Homeless Homeowner – the law supports lawlessness

Homeless Homeowner – the law supports lawlessness

7:33 AM, 14th February 2014, About 9 years ago 64

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In an attempt to keep this brief, I have been renting my flat to my current tenants for almost 4 years. Last year I informed them that I will be needing the property. Their tenancy agreement was renewed but only for 6 months to which they agreed was enough time to sort out accommodation. The lines of communication have always been good and open with my tenants so you can imagine my shock and horror when on the day they were supposed to vacate the property and I move back in, they refuse to go. The irony is, they actually called the police and were told to leave the property and their tenancy was up. They then produced a council doc and the police informed me that I will need to legally evict them. Homeless Homeowner - the law supports lawlessness

Now, I’m not a property mogul, this was my home that was rented due to personal reasons. I had no idea of the procedure or how long the process will take. So here’s my dilemma; they are refusing to go, as they did not communicate with me and lead me to believe all is well, I now have no accommodation. I am 6 months pregnant and sleeping on my brothers sofa until I get advice as I’m told I can’t actually do anything.

I’m perplexed as I’m told these 2 young, able bodied individuals in full time employment do not have to pay me rent and theres nothing I can do about it. I’ve asked the council if they can help me since they are the ones advising people to stay on in other people’s properties..but as expected they don’t really care, it’s my problem.

Can anyone offer any advice? Paying rent and a mortgage while my tenants sit in my property rent free leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I’m so worried as I’m effectively homeless and see no resolution by the time my baby arrives! Just doesn’t make any sense to me…being a homeless homeowner is like being a starving baker, makes no sense at all.

All I’ve found is advice and guidance for tenants, where is the advice and help for gullible landlords like me??



13:28 PM, 14th February 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jeremy Smith" at "14/02/2014 - 13:13":

Sorry I was off topic Jeremy - just got carried away by neil's response.

Is OP technically homeless ?
Social Housing or some parts of the Council may have to take responsibility for her.

Jeremy Smith

13:45 PM, 14th February 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "14/02/2014 - 13:27":

Yes, I know it's not ideal Mandy, and I know it would be bed blocking...

I was just 'thinking outside the box', since she doesn't have her own box to think inside at the moment !!

If the tenants have been to the council, hence having communication with them...
as Mark has said, it might be possible to take advantage of this to the OPs advantage instead of the tenants.

If the council were to give the tenants a flat, and the OP get hers back, what's the difference if the OP gets a council flat and lets the tenants stay in hers !!
- If that was possible, although I can't see the council doing that myself.

Mandy Thomson

13:49 PM, 14th February 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "14/02/2014 - 13:25":

Except she already owns a property - councils have been told to screen social housing applicants for existing property ownership http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8911386/Council-housing-applicants-to-be-screened-over-other-properties.html . Having said that, they may well be willing to take her situation into account, provided she can provide proof, but as she's trying to regain possession in order to live in her property, they would only give her temporary accommodation which could be something far worse than her brother's sofa!

Mandy Thomson

13:58 PM, 14th February 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jeremy Smith" at "14/02/2014 - 13:45":

"Yes, I know it’s not ideal Mandy, and I know it would be bed blocking…"
Point taken -" Doctor, sense of humour transplant needed urgently!"


13:59 PM, 14th February 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "14/02/2014 - 12:03":

Mark et al,

I did buy in the 1980s, and indeed I even paid off the mortage long before it was due to expire.
However, as does happen to many people, divorce comes along, and the division of assets, and allowing for pensions that I will receive one day, meant that the house was worth 60%, so that went to the ex wife (not working). Now I am also aware that this message could go off on another thread, more suited to another forum. There are many people in my situation, male and female, hence why they rent. I recently came a cross one woman, divorced, she rented her house to a relative, she lived cheaply elsewhere, the relative wrecked the house, and left in arrears. That meant she could not pay the mortgage, so the house was repossessed. I am sure that many people on here have heard similar stories, and all the more reason for potential landlords to be very careful, and always seek advice, including rental insurance. Indeed, any person in that situation has to consider the worse that can happen, and that they are covered should that happen.
Indeed, I would even suggest that some form of mandatory licensing or controls should be in place for new/all landlords, as much for their protection, as for the tenants. Such controls to ensure that they have sought professional knowledge, and that all the financial covers are in place. Statistically, I reckon quite a few people have been caught out like this.

Ray Davison

14:18 PM, 14th February 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil HEWITT" at "14/02/2014 - 13:59":

Once again Neil you advocate control or licencing of the landlords yet even in the example you quote the problem is caused by the tenant. It's more control and legal responsibility from the tenants that is needed.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

14:24 PM, 14th February 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil HEWITT" at "14/02/2014 - 13:59":


As you were typing your comment above, I was on the phone with the lady who posted this thread.

As Industry Observer had suspected she is an accidental landlord and knew nothing about deposit protection, prescribed information, RGI, referencing or serving notice (wipe that smug grin off your face please I.O.).

She took a £700 deposit which was never registered and I explained to her that her tenant is entitled to claim up to £2,800 from her as a result of this. What I forgot to mention is that her tenant has up to six years to make this claim and that if they don't realise that they have a claim right now they may well do at some point in the future.

The good news for this lady is that her tenants seem to be equally naive and have obviously believed some crap advice they've been given, probably from a guy in the pub! This is in relation to them thinking they don't have to pay any more rent until they are evicted.

I suspect these tenants will crap themselves and do a midnight flit as soon as their landlord gets a "no win no fee" debt collector onto them but that's by no means guaranteed. They could just as easily walk into a local office of CAB or Shelter and ask for advice!

TO ALL - (not just Neil) - Despite the wrong doings on both sides of this scenario, what would you do if you were this landlord/tenant?

Ray Davison

14:37 PM, 14th February 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "14/02/2014 - 14:24":

Well, she needs to give them their deposit back of course. I know this will not prevent them from taking action in the future but it may make them less likely to even see the deposit as an issue. However I would still use the immediate repayment of the deposit in full as a negotiating tool for early vacation and having provided them with evidence that they are indeed liable to continue paying rent and that your are poised to give instructions to a debt collector and/or issue court proceedings not just for eviction but also for arrears. If they really are respectable working people, they may just value their credit record and not want a CCJ on file.

Effectively give them a choice - If you move out this happens, if you don't then this happens - regain control of the situation if possible.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

14:56 PM, 14th February 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ray Davison" at "14/02/2014 - 14:18":

Hi Ray

That aside, I do think there should be some form of mandatory one day Landlord Accreditation course which all newbies should go on before they are allowed to advertise a property to rent, whether they use an agent or not. Many of them, as per the case in point, are a liability to themselves, never mind their tenants, accidental landlords generally being the worst of them all. I can safely say that because 25 years ago I was that accidental landlord and quite frankly I was totally clueless. It is naivety which causes so many problems between both landlords and tenants. at least in one side of this equation knows the rules we have at least half a chance!

Send tenants on a one day course to teach them their rights and the Courts would be rammed full of claims against accidental landlords within days!

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

15:02 PM, 14th February 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ray Davison" at "14/02/2014 - 14:37":

Great advice Ray. When I was on the phone to the landlord I forgot to ask whether there was any damage to the property. I also forgot to ask whether she had a professional inventory although I suspect we can all guess at the answer to that one! What most accidental landlords don't realise is that without an inventory it is totally pointless to take a deposit anyway.

What the landlord did tell me though is that she has a text from the tenant asking her to use the deposit as this months rent. Whether a judge would see that as evidence of a deal having been done is debatable.

My advice to this landlord was to charm her tenants as force is more likely to be met with force. I like your suggestions in this regard, i.e. taking conrtrol and what you would say/do to achieve that.

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