PDA

View Full Version : Landlord advice please



martini
23-11-2006, 11:36 AM
Hi,

Background
I rent out a flat on a AST contract. My tenant has been slow paying the rent but does get round to it eventually. Since he has rented the property the telephone number has been disconnected, he hasn't paid the council tax and he had changed jobs. He should pay the rent on the first of ever month but this month didn't pay until the 21st.

Question
Last night i received a message on my mobile phone from someone trying to track down my tenant. He wanted to know if my tenant still rents my property because "the situation has become quite serious".

Do I tell this person about my tenant? Do I say that he still rents the place?
As you might be able to tell I don't have a lot of trust in my tenant.

Any advice much appreciated

Cheers

Dan

jeffrey
23-11-2006, 11:42 AM
Hi,

Background
I rent out a flat on a AST contract. My tenant has been slow paying the rent but does get round to it eventually. Since he has rented the property the telephone number has been disconnected, he hasn't paid the council tax and he had changed jobs. He should pay the rent on the first of ever month but this month didn't pay until the 21st.

Question
Last night i received a message on my mobile phone from someone trying to track down my tenant. He wanted to know if my tenant still rents my property because "the situation has become quite serious".

Do I tell this person about my tenant? Do I say that he still rents the place?
As you might be able to tell I don't have a lot of trust in my tenant.

Any advice much appreciated

Cheers

Dan

Well, you're not legally obliged to disclose anything. Whatever you do disclose should be carefully phrased to avoid slander.

And how did caller track down your mobile number anyway?

Jennifer_M
23-11-2006, 11:51 AM
You can't give any details about your tenant to a third party on the phone like that.

Tell the person to put the request in writing with all the details. You can only release information if it's to be used in legal proceedings.

Check http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/19980029.htm

martini
23-11-2006, 11:58 AM
Thanks for the reply.

I haven't phoned him back because I didn't want to get myself into trouble. I don't know how he got my number but that is one of the questions I want answered.

Dan

martini
23-11-2006, 12:13 PM
Hi Jennifer_M,

I was only just going to say "yes they do still rent my property" and give no further details. I wouldn't disclose the late payments etc to them.

The problem is that I'm now very concerned with my tenant not paying me as he seems to be bad news. I was on the verge of trying to get rid of them on grounds of late payments but didn't want to do this over the new year as it would be tricky getting someone else.

Many thanks

Dan

Bel
23-11-2006, 14:04 PM
Think of yourself first. If somebody else is potentially after money, then there will be less for your rent!

I would not want to say anything to anyone if I got a call out of the blue. Get them to lay all their cards on the table first, take details, and still give them nothing. Say you can't give them any details because of the data protection act.

If your tenant is not paying council tax, then there will come a time when the bailifs are going to want to take some of his stuff. Make sure they don't take anything of yours in the property! If the council have your phone number on their council tax file, its possible they could give it to a bailif. I was once contacted in this regard by a bailif. They are extremely wiley.

martini
23-11-2006, 14:52 PM
Oh no :-( New advice now please

So I phoned the guy and he is an ex landlord of my current tenant who is owed money from my tenant. I gave no details away but he said that he had had the baliffs round his house looking for the tenant.

As I said before I was on the verge of asking my tenant to leave as I was getting annoyed with his constant late payments. So can someone help me with the next few steps.

My tenant has been in the flat for 3 months of the 6 month fixed period, paid late by 14 days the first time, 4 days late the second month and 21 days late this month. In my AST it states that he can be asked to leave if he is late by 21 days.

What action should I take, issue him with a letter asking him to leave on the grounds of the 21 days late payment? If so how much time do i have to give him to move out?

Or should I lead him to believe that I want him to stay for a year, wait until the 5th month and say I am selling it and get him out within a month?

Thanks in advance

Dan

Jennifer_M
23-11-2006, 15:54 PM
The only way to get this tenant out is:

- Section 21: You would issue this 2 months before the end of the tenancy (make sure you use the right form and the dates are correct) for the tenant to leave at the end of the 6 months. If he doesn't leave then you would need to go to court to have him evicted.

- Section 8: The tenant needs to be 2 months in arrears before you can use this. Search on this forum for section 8 for more info.

You can't evict the tenant because he's 21 days late, what is in the AST would be considered unfair and therefore wouldn't stand up in court.

Whether the tenant pays his bills or not ultimately shouldn't be your problem (I know it's still a concern). There is no such thing as a blacklist for properties and once the tenant has moved just tell the utility companies and council so.

jeffrey
23-11-2006, 16:02 PM
Oh no :-( New advice now please

So I phoned the guy and he is an ex landlord of my current tenant who is owed money from my tenant. I gave no details away but he said that he had had the baliffs round his house looking for the tenant.

As I said before I was on the verge of asking my tenant to leave as I was getting annoyed with his constant late payments. So can someone help me with the next few steps.

My tenant has been in the flat for 3 months of the 6 month fixed period, paid late by 14 days the first time, 4 days late the second month and 21 days late this month. In my AST it states that he can be asked to leave if he is late by 21 days.

What action should I take, issue him with a letter asking him to leave on the grounds of the 21 days late payment? If so how much time do i have to give him to move out?

Or should I lead him to believe that I want him to stay for a year, wait until the 5th month and say I am selling it and get him out within a month?

Thanks in advance

Dan

Don't get fooled again (like The Who advise). Serve section 8 notice right now.

martini
23-11-2006, 17:01 PM
Don't get fooled again (like The Who advise). Serve section 8 notice right now.

I thought that I could only serve section 8 if he is 2 months in arrears?
At the moment he isn't in arrears.

As I understand it, I should serve a section 21 exactly 2 months before the end of the 6 month fixed term. No point doing it now, only month 3 of 6, as I can't get him out before the end of the 6 months.

P.Pilcher
23-11-2006, 18:06 PM
You are correct: The only way to get rid of your tenant is to use a section 21 procedure, the notice period for which must be a minimum of two months and must not end before the end of the fixed period of the AST.

P.P.

Jennifer_M
23-11-2006, 21:00 PM
The s21 must be served a minimum of 2 months before the end but you can serve it before that if you want. In fact many landlord serve it just after signing the AST.

martini
24-11-2006, 06:37 AM
The s21 must be served a minimum of 2 months before the end but you can serve it before that if you want. In fact many landlord serve it just after signing the AST.

Can you explain the logic behind that?

If I had a good tenant I would want to keep them in for as long as possible. If, as I do now, I had a tenant who is bad at making payments I would think of serving the S21 as close to the deadline as possible to prevent the tenant from not paying the months leading up to the end date.

Ericthelobster
24-11-2006, 06:54 AM
Can you explain the logic behind that? The pros and cons of this has been discussed here at length before - search for "Sword of Damocles"* but basically the idea is that you serve one on your tenant at the outset of the tenancy as a routine procedure, when relationships are 100% OK. You get them to sign a copy as confirmation of receipt. Then if things go pear-shaped later you don't have the difficulty of serving them, proving they received it etc.

jeffrey
24-11-2006, 10:57 AM
I thought that I could only serve section 8 if he is 2 months in arrears?
At the moment he isn't in arrears.

As I understand it, I should serve a section 21 exactly 2 months before the end of the 6 month fixed term. No point doing it now, only month 3 of 6, as I can't get him out before the end of the 6 months.

Section 8 has three different "arrears" grounds: 8, 10, and 11.
Only GROUND 8 requires > two months arrears.
Ground 9 = any arrears.
Ground 11 = persistent late payment.

But ground 8 is mandatory. Grounds 10/11 are discretionary, ie Court has to decide if possession is fair and reasonable.

Get s.8 Notice served now.