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claire53
03-12-2011, 15:28 PM
Hi...new on here....I have a student let that currently has 3 tenants on separate AST's. Since they moved in (September) they have found fault with everything.
I have acted immediately on all matters. Having already spent a fortune on renovations I have had to spend a deal more on repairs to the communal area due to mould growth (moderate). The initial cause was believed to be rotten wood, which was replaced. The work took 5 days ,which I gave notice to the tenants about. I also agreed to replace 2 wooden windows with UPVC. These of course have had to be made to fit.
They have moaned about absolutely everything...down to the 2 coffee cups that were left out!, and making very derogatory remarks about the builders and the standards (like they are experts!)
They have now witheld rent(going into second month) as compensation for the amount of disruption. This has caused a massive cash flow problem and I haven't been able to pay for the windows.
I have not contacted them since as I want them to leave. I think the mould problem has been exacerbated by them drying clothes indoors in their rooms. They have also requested £200 from me to pay for a damaged electrical appliance (that belongs to them) which they say has been caused by condensation!
Please help asap! Thanks

jta
03-12-2011, 15:44 PM
If there is 2 months rent unpaid then issue a S8 grounds 8,10 & 11 immediately.

(2 months unpaid means if you had no rent on the first due date and then no rent on the next due date you can issue the notice the next day, so effectively 1 month and 1 day after they started to mess you about.)

You might be able to enlist the help of the student housing officer as well, they might think they know the law but.....

jta
03-12-2011, 15:49 PM
Also, they must have viewed the place before they took it, that is what they rented. There is no onus on you to make improvements to it, only to keep it in sound habitable condition, condensation is almost always the fault of the denizons of the property, no ventilation, drying their clothes indoors etc.etc.

werted
03-12-2011, 15:50 PM
This has caused a massive cash flow problem and I haven't been able to pay for the windows.


So are you telling us that your cash flows is in crisis because of two months rent not being collected?

grouse
03-12-2011, 15:55 PM
I agree, issue a S8 as soon as allowed.

Is the rent due weekly, monthly, termly or quarterly? It makes a difference as to when you can issue a S8 notice

jta
03-12-2011, 15:55 PM
So are you telling us that your cash flows is in crisis because of two months rent not being collected?

That's not the issue, OP may have other expenses that gobble up money, not everybody can have the luxury of a large unencumbered float just so they can swallow the expenses of unreasonable tenants.

boletus
03-12-2011, 16:55 PM
Hello Claire,

I would also serve a section 21 notice. I trust there are deposits, correctly protected?

I also assume you have home owning parental guarantors?
I think a strongly worded, business like letter, spelling out their responsibilities and your determination to follow through will acheive quick results.

Another avenue might be asking the university housing officer to mediate. If you are an accredited landlord there might be some help there.

Personally, I wouldn't adopt your non contact approach, I would be very much in their faces, all legally of course. I'd go for a divide and rule policy. See each one on their own, individually. Reason with them, explain that you know they're not the one causing the problem but that the rent will be paid one way or another.

If that's not your thing, do you have someone who could do it for you?

Snorkerz
03-12-2011, 17:12 PM
I agree with the other posters about serving a section 8 notice(s) but remember that this will be three separate evictions and it is possible that (as well as paying 3 lots of court fees) you run the risk of not suceeding against all of them, leaving you with a very awkward situation.

It is perhaps worth bearing in mind (for your own peace of mind) that the works you have done, whilst no doubt "appreciated" by the tenants (ha!) will have added to the value of the property, and some of them were statutory requirements and would have needed doing irespective of the tenants.

None of this gives the tenants any right to withold rent unless that have followed the correct proceedure.

Just playing devils advocate, a disrepair counter-claim could hinder or even defeat a possession claim under section 8. Also, if you sue for the missing rent (which you have every right to do) the tenants may counterclaim for the disrepair.

boletus
03-12-2011, 17:30 PM
Forgot to add, students only just got their loans and grants through in the last few days.
Get in there now, before christmas, whilst they're still flush.
Being skint was probably the real reason for their not paying.

bhaal
03-12-2011, 18:43 PM
Hello Claire,

I would also serve a section 21 notice. I trust there are deposits, correctly protected?

I also assume you have home owning parental guarantors?
I think a strongly worded, business like letter, spelling out their responsibilities and your determination to follow through will acheive quick results.

Another avenue might be asking the university housing officer to mediate. If you are an accredited landlord there might be some help there.

Personally, I wouldn't adopt your non contact approach, I would be very much in their faces, all legally of course. I'd go for a divide and rule policy. See each one on their own, individually. Reason with them, explain that you know they're not the one causing the problem but that the rent will be paid one way or another.

If that's not your thing, do you have someone who could do it for you?

I would advise against seeing each tenant on their own, both to protect yourself from unwarranted future allegations and also to prevent them (legitimately) claiming you are attempting an illegal eviction through intimidation. Just write a letter to their guarantors.

boletus
03-12-2011, 20:21 PM
I would advise against seeing each tenant on their own, both to protect yourself from unwarranted future allegations and also to prevent them (legitimately) claiming you are attempting an illegal eviction through intimidation.

The OP has 3 separate AST agreement tenants. In what way is asking them individually to pay their rent illegal?

In no way whatsoever did I advise attempting illegal eviction through intimidation.

Admittedly, some may find getting their hands dirty and face to face confrontation as being distasteful and uncomfortable but AFAIK it is not illegal.

I also reasonably assume Claire53 is a decent, honest 58 year old woman letting to 3 spoilt, immature kids who are trying it on- it is not the stuff of Peter Rachman. I do not believe any Judge would see it that way.

claire53
04-12-2011, 00:57 AM
Hi..thanks everyone...think I will have to issue notice...yes I do have a cash flow problem..I am a single parent and have 2 mortgages...one of which is now in jeopardy...with a knock on effect!...cannot sustain non payment!

mariner
04-12-2011, 01:29 AM
Before issuing T Notices, a letter to each G is suggested, alerting them to fact that T has stopped paying rent and they are liable. (Hoping G Deed is in order)
Can we assume the rot repair work was in response to Ts complaint and only affected communal areas? The 2 windows were replaced despite the orig wooden windows still being functional, though draughty?
If any repairs only affected a single Ts exclusive room, as per AST, why are other Ts witholding rent?

claire53
04-12-2011, 13:53 PM
Hi...no I do not have guarantors....took a deposit which is protected. Have had the windows made but have stalled any further repairs due to cash flow! windows did not really need replacing.
Have received a letter from them today stating they are in"considerable discomfort" and are withholding rent until I do further repairs...stating that the repairs have not done the job. Calling the "builders" incompetent!
I have not called at the property because of their attitude to "being disturbed"
They have now said that they will leave if they do not hear from me and expect their deposit returned!
Shall I still go ahead with issueing notice?

jta
04-12-2011, 14:03 PM
They have now said that they will leave if they do not hear from me and expect their deposit returned!
Shall I still go ahead with issueing notice?

That sounds as if it might be an offer to surrender the tenancy. You are never going to satisfy them so accept it. On your terms though, make them pay to re-market the place, do not return deposit before the tenancy is ended and only then if the place is returned in a fit condition. Be businesslike do not get into arguments with them.

claire53
04-12-2011, 14:23 PM
I still will not receive rent from them.....I don't think they will leave that easily! They are threatening me with legal action! Should I issue anotice to them?

jta
04-12-2011, 15:07 PM
Yes. Write to the guarantors demand that they fulfil their promises, sue the pants off all of them.

Issue whatever notice you need to S8 and S21, then follow them through as soon as you legally can.

Give them 24hrs notice that you need to inspect, do it in writing, if they refuse to let you then get that in writing as well and save all the letters/emails/texts/ what have you against the inevitable bleating that you are not doing anything.

grouse
04-12-2011, 16:26 PM
Is the rent due weekly, monthly, termly or quarterly? It makes a difference

I'll ask again,

also is the property in England or Wales.

S21 may not be an option as it can't be used before the end of the fixed term, which in the case of a student let will be sometime in July. No harm in issuing one though even if just to use as a back up.

Mrs Mug
04-12-2011, 16:29 PM
Write to the guarantors demand that they fulfil their promises, sue the pants off all of them.

There are no guarantors.

boletus
04-12-2011, 17:06 PM
Hi...no I do not have guarantors....took a deposit which is protected. Have had the windows made but have stalled any further repairs due to cash flow! windows did not really need replacing.
Have received a letter from them today stating they are in"considerable discomfort" and are withholding rent until I do further repairs...stating that the repairs have not done the job. Calling the "builders" incompetent!
I have not called at the property because of their attitude to "being disturbed"
They have now said that they will leave if they do not hear from me and expect their deposit returned!
Shall I still go ahead with issueing notice?

Hello again Claire,

Issue notices now.

Do not accept their word they will leave unless it is a written notice of surrender and they have left the property and returned the keys.

Fully disturb them going about your legitimate business, preferably face to face and individually. Let them know that you are not a soft touch and will be pursuing them for every penny, however long it takes- all within the the law of course.

How are they sending you letters on a Sunday?

jta, there are no guarantors.

claire53
04-12-2011, 21:41 PM
Hi,
I was delivered a letter to my home address. It was received by my son.

I will deliver a breach of contract letter to them tomorrow, along with an S8 form. can only deliver to 2 of them as one paid his rent last month but has witheld this month , but will send him a letter asking him to comply...he has definately been swayed by the others!!

They are now asking me to pay for a playstation which they say has been damaged by water!! It's getting ridiculous....and considering I have not had any previous problems...where are they coming fom now....considering I have made remedial repairs?

Snorkerz
04-12-2011, 21:50 PM
To make a point, you can serve a section 8 under grounds 10 & 11 to the one who is only one month unpaid.

Please verify that your tenancy agreements state you can use ground 8? If not, you will have to use 10 & 11 for all 3.