Advice required on removing tenant who called the police!

by Readers Question

3 years ago

Advice required on removing tenant who called the police!

Make Text Bigger
Advice required on removing tenant who called the police!

Joint tenants signed 6 month AST, before the 6 months were up (November time) the couple broke up and the wife remained in the property. The husband was asked to write to me expressing his wishes to be removed from the AST, he never did. After the 6 months the wife stayed in the property but I never got her to complete a new AST and let it roll over. Prior to knowing they had split up in November I had already sent a section 21.

The wife was having trouble with the husband and what with having the children put into care, I allowed the wife to stay but we had lots of discussions that her 3 bed house was too big for just her and she assured me she was looking for a smaller house, I knew she was also fighting to get her children back.

Recently the council suddenly decided that she had been overpaid at her last address and have been taking the overpayment off me. She was supposed to be making regular payments to bring her rent up to date, she is now in arrears of over £800.00. whenever I wrote to her to complete an inspection she was rarely in and I would always have to rebook, the letters were always hand posted and I took photos as proof, though she always denied having received them.

There was an issue a couple of weeks ago, she was keeping a rabbit in her bedroom, AST states no pets. A couple of weeks before that she had a dog, a neighbour complained that the dog was barking all night and I had to intervene.

February 10th I issued another section 21 and advised her that wanted her out for good this time, she was due to be out 17th April. Last weekend she messaged me and advised that she was in hospital having an operation and needed several weeks to recover and needed to stay at the address. I advised that if she paid all the outstanding rent she could stay a few weeks until recovered, but she must then vacate the premises. I heard nothing.

I turned up at the address today hoping that she would have gone, I banged on the door and shouted her name time & time again, nothing so I let myself in. All her stuff was still there and I heard somebody upstairs so I sat down in the front room and waited, after 10 minutes the police turned up as they have been advised that there was a burgulary in progress. Tenant came downstairs with a new boyfriend and another person.

Boyfriend said she didn’t receive the section 21 dated February and the copy I posted a few weeks ago is invaild as I wrote over it ” Lorraine Copy” and a few other details.

The police were great and advised that it was a civil matter and they wouldn’t be getting involved. They also advised me that the tenant knew what she was doing by calling them. They managed to gain a phone number for me (tenant had changed numbers and stated that she didn’t have a phone) They also advised me to seek advice as the tenant had stated that she wasn’t leaving.

I received a letter from the Council on Friday stating that all payments to me were being stopped from 13th April.

Anyway I left and now need to get them out as quickly as possible, as I have given her so much of my time and energy. I want to know If I go to high court, how quick can I get her out and start afresh with a new tenant and is this the best option.

I always wanted to give her a chance in life and knew that she and her husband were in financial trouble and that’s why the council were good at paying me direct, that is until they recently decided to take the overpayment of the last property from me.

The bond is protected but is only for £540.00, I will do my best to get it paid to me.

I’m not disheartened with property and have no feelings for the tenant, I will not put myself in this situation again and will never take on another vulnerable tenant. This is a business after all but I need advice how to proceed for the quickest result and don’t want the courts to take her side.

Many thanks

Ltenant



Comments

Neil Patterson

3 years ago

Hi L,

Unfortunately if ever there was a case where you are going to need professional help I think this is going to be one.

I would definitely recommend you contact Paul Shamplina and his team at Landlord Action who are industry leaders in tenant eviction and have often been on TV documentaries on the subject.

Please see Paul's memeber profile >> http://www.property118.com/member/?id=190

Ian Narbeth

3 years ago

"I turned up at the address today hoping that she would have gone, I banged on the door and shouted her name time & time again, nothing so I let myself in."

As Neil says get some professional advice. I suspect the tenant will try to cause trouble about your entering the house uninvited. Given that you called her name out she almost certainly knew it was you but called the police to muddy the waters for you. I would be wary about this sort of person. If she knew it was you, it follows she lied to police about suspecting a burglar and wasted their time. Judge for yourself her character!

I recommend you do not contact her again except on professional advice or she will allege harassment and the judge may sympathise, especially if your "harassment" causes her to have another spell in hospital.

Ross McColl

3 years ago

I would immediately issue a claim for Accelerated Possession using the original Section 21. Provided the details on it are correct, it has been served correctly and you have proof of delivery. Make sure that all the tenants that have been listed on any tenancy given to her are on the Section 21 and also the claim form. Names and addresses are spelt correctly. Dates are correct.
Given your dealings with her up to this point I'm going to assume she will dispute that she received the notice. If you try to evict using a Section 8 it is likely the CAB will step in and she may get full legal representation and issue a counterclaim, causing serious delays to proceedings.
Get her out using the Section 21 then issue a claim for arrears and any damages through the small claims court if you so wish.
Good luck, hope this has been of some help.

wayne carson

3 years ago

I don't think you need to head to Landlord Action as a first port of call, this site does tend to advertise him a little too much! There are many competent eviction specialists out there but there are some basics that need to be covered here.
As a landlord you do not have rights of access once a tenant is in place. You cannot let yourself in at will. As you were not arrested at the scene then the matter will not be going any further from the police perspective. However, as commented on above, it 'could' become an issue in terms of mitigation for defense.
If persons named on the AST have not surrendered their tenancy according to the AST then they are still deemed to be tenants. Therefore notices must bear the names of all parties involved. Ensure the basics are checked. Spell all names correctly as per the AST do not be tempted to abbreviate. Ensure your name and address are correct on both the AST and the notice.
Serve the notice by hand with a witness and best practice is to take photographs with date stamps on them to prove delivery. Ensure you have allowed time for "deemed service" in the service time on the notice so section 21 add a couple of days on to ensure the court won't rule against you for insufficient time. Always serve a copy of the AST, rent table, deposit certificates/PI docs with the notice.
I see mention of a council bond. Good luck with that one! not worth the paper they are written on. Not classed as a deposit as no monies have physically changed hands.
Commentators are correct in mentioning the worst named title in the history of law the 'accelerated procedure'. If you try an pursue the section 8 route it will complicate matters for re-homing them using the local authority. the councils tend to favor re-homing people who are evicted under the 'no-fault' basis. what is never mentioned is that authorities do have a duty to prevent homelessness and therefore cannot pick and choose their tenants unless they are a criminal nuisance.
Be prepared for an eviction that will last approximately 5 -6 months dependent on the court workload. Use PCOL for the online application. DO NOT mention the arrears as you are not experienced enough to carry that one off. no disrespect. Actually, forget the arrears the debt recovery system in this country is woeful, i use the euphemism of a "toothless tiger", sounds really scary but has no bite! CCJ not worth the paper they are written on, no body can force a person to pay so whats the point of spending further money to find out months down the line that you won't get the money back. My experience is about 5% of ALL debt recovery action results in a successful collection of monies. I'm sure bailiffs and other companies will counter that claim but of course they will, they want your business! You only have to listen to the radio to hear finance companies mentioning that they accept people with CCJ's!!!!
If you use an eviction specialist it will cost approx £1000+ if you do it yourself it will cost approximately £300 - £400. Note the court fees are due to increase imminently.
Don't worry too much about the " I didn't receive it" defense. It must be the most popular defense out there! as long as you can prove it was delivered TO THE PROPERTY, not the tenant, you will be fine.
Good Luck

Ian Ringrose

3 years ago

Remember as the husband (or maybe ex by own) is still on the AST you can go after him for all the unpaid rent once you have got her out!

If I was you I would be on the phone to Landlord Action, rather then reading this comment. (Then use a high court enforcement officer, as they are quicker.)

Renovate To let

3 years ago

Equally, the ex still on the J&S AST can serve you 1 month written notice and end it (as its now a periodic tenancy). At the expiry of this notice, you can go straight for possession if she fails to leave.

I would go and talk to him, mention the new resident boyfriend and that the ex is still jointly liable for her increasing debts.....notice might quickly follow.

3 years ago

wayne carson brilliantly put

Ian Ringrose

3 years ago

But the "ex" will then have to double rent until the property is empty....

wayne carson

3 years ago

I'm Sorry Ian, you seem to miss the point about debt recovery. If the tenant has no assets or no money, is on low income or no income (benefits do not constitute earnings) then how do you expect ANY form of civil enforcement to achieve a successful result? No assets means no recovery Bailiffs do not have a power of entry as say a police officer does under common law, Pace act 1984 or Criminal Justice act yes i am an ex police officer. All a tenant has to do is ignore and not interact. How do you expect a bailiff to recover anything when confronted with this? Put yourself in their shoes, they are a commercial enterprise and will tire of a needless and non-profit making cause.

So with all of the free advice for tenants CAB/ Shelter/ debt management advising said tenants on their "rights" you are encouraging a landlord to spend money needlessly or frivolously. My advice for what it's worth based on 5 years experience running a company that assists in evictions/debt recovery and 10 years as a front line police officer alongside a law degree.

The interaction with the tenants invites claims of Harassment pursuant with the Protection from Harassment act 1997 S1. A criminal offence triable either way. Risky advice at best. Tenants love to spout the Harassment line, as if they are all movie stars getting papped every day!

As a landlord myself i have been in a similar position and my mantra is remove the tenants, move in better ones, worry about the monies later, you have 6 years after all to recover debt. Generally due to my opinions of the "justice" system in this country I tend to write off the debt, painful as that is, I cover myself with correct and adequate insurances both for the tenant and my property/tenancy. Since i have adopted this approach the loss are running at the lowest since entering the property investment market.

Oh, by the way site administrator can you change the text input to UK English and not American English, the running spell checker is doing my head in!

Ian Ringrose

3 years ago

I am assuming that the "ex" is in employment.

1 2

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Birmingham "Meet the Developer" Event 7th July