A sorry state of affairs – Tenant apologises to landlord

by Paul Shamplina

8:31 AM, 24th June 2019
About 4 weeks ago

A sorry state of affairs – Tenant apologises to landlord

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A sorry state of affairs – Tenant apologises to landlord

It’s a topic I have spoken about many times before, but sadly it doesn’t appear to be improving. Councils are still being forced to respond to Britain’s housing crisis by telling tenants who have been asked to leave by their landlords, to stay put until they are evicted. In many cases, landlords are left with thousands of pounds of rent arrears and legal costs, as will be shown on this week’s episode of ‘Nightmare Tenants Slum Landlords’ (Monday 24 June, 9pm, Channel 5,).

Landlord Action was recently appointed by IT sales consultant, Dale Prime-Holder. He came to Landlord Action desperately seeking help on behalf of his elderly mother, whose tenant had stopped paying rent for over a year, but was refusing to leave the property. They had also discovered that the tenant had moved her daughter, her daughter’s partner and their child into the property.

The rent arrears had reached in excess of £10,000 and Dale’s Mother could no longer afford to wait. I felt particularly saddened when she told me that she felt extremely guilty for having to go down the eviction route and really didn’t want to go resort to court proceedings, but felt like she had no choice as she had been using her own pension money to pay for various bills at the property.

On the flip side of this story is the tenant. Dale’s mother had used a reputable letting agent who had carried out all the necessary referencing checks. Unfortunately, referencing cannot predict someone falling into unforeseen financial difficulties. Dale’s mother found 62 letters addressed to the tenant, nearly all of which were chasing money.

As the population has swelled due to people living longer and immigration, the country’s housing stock has failed to grow at the same pace.  The resulting imbalance -and the exorbitant rise in house prices, particularly in the south, has pushed rents higher.

It has become very difficult for those on lower incomes to find suitable properties when they try to move, and many are turning to local authorities for help, but those who approach the council are being told they cannot get local authority assistance unless they are homeless, and so should stay in privately rented properties until they are forced out by bailiffs.

On the day of the eviction, the tenant had already left the property before the bailiffs arrived. Then, suddenly she appeared after realising she needed a letter from the bailiffs to prove to the council that she had been evicted. At this point, the tenant apologised to Dale’s mother. You couldn’t help but feel sorry for her.

The councils say they will work with households to avoid eviction yet contradict this by advising that if tenants walk away from the property, they have a legal right to stay in, then the council has no obligation to find them housing. Local authorities only have a duty to rehouse them in emergency circumstances and that is only when the bailiffs are at the door.

Both landlords and tenants are trapped by this system and something needs to change. What’s more, many landlords use a ‘non-fault’ Section 21 notice to evict tenants and forfeit reclaiming rent arrears, which in many ways is to the benefit of the tenant. If the government abolishes Section 21, tenants who fall into rent arrears and are served a Section 8 notice, may found it more difficult to be re-housed.

Watch Nightmare Tenants Slum Landlords on Channel 5, Mondays at 9pm

Contact Landlord Action

Specialists in tenant eviction and debt collection. Regulated by The Law Society.


Comments

Mick Roberts

11:16 AM, 24th June 2019
About 4 weeks ago

We getting this more & more in Nottingham.
I'm giving tenants a copy of the Homeless Reduction act letter 56 days etc. to take to Council, which does make Framework & the Homeless Council prick their ears up a bit, but they still going through the Section 21 with a fine toothcomb, checking if property/tenant has been ripped off by Nottingham Selective Licensing http://www.selectivelicensingtruth.co.uk & Landlord has paid his License fee instead of giving tenant a new bathroom out the funds. Instead of channelling their efforts into finding the tenant a place.
I've tried telling 'em, it's a vicious circle, u make it so hard for the Landlord to evict unruly bad non paying house damaging tenant, that next time, Landlord don't take any of your tenants, as he knows how hard it is/how hard u make it for him to get rid of bad tenant next time. Which makes your list even longer to house people.
I kid u not, I got two of me last bad tenants who told me to sell the house, Ooh baby I rang the Estate Agents quicker than Linford Christie, I told the Council Homeless, who I do get on with the managers, no reply for 6 weeks, house had an offer, now sold, the Council Homeless now said can't help her cause house sold.
Their reply to me:
NPRAS have confirmed that they are no longer involved as the property has been sold.
My reply to them:
I advised. I may have been saying that for someone to actually TALK to me.
We've had this before when emails don't solve anything.
Do Land Registry check if u like.
U will see it is still in my name.
Sooner we have voice contact, the better please.
Be nice to know the procedure as well. As tenant had a worker cause house was being sold.
But are we now saying if sold, then tenant gets no help from Housing Aid now? Seems very strange, as that's the reason NPRAS was helping her in the first place, as house was up for sale. But u obviously know something I don't.
And what do we do if buyer then pulls out?
All this needs explaining verbally, but to say:
NPRAS have confirmed that they are no longer involved as the property has been sold.
Is that saying tenants have to fend for theirselves if sale comes along?
So another thing for landlords to not tell NPRAS the truth as has been happening for 20 years when Landlord needs rid of bad tenant. And the circle revolves, more homeless ensues.
And I keep telling Nottingham Council to no avail YOU NEED TO ASK THE LANDLORD AFTER AFTER AFTER the tenant has gone why he evicted. As the council aren't getting the truth beforehand cause the Landlord will say anything to get em gone, as he may be in danger of being repossessed from no rent in to pay mortgage quick.
And this contacting the Landlord afterwards is NOT NOT happening. How they ever gonna' get a picture why Landlords are evicting. Nottingham No common sense Councillors are saying it's cause of Universal Credit etc. Codswallop, that plays a minor part at moment cause it's just come in, in Nottingham. The main reason here for Landlords selling in their droves & evicting is http://www.selectivelicensingtruth.co.uk

Russell.m

11:18 AM, 24th June 2019
About 4 weeks ago

I am in a similar situation where my landlord is trying to acquire a possession order to have me removed from the property that I live in with my 6 year old daughter although I am not in arrears and I haven't caused any problems.

The landlord attempted to illegally evict me back in October 2018 when he came to my home with his son and attempted to force entry using a pick axe while I was stood behind the front door resulting in me having to call 999.
The landlord told the police that he and his son both live with me in the property and that I was a lodger and I had locked them out of the property.
The police confirmed that this was not true after looking around my home and seeing that there were no belongings or any sign of either the landlord or his son residing at the property. Now that the situation has got to court the landlord has now changed his story but is claiming that I rent the property under license and not short-hold tenancy.
The council say I am not entitled to go on the housing register until I become homeless and even then all they can offer me is likely to be a hostel, or at most a 1 bedroom flat although they currently don't have any vacant properties.

Also as I am self employed and do my own accounting I am unable to rent a property via an estate agent as they will only accept self employed tenants that have audited accounts that come from an accountant.

Citizens Advice Bureau told that there is nothing I can do other than wait to be made homeless.

As this is a rather complicated case the judge has ruled for it to go to trial which is absurd as there is no evidence to be reviewed from either claimant or defendant.
And as I am self employed I am not entitled to legal aid but I also cant afford to pay for a solicitor therefore have no legal representation.
I have contacted Shelter organisation and PSU who offer help to individuals in need of legal advice but both have told me that this case is beyond their knowledge and experience.

Due to this situation I am under a tremendous amount of stress and I am struggling to eat and sleep properly resulting in me not being able to focus and organise my work and therefore not working enough hours and earning as much money as I need to and struggling with rent and bills.

Any help or advice with this situation would be greatly appreciated.

Russell.m

Prakash Tanna

12:59 PM, 24th June 2019
About 4 weeks ago

To my surprise, I am seeing a shift in behaviour from the Council. I have a tenant who can lo longer afford to be in the house she has lived in for many years (children grew up and moved out). She asked I serve a s21 Notice so the Council step in and re-house her. To my surprise, the HO at Leicester City Council called me and put into writing it is NOT their advise that the tenant remains in the property after the notice expires and they will do whatever they can to re-house her without the need to obtain a Possession Order. She also agreed the house was no longer suitable for this tenant. Could this be a shift in behaviour and other Councils should learn from this and work with us Landlords to make the process a better one for all concerned.

Peter G

19:03 PM, 24th June 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Didn't the Courts recently rule this behaviour by Councils illegal, and that all Councils have a duty is to house anyone who cannot afford their rent and is thus in danger of being evicted ? https://www.property118.com/tenants-homeless-if-rent-is-unaffordable-new-caselaw/

Peter G

19:05 PM, 24th June 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Russell.m at 24/06/2019 - 11:18This may help.... the Courts recently ruled this behaviour by Councils illegal, and that all Councils have a duty to house anyone who is in danger of being evicted ? https://www.property118.com/tenants-homeless-if-rent-is-unaffordable-new-caselaw/

Paul Essex

22:23 PM, 24th June 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Russell.m at 24/06/2019 - 11:18I am saddened by your pridicament, these are exactly the type of landlords who are giving the rest of us so many problems.
You haven't told us what type of contract you had with the landlord. If it was a standard assured shorthold has that now reached the end of the fixed term and gone periodic you are currently entitled to an eight week notice period. Difficult as it may seem I feel that going through a court case will just delay the inevitable termination. As a self employed person you should find that agencies and potential landlords will also accept your tax bills as proof of income, I certainly have in the past.
I hope that the situation improves for you soon.

Rod

22:42 PM, 24th June 2019
About 4 weeks ago

There's one very simple answer to this - pay the rent!


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