How to help long-time tenant that can’t afford rent?

How to help long-time tenant that can’t afford rent?

0:01 AM, 8th June 2023, About A year ago 22

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So imagine this scenario you have a tenant that’s been with you for five years. Always paid rent on time, no problems, keeps the place well – the ideal tenant. BUT NOW the tenant’s maintenance payments for their child will end and they will no longer be able to afford the rent.

The rent is already well under market value, and the (now) adult child can’t work because of a health issue – possibly to the extent that the property isn’t suitable for them anymore. The tenant has asked for an S21 to go to the council, but this forces us into a desperate position.

While waiting for s21 to go through, the tenant will be forced to go into arrears, with no guarantee of council housing plus the court costs from eviction. Would like to help but stuck between a rock and a hard place.

What would you do in this situation?



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David Houghton

7:48 AM, 8th June 2023, About A year ago

It's an easy question. Serve the s21. Follow the process, make up the loss on market rent with the next tenant


7:54 AM, 8th June 2023, About A year ago

wait till 2 months in arrears then a S8 mandatory repossession. I have been in the same situation as you, issuing an S21 wont help the tenant get a new property as the council wont have anything to offer her. In this case the tenant will just stay put. This will be the case for both an S21 and an S8 but at least with the S8 its a mandatory process and you will get the property back (eventually)

LordOf TheManor

7:55 AM, 8th June 2023, About A year ago

What is being done about the health issues of the adult child and their financial dependency until now on the parent?

There needs to be a separate assessment of the adult child's needs which should have been foreseen a while back if the health issue is related to a pre-existing condition. Why has it waited until the current crunch point?

Could you please provide a bit more information?


7:58 AM, 8th June 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by LordOf TheManor at 08/06/2023 - 07:55
Waste of time, while all of this is being done (with no guaranteed outcome) the rent arrears will be building up.

LordOf TheManor

8:15 AM, 8th June 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by GlanACC at 08/06/2023 - 07:58What I've suggested doesn't stop the notices being issued!!
I took it that the landlord posting the question had some interest in the welfare of the long term tenant.... as well as the obvious.
If the right assessments are got underway without further delay, these investigations should serve to flag up the case to social housing and get the tenants moved out quicker.
It's positive intervention which should assist landlord and tenant - which is what I understood the poster asked for.


8:32 AM, 8th June 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by LordOf TheManor at 08/06/2023 - 08:15Don't disagree with what you have said, however its the tenants job to arrange that. I have had tenants where I was expected to act as carer and social services replacement. I am friendly with my tenants but I don't go out of my way to 'pop in', and try and keep them at arms length (which is better for them as well). I was acquainted with a landlord who was a vicar and he only had one property. The tenant fell ill and went into rent arrears but he felt he couldn't pursue her and in consequence lost over 3 years rent. Social services couldn't care less and eventually she died. He then sold the property. Lesson to be learnt here is dont get involved with the tenants problems, treat your property as your business


8:39 AM, 8th June 2023, About A year ago

You have to wonder about pre-empt here! Child maintenance stops at some point. Allowances relate to child, who might, once out of education and considered an adult, want to live independently regardless of possible disabilities (not with a co-dependant parent). So where does that leave you? With a tenant who can no longer afford the rent. Carry on running a charity or start eviction process.

Judith Wordsworth

9:15 AM, 8th June 2023, About A year ago

The adult child needs to apply for housing benefit/universal Credit in their own name.
I presume that you have put them on the tenancy agreement as a permitted occupier.
If you want to keep them as tenants the over 18 year old will need to be added to the agreement

Laura Delow

9:17 AM, 8th June 2023, About A year ago

If the tenant's income has reduced due to maintenance payments ceasing & they can no longer pay the rent & can't work full time due to a dependent adult child, they will most likely be entitled to benefits that might go a long way to replacing the loss of maintenance payments. Sometimes you have to work closely with tenants to help them claim benefits. It's just the way it is. Admittedly this doesn't change the fact the tenant wants to be rehoused as the property is no longer suitable, and you can only but hope by not paying the rent, it isn't because of a hidden agenda to get the council to move her to a bigger place on possibly lower rent. Meanwhile, find out the exact detail of her income which she should feel comfortable sharing with you if you're genuinely helping her, to determine what benefits she's entitled to & if any, help her to claim these that might hopefully pay off some of the arrears as well as pay future rent, and meanwhile work together on how she needs to position herself to get the council to rehouse her without you suffering on route through unpaid rent. Do you have Rent Guarantee or at the very least, Legal Expenses/Eviction cover in place?

John Parkinson

9:38 AM, 8th June 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by GlanACC at 08/06/2023 - 08:32
Harsh, but ultimately, good advice

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