No deposit, rent paid or tenancy started by tenants – can I evict

No deposit, rent paid or tenancy started by tenants – can I evict

11:10 AM, 25th November 2014, About 9 years ago 12

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I desperately need advice!!! I am a first time landlord and have made a silly mistake of giving the tenants keys before the tenancy started to help them move things in.

It was agreed that they would pay rent and deposit on the first day, but this has failed to happen and now my calls are being ignored. They have signed a tenancy agreement which states basically this agreement takes place once the deposit has cleared, which it clearly hasn’t.

Are they now in the property illegally once I have told them to leave and can I chuck them out?

Many thanks


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Neil Patterson

11:15 AM, 25th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Hi Rick,

Unfortunately you can be too helpful.

First place I would start is to make contact with the experts at Landlord Action.

see >>

Anthony Endsor

15:12 PM, 25th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Hi Rick

Sorry to say that 'a silly mistake' is putting it mildly.
Once you have handed the keys over, you have no rights over the property other than as a Landlord. This means you cannot evict a tenant unless they are in breach of their tenancy agreement, and then only after issuing a section 8 notice and going through the court procedure, which as many landlords will testify is not easy to do.
For rent arrears, you cannot issue a section 8 until the tenant is into their 3rd month in arrears. Then if they pay something towards it, they must be at least 2 months in arrears at the time of the court hearing. There is also the possibility the tenant could come back and say repairs were needed to the property and use that as a defence. In addition, the court could throw out the case if the tenant can prove they would be homeless or face hardship if they were evicted.
Regarding the deposit, once the keys are handed over there is no obligation on the part of the tenant to pay a deposit, so if they paid and claimed this as a rent payment you wouldn't later be able to use it for a claim against the tenant if they damaged the property.
I learnt all this the hard way when I approached a tenancy in the same way and didn't get rent for 12 months. The way I finally resolved it was to put the property in the hands of a Letting Agent who then managed the property and set up the payments with the tenant. At this stage this might be your best course of action as they will be able to help you more. Going it alone from here will probably only make it more difficult in the long run.

Ian Ringrose

16:48 PM, 25th November 2014, About 9 years ago

One small point, a section 8 notice can be issued as soon as a tenant is in 2 months arrears, if the AST says the rent must be paid in advance, then this is 1 month after the tenancy has stared, as at that point they own two months’ rent.

However Landlord Action would be my first phone call if I was you.

Paul Franklin

16:55 PM, 25th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Just thinking out loud here...although these 'tenants' have 'exclusive occupation' of the property as you have given them keys, there needs to be rent charged for a specific term to create a tenancy...if your agreement states that it will only be in force once the deposit has cleared you are therefore not yet charging rent for a specific term(?)...therefore you have people in a residential property with no tenancy? Or who are not being charged rent? Mabye you have a case that they have no tenancy rights yet.

...Rick I'd say you certainly need some professional advice with this one.

rick brown

23:20 PM, 25th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Thank you all so much for the advice. I hate making silly mistakes and I hate even more people who will take advantage of an honest person.
Paul I really like the glimmer of hope from your message, how do people feel about his view on the situation?
Anthony, a letting agent is a great option I just wish I started off using them before trying to do all the management myself.
Ian, I have given Landlord Action a call and Paul is looking into this for me and I may well be using his services.

Anthony Endsor

8:51 AM, 26th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Hi Rick

Glad we could be of help to you. Just to say, further to my comments, I am not saying you should never manage properties yourself. Many landlords do very successfully. But you do have to take great care and know what you're doing. I manage some properties myself, but sometimes even the best landlords need professional assistance.
We live and learn. 🙂

All the best.

Jeremy Dunmore

13:52 PM, 26th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Hi Rick

Sorry to hear you are having a problem. I work with Landlord Action. We offer a free advice line for landlords which might be of use to you to discuss your case. Please feel free to give them a call, ask for Paul Shamplina and mention this forum I am sure he will be able to help 020 8906 3838

Kind Regards

Paul Franklin

16:12 PM, 26th November 2014, About 9 years ago

No problem Rick, let us know how you get on I'd be interested to hear...

Philippa Duke

10:20 AM, 27th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Do you want to claim against someone who owes you money? If you're 18+ send your contact details only to:

rick brown

13:38 PM, 27th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Just to let you know the deposit and rent has now been paid in full after advising them the consequences of an eviction. I feel I have dodged a huge bullet so far and fingers crossed they will continue to pay.
I'm still interested if anyone has any views on Paul's orginal comment because in my line of thinking, I feel he's right, however I know the housing laws works in weird ways.
Many thanks again.

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