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Thyrsis
17-02-2010, 09:51 AM
Our tenant is saying he is leaving after 6 months of a two year tenancy and has defaulted on his rent.
He is trying to say we have breached the tenancy agreement by inventing 'problems' with the property.
Our agent has told him he must pay the rent until we find another tenant, as we are willing to let him leave, but I doubt he will pay.
Is there any realistic way of getting the payment from him?

jeffrey
17-02-2010, 10:06 AM
First, are you sure that it's a common-law contractual tenancy? Is that because the rate of rent exceeds £25 000 per year (or, if not, why?)

Thyrsis
17-02-2010, 10:15 AM
Yes, the rent exceeds £25,000 a year. Thanks

jeffrey
17-02-2010, 10:31 AM
OK- so you can enforce the Agreement more or less literally (subject to Protection from Eviction Act 1977). Sue T, if he has assets or earnings.

Thyrsis
17-02-2010, 10:40 AM
Tenant is a 'non dom' - will that make things more difficult?

jeffrey
17-02-2010, 10:41 AM
Tenant is a 'non dom' - will that make things more difficult?
No, if T is in England&Wales; yes, if he/she's not.

Thyrsis
17-02-2010, 10:53 AM
I have also discovered from 'googling' that T was made bankrupt 15 years ago!

jeffrey
17-02-2010, 11:01 AM
I have also discovered from 'googling' that T was made bankrupt 15 years ago!
Is that a problem now? If it is, why did you let to T six months ago?

Thyrsis
17-02-2010, 11:11 AM
Is that a problem now? If it is, why did you let to T six months ago?

I don't know if it's a problem now, just that he might not be financially secure.
I didn't know this when we let to him. We let through an agency, the tenant couldn't prove his UK earnings but offered to pay rent 6 monthly upfront.They advised us this would be fine.

jeffrey
17-02-2010, 11:21 AM
I don't know if it's a problem now, just that he might not be financially secure.
I didn't know this when we let to him. We let through an agency, the tenant couldn't prove his UK earnings but offered to pay rent 6 monthly upfront.They advised us this would be fine.
So I guess that it's not a problem at present. Why worry about it, then?

Thyrsis
17-02-2010, 12:00 PM
Okay, I won't worry about that.....what I am worried about is how to get the £12,000 owed to me!!

Poppy
17-02-2010, 13:34 PM
Tell your common law tenant that you will accept their surrender on payment of £x thousand.

Have you made any attempt to resolve the situation and keep the tenant happy?

Thyrsis
17-02-2010, 14:22 PM
Our agent has told him he must pay but he has refused.
We have bent over backwards to be accommodating towards the tenant but it seems he has manipulated the situation to look like we have failed in our duties so he can try to get out of the contract.

Poppy
17-02-2010, 14:42 PM
Then remind him that he must pay the rent according to the contract or you will take legal action and claim all monies due and costs and expenses incurred.

When was the last rent payment due? Is there a clause dealing with late/non-payment of rent?

Thyrsis
17-02-2010, 15:04 PM
When was the last rent payment due? Is there a clause dealing with late/non-payment of rent?

6 month's rent was due end of January. He paid 1 month's rent a day later.

Poppy
17-02-2010, 15:25 PM
Do you have an answer to my last question please?

Thyrsis
17-02-2010, 15:38 PM
Do you have an answer to my last question please?

Sorry!! Yes, there is a clause dealing with late/non-payment of rent.

Poppy
17-02-2010, 15:51 PM
Potentially you could take action for breach of contract. Not sure about this. Partial payment one day late.

I'm sure other solicitor members will have opinions.

Thyrsis
18-02-2010, 09:10 AM
Thanks, hoping for more opinions??

westminster
19-02-2010, 11:50 AM
T will remain liable for rent unless you take action which shows you accept a surrender, for example, if T1 moved out and you subsequently let the property to a new T2 then T1 would at that point cease to be liable for rent.

You may find it useful to read this case, of similar T who left early, and was sued by LL for rent for the remainder of the term.
http://nearlylegal.co.uk/blog/2009/05/such-sweet-surrender/

Preston
19-02-2010, 22:03 PM
As others have pointed out, if your tenant has agreed to a 2 year fixed term contractual tenancy then you can sue him of he stops paying the rent.

Good luck.

Thyrsis
23-02-2010, 10:28 AM
Thanks for all replies. Will see how things pan out...if the rent isn't paid this week I will have to start legal action.

Thyrsis
23-02-2010, 10:29 AM
T will remain liable for rent unless you take action which shows you accept a surrender, for example, if T1 moved out and you subsequently let the property to a new T2 then T1 would at that point cease to be liable for rent.

You may find it useful to read this case, of similar T who left early, and was sued by LL for rent for the remainder of the term.
http://nearlylegal.co.uk/blog/2009/05/such-sweet-surrender/

Thanks for this - some useful tips on what NOT to do!

Thyrsis
25-02-2010, 17:43 PM
Can I use 'Money Claim Online' to issue a claim for unpaid rent?

Thyrsis
04-06-2010, 17:41 PM
Our tenant's wife is not on the lease as she moved in with him shortly after he had signed the lease on his own.
The T is leaving before the end of the tenancy (non AST) with rent arrears at the moment of £4,600.
He is not a UK citizen and I don't think he has any money but his wife has UK companies.
As she has been a resident in the property does she have any liability for the debt?

mind the gap
04-06-2010, 17:58 PM
Our tenant's wife is not on the lease as she moved in with him shortly after he had signed the lease on his own.
The T is leaving before the end of the tenancy (non AST) with rent arrears at the moment of £4,600.
He is not a UK citizen and I don't think he has any money but his wife has UK companies.
As she has been a resident in the property does she have any liability for the debt?
No, you can only pursue the person/people named on the tenancy agreement because it is only with him/them that you have a legally binding contract.

In this situation she was effectively only his visitor and you cannot pursue your debtor's visitors for their debts.

It is now the 21st century and women are deemed to be independent of their husbands!

Thyrsis
04-06-2010, 18:09 PM
It is now the 21st century and women are deemed to be independent of their husbands!

Thanks! In this case I wish the tenant was independent of his wife!!

P.Pilcher
05-06-2010, 10:33 AM
Of course if you evict him, then his wife will be required to leave also.

P.P.

Thyrsis
07-06-2010, 15:44 PM
Am thinking of eviction. What is the best course of action for a non AST?

Thyrsis
07-06-2010, 15:55 PM
Tenant's contract is for 2 years, with rent payable 6 months in advance.The second 6 months was due in January. He refused to pay the next 6 months installment and has since paid a month at a time Jan to April inc. He has paid no rent in May and says he is moving out this month.

Which is correct ....
1. His debt is from the date in Jan that the 6 months became due ie he is now nearly 5 months in arrears
or....
2. He is not in arrears until 2 months after the date in May the rent was not paid?

jeffrey
07-06-2010, 15:56 PM
Did T's wife enter into a Deed of Guarantee, possibly?

jeffrey
07-06-2010, 15:58 PM
Am thinking of eviction. What is the best course of action for a non AST?
A common-law contractual Letting Agreement is read literally and can be enforced literally.
The only limit on this is the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 which does apply. Otherwise just apply to Court for possession.

Snorkerz
07-06-2010, 15:58 PM
For what purpose do you need to know? Is it to calculate a claim for missing rent, or do you intend evicting him before he leaves voluntarily?

jeffrey
07-06-2010, 16:02 PM
Tenant's contract is for 2 years, with rent payable 6 months in advance.The second 6 months was due in January. He refused to pay the next 6 months installment and has since paid a month at a time Jan to April inc. He has paid no rent in May and says he is moving out this month.

Which is correct ....
1. His debt is from the date in Jan that the 6 months became due ie he is now nearly 5 months in arrears
or....
2. He is not in arrears until 2 months after the date in May the rent was not paid?
Answer: 1.
He has not paid what he was due to pay when he was due to pay it.
Sadly, however, I regret that you cannot use g8 at all- none of its options covers rent due every six months!- so press ahead on g10/11 only.
He will owe the January half-year (less whatever he has paid) but will remain liable for all the rest of the fixed-term's rent.

Thyrsis
07-06-2010, 16:50 PM
For what purpose do you need to know? Is it to calculate a claim for missing rent, or do you intend evicting him before he leaves voluntarily?

I need to know the timing for when I could claim rent arrears.
I assume if I tried to evict him I would in effect be terminating the tenancy and could not therefore claim the rent due for the rest of the term?
If he leaves early of his own accord I can pursue him for the rent due for the rest of the term

Thyrsis
07-06-2010, 16:57 PM
....Sadly, however, I regret that you cannot use g8 at all- none of its options covers rent due every six months!- so press ahead on g10/11 only.

It's not an AST so 8 doesn't apply anyway, I think?
Presumably 10 and 11 do?

westminster
07-06-2010, 17:11 PM
I need to know the timing for when I could claim rent arrears.
If you mean when could you issue a claim for unpaid rent, you could do it now - if rent due in Jan 2010 was, for example, £10,000, and he has only paid £8,000, you can issue a claim for £2,000.


I assume if I tried to evict him I would in effect be terminating the tenancy and could not therefore claim the rent due for the rest of the term?
If you obtained a possession order, and evicted the tenant, you could not claim any further rent for the period after he vacated the property.


If he leaves early of his own accord I can pursue him for the rent due for the rest of the term
Only if your subsequent actions are consistent with the tenancy continuing, because otherwise you could be accepting the early surrender - it's known as a surrender by operation of law (as opposed to both of you signing a deed of surrender). For example, if you re-let the property, or sent in a team of decorators, or let your cousin stay in it for a while, that would be inconsistent with the tenancy continuing.

westminster
07-06-2010, 17:13 PM
I assume this is the same tenancy discussed in your previous thread?
http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=28993

Thyrsis
07-06-2010, 17:32 PM
I assume this is the same tenancy discussed in your previous thread?
http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=28993

It certainly is!
We discovered quite early on in the tenancy that we have the 'tenant from hell' . He and his wife have lied and distorted the facts so much we do not trust a word they say. All we can do is try to come out of this with as little loss as possible.

Thyrsis
07-06-2010, 17:34 PM
Only if your subsequent actions are consistent with the tenancy continuing, because otherwise you could be accepting the early surrender - it's known as a surrender by operation of law (as opposed to both of you signing a deed of surrender). For example, if you re-let the property, or sent in a team of decorators, or let your cousin stay in it for a while, that would be inconsistent with the tenancy continuing.

One useful tip I picked up on the site is that if we sign off the inventory the tenancy would be deemed to have ended. So we have refused to do this until another tenant is found.

westminster
07-06-2010, 18:01 PM
One useful tip I picked up on the site is that if we sign off the inventory the tenancy would be deemed to have ended. So we have refused to do this until another tenant is found.
Whilst not carrying out a check-out inventory is consistent with the tenancy continuing, it is not, in itself, a proof against the T arguing that there has been a surrender by operation of law. Don't rely on it or think that it's a magical route to continuing liability.


All we can do is try to come out of this with as little loss as possible.

If you want to cut your losses, then find a new tenant and agree a surrender with the current T (as it sounds as if you won't get very far in pursing him for the unpaid rent so far clocked up).

Thyrsis
07-06-2010, 18:12 PM
If you want to cut your losses, then find a new tenant and agree a surrender with the current T (as it sounds as if you won't get very far in pursing him for the unpaid rent so far clocked up).

Thanks, yes that's what we're trying to do. The tenant knows he is liable for reletting fees....

westminster
07-06-2010, 18:16 PM
The tenant knows he is liable for reletting fees....
He isn't unless that's the deal you negotiate with him in exchange for agreeing to an early surrender. Otherwise, he just remains liable for the rent.

Thyrsis
07-06-2010, 19:00 PM
He isn't unless that's the deal you negotiate with him in exchange for agreeing to an early surrender. Otherwise, he just remains liable for the rent.

Yes we've negotiated that.

jeffrey
08-06-2010, 11:26 AM
It's not an AST so 8 doesn't apply anyway, I think?
Presumably 10 and 11 do?
If it's not an AST, none of the Housing Act 1988 applies at all.

Thyrsis
08-06-2010, 16:41 PM
If it's not an AST, none of the Housing Act 1988 applies at all.

So how would I get the tenant out?

jeffrey
09-06-2010, 10:21 AM
So how would I get the tenant out?
By non-statutory possession proceedings.

Moderator1
09-06-2010, 15:33 PM
Two or more threads by the same member have been merged here. Please do not start a new thread if you merely wish to continue a previous discussion or report on subsequent developments. It can cause unnecessary confusion (quite apart from losing the connection with facts previously established or legal points previously explained).

Thyrsis
09-06-2010, 19:19 PM
Two or more threads by the same member have been merged here. Please do not start a new thread if you merely wish to continue a previous discussion or report on subsequent developments. It can cause unnecessary confusion (quite apart from losing the connection with facts previously established or legal points previously explained).


Sorry, if I didn't follow the correct etiquette! I responded to Westminster's #38 and merged the threads although the topics differed.

Thyrsis
09-06-2010, 19:22 PM
By non-statutory possession proceedings.

Please point me in the right direction?
A google search for' non-statutory possession proceedings' only refers me back to this site!!