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Ericthelobster
18-09-2006, 16:54 PM
Have been chasing up an errant tenant for rent since the beginning of the month, and have just received a plaintive letter to say she's been off work sick for some time, got herself fired in consequence, and that the only way she can pay this month's rent is to apply for an "emergency loan off the social?" She then goes on to suggest that she'll have to apply for HB for forthcoming rent payments - which I know will be a non-starter as she's only 19, living alone in a 2-bedroomed house.

I assume she's misguided in her hopes of obtaining an emegency loan in the manner she suggests? I would like to know for sure before I contact her, so we can discuss options.

justaboutsane
18-09-2006, 17:49 PM
Loan off the social is a possibility as we have had a tenant do this. As for the HB well as she is 19 and alone you are looking at single rrom rate of £35 a week! .. She will have to top up the rest.. probably best you issue section 21 as soon as possible!

Ericthelobster
18-09-2006, 19:22 PM
probably best you issue section 21 as soon as possible!Mm... in fact I'm afraid she already has a 'sword of damocles' S21: her 6-month AST ends on 31 December. Reckon my best bet will be to see if she'll agree to cut her losses now (and mine) and vacate pronto, if I agree to let her off the remainder of the AST (I do have 6 weeks' worth of deposit, and she's currently 3 weeks in arrears. Don't see much likelihood of getting much rent money off her if she stays till December (or longer). :(

P.Pilcher
18-09-2006, 22:46 PM
O.K. so she's got until 31st December to sort out her financial problems or you will be filling in your N5A. If she did sort them out, I would tend to expect a very, very plausible story as to how she intends to continue her rent payments or I would evict her anyway. If she is honourable, she will go straight away. Will her deposit make up for the lost rent to date?
This has happened to me and tenant left, with my agreement, before the end of her fixed term with her deposit making up the rent owed. She kept me in the picture with her financial situation all the time. Result: she got herself sorted out in a year or so and I was asked for a landlord's reference - which I was happy to give.

P.P.

Ericthelobster
21-09-2006, 14:21 PM
Update...

Tenant has now had it confirmed that there's no chance of her being able to cover her rent from benefits or whatever, so the penny has now dropped that she's on borrowed time in my property. I've made her the offer of just quitting the property now (or PDQ) and cutting her/my losses, but she says she has nowhere to go.

She's off to see the local housing association this afternoon, and I expect she's going to get told to sit tight until she gets evicted. If she pays no more rent to me (last payment was 1 August) do I have any way of getting her out faster than via the S21 which I've already served (she'd be already 3 months in arrears by the S21 date). Or can she stave off the courts by maintaining the arrears at under 8 weeks? Just want to be sure there's nothing else I can do now other than biding my time and seeking eviction through the courts on 1 Jan?

My first duff tenant - had to happen eventually I suppose!:rolleyes:

mtenant
28-09-2006, 06:50 AM
For housing benefit as you have already been told she would only get single room rate which should be more then £35 a week but not much more I would expect no more then £50-60 a week. She could get something like JSA as well but that would be for all her living costs so depending on how much they add up to she may be able to use some of that for rent but bearing in mind she is under 25 it means she doesnt get full rate JSA either.

Is it not possible to serve up an eviction notice (not clued up on eviction laws) you are right that the housing department wont treat her as priority unless she is counted as homeless and she wont be counted as homeless without a eviction notice it is also likely any housing benefit could take months to start paying without a eviction notice.

P.Pilcher
28-09-2006, 10:52 AM
It looks like you will need to deliver that completed N5A to your court office on the 31st. December. If you want to get her out a little earlier then you could try the Section 8 route but she could always nobble you by paying off sufficient to take her arrears below 2 months on the court steps - 1 wasted court fee. At least the S21 route does not require a court hearing.

P.P.

Ericthelobster
28-09-2006, 18:11 PM
:)
It looks like you will need to deliver that completed N5A to your court office on the 31st. December. If you want to get her out a little earlier then you could try the Section 8 route but she could always nobble you by paying off sufficient to take her arrears below 2 months on the court steps - 1 wasted court fee. At least the S21 route does not require a court hearing.Well that had been my understanding, and I think it's a dead cert that she'll bung me a few quid to drop her arrears, if someone tips her off - however on another thread (unfortunately this query has now become split over two threads!) I was advised to hit her with a section 8 on 2nd October, using grounds 8, 10, and 11, with a view to getting "suspended possession" on Grounds 10/11:

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?p=23223#post23225

I'm now a bit confused - what's the implications of getting "suspended possession" and when would I be likely to get the tenant out?

My guess is that she might well give me a fiver next month to drop the arrears below 2 months, but the following month (1 November) she'd need to give me a full month's rent to achieve the same goal, which (a) I doubt she will be able and (b) that would be OK by me it would at least maintain the arrears constant....

Never having been through this before I'm all ears....!

RichieP
28-09-2006, 18:48 PM
You get possession, suspended for 28 days. The condition will be that the tenant pays full rent, plus an amount to reduce the arrears. If she fails once, you apply to the court and you ask for possession to be awarded.

This way,she either pays and your rent arrears are reducing, or she doesn't pay and you get possession.

No negotiation is allowed with the tenant. She defaults, it's off to court, or it could be seen as making a new agreement.

I'll admit this may seem a little long-winded, but you may actually be able to convince the tenant that this is in her best interests if she insists on staying, otherwise she'll get a CCJ against her name etc etc.

Ericthelobster
04-10-2006, 22:14 PM
Having prepared my S8 to serve today (as above), I've just received more advice that I'd be wasting my money following that route; that I should just wait for the S21 to kick in on 31 December.

I don't quite get it - if I served S8 today I could instigate court proceedings on 21 Oct, that's 10 weeks earlier than by the S21 route. Would possession still be quicker using the S21?

Even if I waited another month to serve the S8, when arrears would be 3 months (with I guess no likelihood of her having enough cash to bring arrears back to 2 months, thereby ensuring mandatory posession) that would still be 6 weeks before the S21. How quick relatively speaking are S21 and S8 routes likely to be? I'm mindful of losing £100+ rent per week over this...:mad:

Thanks...

settloe_99
05-10-2006, 07:23 AM
I think it all depends on each individual court. It takes approx 2 months just to get a hearing on S8 proceedings at our local court where as with S21 proceedings, as there is no hearing, you can usually get possession within 4-6 weeks of submitting the papers (providing the tenant doesn't claim leaving within 14 days would cause them exceptional hardship)

RichieP
05-10-2006, 07:25 AM
You are being advised that you are wasting money because Section 8 is not mandatory possession if she brings the arrears to below 2 months by the time of the hearing.

Do you think this likely?

There is still the suspended possession scenario with this route.

At the end of the day it's your choice. (Possibly) Waste £150 in the hope of getting possession 6-8 weeks earler (at £100 per week).

I know what I'd be doing.

Ericthelobster
08-10-2006, 18:01 PM
OK, I've decided I'm going to go for the S8 route (in parallel to S21) but am going to try a one-man 'good-cop-bad-cop' routine on her at the same time (with 'good cop' offering her a hand-out in return from the keys :mad: )

Anway - could someone clarify a point about the grounds for posession? Richie advised me to use grounds 8, 10, and 11... but I'm not sure that ground 11 applies?:


Ground 11: Whether or not any rent is in arrears on the date on which proceedings for possession are begun, the tenant has persistently delayed paying rent which has become lawfully due.
...because in my case, the tenant has always paid her rent on time until August, after which she stopped paying completely when she became unemployed. But is the delay now 'persistent' given that she's stopped paying?!

My point is, if I include Ground 11 in my S8, is there the slightest risk that the judge could see that as unreasonable and consequently strike out the whole application, rather than just reject that particular ground? I wouldn't want to potentially jeopardise the whole application by including it.

Thanks...

RichieP
08-10-2006, 18:52 PM
We always used Grounds 10 and 11 without any problem.

By the time of your court hearing it will be persistent.

settloe_99
09-10-2006, 10:43 AM
I agree with RichieP. We always serve S8 NSP's on grounds 8, 10 & 11 and have never had a problem. We always just put them in as a backup.

Ericthelobster
09-10-2006, 12:33 PM
Thanks, S8 duly served!

I also gritted my teeth and offered her the equivalent of a months' rent in cash to get out by Friday, which seemed to go down well - so we'll see what happens...

On that note - can anybody advise, presumably a payment like this will count as a taxable expense?: if she goes for it, I'll get her to sign a receipt: is there a particular "taxman-friendly" way of describing it? Rent rebate maybe?!

If she doesn't go for the offer, is there any way that the fact that I even made it somehow come back to bite me on the backside in front of a particularly tenant-friendly judge in the future? Not sure how, but just wondering...