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View Full Version : New Landlord and need some advise from the more experienced!



tln
23-02-2008, 12:15 PM
Hi All,
This is my first post and first experience as a landlord, so please bear with me.
Firstly, I'd like to advise that when my tenant applied for the property and signed the tenancy, she never advised she would be receiving help with her rent via Housing Benefit.
My tenant signed the agreement and took possession of the property in December 2007. I've had 1 months rent from her directly, and another 4 weeks paid by Housing Benefit.
She's now in arrears by £150-odd, but rent is due on 28th of the month, so another month's rent is due shortly also.
She's been in touch with LA, and advised them she wishes to receive the HB payments, and had confirmation this is going to happen from LA today.
I'm concerned.
I sent her a letter early February about her arrears but had no responce, so I hand delievered a 2nd letter 7 days later, which I had again no responce to.
My solicitor drew up the lease, so I called and asked them to phone her (as I have no number for her) and advise her of her arrears situation and have her attend to this.
I had a call back from the solicitors secretary, advising the tenant had been in and she will phone me regarding my letters.
Still waiting on the telephone call.
Her account has been in rent arrears since the end of January, and haven't seen any money from her, or heard from her.
Have issued 2 letters asking for settlement for her account, neither were coming down hard, but made it clear she has money due, but still heard nothing from her.
She's never at the property. The neighbours have advised they rarely see her there, and when my hubby hand delievered the 2nd letter, she wasn't there.
What's my next step?
I think I'm being over-cautious due to this being my 1st stint as a landlord, but I take rent arrears very seriously - as I'm sure all landlords do.
I am aware that I can contact LA and ask for them to reconsider their decision to issue her HB to me, but only once she is in 8 weeks of arrears or more, and this will not be until end of March (if she doesn't settle beforehand) and I really want this cleared up asap.
Any advice?

Grange
23-02-2008, 12:28 PM
I think you're jumping the gun. She's not yet failed to pay this month's rent. Take a deep breath and come back next week.

Beeber
23-02-2008, 13:34 PM
Landlords routlinely undertake screening of potential tenants - credit check, previous landlord reference, bank reference, employer references, copies of bank statements, payslips, etc

So what pre-tenant screening did you undertake to understand how the tenant was going to afford the rent?

tln
23-02-2008, 15:21 PM
..........

Esio Trot
23-02-2008, 16:04 PM
Our solicitor is brilliant.

I am speechless.

If the various checks into her situation had been correctly carried out and verification made of her circumstances, you would not be in the situation you find yourself now.

Mind you, if you are my age, and your solicitor is a pretty young thing, then I suppose I would be taken in as well.

tln
23-02-2008, 16:14 PM
Mind you, if you are my age, and your solicitor is a pretty young thing, then I suppose I would be taken in as well.

Nice to see this forum isn't just about issues with tenant/landlords. :mad:


Wish I hadn't even bothered joining now ....

Colincbayley
23-02-2008, 16:32 PM
What's my next step?
I think I'm being over-cautious due to this being my 1st stint as a landlord, but I take rent arrears very seriously - as I'm sure all landlords do.
I am aware that I can contact LA and ask for them to reconsider their decision to issue her HB to me, but only once she is in 8 weeks of arrears or more, and this will not be until end of March (if she doesn't settle beforehand) and I really want this cleared up asap.
Any advice?

I wouldn't worry too much just yet.
You have a few options. You can issue a S.21 notice now, ready for the end of the tenants fixed term. You can also issue a S.8 notice now for late payment of rent, and also when the tenant has 2 months rent unpaid, then apply to the courts for a P.O.

However, if I were you I would give it some more time. HB departments at councils are slow. See what happens with this months payment before doing anything else.

lisalee
24-02-2008, 06:11 AM
Hello

My sister is on Housing Benefit. I helped her complete the forms and when I spoke to the council about her payments they were adament that these payments always go straight to the landlord not via the tenant. Maybe different councils have different policies. Obviously the direct route is the best because the tenant would not be tempted to keep the money.

Perhaps you could contact your local council and express your concerns and ensure that the tenant does not get the right to receive the rent first.

Good Luck

p.s. I've not even had my post answered yet :o) so your more worthy than me.

caroline7758
24-02-2008, 08:44 AM
lisalee, that advice from your council is completely wrong!At present it is the tenant's choice whether the payment goes to the tenant or landlord, (except in areas where LHA hasbeen introduced- all areas from April 7th this year, when most payments will go direct to the tenant,but that's another matter). As tin says, once the tenant is 8 weeks in arrears, the landlord canrequest direct payment.

johnboy
24-02-2008, 08:56 AM
I totally agree with the previous post