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View Full Version : Tenant owes money, is now leaving!



lizzielou
01-02-2010, 21:40 PM
Right guys, I have lurked on these forums for many months and you have always sorted my problems without me needing to post.

Complicated one coming up...

Took on a tenant in May 2007, paid his first 3 months rent and deposit (in scheme), lost his job couldn't pay anything and didn't qualify for housing benefit (he co-owns a house that is on the market and not selling). He got another job after three months, we agreed an increased payment every month to pay off the arrears, works great... another three months he lost his job again, couldn't pay. Got another job, started paying again including the arrears. Another house of mine became empty so I offered him that as the rent is £50 per month less and he only needed one bedroomed (he was renting a 2 bed, which is more rentable for me), he accepted this was a good idea. He has been paying his rent and slowly paying off the arrears, Christmas came, he could pay his monthly rent, but no arrears (not a problem for one month).

This month, no contact, couldn't get hold of him, texted, e-mailed, rang, went to the house. Eventually he contacted me today when I sent him a text saying I was concerned for his safety and was going to enter the property with my key. No rent, can't pay it as he lost his job (again) has started a new one and hasn't been paid yet. He has spun us some line about how he should be eligible for HB this time and is waiting for the council (I will phone them tomorrow and see if they will speak with me).

Also today he has asked how long he has to give notice on the property, now I know that the tenancy agreement says 28 days, but at present he owes me £1450. So my BIG question is..... what can I do? Whilst he has been a tenant he has paid his rent, if he leaves us, how are we going to get it back? I have an attachment of earnings on someone else, but they keep leaving their job, moving house and it takes me ages to find them again!:confused:

Thanks in advance.

havensRus
02-02-2010, 20:33 PM
1. Is tenancy in England & Wales?
2. What date exactly did AST start
3. What was the fixed/initial period
4. How much is the rent?
5. Did you take a deposit, and if so did you protect it?
6. Have you issued any notices yet? if so which?

If answer to 6 is no, then you have a couple of options
If unpaid rent is more than 8 weeks/2 months then you should be considering issuing Section 8 Notice (http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/pdf/servingS8.pdf#search=%22section%208%22) on grounds 8,10, 11 etc.
The other route is to issue a Section 21 notice (http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/section-21-notices.htm), but you would have to have protected the deposit, and that would take far longer at this stage if starting from scratch.

If you answer the questions, you should be able to get some more guidance.

lizzielou
02-02-2010, 22:02 PM
1. Is tenancy in England & Wales? yes
2. What date exactly did AST start - new one 12/4/09, original at previous property 12/5/08
3. What was the fixed/initial period 12 months
4. How much is the rent? £350pcm
5. Did you take a deposit, and if so did you protect it? Yes and Yes
6. Have you issued any notices yet? if so which? Yes section 8, but to original property.

Thank you for responding, but I need to know how to get the money back off him, I know how to get him out and am confident I stay well within the law with regards to deposits, gas safety, tenancy agreements and notices where needed.

JK0
02-02-2010, 22:10 PM
Same thing again I'm afraid. Take them to court, and get an attachment of earnings order. I did once threaten a delinquent tenant with bankruptcy if he refused to move out of an office. Would this be an option with your tenant?

havensRus
03-02-2010, 05:07 AM
1. Is tenancy in England & Wales? yes
2. What date exactly did AST start - new one 12/4/09, original at previous property 12/5/08
3. What was the fixed/initial period 12 months


Since you issued a new AST starting on 12/4/09 and its a 12-month fixed term, the end of fixed term is 11/04/10. However if the new AST has a 6-month fixed term (?), then as of 14/10/09, the tenancy became a SPT.

The notices are valid only for the tenancies for which they are issued. So, the S8 you issued at the old property cannot be applied to the new one.

Seeing as T might still be in the fixed term, best bet is to issue a new S8 immediately, grounds 8, 10, 11 (as he has more than 2 months rent unpaid). After the 14 days notice period, request a court hearing via PCOL (https://www.possessionclaim.gov.uk/pcol/HomePage.do). That way you get a possession order and money judgement. And then you can track/trace and get AoE. As you've got one going at the mo, you already know how to do that. That is the only way you can get anything back, if he ever finds work that lasts for more than a few months.

Bottom line is if he doesn't have work, or assets to sell, or a Guarantor, then he can't pay.

Again, regarding the S21, the deposit should be re-protected for the new AST. Again if in fixed term, issue a S21(1)(b), effective AFTER 13/04/10, as a back up.



Also today he has asked how long he has to give notice on the property, now I know that the tenancy agreement says 28 days


If still in fixed term, then T is still responsible for rent until end of the fixed term, unless you both agree to a surrender, with terms that give you a way of recouping the arrears. He can also walk/leave on 13/04/10 without needing to give notice.

If in SPT, then he needs to give you at least one month's notice, effective on the 13th of a month, so if he gives notice now, it will become effective on 13/03/10.



He has spun us some line about how he should be eligible for HB this time and is waiting for the council (I will phone them tomorrow and see if they will speak with me).


The HB office will not tell you anything unless your T has given them permission to do so. If you can, draft a letter giving you authorisation to discuss his claim with the Council, get him to sign it and you send it to the Council yourself. Then you can find out if there is a claim and the status of it.

Good luck.

lavy
03-02-2010, 08:55 AM
you can put a charge on the property he ownes through the court and if it is sold you can get your owed money that way though it may take a while