Landlords benevolence has backfired – please HELP!

by Readers Question

13:18 PM, 6th August 2014
About 5 years ago

Landlords benevolence has backfired – please HELP!

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Landlords benevolence has backfired – please HELP!

I allowed a homeless couple with no children, I knew, to move into my second home, they were evicted for non payment of rent, but as I knew them I took a pity on them as they came to seek my help and had tears in their eyes, so as a fool I offered to help them! Benevolence has backfired - please HELP!

I had a 2nd Home, it was empty property undergoing slow renovations at my own pace, so I had no rush to complete it as I was not going to rent it out, so I took pity on them, and offered to move them in one of the finished rooms, but only on a temporary bases until they find a suitable place to rent somewhere else, I expected them to have stayed no more than one or at the most two months. so I drew no contract with him, or gave him any written terms and conditions of their stay.

It was for free, no rent to be paid, as I knew them, and they were somewhat like friends in need, so I bend backwards to help them in their hour of need.

When 3 months had gone, they were still there, and were not really trying to look for any place, I could see they were slowly buying and gathering more stuff and filling my place up, so I warned him that he should not bring in any more stuff as I had only allowed him space for one room and use of kitchen facilities and bathroom, but they started to make my home as theirs, filling in one cupboard after another and by 6 months they had half of all kitchen units filled up with their stuff.

So I became furious, and told them they must either leave or pay me some money towards utility bills, as they were using 95% utilities including winter heating bills I paid, so we reached an amicable solution that they must pay me £150 per month towards utility bills and 50% council tax,.

14 months later, I am now being intimidated, and total amount they have paid me is only £950. And continue to refuse to leave when I ask them to find another place.

So now I am trapped, I cannot force him to sign a contract, or a tenancy agreement as Newham Council has now made it mandatory for all private landlords to obtain a selective license, so I cannot force a contract or charge then rent until I can apply and get a Selective license, He has threatened me at various times, does not respect me the fact how I helped him when he became homeless, and does not appreciate anything at all, he lacks understanding English as he is from Romania.

I am stuck, I don’t know what to do. It is costing me money to put him in my house for free, and her even tried to install a huge 3 foot diameter satellite dish on my Chimney stack, I ordered him to take it down at once as he did not seek my permission as well as I had told him that the accommodation was only temporary and he must not try to make it as permanent, I also warned him about the need for a TV licence if he must watch any TV or satellite programmes, but he seems to care little for UK laws.

I need desperate help to get rid of him legally.

I will never help anyone again, lesson learned hard way. Never feel pity on anyone any more, cruel world out there, and the law is on these piss takers side.

Can any of you offer any helpful suggestion please?

Thanks

Mike



Comments

Farah Stehrenberger

11:18 AM, 5th September 2014
About 5 years ago

Hi Mike
Just read these posts, I would not suggest to change the locks or moving in. Changing the locks without any notice would not stand in court and you cannot claim being a residential landlord after the event, the landlord or a family member has to be living at the property at the time of someone moving in.

License is arguable in your case because there was no intention of creating a tenancy and the tenants did not make any payment for months.

I personally would not get the local authority involved, they would try their best to keep the tenants in your property because they wouldn't want to re house them.

First I would give a notice/letter to leave by a certain date - building work needs to be done etc.., after the deadline has passed, get the builders to start the work and make an application to the court for an eviction order. The reason to apply for an eviction order would be to cover your back because if you changed the locks and did not get the eviction order, it is likely that the tenants would instruct a solicitor to claim damages for unlawful eviction, harassment, trespass to their goods and for making them homeless then you would have to defend yourself. I am currently defending a claim for a residence landlord for the same damages and more.

If you went to the court route, I doubt that this case would be decided without a hearing.

Another option is what Mark suggested earlier, after the notice, have the builders start the work, call the police to evict the tenants for trespassing. As there is no written tenancy, the notice was given, the police could be satisfied that the tenants are trespassing, after the tenants have left, you could change the locks, however, you could still have a claim against you for the above.

Or could take possession by terminating the license and re entry followed by a court order if necessary.

Please do not leave it too late, longer you leave, more difficult it would be to evict them.

If you would like to discuss in person, please feel free to contact me.

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