Help please – criminal and bankrupt tenant won’t leave

by Readers Question

11:02 AM, 25th March 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Help please – criminal and bankrupt tenant won’t leave

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Help please – criminal and bankrupt tenant won’t leave

I still have the tenant from hell. With the councils help I was misled to give a tenancy to this criminal tenant (who has done the same to many landlords before) with the understanding she will pay the rent with housing benefit. I stupidly agreed to let my property.

The tenant had some issues from very outset and she treated me with absolute contempt, refused to apply for her housing benefit and paid no rent what so ever, did not contact or gave me any explanation why rent was not paid.

I believe she used this tenancy to get herself a permanent council house and also had issues that I was not local, woman and a landlord!

I finally got the possession order last Tuesday and she texted me “I would have left by this weekend”! This was last weekend. She contacted the council who misled me to the tenancy by withholding information and indeed giving me false information about her and we all agreed that last Monday she would meet me at 9am, hand in keys and council arranged the inventory.

Sunday night I received a text from her telling me she can not move as she did not arrange a van. In the morning I contacted her asking about her plan for the day and reminded her that the inventory was waiting.

She told me she will do it later, but have not given time. She emailed the council and told them she will move after 15.30. I received an email from the council Monday evening telling me I should be relieved to finally get my keys.

I replied that still there was no keys. I was thinking she moved out, but did not hand in the keys. I texted her asking if she moved and told her that I was driving to the house as I was assuming she moved. I just wanted to check if she has. No reply. However I did not go.

On Tuesday as I had no reply, I drove to the property to check if she moved as she confirmed with council that she was on Monday.

I look through there were some furniture, I spoke to neighbours who told me she moved. I was convinced that she has so I told the neighbours to contact me if she turns up. I am worried that she will let others in my property to give me more trouble.

As soon as I got home, I received a text from the neighbours letting me know that she arrived. I called, but no answer so I texted her letting her know that I was sending my brother to pick up the keys.

She texted me back that I had to give her 24 hours notice that I can not just turn up and asking the keys would be an offence, claiming that I rushed her out even though court order expires on the 28th. I explained that the matter was that she did not paid me any rent what so ever and still going on about her rights.

She replied that her rent arrears does not mean anything as she is bankrupt.

I spoke to the local police, as I was worried she would take my white goods. The police advised me to go and wait outside on the day she originally was moving out as she offered. I mentioned to her that I received advice from the police referring to what he suggested, she replied that she does not give a toss about police as police can not do anything to her and I was threatening her.

I then send a text underlining that she enjoyed a rent and stress free 5 months in my property as I hardly ever contacted her and it was her who contacted me offering me that she was moving out. I said as far as I was let to believe that she moved out and it was my right to check on my property and seek my keys. This was 2 days ago.

I know the council gave her a house and the neighbour confirmed she moved out but still bullying me holding back my keys. Scaring me off even going and checking my property.

It seems she will not hand in the keys out of spite and hatred towards me and end of next week I will have to go back to the court apply for bailiffs which will be weeks and money lost as judge rejected the high court option and my plead trying to explain that it was a total episode of taking over my property taking advantage of laws protecting which normally should be seen criminal act but he was not prepared to listen and had a go at me.

Any thoughts please? Is there anyway getting my property back without going through bailiffs as she now occupies a tax payer funded property as well as my property free of charge.

Ela

 



Comments

Neil Patterson

11:06 AM, 25th March 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Hi Ela,

You need expert professional assistance as this tenant likely knows all the regulations and loopholes >> https://www.property118.com/evicting-tenants/

Anne Brown

11:52 AM, 25th March 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Ela, afraid you just have to go through the due legal process and sending in the bailiffs is the final part of the process. When they go change the locks. No point in debating points of reason with the tenant, she appears not to be a reasonable person! Next time make sure you vet your tenant and only let to those who pass the vetting process - insurance companies are becoming more interested in economic status of tenants. Don't feel bad about it - it's business and you are not alone, many Landlords have been caught out in this way, so learn from it and move on and find a good tenant! Good Luck.

Robert Mellors

11:53 AM, 25th March 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Applying for bailiffs is much easier than getting the possession order, it is just a few clicks of the mouse on the PCOL website and a cost of 121.00. There is no "going back to court" required.
Yes, there is a waiting period for the bailiffs (around 4 weeks in Sheffield, but will vary across the country), but this is the best way to draw a line under it because once the bailiffs are there you can change the locks and she will be unable to return (except by prior arrangement with you to collect any belongings that she may have left there).
If a tenant has not moved out by end of the day the possession is due, then immediately apply for the bailiffs. No ifs and buts, just make the application and get the property back at the earliest opportunity.

Mike

12:49 PM, 25th March 2019
About 4 weeks ago

I would have most probably taken a slightly less pushy approach, I would have said to her, Ok I am sorry I am not trying to be pushy, I know you still have some time because the court notice ends on x,y z date, so please don't worry, just try and arrange a van in your own time and when you have left please either call me or text me to collect the keys or just drop them in through the letter box when you have gone and locked up the place, I will then get in with my own keys, but please kindly text me when you have done this., I would appreciate this.
Whatever you do, you still have to wait until after the court order runs out, only then you need to find out whether she is still there or not having contacted you or returned your keys, then you will need the usual court bailiff route.
If you try to be too pushy, she will only make it harder for you. Sometimes you have to accept insults and apologise for your own benefit, so often we have to swallow our own pride, to get things done our way.
Yes often we are proud landlords but often we are nobody. we have no rights as such as criminal tenants.

finally remember not to go alone or send your brother alone, go along two of you and video your entry aftyer ringing the bell several times wait and ring again, in case she is in bathroom., give her no more chance to sue you.

Mkahn

12:54 PM, 25th March 2019
About 4 weeks ago

I had a similar case but that was company let
( not an individual tenant) . I got possession back after a month time of court deadline but the property was in terrible condition. I lost 8 months rent plus cost ( Approx £ 22,000) . They took my refrigerator, washing machine and furniture and I need an additional 10k to refurbish the property. Don’t know how to recover this loss from that bloodsucker .

Mike

13:16 PM, 25th March 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Mkahn at 25/03/2019 - 12:54I am sure you could report it as a theft, long as you have evidence that you owned it, and that he took it.

For OP, my advise is to have a video camera switched on when you enter, if you see the keys on the floor, just in front of your letter box, then it should be good enough, (bearing in mind landlords can also plant spare keys through he letter box themselves and video it) so it cannot be taken as conclusive evidence, but still you need to protect yourself, and then if you find any of her belongings left behind, send her a text message that unless she takes them within 14 days, you will dispose them off, so you must not throw anything she left behind or she could counter sue you.

Rob Crawford

16:14 PM, 25th March 2019
About 4 weeks ago

I agree with Ann & Neil above. Before you take on any other tenants from the Council, make sure you do so on your grounds. Your deposit scheme, your inventory clerk, direct payment of benefits to you etc. If the Council are not happy with this (probably won't be) then seek a professional tenant (but still do credit/ref & affordability checks).

AJ

17:59 PM, 25th March 2019
About 4 weeks ago

I’d like to see a test case against Councils who withhold information to ship out bad tenants.

wanda wang

20:28 PM, 25th March 2019
About 4 weeks ago

why can't you name this bad woman so other landlords can be warned?
- other landlords: I want to collect all your tenants from hell stories.
- it is tenants can do everything not landlords can do anything
wanda

Chris Daniel

6:47 AM, 26th March 2019
About 4 weeks ago

There is case law against agents for negligent reference checks but none known against Local Authorities.
When you think about it, there is an incentive ' inbuilt ' for both groups to get unsuitable tenants housed.
Agents don't get their fee until they 'sign up' a tenant and Councils are usually paying higher figures than PRS rent to Emergency Accomodation for what are sometimes bad tenants evicted by previous landlord.
Its crucial that Landlords do some diligence on Any tenant whether proposed via Agent or, especially Local Authority. I don't just mean a tenant reference check ( of which I've yet to see a good one that stands out from the rest ) but also Social media checks, last 5 years accomodation history and wherever possible, a Guarantor. Consider Rent Guarantee Insurance ?
Interestingly, Guarantors are a 'merry-go-round' !
The Govt refer to Shelter ( I know, stop laughing ) Shelter refer to Local Authorities ( even more laughter )
This isn't a complete answer to the problem Landlords face from an ineffective Civil Justice system, without all the other unhelpful interventions by Politicians, but I hope it's of some help, Regards
Possession Friend.

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