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View Full Version : Evicting tenants while I'm abroad?



Conned
05-02-2008, 06:28 AM
Hi all. I last posted on here about a year ago. To recap:
I am abroad for a few years and we arranged to let out our family home in W London through an agent who turned out to be a conman. Having agreed to a 2 yr 'company let' at a reduced rent (to get good tenants!) we discovered too late that he had let the house at an even lower rent to a Bulgarian guy who, on paper, was an appalling risk (he works as a spread sheet better .i.e. gambler). Bulgarian guy paid 6m rent + deposit in cash which conman disappeared with.

There was a 1 year rental contract drawn up by the agent. This started on 12th September 2006.

Having returned to the UK to sort this out we ended up agreeing that the tenants could stay. We haven't issued any new contract so I understand from this forum that this is now a periodic tenancy where the terms of the original contract apply and I must give 2m notice of eviction. The tenant has been OK and has paid, albeit not always on time. We are so busy here and so far away we have just waited for a reason to change the situation.

Now the rent due on 12th Jan has not been paid. Tenant has lied to us ("I'm just on my way to the bank"....) and has now stopped answering the phone. We have decided we need to cut our losses & I'm booking a trip back home to do what I can. Sadly we are going to sell our home. We can't stand the stress of the situation & are suffering from the financial impact of losing 6m rent last year (+ the deposit which we are bound to return I understand). We are now 8,800 GBP down and counting! I know the market is bad for sellers right now but we have about 2/3 equity in the house & will just reduce it until someone buys it & we'll stay abroad.

My questions relate to what I can do from here? There are firms advertising services where they issue S21 forms for you so I assume from that the form does not need an original signature from the landlord? Can I fax a form from here to a friend and get them to put it through the letterbox? Can I appoint someone to sign forms for me? The firms charge 115 for this & every penny counts at the moment. I will carefully study these forums etc before I do this but my understanding from a brief search is that I have to put a date on the S21 of the day before the rent due date i.e 11th. If they don't pay I then issue a S8 notice after 13th?

I need my trip home to be as useful as possible so am thinking it should co-incide with the 2m expiry of the S21. IF the tenants comply I can then clear up the place ready for putting on the market. I will try to get the HIP done via an Estate Agent before I do this if they'll allow access.

Another question. The tenant has moved in his wife & two children and his brother + wife + baby (and regular assorted visitors). The house is 3 floors so I think this makes it an HMO. This was done without my permission so should I tell the council & see if they'll contact the tenants & tell them to remove one of the family units? The house is not HMO compliant.

Has anyone been in a situation where they have tried to evict whilst out of the country? Any advice gratefully received. (except "don't use non ARLA agents". I already know that one) :( !

Thank god for the internet.

silvercar
05-02-2008, 09:21 AM
Any reason why you can't serve notice using signed for international post?

I wouldn't worry about who the occupants are at the moment. You serve notice on the official tenant and he needs to provide vacant possession. So all his belongings, sub-tenants, family & pets etc go with him.

As you are intending evicting the tenant, I wouldn't get involved with the HMO council dept. The last thing you need is the council to serve notice on you to make your home HMO compliant.

Conned
05-02-2008, 13:26 PM
Cheers for that. I am wondering if there's some kind of courier post thing if it has to be signed by me? Just trying to get in before 12of this month & post from here to UK takes forever. (not a question for you guys really, just rambling :p )

Those 'Landlord action' companies must then have some way to get papers signed by the landlord then served as they say they serve forms within 48 hours of instruction.

I'll call one....

jeffrey
05-02-2008, 19:13 PM
Cheers for that. I am wondering if there's some kind of courier post thing if it has to be signed by me? Just trying to get in before 12of this month & post from here to UK takes forever. (not a question for you guys really, just rambling :p )

Those 'Landlord action' companies must then have some way to get papers signed by the landlord then served as they say they serve forms within 48 hours of instruction.

I'll call one....
You can authorise a UK-based agent to sign documents on your behalf, in all but a few instances.

silvercar
05-02-2008, 20:39 PM
If the post is so slow from your side why not fax to a friend and let them post it from within the UK using signed for delivery?

Conned
06-02-2008, 06:00 AM
Thanks. I was just concerned that the document might have to be an original but have established that, as Jeffrey says, an agent can sign on my behalf. So, that's what I'll do. Will use the firm advertising on here.

ps. this site is quite addictive eh?