Church of England Diocese tenant eviction?

by Readers Question

13:30 PM, 15th July 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Church of England Diocese tenant eviction?

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Church of England Diocese tenant eviction?

We have a property rented to the Local Diocese of Church of England on a Company Letting Agreement for 2 years. The agreement has ended, but the permitted Occupiers refused to leave the property on the basis of the current coronavirus outbreak.

We have reluctantly agreed to extend the property occupation twice with 2 months and then 1 month to show understanding of the difficulties in the present rental market for the occupiers (Curate & Wife). The extension of the Rent Contract is based on Statutory Periodic Tenancy.

The conditions of the property have deteriorated rapidly and there has been a complete lack of maintenance. Last month rent has not been paid and our mails to C of E go unanswered.

Where do we stand legally to recover the costs of repairs and rent areas?

How can we recover possession of the property?

Any advice will be highly appreciated.

Tom



Comments

S Hindosh

9:43 AM, 16th July 2020
About 4 weeks ago

We are exactly in the same position but a private landlord. The court process to evict nightmare tenants has been ongoing for more than a year now. The damage to the property caused by the tenants are way above £70,000. The tenants even assaulted me, arrested and charged by the Police. Stopped paying rent for more many months which has nothing to do with COVID-19. Regardless of all the above, they are till in occupation of the property illegally. It is astonishing and disappointing to see such unfair and chaotic activities in a housing market such as the UK.

Dylan Morris

10:03 AM, 16th July 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Presumably you can sue the Church Of England for unpaid rent and damage to the property as the rental contract is between you and them ?

Smartermind

10:33 AM, 16th July 2020
About 4 weeks ago

As Dylan states your contract is with the CoE and not the tenant and presumably your two year company contract stipulated that you would get vacant possession at the end. The CoE is liable for all your additional costs and in breach of contract. You shouldn't need to negotiate with the tenant directly and the CoE should resolve the issue for you or compensate you.

Dylan Morris

10:44 AM, 16th July 2020
About 4 weeks ago

I’ve little experience with company let’s but my understanding is that such is not an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) and therefore cannot be rolled over into a Statutory Period Tenancy. I would very much recommend that you seek profession advice here perhaps somebody like Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action can help.

moneymanager

10:46 AM, 16th July 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Aren't you confusing two legal regimes, if this is a Company let it isn't subject to Housing law, it is simply a common law contract (i.e. No Section 8, Section 21, deposit protection etc); have you actually let using a standard AST?

Lindsay Keith

11:17 AM, 16th July 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Write a sharp letter to the local Bishop (go direct to the top) and give him 14 days to sort it out. If ignored, or all you get are weasel words and guff about love etc., write to the Bishop copying to the Archbishop of Canterbury and threaten him with the Daily Mail. Don't ask your solicitor to do this, there may be some arcane rule about not prodding Bishops. Save your solicitor for the legal stuff. Ask 118 for guidance as to the best solicitor.
As to inevitable delay, over a year (?), copy in your MP and ask why the Court 'Service' is so obviously not a service but the wreckage left by successive Governments starving all such Public Services, Courts, Police etc., of necessary funds and still wanting a quart out of a half pint pot.
Others may differ but you want action!

moneymanager

11:23 AM, 16th July 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Lindsay Keith at 16/07/2020 - 11:17
If you go out with your guns blazing it's a good idea to first check that your ammo aren't duds.

Dylan Morris

11:33 AM, 16th July 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Lindsay Keith at 16/07/2020 - 11:17
I think care is needed here especially around GDPR. My advice is to stay level headed and seek professional advice.

Peter Poupard

12:39 PM, 16th July 2020
About 4 weeks ago

I’ve been lucky/careful with my tenants over the years and have only needed to evict one tenant in over 14 years. I didn’t know how and did think about asking here on 118 but decided on using the services of Landlord Action. It was one of my better moves! If you don’t know what to do or how to do it and the matter is serious get the experts in. Would you reroof your own roof or employ a contractor?
Good luck which ever route you take.

Graham Bowcock

14:42 PM, 16th July 2020
About 4 weeks ago

The legal position will be covered buy the company tenancy agreement that you have entered into. Presumably (hopefully) this agreement fully covers the requirements for repairs and maintenance as well as outgoing arrangements.

I can see why the occupiers are still there, in line with Government guidance, so you may have to bear with them a while longer, but removing them should be (again hoping your tenancy is properly drafted) the responsibility of the Church and now you.

It is most likely that you will have to wait for VP before taking the house back, with the Church paying all rent whilst their agreement is in place and making good any damage.

If your agreement has ended, you will need to take care and for this aspect perhaps speak to a solicitor who can read the documentation.

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