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View Full Version : Inherited Cornish cottage; elderly tenant pays no rent



SNOBDR
12-02-2008, 17:18 PM
Hi All

Just a question if any one can help!

I have recently inherited an old cornish cottage which is fairly dilapidated and has, surpirse surprise a tenant who apparently paid my grandfather £20 a week rent.

There is no lease and no rent has been paid for many years.

I dont want the property as its only got a small value and want to get possession to sell

Any ideas please!!

The tenant is a nowty old so and so and will not leave without a possession order and probably the bailiffs!!

Grange
12-02-2008, 17:24 PM
I guess this will not be an AST - tenant presumably been there for more than 20 odd years. So probably a Rent Act tenancy in which case you cannot get rid of the tenant. Options:

1. Enforce a fair rent; he may then leave if he cannot afford it*.
2. Sell WITHOUT vacant possession
3. Pay him off (perhaps 50% of the difference between value with vacant possession and without) and then sell with vacant possession.

_____________________________________
* it may be fworth your while getting the Council EH department in to enforce repair notices on you (I'm assuming this is a grotty hovel); you then apply to court for possession to do the works (he knows his rent will go up if the place is smarter) and then have a fair rent assessed - which will be greater than it would have been for the hovel.

jeffrey
12-02-2008, 17:26 PM
Important question
For how many years has no rent been paid? If >12 yrs., we may have a problem Mission Control.

SNOBDR
13-02-2008, 12:17 PM
Cheers Guys

I think its only worth getting shut of the property

Thanks again!!!

jeffrey
13-02-2008, 12:20 PM
Cheers Guys

I think its only worth getting shut of the property

Thanks again!!!
Before doing anything, check at HM Land Registry.
Has T applied to register a possessory title, for instance, based on long period of not paying rent?

SNOBDR
14-02-2008, 10:30 AM
No, the Land Registry is clear

Bel
14-02-2008, 10:56 AM
The tenant is a nowty old so and so and will not leave without a possession order and probably the bailiffs!!

This may be so, but why should he just walk out of his home just because you say so?

Where is your empathy for this guy?

Put yourself in his shoes and then you find it easier to get a win win situation.

Unless you follow all the rules; you may find that he does not owe you a cent as things stand. And I'm not going to give you any clues either.

jeffrey
14-02-2008, 11:29 AM
Bel: an occupier paying zero rent perhaps merits a little less empathy. Who wouldn't be pleased to have rent-free accomodation?

Bel
14-02-2008, 17:12 PM
There may be a good reason for that.

Afterall the OP says he is thrice old; perhaps he cant remember where to send to rent to.

johnboy
14-02-2008, 17:36 PM
I dont know the whole story but any tenant who hasnt paid rent for a long time knows he hasnt paid rent for a long time and has no sympathy from me. Talk to him first if you get no joy have him out. (if you can)

Age has nothing to do with it.(unless he is not all there up top)

I wouldnt lose a minutes sleep over it.

Right i will now get my tin hat on and wait for incoming flak

Colincbayley
14-02-2008, 17:40 PM
I dont know the whole story but any tenant who hasnt paid rent for a long time knows he hasnt paid rent for a long time and has no sympathy from me. Talk to him first if you get no joy have him out. (if you can)

Age has nothing to do with it.(unless he is not all there up top)

I wouldnt lose a minutes sleep over it.

Right i will now get my tin hat on and wait for incoming flak

INCOMING!!!!!!!!!!!

Not really, I must agree with you, if he has had years rent free then he should think himself lucky he hasn't been chased before.

jodymay
14-02-2008, 22:04 PM
Dilapidated! low in value! for a cornish cottage. Does not sound like its worthy of rent. Sounds like its more like a shed. If the landlord hasn't kept it in a satisfactory condition for the tenant perhaps its been more a case of the tenant living there rent free because it's not considered habitable. Landlords been happy with this, and so has the tenant. And now someone comes along and wants to kick the poor pensioner out. Absolutely heartless.

johnboy
15-02-2008, 09:12 AM
Nothing in this life is free. Have him out even if the the cott is in a bad state of repair he is still getting something for nothing and knows it.

If the L/L wants to keep it he should either modernise it (and i bet the tenant would still not want to pay) or bring it up to a basic level and charge the going rate.

As i said earlier talk to the tenant first even if he doesnt want anything done to the property (which isnt his choice) it still has a rental value as it is which should be paid. (though maybe very little)

Tin hat on head down

Grange
15-02-2008, 09:24 AM
It can't be that little (the rental value). A remote cottage in Cornwall, no rent, no neighbours... sign me up now!

Bel
15-02-2008, 10:28 AM
John boy

I agree that wilfully witholding rent is not on. But we do not know many of the facts of this case.

What we do know that the tenant has lived there for many years, undisturbed, that the OP thinks the tenant is "old old old", and "nowty old so and so " will probably only leave with a possession order and bailifs. Well you don't have to be old or nowty to want to remain in your home for as long as possible. Anyone with sense would.

Whatever the situation is, its still somebody's home for many years. The OP did not just inherit a property; he inherited a property that happens to be someone else's home, and yet it comes across in the post that they are seen as a disposable inconvenience to the new owner, who is looking to his own financial gain as soon as possible.

I agree that the proper procedure could be used to terminate the tenancy, but the full rights of the tenant should be respected. The law is the law, and I would support the tenant to lawfully remain in his home for as long as possible, and at the same time, ensure that the landlord also got his due.

Because the OP shows little respect for the elderly gentleman, I do not feel anyway inclined to give advice that might make an eviction any easier him.

Grange
15-02-2008, 10:37 AM
To be fair, OP appears to have decided that to sell the property complete with T is his best idea. AT that point it becomes somebody else's problem.

johnboy
15-02-2008, 12:21 PM
Point taken we dont know the full story

swinefever
15-02-2008, 14:04 PM
Although it's always easy to judge from the outside but i have to agree with Bel and jodymay on this one, until more information is available. You say:

"I have recently inherited an old cornish cottage which is fairly dilapidated and has, surpirse surprise a tenant who apparently paid my grandfather £20 a week rent."

Was your grandfather happy with this arrangement? What were relations like between the tenant and your Grandfather? If they were friends, i'm sure he wouldn't want you to give the guy the boot.

Do you have any information on the tenant himself? State of health, financial situation etc? The law around Housing is complex enough for a relatively, young and educated person, never mind an elderly gentleman. God, he might not even know he's doing anything wrong (if he is).

I'm assuming he pays all the bills etc? If the property is really not worth much, is it really worth disturbing the situation?

Is letting the old man live his days out in peace an option? If so, then maybe you could calculate the cost of keeping the property (safety inspections, tax implications etc) and ask the chap to pay only that amount (spread in weekly payments).

In this situation, i would be concerned about being responsible for a property/tenant with nothing in writing, so maybe you could help him get in touch with the Council and sort something out through Housing Benefit etc?

Is any of this an option?

The Swine

billmccallum
15-02-2008, 14:25 PM
How much do you want for it?

SNOBDR
15-02-2008, 15:55 PM
Wow thats stirred a bit of debate!

For the full facts

The cottage is in a very poor state of repair my grandfather in 2003 tried to have the property renovated but the tenant refused to move out for the duration of the repairs. He is a violent and agressive man who has made numerous threats to the family over the past few years.

He is happy to live in the property but i dont want the hassle of having to collect a small amount of money until the guys shuttles off our mortal coil

I am concerned that to involve environmental health will only cause me more problem as i believe the tenant will refuse to leave and then i will have to pay for his alternative accomodation during the building work

I have also found out that the tenant has done this in other villages in the area and on each occassion that he has recevied a large payment (in excess of £10,000 on at least two occassions)

So what say we now!

Colincbayley
15-02-2008, 15:58 PM
Leave the old boy be, bide your time and worry about it at a future date.

johnboy
15-02-2008, 17:00 PM
Have Him Out Now Asap

Esio Trot
15-02-2008, 17:06 PM
One fact that is so important I haven't seen revealed yet.

What was the date that the tenant first occupied the property, and was there any written agreement that is still at hand?

The answers to this will assist in giving more specific answers.