View Full Version : Rent arrears and tenant wants to be evicted
01-02-2008, 03:38 AM
Please give me your advice on what I should do about my tenant who owes two and a half months rent.
I'm new to all this but I know from reading this site I have to serve a section 21 notice which means I require possession after 13th April.
He says he will pay his arrears off monthly along with the usual rent but so far has made just one payment.
He feigns ignorance when I tell him there is no rent yet again and blames it on his wife who is in charge of the banking.
He wants a council house and therefore needs me to evict him and is likely to be advised to stay in my property until I get a possession order.
My questions are: how do I go about getting him out AND getting my money?
If it takes months to get him out he might well have time to pay off the arrears before moving on but how do I make it official and not leave it to trust (as he insists) that he won't do a runner owing me money?
01-02-2008, 08:10 AM
You could serve a Section 8 notice to reposess the property, which allows you to claim for money as well (unlike the Section 21). Disadvantage is that if he pays you enough to take the arrears below 2 months, (in a nutshell) the reposession isn't guaranteed. So however you choose to proceed, serve the S21 as well in parallel, either to rely on it or as a backup.
Alternatively, if you don't do S8, you can initiate a Small Claim for the money he owes, separately from the S21. That doesn't need to be for a fixed sum, as obviously the arrears are increasing day by day.
01-02-2008, 19:09 PM
Tell him that the council will consider that he has made himself intentionally homeless, don't have any obligation to offer him social housing and that you intend to notify them of the arrears and the fact that you gave him a number of occasions to sort it out.
"[The local council] may decide that you deliberately did or didn't do something that caused you to become homeless if you didn't pay the rent or mortgage when you could have afforded to"
(I feel like being wicked and suggest that to stop the excuses of blaming it on his wife, tell him that you will send recorded delivery letters addressed to her informing her of this and keep copies of them to forward to the council. He seems to have knowledge that one way to circumvent the 'intentionally homeless' rule is through the following scenario.
"If you became homeless because of rent arrears and you thought your partner was paying the rent, the council may consider your partner to be intentionally homeless, but not you. This only applies if you can show that you were unaware of the other person's actions, did not agree to their actions, or couldn't stop them."
04-02-2008, 16:35 PM
That's really interesting and is quite likely to be what is going on.
I'm about to send a section 21 notice but can you tell me exactly how I should word a covering letter re letting the council know?
04-02-2008, 17:00 PM
I wouldn't worry about sending a covering letter, the council would ring you as the tenants last LL and ask why they have been evicted.
Issue your S.21 and also a S.8 under grounds 8, 10 & 11. Under ground 8 you will only have to serve 2 weeks notice.
04-02-2008, 17:24 PM
Hi Colin, is it possible that the council wouldn't rehouse them on production of a possession order and I'd have to get a bailiff?
The reason I'm concerned is that I live in Toronto and would have to fly back to the UK to deal with this and I have no idea of the timescale or procedures involved as I'm a first time LL, and to make things more difficult the house is 100 miles away from any family members I could stay with and none of my family will deal with this to save me flying back.
What I aim to do is get this tenant out and then hand the management over to an agent.
All advice is welcome!
04-02-2008, 19:51 PM
is it possible that the council wouldn't rehouse them on production of a possession order and I'd have to get a bailiff?It's entirely possible - it can go both ways; just depends on your council. Of course, if they decide that your tenants are making themselves intentionally homeless (which would include witholding rent in order to be evicted) then the council wouldn't rehouse them anyway... as Colin says, you'll get asked about this, and will need to phrase your reply carefully - and you'd be committing an offence if you were seen to be colluding with the tenant eg by saying they'd been great tenants but you needed the property back to sell...
The reason I'm concerned is that I live in Toronto and would have to fly back to the UK to deal with this and I have no idea of the timescale or procedures involved as I'm a first time LL, and to make things more difficult the house is 100 miles away from any family members I could stay with and none of my family will deal with this to save me flying back.Presumably you could contact someone like one of the advertisers on this site, and they'd handle it all for you?
04-02-2008, 20:28 PM
I'm definitely not colluding with them!
Thanks for the advice.
23-02-2008, 17:11 PM
I did everything you suggested and my tenants obviously took it seriously because today I received a letter from the local authority saying " your letter clearly demonstrates a good understanding of the issues that Local Authorities have to consider if people lose their tenancy as a result of failing to pay rent".
So thanks for that!
Is there any way to find out whether a tenant is applying for a council house?
Do councils always ask LLs why the tenants have been evicted? Quite a lot of threads concerning the evicting a tenant for rent arrears mention that the tenant then got a Council Property. So I assume that the question isn't always asked.
I'd like to let the council know about my tenants non payment of rent just in case they were applying for a council house, but am concerned that in doing so I will get into trouble for infringing their Human Rights / Data Protection issues etc.
25-02-2008, 17:57 PM
On 2 occasions I have had a call asking why we are evicting and in one case I also got a letter asking how much arrears were owing... I clearly put the amount owed on the form.. sorry but if you don't pay your rent then you should not get a LA home.. maybe I am bitter as I was not able to get a council house when I needed one.. but play by the rules and I will help you if not then .. well see above! Needless to say they did not get rehoused!
There was however one occasion when the council did not call us and the woman was rehoused by the LA.
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