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Woody
07-08-2005, 16:55 PM
Sorry for any confusion, I confirm the tennant vacated the rented property and posted the keys through my home letterbox. I have full possesion of the property, and want to know what action I can now take as I have not been able to re-let as yet, and she is now 2 months in arreaer. Does this latest bit of info make any change to the advice given?





I had a tennant who recently moved in having signed a 12 month contract. during the fisrt 6/8 weeks she was often on the phone requesting additional furnishings, and I promptly obliged as I felt it would add to the future re-letting value. without a doubt during this time, taking into consideration the mortgage payment, I was in a deficit position having only received 2 months rent (£550x2) and £400 deposit.
It was at this stage she advised me she was having problems as her ex husband had found out where she was living, and she feared for her safety. About a week later she called me again and this time told me she had serious health problems, and would probably be off work for a very long time if she has to have brain surgery.She could not afford the rent and was going to live back at her parents. (address not known for sure) Whilst being sympathetic to her problems I advised she would have to pay as per the contract, and I would release her upon finding a new tennant. She has stopped using the mobile number, and the work phone no. I had does not get answered. I do have an address where I "think" her parents may live. Any suggestions or ideas please? I have not had any luck renting out again, and it has now been 2 months without rent being paid.

Paul_f
07-08-2005, 19:42 PM
You serve a Section 8, Grounds 8, 10 & 11 Notice on the tenant at her last known address (i.e. the address of the property she's renting) as she is now 2 months or more in arrears.

When you get the Warrant of Possession you can repossess. If she surrenders the keys in the meantime you might want to accept surrender but that's up to you. The court can deal with arrears at the same time as the possesison order of you want it to. Plenty advice on this website on all aspects of this.

Look at other threads by using the search facility that deal with this problem, of which there are plenty. Just put in "Section 8" and see what pops up!

MrShed
07-08-2005, 19:49 PM
Paul,

From what I read from the post, my reading is that this tenant has already left the property and the landlord has the keys? That is how I have read it anyway.

MrWoof
07-08-2005, 20:43 PM
I would suggest that you visit the address you think the parents live at but only to ascertain whether she has left and to get confirmation from the tenant that she has gone. Don't get uptight with the parents or the tenant about money if you want their help, you can always go to the small claims court afterwards
If this fails or the address is wrong then follow the S8 route. Don't forget, without confirmation that she has left, you cannot enter the property without a court order except in an emergency even if it appears to be empty.

Jennifer_M
07-08-2005, 22:19 PM
From what I just read I understand that Woody has actually taken possession of the property already and has re-advertised it as he says he hasn't had any luck renting out again.

If that's the case, Woody I hope your tenant had officially given up the tenancy and given your keys back otherwise you could have put yourself in a dangerous situation: the tenant could (if she wanted to) come back and sue you for unlawful eviction which could cost you a lot.

Paul_f
07-08-2005, 22:36 PM
Sometimes I wonder why I bother answering questions when the only piece of sensible advise since is don't enter the premises without a possession order.

Some of the rest is just confusing waffle.

Woody
08-08-2005, 08:45 AM
:rolleyes:
Sorry for any confusion, I confirm the tennant vacated the rented property and posted the keys through my home letterbox. I have full possesion of the property, and want to know what action I can now take as I have not been able to re-let as yet, and she is now 2 months in arreaer. Does this latest bit of info make any change to the advice given?





I had a tennant who recently moved in having signed a 12 month contract. during the fisrt 6/8 weeks she was often on the phone requesting additional furnishings, and I promptly obliged as I felt it would add to the future re-letting value. without a doubt during this time, taking into consideration the mortgage payment, I was in a deficit position having only received 2 months rent (£550x2) and £400 deposit.
It was at this stage she advised me she was having problems as her ex husband had found out where she was living, and she feared for her safety. About a week later she called me again and this time told me she had serious health problems, and would probably be off work for a very long time if she has to have brain surgery.She could not afford the rent and was going to live back at her parents. (address not known for sure) Whilst being sympathetic to her problems I advised she would have to pay as per the contract, and I would release her upon finding a new tennant. She has stopped using the mobile number, and the work phone no. I had does not get answered. I do have an address where I "think" her parents may live. Any suggestions or ideas please? I have not had any luck renting out again, and it has now been 2 months without rent being paid.

MrShed
08-08-2005, 09:04 AM
Can anyone confirm what legally constitutes a tenant foregoing a tenancy? Does posting keys do this? My thought would be that if you are still owed rent, you should be owed this(although obviously you have to show that you are looking for new tenants), and should perhaps take it to small claims, serving at her parents address. However, if the tenant has not actually released the property, not sure if handing keys over constitutes this, then you could leave yourself open for a large countersuit. I would probably say handing the keys over, does release it, but not sure. Personally, I would be inclined just to let it go, and put it down to a bad experience, and put all your efforts into reletting the property. If she is not lying with regards to the problems she has had, it is perhaps slightly harsh to sue her, although you are no doubt entitled to the money and I can understand why you would decide to persue it. However, if prospective tenants find out about this they may well be put off, and it wouldnt be too difficult for them to find out about it.

dazalock
08-08-2005, 10:16 AM
I did a search on this and Ed wrote

"Actually returning the keys is generally acknowledged to be sufficient evidence that the tenant has surrenderd his/her tenancy."


Questions I would like to raise here are:

1. Was no credit checks completed prior to the start of the tenancy to confirm addresses?

2. Why would you not pursue it, lying or not, she was aware of her liability and if she could live with her parents why didnt she do it before she ran into rent arrears?

3. Why would any perspective tenants be put off? All you have done is follow up unpaid rent, if perspective tenants are worried about this, you are probably better withuot them.

Woody
08-08-2005, 16:33 PM
Thanks for responses. I did do a credit check and all was ok (at the time she was living with her ex husband. )I have spent alot of time now focussing on re-letting the property, and besides going around local newsagents , local factories etc, I have today instructed a recomended letting agent. I do feel put out by the fact she appears to be sticking two fingers up at the AST she signed. I would at least try to pursue her a little, whilst recognising my main objective should be to re-let. Could you please advise what the next step should be, assuming she is living at her parents house?

dazalock
08-08-2005, 17:13 PM
https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/csmco2/index.jsp

MrShed
08-08-2005, 17:29 PM
2. Why would you not pursue it, lying or not, she was aware of her liability and if she could live with her parents why didnt she do it before she ran into rent arrears?

As I have said, I am under no doubt that legally this woman owes the OP money. However, again if she is telling the truth, she no doubt has far more important things on her mind at the moment than whether she breached an AST or not. She COULD have sat in the property not paying rent and waited until the OP evicted her, she has not. She has, in fact, done the only thing she could have done in her situation that was remotely responsible, if she has no money, she cannot pay the LL. As I said, it is totally up to the OP if he wishes to persue it, certainly wouldnt blame him for doing so, but I could also understand if someone didnt.

3. Why would any perspective tenants be put off? All you have done is follow up unpaid rent, if perspective tenants are worried about this, you are probably better withuot them.

Because the LL will come across as a hard-ass. Whether this is true or not. As a tenant, if I heard about a landlord suing a previous tenant for money when the previous tenant has been sacked and having a serious illness, I would think twice, not that I would doubt that the landlord had a right to the money, but it would come across as not being very understanding about any problems that may arise with me. I do not actually think this, but remember that prospective tenants will not know that you have not been in contact with her, as she hasnt given you an address!



With regards to where you go from here? www.moneyclaim.gov I believe is the correct link. Small claims court online, very simply process, serve to the address you have. Or ofcourse, use your local small claims court.

Prior to that, however, write a letter to the address you have. I would probably send two letters....the first one merely to try and confirm if she does live there. Again, ethically perhaps a bit dodgy, but I would probably write a first letter saying "I have found a pair of earrings in the property" describe some cheap £10 studs or something from Argos catalogue(you would need to be able to present them if she does claim them, small price to pay though), and ask if they are hers. "If not, can you confirm this as the forwarding address in case I find anything else".

After you have confimed using this method, I would then write a formal letter stating that she owes you this money, and you need to receive it within a certain time limit or you will issue legal proceedings. Offer to come to an agreement over repayments - first of all if she has no job, low repayments may be the only way she will make them. Also, the more opportunities you give her to pay, the better it will go down with the judge at a small claims court.

*edit* thanks for the correct link dazalock :-D

Woody
08-08-2005, 20:25 PM
Thank you all for your help and suggestions which have been most useful.