloaded a S8 from lawpack, can I get a S21 from this forum?

Thanks so much for all your help guys!

Dannime80
17-03-2009, 11:31 AM
Oh and as for the deposit, it was a guaranteed bond from an Open Door Project, so no money actually changed hands.

wolfey
17-03-2009, 19:30 PM
i think andrew38 prob has the right idea. your tenant isn't playing by the rules. i would still do the hb thing in the mean time though because you sound like a good landlord. this could drag on for a while and you could potentially reduce some of your losses if hb is still payable.
you can employ people to serve notice or hand the whole thing over to a sol and let a letting company do it all for you in the future, but you are learning alot about how the system works doing it this way. i have to admit i've become a lot more ruthless since becoming a landlord :(