Immigrants en mass invade my property ?

by Readers Question

9:50 AM, 18th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Immigrants en mass invade my property ?

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Immigrants en mass invade my property ?

Well my agent and I have been well and truly had. I’m a portfolio landlord and builder, and have just finished extensive renovation of a 2 bed terrace locally.

Due to poor health I instructed a local agent friend to source me tenants and we chose very a plausible and presentable Polish working couple. They passed all refs and paid 2months rent as deposit and 1 month rent in advance, they moved in beginning of June.

Fast forward 6 weeks and a concerned neighbour called me to inform of disturbances and to advise that there would appear to be multiple people living there at the property. After a visit yesterday it would appear that there are upwards of 8/10 foreign nationals at the property non of whom are the official tenants with nationalities unknown. I believe that they are the main tenants employees and maybe there is some gang-mastership going on. All relevant council and immigration departments have been informed.

My issue now is obviously I want them all out. A section 21 will take 2/3months at which point the property will be knackered judging by its condition at 6 weeks, and the rent will simply stop coming in so no deposit left to offset against damage.

Its been suggested that the current ‘occupiers’ could be classed at lodgers as the main tenant is not in residence therefore they can be asked to leave with minimal notice locks changed and items put out side the property?

Any idea’s?

My agent is fighting my corner but this is a first for him too. The main tenant is being illusive to say the least and is not returning calls/emails/text etc.

So really I simply want to secure the property empty and void of all these people first, indeed the official tenant can have access once we can track him down and locks changed.

Any pointers gratefully received!

Best regards

JChome invasion



Comments

Neil Patterson

9:56 AM, 18th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Dear JC,

You very much need experienced professional help and my first port of call would be Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action see >> http://www.property118.com/tenant-eviction/39099/

Dr Rosalind Beck

10:12 AM, 18th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Sorry to be negative, but my experience is that it takes a lot longer than 2-3 months to get someone out with a Section 21. We usually have to give 2 months' notice (or 14 days if equivalent of 8 weeks in arrears), then wait around 6 weeks - maybe more - for a court date, then the judge often gives them 14-28 days to vacate; then they don't; then we have to wait another month or so for bailiffs. So it usually takes us a minimum of 5 months if we follow everything perfectly and don't make one tiny mistake that can be picked on in court (we did an on-line application once, there was only space to put in one tenant's name and in court it was postponed and we had to re-submit because the tenants had legal aid and the lawyer said two names should be on it!).
Anyway, if anyone knows of a quicker legal route than this you might be advised to take it. All the best with this nightmare.

Romain Garcin

10:13 AM, 18th July 2014
About 4 years ago

You have tenants, whether they live at the property or not. The other occupiers are there with their consent.
Therefore you cannot ask anyone to leave and change locks. Doing so would be illegal eviction and land you in very hot waters (it's a criminal offence).

Therefore you probably have 2 options:
1. The tenancy is still an AST: you have to follow the s.8 and s.21 routes.

2. The tenancy is no longer an AST because the property is no longer the tenants' main residence: If there are relevant terms in the tenancy agreement you can use them to terminate the tenancy, then you'll still have to seek a court order (on the ground of trespass) to evict everyone.

I would seek professional legal advice on how to proceed.

Jamie M

10:26 AM, 18th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Borrow an Alsatian and go in and tell them to leave PDQ with it by your side or else there will be trouble as you are squatters. Give them 1-2 days to find somewhere else.
If you know a polish guy to come with you to make sure they get the gravity of the matter. Tell them that immigration officers will be attending with you in 2 days time. The legal route in these and all cases is an ass.

George Sandy

10:36 AM, 18th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jamie Moodie" at "18/07/2014 - 10:26":

If they are all EU citizens, I don't think immigration is an issue. As for using an alsatian as a prop, be very careful about what you do.

Joe Bloggs

10:46 AM, 18th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain " at "18/07/2014 - 10:13":

hi romain,
if there is a clause prohibiting sub letting in the TA they have no right to be there. if so would you say they are squatters, in which case its a police/criminal matter?

Romain Garcin

11:09 AM, 18th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Joe Bloggs" at "18/07/2014 - 10:46":

Hi,
If there is a clause against sub-letting and the tenants are indeed subletting then there is a breach of the lease.
However the sub-tenants still have a valid tenancy and aren't squatters.

Mike

19:03 PM, 18th July 2014
About 4 years ago

JC, the housing law stinks, we landlords are at the receiving end from both the law and the bad tenants, our hands are tied behind our backs and we just got to take it on the chin! terrible really, This is why my Local Council in Newham made it compulsory for all private landlords to register and get a licence to rent properties in Newham under very strict guidelines, one of them being to get rid of the bad Landlords who profit hugely from immigrants and students packed 4 to a room!
and other overcrowding and the other being that as a licensed landlord it becomes your responsibility to police bad tenants and overcrowding! So we in Newham are now in the front line so it becomes your problem and not the Councils to evict anti-social tenants and to face aggressive tenants, and if you use reasonable force to protect yourself, you could be charged for harassment . So this proves that the housing law to protect tenants really stinks.

Please don't let it effect your health as already you said you are not too well, so the right course of action is to take advice from a solicitor or anyone qualified and start the eviction proceedings, this will take its usual course, but the sooner you start then lower will be your losses. Time is important, and if your tenant pleads with you to withdraw the notice if he sheds overcrowding, then don't back down as this will be only temporary, soon they or other s will be back as extended family members! remember you are still holding 2 months rent which hopefully has been protected within the time span of commencement of tenancy. so the sooner you get the ball rolling the better for you.

If I am not wrong, a section 21 notice may not be the most appropriate notice in your case as this notice requires that an AST term has ended or it can be given 2 months in advance of an AST term coming to an end, so if your tenants only moved in June, they have only been there for 6 weeks, you may not be able to serve a S21,

But if I am not wrong, you could however serve them a section 8 notice because the breach of tenancy terms, it may be hard for you to prove that the people occupying the premises are sub-tenants, the main tenant may claim that they are all his extended family like cousins and so on and are in UK on a temporary bases! and he may challenge you that he is not subletting. So your grounds to evict them must be based on something else such as anti-social behavior, as well as overcrowding that you could argue the house is not designed to accommodate as many people as live there, and none are registered with the electorial register, and most may be working for cash in hand jobs, and not paying taxes, and on top of this get your neighbors to log all anti-social behavior, from loud music, to late night parties, frequent BBQs, smoke, smell, loud talking and arguments! I have been through this and lost a lot of money because I kept giving my tenants last chance but sooner or later they would revert to the same old pattern. The housing law needs to be changed when it comes to sub-lettings, the Councils act ruthlessly when it comes to their own properties being sublet but when the private landlords face the same situation we are relatively powerless and have to spent a fortune on lawyers fees and court charges and wait for months before these bad tenant can be evicted. .

So I wish you good luck and good health and hopefully within the next 3 months they could all be gone.

john henderson

23:06 PM, 18th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Could you go into the house and have a friendly meeting with all those people living there. Explain long term they cannot live there and will have to move out. If you could offer them a slower change over period they may decide to leave voluntarily. It is not that hard to get houses to rent is it. I mean they got yours.

The legal side of things is such a pain to have to go through. I would try and get on good terms with those living there and work out a solution.

It is very stressful when someone is in your house and you don't want them there. Focus on the positive, they will be gone eventually and you will breath a sigh of relief when they do go. I am still sighing this week after a bad tenant moved out the other week. Luckily i didnt need to go to court as they moved out the weekend the sec 21 expired.

So maybe have that meeting. Talk them through a section 21. I doubt they will know what it all means but will focus on that final date they have to be out (we know they dont have to be out on that date, but they might not).

Stay positive because it is never that bad.

Jamie M

23:42 PM, 18th July 2014
About 4 years ago

God what utter drivel!

Get the dog and a character that speaks their language and go in there and tell them ***moderated****off as they are illegally in the property or else.

Or I suppose you can follow the legal drivel above and spend months have tea and friendly chats.

It doesn't work, only consequences work

Wake up, we have the ****moderated**** taken out of us when people know we are toothless.

I cleared a house once in two hours where they were drug dealing and being attacked by local hoods, two doors and front window smashed in.

Two hours to get a mum and 5 kids and the ***moderated**** drug dealing partner out!

Go for it

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