View Full Version : Broken rental agreement
06-03-2006, 21:27 PM
I first began to realise that there may be problems with my female tenant about 3 weeks ago when I tried to make arrangements for necessary repairs to be done. With relief I collected the rent the day before yesterday - in cash, 10 days overdue from her boyfriend at the property. At this meeting I ascertained that my tenant seems to have left, leaving a very unsuitable unemployed boyfriend in residence dealing drugs from the property. The neighbours can supply cctv footage and tell me that they have no doubt that this character was beating up my tenant which is why I surmise that she has moved out although neither she or the boyfriend have told me this. She is very difficult to contact having told me that she is staying with her mother as there have been family problems. However I can ring or visit her at work. The boyfriend is also keeping a dog at the property which is against the rental contract. At the moment he thinks that I am just a stupid woman who has no idea what is really going on which suits me fine until I can find out the legalities of the situation and advice on the best way to deal with it. At least the rent has been paid up to date, next payment due 18th March. Now that I am aware of the drugs problem I am obligated to evict her. She has broken the rental agreement on at least 4 counts.
06-03-2006, 21:36 PM
:p congrats Siggy on posting!!! I made my thoughts to you by email! hope this has helped .. let me know if not.
07-03-2006, 09:16 AM
The following are comments where you might not be doing yourself any favours:-
I first began to realise that there may be problems with my female tenant about 3 weeks ago when I tried to make arrangements for necessary repairs to be done. With relief I collected the rent the day before yesterday - in cash, 10 days overdue from her boyfriend at the property This is not a good idea as you are acknowledging the boyfriend as an occupant and he could easily claim tenancy rights. At this meeting I ascertained that my tenant seems to have left, leaving a very unsuitable unemployed boyfriend in residence dealing drugs from the property. The neighbours can supply cctv footage and tell me that they have no doubt that this character was beating up my tenant which is why I surmise that she has moved out although neither she or the boyfriend have told me this. She is very difficult to contact having told me that she is staying with her mother as there have been family problems. However I can ring or visit her at work. The boyfriend is also keeping a dog at the property which is against the rental contract. You can't have a clause that just forbids pets outright - it's considered potentially unfair At the moment he thinks that I am just a stupid woman who has no idea what is really going on Tell me - did you take up proper and thorough references on your tenant? If not then the boyfriend might not be far off the mark! which suits me fine until I can find out the legalities of the situation and advice on the best way to deal with it. At least the rent has been paid up to date, next payment due 18th March. Now that I am aware of the drugs problem I am obligated to evict her. She has broken the rental agreement on at least 4 counts.You might find this a lot more difficult to do than you think!
07-03-2006, 21:50 PM
When I received the rent I went to the property on the off chance to see what was going on. I was not expecting to be paid and it was paid in cash and I did not give any receipt. Would I have been better not accepting the cash? The rental agreement states that the rent must be paid within 7 days. With regard to the dog the agreement states that I have to give my consent in writing for pets to be kept this I have not done and have not ever been asked to do so. With regard to the drugs, am I not legaly obligated to take action now that I know what is going on especially as the neighbours have complained to me? Yes I was stupid enough not to follow up my tenent's reference which was from her employer and it is a mistake I will not make again - I am a new Landlord being 18months in to this first letting. My rental agreement, however, seems to be pretty water tight. On the advice of someone I know who is experienced in being a landlord I have issued my tenent with a notice to quit the property giving her 2 weeks and listing 4 reasons which have gone against her rental agreement including the ones above. I have delivered one by hand to the property in the expectation that she would be there on Sunday afternoon and sending 2 copies by recorded delivery to the property and to her c/o where she works. I have done this with view to using Section 8 of property law. Also, her rental agreement states that it is agreed that the above notices can be served in accordance with Section 196 Law of property 1925 which is what I have done. So far I have heard nothing from her and wonder if I should try and contact her to find out if she has received the notice. Come on you guys surely there is someone who has some useful comments! I must say the one posted so far is not exactly helpful. (Hi "Justaboutsane" thanks for your vote of confidence I will email you as soon as I can I am a bit busy at the moment trying to sort out this mess!)
07-03-2006, 22:36 PM
No worries Siggy... I am up to my neck in it with the move .. currently auditing the accounts ready for end of year and the move! ... I hope you get this sorted ASAP...
What grounds have you served the section 8... just because the AST says 7 days it is not necesarily enforceable due to unfair terms and all that..
Good luck x
08-03-2006, 07:54 AM
Bsically, just because it says something in your tenancy agreement, it doesn't mean it's enforceable. There are terms that are deemed unfair, and even illegal. You can't overwrite a tenants statutory rights by including a clause to give short notice periods.
If you issued a 2 week notice, was this a Section 8? If so, on what Grounds?
You can try to evict for drug use, but you would need to gather evidence from these neighbours who have complained, and they would need to be prepared to give evidence in court. I think you'll find they go pretty quiet when you explain that.
Your best options are:
1. Issue a Section 8, citing Grounds 10 and 11 for persistant rent arrears. These are discretionary and require you to convince the judge the tenant wo't change her ways and reduce the arrears.
Use Ground 8 if the rent is more than 2 months in arreas at time of service of notice. This is a mandatory ground, and the judge must give possession if the tenant is more than 2 months in arrears both at time of service and at the hearing.
2. Issue Section 21. This requires at least 2 months notice and can't end before the end date of the tenancy. Once it expires you apply to the court and the judge must give possession, provided you followed correct procedures.
08-03-2006, 21:42 PM
Thanks for some constructive thoughts. I have issued a "Notice to Quit" for the following reasons all of which contravene her rental agreement -
P.6 (5.) “If the said rent or any instalment or part thereof shall be in arrears for SEVEN days after the same shall have become due (whether formally demanded or not)”
- Your last rent, due 18th February 2006, was not paid until 27th March 2006 P.3 (2.18) “Not to keep, permit or suffer to be kept at the Premises or any part thereof any dog, cat, bird, or animal whatsoever without the Landlords written consent.”
- A dog is being kept at the property.
P.3 (2.14) “Not to use, permit, cause or suffer the Premises to be used for any illegal or immoral purpose.”
- Illegal drugs are being taken and sold at the property.
P.2 (2.4) “Not to cause or suffer any damage of injury to be done to the Premises not by yourself, your family, or servants, or agents nor make any alterations or additions to the premises of the style or colour of the decorations nor erect any other buildings or structure whatsoever without the Landlords consent in writing.”
- A television satellite dish has been attached to the outside of the property.
I have not included nuisence to the neighbours ( which is also a clause) who have always been very helpful so I do not want to cause them any problems. They have voluteered to give video footage of the drug dealing but I am saving this info to use if the going gets tough. I have as yet heard nothing from my tenant. I would still like to hear any thoughts about my legal position with regard to the drugs and suggestions on how to proceed if I hear nothing before the eviction date I have given to her. One factor I haven't mentioned is that she and her associates are in their early twenties and I'm sure they are not hardened problem tenents who are practised in causing landlords grief. Had it not been for the drugs question I think we could have negotiated continuation of her tenency.
09-03-2006, 07:56 AM
I don't know the form of your NTQ, but you need to issue a Section 8 Notice, giving 14 days from service that you intend to apply to the County Court for eviction due to breach of tenancy conditions.
Read this (http://www.letlink.co.uk/Facts/Lfacts37.htm) for more informatin.
Citing drug use alone will not be enough. You need proof. You should involve the police if you are that concerned. However, if it's just a bit of cannabis use they won't be interested.
You won't get an eviction due to a satellite dish. Likewise having a dog.
The rent is the main one you need to focus on. Issuing notice for 7 days arrears is a waste of time, but I see the arrears is greater than that anyway.
10-03-2006, 21:53 PM
Hi RichieP, Thanks very much for taking the time to reply. I have downloaded the info about Section 8 and will study it later. Much of this I had got from the internet before I issued my "Notice to quit" but this has much more detail to digest. My tenant has certainly gone against various obligations in her tenancy agreement apart from the ones I have cited and I am sure that the neighbours would be very happy to give evidence as apparently there is quite a drug culture in the immediate area and they are fed up with it - they approached me with this information. I am still trying to find out what my legal obligations are concerning the drugs and would very much like to know if any one has a definite answer to this. Also what to do if I hear nothing from my tenant before the date I have given her to quit the property and should I try and contact her before this.
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