PDA

View Full Version : Non-paying tenant: how soon can I evict?



Ericthelobster
22-09-2006, 07:20 AM
Well, had to happen - after 5 years of excellent tenants, none of whom I have had any problems with - I've finally got one who's behind with the rent and looks as if they'll continue.

I posted recently about this at the bottom of a (related) thread but think it may have been missed: could I trouble the great and good here for some input?!! Basically, it's still fairly early days and I just want to be sure I'm following the right strategy and that there's nothing I'm missing... see bottom of the following thread:

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=3501

Many thanks!

RichieP
22-09-2006, 08:21 AM
Why wait until December? I'd go for the Section 8, Grounds 8, 10 and 11. That way, if she pays off enough to hold off mandatory eviction under Ground 8, you can at least get suspended possession on the other two Grounds. At least that way she has to continue to pay the rent and reduce the arrears, even if it's only by a few quid each week. If she defaults, it's back to court for possession.

You've also still got the Section 21 to fall back on should the above not work how you want it to.

Ericthelobster
22-09-2006, 11:17 AM
Why wait until December? I'd go for the Section 8, Grounds 8, 10 and 11. That way, if she pays off enough to hold off mandatory eviction under Ground 8, you can at least get suspended possession on the other two Grounds. At least that way she has to continue to pay the rent and reduce the arrears, even if it's only by a few quid each week. If she defaults, it's back to court for possession.So how does this work? I'd assumed I could do a Section 8 grounds 8 as soon as she's 8 weeks in arrears (that would be on 1 November, right? Or 1 October? I'm not clear; she first missed her monthly payment (ie for the month of September) on 1 September, so presumably that make her 4 weeks in arrears on 1 October, not 1 September, right?) However, I further thought she could stave off for another month simply by paying me a quid or so; that being the case, I thought S21 a month later was my best bet... I'm evidently wrong though?

Thanks!

RichieP
22-09-2006, 12:53 PM
No. On 1st September she should pay you for all of September. 1 month arrears.

On 1st October she needs to pay for October. She misses that she's 2 months in arrears. Bingo. Section 8 time.

She can pay you a quid to get under the mandatory Ground 8, but all using 10 and 11 means you can still get suspended possession.

johnjw
22-09-2006, 15:10 PM
Yes I agree with RichieP; you don't work in the "payment in advance" idea as apparently suggested by Eric. Contract calls for payment on 1st September and 1st October. If tenant defaults on both these, she is 2 months in arrears on the 2nd of October.

Surrey
22-09-2006, 18:30 PM
Yes I agree with RichieP; you don't work in the "payment in advance" idea as apparently suggested by Eric. Contract calls for payment on 1st September and 1st October. If tenant defaults on both these, she is 2 months in arrears on the 2nd of October.

Just to clarify, the last payment that you received on 1st August covered which period - up to 1st August or from then on?

Assuming she paid in arrears rather than in advance, your date for the S8 would be as RichieP and johnjw suggest, though I would go for 2nd Oct rather than 1st, just to be absolutely sure, for the S8. And do ALSO issue the S21 to finish after 31st December as well. You could even issue it at the same time as the S8, you don't HAVE to wait until the end of October, in case you mistakenly miss the 2 month period, as is very easy to do. One reason landlords don't issue them early is the fear that the tenant won't pay once they receive it, but she's already not paying!

johnjw
22-09-2006, 20:50 PM
Just to clarify, the last payment that you received on 1st August covered which period - up to 1st August or from then on?

Assuming she paid in arrears rather than in advance, your date for the S8 would be as RichieP and johnjw suggest, though I would go for 2nd Oct rather than 1st, just to be absolutely sure, for the S8. And do ALSO issue the S21 to finish after 31st December as well. You could even issue it at the same time as the S8, you don't HAVE to wait until the end of October, in case you mistakenly miss the 2 month period, as is very easy to do. One reason landlords don't issue them early is the fear that the tenant won't pay once they receive it, but she's already not paying!

Payments are usually "in advance" ie. payment on the first of October is for the monthly period to first of November. I imagine this is the case for Erics tenant.
However I would still argue that the tenant, having failed to pay on the 1st of September and having failed to pay again on the first of October, is two months in arrears on the 2nd of October. Under the terms of the contract, Eric should be holding those two monthly rents on the second of October. The tenant is clearly two months in arrears on that date.
I think we have had this debate before but it was a considerable time ago.

Ericthelobster
26-09-2006, 07:49 AM
Why wait until December? I'd go for the Section 8, Grounds 8, 10 and 11. That way, if she pays off enough to hold off mandatory eviction under Ground 8, you can at least get suspended possession on the other two Grounds. I'm grateful for the advice: indeed I'll be doing just this next week, once she's two months in arrears.

Meanwhile, after having been reasonably communicative over the problem, my tenant has gone quiet following a visit last week to the local Housing Association, to see what they had to offer her. If she'd gone to what used to be the Council housing dept about this, I'm sure she'd have been advised to sit tight in my property until the bailiffs come a-knocking and she is forced out. Is that likely to be what has happened at the Housing Association? I don't know a lot about these outfits - do they have the same obligations to provide housing as the Council did?

Unfortunately I know my tenant will be pretty low priority, being single, under 25, with no dependents; she's now unemployed and unable to afford the rent.

johnjw
26-09-2006, 08:26 AM
I wouldn't expect too much from the Housing Association application. They will probably write to you for a reference and will not be too keen on a young unemployed lady with rent arrears. The H.A's are steered to businesses which are supposed to break even.

Ericthelobster
26-09-2006, 09:10 AM
I wouldn't expect too much from the Housing Association application. They will probably write to you for a reference and will not be too keen on a young unemployed lady with rent arrears. The H.A's are steered to businesses which are supposed to break even.Yes, rather what I'd thought - I'm certainly not holding my breath. But do they have a legal obligation to rehouse my tenant?

johnjw
26-09-2006, 10:50 AM
Yes, rather what I'd thought - I'm certainly not holding my breath. But do they have a legal obligation to rehouse my tenant?

No. The people they take on have to show that they will meet their obligations to the Housing Association. I had non-paying tenants a couple of years ago who applied to HA's. They were turned down and eventually, after eviction, were rehoused by the Local Authority.

pms
26-09-2006, 12:37 PM
No. The people they take on have to show that they will meet their obligations to the Housing Association. I had non-paying tenants a couple of years ago who applied to HA's. They were turned down and eventually, after eviction, were rehoused by the Local Authority.
Although I agree with most of what you've posted, a point I would make through working in Local Authority is that most of the housing stock is now managed by Housing Associations through stock transfer.Eric's tenant would not be eligiable for help if she makes herself intentionally homeless by rent arrears as Eric specifys.Now Eric's best route is to serve a S21 NOTICE as well as a S8 Notice. For the tenant to even get a whiff of a HA property she would have to make an application to homelessness department but would only be accepted on the grounds that she did not make herself "intentionally homeless" which is not what the scenario is.Even if it got to the eviction stage the most she would get would be a place in a hostel due to her personal circumstances.

Ericthelobster
26-09-2006, 12:57 PM
a point I would make through working in Local Authority is that most of the housing stock is now managed by Housing Associations through stock transfer. Eric's tenant would not be eligiable for help if she makes herself intentionally homeless by rent arrears as Eric specifys.Yes that's the situation here: as I understand it the HA now deal with all aspects of housing? But would my tenant by classed as 'intentionally homeless'? While I am very unhappy at losing my rent, I do have some sympathy for the girl - she lost her job and simply doesn't have the income to pay the rent. Or do you mean she'd be "intentionally homeless" if she moves out now (to minimise her accruing debt) rather than waiting until the bailiffs physically carry her out?

Now Eric's best route is to serve a S21 NOTICE as well as a S8 Notice.Sure: I did the proverbial 'Sword of Damocles' S21 at the outset of the tenancy, which ends on 31 December.

RichieP
26-09-2006, 19:19 PM
I would have thought anyone being evicted for rent arrears is classed as "intentionally homeless" regardless of the reason.

pms
26-09-2006, 22:14 PM
I would have thought anyone being evicted for rent arrears is classed as "intentionally homeless" regardless of the reason.

That is correct.If a person makes themself "intentionally homeless" the LA/HA are under no obligation to rehouse them.Rent arrears is defined as being"intentionally homeless" No if Eric wanted to sell or re-develop his property then it would be the opposite" unintentionally homeless" then the LA/HA would have a duty to re-house.Its in the HA(1996) amended by the Homelessness Act(2002).I look up the Acts tomorrow and post the revelent sections.

mtenant
28-09-2006, 07:25 AM
I would have thought anyone being evicted for rent arrears is classed as "intentionally homeless" regardless of the reason.

Thats very harsh, if you dont have the money to pay the rent how is it intentional? do you have a link to this somewhere as I find it very hard to believe, witholding rent is intentional but not having the means to pay it is another matter altogether.

RichieP
28-09-2006, 07:41 AM
I'm just commenting from my experience of working with local authorites. They're the ones that make the decision on someone's housing need.

http://england.shelter.org.uk/advice/advice-156.cfm

pms
28-09-2006, 08:30 AM
Thats very harsh, if you dont have the money to pay the rent how is it intentional? do you have a link to this somewhere as I find it very hard to believe, witholding rent is intentional but not having the means to pay it is another matter altogether.

Unfortunatly that is the way the law is.

pippay
21-10-2006, 23:24 PM
well actually no, it isn't .. There is also provision within the Housing Act for being made homeless as a result of inaffordability of the rent.

e.g. If a person, through no fault of their own, lost their job and was subsequently unable to maintain rental payments, or indeed mortgage payments, then they CAN be classed as Homeless under the Housing Act if they are in priority need.


Unfortunatly that is the way the law is.