View Full Version : Increasingly dodgy tenant

21-08-2006, 21:03 PM
I've got a tenant who's financial position is growing increasingly worse. She has missed 3 rent payments during the past 18 months and a move to Housing Benefit for a 9 month period also delayed a couple of her rent payments. I've no problem with HB payments, and am keen to maintain good contact with my tenant, however her wider financial circumstances are growing poorer and the risk of non payment of rent are increasing. I wonder whether there are any implications as a landlord?

I have learned that bailiffs are calling to to the property to collect debts for unpaid utility services, and I also know that she has several CCJs for other unpaid debts. I feel that it's only a matter of time until the rent goes unpaid too. Whilst these aren't matters that are any of my business directly, I am anxious to know what (if any) are the implications for a landlord with a tenant who is accummulating lots of CCJs. For example can the bailiffs force entry to the property, is the landlord have to take responsiblity for utility disconnection/reconnection fees, will the property attract a poor credit score for other tenants in the future? Any advice much appreciated!

21-08-2006, 21:07 PM
For example can the bailiffs force entry to the property

No, they can only enter the property if allowed entry, or through unforced entry(eg open window)
, is the landlord have to take responsiblity for utility disconnection/reconnection fees,

In theory, no. In practice, because you will probably not get the money back from the tenant, yes.

will the property attract a poor credit score for other tenants in the future?


I would evict this tenant now before problems start to be honest.

21-08-2006, 21:16 PM
Assuming this is an AST, you must remember that you are either running a business or looking after your own investment. Your tenant's problems are not yours. You say you have no problem with HB payments (direct to you I hope), when you say you are worried about rent payments, do you just mean a top up? Serve a Section 21 notice now, you are not obliged to carry it out and you may well be doing her a favour. If she takes that to the local authority they will (probably) tell her to stay put until she gets a court order to leave and also possibly for a bailiffs date. During all this she may well stop paying rent/top up. This is a judgement call on your part, serve the notice now then wait and see what happens.
Don't worry about CCJs, they apply to the individual even though the property address is used. You have no liability for disconnections. Bailiffs can only force entry with police help if you decide to repossess the property, not for debt recovery.

21-08-2006, 22:17 PM
Mr Woof & Mr Shed, many thanks for the advice it gives me more to think about.

My dilemma (you're right) needs a judgement call. On the one hand the rent's being paid and (in some ways) more importantly the tenant is not mailicious and has good intentions, but on the other hand she's a long way from a model tenant who pays on time and in full. Also she's off HB, and does tell me promptly if there's a problem paying. Otherwise she meets all other AST requirements and is a sound neighbour. I think I'll mull this over some more but I'm a little more inclined to go down the S21 route now.

22-08-2006, 00:23 AM
It is tempting to leave a tenant in who pays like 90% of the time, especially if you have no other problems in with them. Apart from anything else, no-one likes kicking out a non-malicious tenant. But, as MrWoof says, you are running a business, and with the right credit checks and referencing, you will find a better tenant! As you say, it is a judgement call, but certainly in my opinion you should be evicting this person on a S21.

22-08-2006, 11:54 AM
Here's my two penneth... To be taken with a twist bag of salt (if you can still get it):D
She seems honest but a poor manager of her funds.

If she is only a small % of you portfolio then serve her notice in order to maintain a strict regime.

If however you have only a fledgling empire then honest/non damaging (even if stupid) tenants are worth keeping. Perhaps lay some of your cards on the table wrt your concerns about your income.
See if you are able to help her get her act together.
Build up a portfolio of tenants who wish to stay; and only leave for upgrades/family creation etc. They take more care of your property IMO.
Avoid transients...