Can I force entry to change the locks?

Can I force entry to change the locks?

0:02 AM, 17th May 2024, About 2 months ago 12

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Hello, I used an agent who issued a tenancy agreement for a tenant on DSS. She lives there with her husband and kids, which the government knows that she is single.

She is sub-letting the house to raise funds for her husband to buy a house.

I became aware of it and issued a section 8 notice and then later section 21 which has to be an old version of the form.

The new refurbished house is crowded and destroyed. She is refusing entry and threatening that if I force my way into the house, she is going to press charges for sexual harassment.

Can I force my way into the house as S21 will expire on 19/05/24 to change the locks?

She is paying the rent.

Should I inform Universal Credit and the council?

Thank you,

Julian


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Cider Drinker

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8:49 AM, 17th May 2024, About 2 months ago

No, of course not.

Reluctant Landlord

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9:21 AM, 17th May 2024, About 2 months ago

if you tell UC of the fraudulent claim (as in she is not living alone) then they will either stop your direct rent payments (if you have them set up as that) or her rent part will be stopped pending investigation. The rent will then cease. So dont do this...yet.

If you have issued a S21 already then do nothing except progress for accelerated possession from 20th May.

Remind her if she wants rehousing then she must continue to pay the rent or the council will see it as making her self voluntary homeless and of course any debt will be chased up though the courts anyway at a later date meaning she will have issued securing private rent in the future.

The council may call you ask the cause of the S21. Get them to follow up their request with an email to you can have a think about it. (bide your time get them to put something in writing) Just reply that the S21 means you do not have to legally define a reason, although you can state unless there were serious breaches in the tenancy there would be no need to issue one would there? Remind them to remind her that the rent still needs to be paid even during possession process - and that otherwise she will be making herself voluntarily homeless. With your other hat on, state as a taxpayer (you pay the CT during voids)you are rightly concerned that public funds are used properly and that em/temp housing should only be offered on a basis where a duty under the Housing Act actually exists and is proven. Leave it at that, engage no further.

Pray you get an accelerated date asap but prepare to have to get a bailiff. She wont go voluntarily and the council will advise her to wait until the bailiff.

Bide your time. Nothing else you can do. Once she has left, then send a stinging email to council showing them photos of damage and details that rent arrears still exist (if there are any once all damage costs taken out) - that will impact on her claim for further help and might render that they decide no duty exists or that she is not deemed priority so she could be stuck in a grotty B&B for ages.
Claim all the deposit back
Report the benefit fraud anonymously via the government website.
Seek MCOL only if you think you will see actual money come in...

psquared

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11:49 AM, 17th May 2024, About 2 months ago

You need to be aware that if you have been paid direct then the DWP can claim any overpayments back from you.
There is no right to appeal they will go after you if they have paid you from a fraudulent claim.
Yes it’s totally unfair but it’s the law.

DPT

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11:50 AM, 17th May 2024, About 2 months ago

Get a lawyer before you end up in prison.

Michael Booth

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13:10 PM, 17th May 2024, About 2 months ago

Wellcome to the world of renting ,ridiculous isn't it, unfortunately if you get a wrong un you are srewed financially and legally.

Reluctant Landlord

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20:00 PM, 17th May 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by psquared at 17/05/2024 - 11:49
first they have to prove that she has made a fraudulent claim. If they can't prove it, they can't do much about it.

You can then ask that they provide you with this evidence and ALSO make it clear how they think you could have known about any of this.

If the AST was only in her name then you have only ever had a contract with her - she must have send a copy of the AST to the DWP to prove it for proof of rent/address anyway so they know it was only ever to be a contract with her and her alone (not with partner). If they paid additional benefits or more housing costs to her on the basis of a claim SHE made.

To be fair if she is actually paying the rent now you could whack it up in the hope that moves her on?

Craig Whinray

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7:25 AM, 18th May 2024, About 2 months ago

Section 6 Criminal Law Act 1977 makes it a criminal offence to use force against a person or property if the person objects to entry

GlanACC

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8:10 AM, 18th May 2024, About 2 months ago

Here's an interesting thought .. If you change the locks and 'illegally evict thy tenant', thereby regaining your property straight away you WILL be fined. However the highest fine I have found for a landlord doing this is £14,000 plus £2060 costs. So if the tenant were to sit tight and you had you go through the court process to evict the tenant your costs and lost rent could easily exceed this amount (especially in London where rents are higher).

I am not advocating a landlord does this but it just goes to show the stupidity of the situation.

Just like those police TV programs where the driver of an uninsured vehicle gets fined less than the cost of the insurance.

DPT

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10:15 AM, 18th May 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by GlanACC at 18/05/2024 - 08:10
The problem is that you'd also get a banning order and no longer be able to operate as a landlord.

GlanACC

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10:17 AM, 18th May 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by DPT at 18/05/2024 - 10:15
That's good if you are intending to sell anyway, looks like a win win situation

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