How can honest Landlords remove bad or non paying tenants

by Readers Question

9:00 AM, 27th March 2013
About 7 years ago

How can honest Landlords remove bad or non paying tenants

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How can honest Landlords remove bad or non paying tenants

Recardo writes to raise a debate on how honest landlords can remove bad or non paying tenants.

I have been a landlord for 12 years and as I manage my own BTL properties I am always looking for information and procedures on this industry. I have even written in the past for advice from other landlords on Property118, and I hope this article will help other landlords.

Over the years I must just have been lucky as I didn’t get any bad tenants, but over the last year I have had three. Must be a sign of the times.

One was a long term tenant who after signing a new 12 month tenancy wanted to leave 10 weeks later with 1 months notice. Another has just left after a year because “things just kept breaking”, front door lock, back door lock, toilet flush twice in 2 months, glass in the oven door (£220 to replace). Broken basin taps, and leaking connecting pipe. I just could not afford to keep this tenant on. The worst one I want to talk about is a tenant who stopped paying the rent and the hassle and stress that has caused.

This lady was in her 2nd year of tenancy when she had some “problems” and stopped paying the rent, she has a stay at home partner and a couple of kids. they were receiving LHA and she was the only worker. Her “problems” led to her loosing her job.

After she missed her first rental payment I contacted her to ask what was happening and she  said she was having a few problems, but it would be paid in a couple of weeks. After 2 weeks you’ve guest it no money, so I went on the chase and emails went unanswered and no reply to my phone calls. I sent her a section 21 giving her about 10 weeks to vacate (2 full months required). I also offered her a payment plan to catch up on her rent so I would not have to proceed with an eviction (my first). I also said if I had no reply within 5 days She would receive a copy of the section 21 in her hand delivered by my cousin, who is local and does small repair jobs for me.

She then contacted me three days later by email to say how sorry she was and she had received my notice, but she had lost her phone, and would you believe it her internet connection had gone down at the same time. No I didn’t, but if no money was received in seven days the eviction would proceed. She said her mum would lend her some money, but no money came as her mum was ill and taken to hospital.

It was now time for her 2nd rental payment (2 months) which she missed again. I contacted the council on that day to say she had missed two payments although agreeing to a payment plan, so could I have her LHA directly, and I had served her a sec 21 notice. They agreed to do this and I started to receive £565 from them although the rent was £725. At least I was getting something and if it was a private tenant with no RGI it would be nothing.

The day for them to leave on my notice was fast approaching, but she said she could not leave as they would be according to the council making themselves homeless. As such they would not have any responsibility to rehouse them! Isn’t it about time the council were banned from this practice. I have given 10 weeks notice and the tenants have made themselves homeless by not paying the rent they receive from the council to help house them. The lack of rent makes them homeless, not a court order.

Next step: Download a Claim form for Possession of Property. A four page form. As a landlord you have done nothing wrong, the tenants have broken their agreement to pay the rent. If they will resume they can stay there for the next 10 years. Question 7 on the form, have you taken a deposit if so was it held under a tenancy deposit Scheme, who with, give the reference Number. Was every one involved given the prescribed info etc etc. Are you sweating? Who’s on trial now! Is your deposit protection correct, up to date, and info sent to tenants been recorded and singed for by them? Phew thanks to reading the 118 site mine was.

This court process only cost a £175 fee, but that’s Ok as you can reclaim it from the tenant who hasn’t got a job or two pennies. They then have 2 weeks to appeal.

Luckily (you notice how lucky I’ve been so far, hope you are too) 3 weeks later there has been no appeal (as far as I’ve read no appeal against a sec 21) and the court has given them 18 days to move out. So that’s alright then this all started nearly 5 months ago.

The tenants receive the following court order: On 1st March 2013 District Judge——– etc. The Court Orders the defendant gives the claimant possession of ——- on 18th March 2013. The defendant to pay the claimant £175 costs.

I then receive a call from the partner (first time in nearly 2 years), this is the first he’s heard of this and they need more time to move. I said “I’m sorry you don’t talk to your partner who was paying part of the rent, but since she stopped 5 months ago I want my house back now”.

His response “this house isn’t worth 725pm, it’s falling apart and I’m going to paint all your walls black, you need to get a new gas cert as this one has expired it’s the law.”

Mr response was “you should not be in my house, so I’m not getting a gas cert until you leave and if the house is not worth the money then leave. On my last inspection there was no complains and the house looked fine to me. if you want to do some work I will bring you some magnolia and pay you to redecorate” he then hung up.

I sent the bailiffs form off (£110) on 18th and I’m still waiting for a date. If the tenants wait for the bailiffs I hope they can take their old car, TV etc to pay my court costs, because the lost rent has gone forever.

Universal Credit starts soon so I am sure more evictions are on the way and my advice is to make sure all your paperwork is correct and up to date because if not you’re the one on trial.

The tenant refuses to move on a notice, then on a Court Order on 18th, so are they in contempt of court? Are they squatters, new laws say the police can move them! Why would I be in court for going knocking, or wait till they are out and change the locks? Why does the landlord have to spend more time, money and lost rent to get the bailiffs in? What can we do to change the system on faster evictions and stop the council policy of advising tenants not to leave? A section 8 seems a waste of time when people have no money, but a sec 21 served for non payment of rent should mean they are out in 2 months.



Comments

19:46 PM, 27th March 2013
About 7 years ago

4 times it has happened to me.
Cost me hundreds of thousands of pounds!!!
I didn't appreciate until too late that my business model was predicated entirely on my ability to evict a tenant in the event of non-rent payment!!
I have learned bitter lessons.
The ONLY way I can GUARANTEE that I WILL receive rent is to take out a RGI policy on the tenant.
This means invarably that I will NOT be able to take on HB tenants.
It is ONLY the existing eviction laws that cause me to not rent to HB tenants.
I have NOTHING against them; but if they do not pay rent I could lose my property to repossession!
EVERY LL faces this risk.
It is the pathetic eviction process that is causing massive problems PRS LL.
We are left with little choice than to NOT rent to HB tenants at the outset of a tenancy.
UC will make this situation even worse!!
My flat has been empty for 1 month now.
I could have taken on 3 HB tenants by now!
I'd rather the property EMPTY than take on a HB tenant or their guarantor on whom I could NOT obtain a RGI policy on.
All this because of the eviction laws.
This eviction law issue must surely concentrate a LL investment mindset to NOT invest in property which would normally be used by HB tenant.
The supposed cashflow advantages rapidly disappear when you are trying to get rid of a HB tenant over many; many months!
Keep on slogging away and DON'T take on ANY HB tenant or their guarantor that cannot qualify for RGI.
RGI is the ONLY real defence the PRS has against a non-rent paying tenant.
Mind you the baseball bat approach does look attractive when you are into your 6th month of rental losses!!
But of course we LL need to keep ourselves squeaky clean for future reference!!

Reader

20:21 PM, 27th March 2013
About 7 years ago

The eviction process on the day of eviction requires experience. Make sure you immediately change all the locks and never ever let them back into the property for any reason at all, unless you want to start the eviction all over again. Their possessions, pets etc can be a problem unless you have a carefully drafted AST. Seek advice from someone qualified to act for you on the day of eviction.

Make sure the property is lawfully maintained or at least you have tried to do that in the mean time.

After eviction there are companies that will alarm and monitor an empty property.

Richard Kent

20:49 PM, 27th March 2013
About 7 years ago

@Paul Barrett

I know the feeling. I read your posts regarding your rental losses.

Rent Guarantee Insurance is the best way forward.

I agree with you regarding benefit tenants because the problem seems to be increasing.

Remember its because Lanlords like you are so wealthy that the courts side with the poor tenants! (Humour implied).

Richard Kent

20:49 PM, 27th March 2013
About 7 years ago

@Paul Barrett

I know the feeling. I read your posts regarding your rental losses.

Rent Guarantee Insurance is the best way forward.

I agree with you regarding benefit tenants because the problem seems to be increasing.

Remember its because Landlords like you are so wealthy that the courts side with the poor tenants! (Humour implied).

21:51 PM, 27th March 2013
About 7 years ago

Quite frankly as a LL I feel like I am a professional victim!!
All I've ever tried to do is do my best for ALL my tenants and provide them with the service they pay for.
It seems; as indeed I have been required to do by the law, that the service has been provided for the tenant for NOTHING until I can evict them.
I didn't realise I was in the charity business!!?

Richard Kent

22:22 PM, 27th March 2013
About 7 years ago

@Paul Barrett

Yes, you must be the Paul Barrett Benevolent Fund for the Homeless and Destitute.

Remember you are in business to loose your hard earned profit to all those less fortunate people who would otherwise have to pay you rent and make you very wealthy.

To stop you getting too rich too quickly and disadvantaging non-paying tenants we have a very slow court process in place. (sarcasm implied)

I know the feeling. I've been there a few times.

9:03 AM, 28th March 2013
About 7 years ago

Hi Folks,

How many different places are bad tennants listed?

Mike...

Neil Robb

15:12 PM, 30th March 2013
About 7 years ago

I have an interesting thought that came from here. The new gas reg
state you needvisual access to flue pipe. In previous article the gas man turned said he could not do inspection because of this and turned service off. How would this leave the landlord if he does not get rent he can't pay to repair plus he did serve notice to leave if they stayed on beyond term to leave in a house with no heating and hot water.

I really don't know if this would be illegal as the won't /can't pay rent the housing benifit they recieved how are you expected to repair gas boilers.meters.

Recardo Knights

8:28 AM, 31st March 2013
About 7 years ago

While my article was posted mostly for the benefit of newbe landlords,and those who have not gone through the eviction process, and written to be a bit humorous (some bits edited, maybe me laungage was to strong).

I can now see why landlords serve a sec 21 soon after doing a new tenancy agreement as it may save time later. It is something i will be doing now, although i though this sent the wrong message. I tell a new tenant I want a long term tenancy and a month later the receive a sec 21!

If the tenancy rolls over to a periodic and the section 21 is still in force do I just give a written leter to the tenants asking them to vacate in 1 month? if they say No can I apply straight away for a possession order?

I am still attempting to to get the gas man an tenant together, and have emails and text between us all. gas man has there number tenent has his and I contact them both every month asking if the gas cert is done. I even managed to arrange it be done on sat 30th, but the tenant was to busy. i said my agent (cousin and spare key holder) would meet the gas man and let him in, that was not acceptable be tenant, (I might change the locks) But he will call gas man on tuesday! so it goes on.
l
When contacted me about painting the wals black etc, and he knows the law, except the one about paying rent, leaving on a court order etc I did pretty much tell him he's not my tenant after 18th, and if my house is falling down to off!

Seriously folks make sure all paper work is in order. if you can get RGI good luck, but in an area where most tanants are on LHA, (and their parents) you may have a long void while you wait. Only other option is the guarontor but again if they refuse to pay guess who has to spend money on a court case.

i beleive most landlords are honest and try to do the right things, also believe most tenants are honest, but there will also be a bad few. What happens to the really nice ones who suddenly lose they jobs?

I'm also a member of landlords referencing. I tried putting these tenants on an alert list but it says tenants have to have left 30 days before they cane be on the list. I am waiting for an answer WHY, by the time they leave me they will then be a headache to another LL. These people should be listed if the refuse to leave on notice.

Mark Alexander

14:15 PM, 13th April 2013
About 7 years ago

If you are owed money by a tenant please take a look at this >>> http://www.property118.com/index.php/debt-collection-for-landlords-no-win-no-fee/38229/

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