A despairing landlord has finally managed to evict a rogue tenant who managed to disrupt the court process by more than a year after claiming he had Covid four times.

He’s now more than £100,000 out of pocket after the man racked up £83,000 in rent arrears and has paid out at least £20,000 in legal fees.

But the landlord, from Saundersfoot in Wales, is just grateful to finally have his property back, despite now being forced to completely gut it before it’s liveable.

“It has been a nightmare as he kept playing the Covid card,” the landlord tells LandlordZONE, who wishes to remain anonymous.

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“I’m taking him to court to claim back the arrears but I don’t expect I’ll be successful in recovering the monies outstanding from both him and his wife when judgement is granted.”

He adds: “I’m lucky that I have other properties – if that was my only one I would have lost my house because of all this.”

The landlord issued a Section 21 after his tenant started getting into arrears in 2017 before stopping paying completely in 2019.

Granted possession

He was first granted possession last November and given an eviction date in December, but the tenant appealed on different grounds and the case was dismissed three times.

Bailiffs were finally arranged for the end of July, but this time the tenant informed them he couldn’t move out because he had Covid.

Another date in August was set but the tenant told bailiffs his wife had Covid – despite the fact that she had moved out months before.

But, as she was named on the warrant, they couldn’t go ahead. The tenant then announced he had Covid again.

“The warrant officer told him that he had to do a test and that if it was negative he needed to move out within days, and if it was positive, she would set a date in 14 days’ time,” he says.

After trying to get the case thrown out yet again due to Covid symptoms last month, a judge finally granted the warrant and the tenant has now gone.

“I take tenants on face value and should have done a credit check,” the landlord admits. “But I’m really frustrated that he was able to exploit Covid for as long as he did, which dragged the case on much longer.”

Find out more about evictions.


  1. The Welsh Labour Government are tough on landlords with Rent Smart Wales requiring training and licensing, bit it’s problems like this which need addressing or Landlords will get out of the business.

  2. Wow… What a nightmare….

    I have much sympathy for you. As johnny pointed out one should NEVER under any circumstances let to anyone without full background and credit checks… also check facebook etc… You’d be surprised what you can find.
    even though i use a letting agent as soon as I get the name of a prospective tenant I do the rounds of Facebook Instagram, Google etc…. a google search will often reveal reports of criminal convictions in local papers etc.

    I’m sure you have learnt the lessons and once again I have to say I’m so sorry to hear of your plight.

    As this person has been convicted why not name and shame him to protect other landlords?

  3. The repossession process is just too dysfunctional for LL to continue with the AST business model.

    A LL has to get tenant choice right ALL the time.

    Just one rent defaulting tenant could bankrupt and make homeless a LL.

    No amount of net yield is worth that risk.

    Of course this ONLY applies to mortgaged LL.

    It is usually no big deal if a mortgage free LL suffers from a rent defaulting tenant.

    Certainly no risk of mortgage default and repossession.

    RGI now costs a fortune and rarely can tenants qualify.

    The dysfunctional repossession process is the main reason I’m selling up.

    I simply CAN’T afford the risk of a rent defaulting tenant who could wait over a year not paying rent before evicted.

    Just not worth the business risk anymore.

    The horror stories I’ve heard about the amount of rent default some LL have suffered from just don’t bear thinking about.

    Two months rent default would bankrupt me.

    The stress is just not worth it anymore.

    With repossession destined to become even more difficult it simply isn’t worth remaining an AST LL.

    There is no way that S8 will be made as effective as S21.

    Getting rid of rent defaulting tenants will become almost impossible for years.

    BTL is no longer a viable business risk.


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