Landlord has defaulted on mortgage, we are being evicted.

by Readers Question

10:35 AM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Landlord has defaulted on mortgage, we are being evicted.

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Landlord has defaulted on mortgage, we are being evicted.

We have a shorthold tenancy agreement in place but 5 months in we have been served with an eviction notice from the landlord’s bank. We have followed the relevant procedure to delay the process by making an application to court and filling in the N244 form etc.

What annoys me is the landlady knew about this before allowing us to sign the tenancy agreement (she admits this in her email to me) and failed to give us a notice of possession. The first I heard of the repossession was when a bailiff knocked the door giving us notice to leave.

We’ve accepted we have to leave but I’d like to know who we should be paying rent to now as there has obviously been a breach of contract on the landlady’s part. Should we still give it to the letting agents or do we withhold it? When does the tenancy end in cases like this?

Any advice would be great

Yours, stressed out,

Gail

PS – we are interested in taking legal action against the landlady as we believe her to still have assets and for it to be worthwhile. The only problem is she lives abroad. Does this make her immune to any legal proceedings here in the UK? How do I go about making a case?



Comments

Anthony Endsor

11:30 AM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

This actually happened at a house on our street about 3 years ago. On this occasion the tenants were evicted by the bailiffs under police supervision. One of them was in the bath at the time and basically told to 'get dressed and get out' before the police then boarded up the broken front door and secured the property. Those tenants had only been there a few weeks themselves but wouldn't have had any comeback from any rent payments they had made.
I would advise you not to pay any more in rent. Cancel any direct debits you have with the letting agency. If they question it, explain why, though they shouldn't be surprised.
Probably the best thing to do is just leave of your own accord when you get to the time when any rent already paid has been used, so for example if you've paid up to the 10th of the month, just leave then and don't pay any more.
They can hardly come after you for breach of contract can they?

11:47 AM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Gail - Look up my profile to contact me as I may be able to help.

Luke P

12:54 PM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

I agree with Anthony...not a penny more to the landlord/owner/agent/landlady's bank. At least not for now, anyway -you can always MAKE a payment, but won't get an undue one back.

Dr Rosalind Beck

13:04 PM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

I completely disagree with you trying to sue the landlady. If you don't lose out financially on the rent and if you get your deposit back, why would you kick this person when she is down?
She must be in dire financial straits to have her house repossessed. I think a little human kindness would be good.
As landlords we are facing the possibility of having our houses repossessed in their thousands because of a measure proposed in the Budget which is going to bankrupt many of us. All we need is to get sued by our tenants as well.

Trent Zhang

17:39 PM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

An eloquent reminder of landlord groupthink. Not one utterance of concern for the poor tenant who has been lied to, defrauded (of administration fees, removal costs, utilities set-up, etc), and kicked out at short notice. Rather it is the landlord of who's irresponsible borrowing we should be shedding a tear for.

ann gardner

18:04 PM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Anthony Endsor" at "27/07/2015 - 11:30":

Thanks. I'm not sure whether or not to withhold rent as the courts are looking at our payment record as a basis of whether they will be considering letting us stay on as tenants. Perhaps they will consider us staying on and paying rent to the bank. We have instructed the letting agents to hold the rent until further notice and they are pretty trustworthy.

ann gardner

18:12 PM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ros ." at "27/07/2015 - 13:04":

Hi Ros,

Thanks for your comment.

We are losing out financially as we are having to pay court fees and solicitor fees. We are also aware that the landlady knew of her position before she let her property out to us (9 months ago), as she had already defaulted on her mortgage. There have been countless opportunities to give us notice by presenting us with a notice of possession form. We even renewed the contract in March for a year so I believe the landlady's main concern was getting money of us for as long as possible at any cost.

There have also been countless problems with the property. When we moved in the house was absolutely filthy, with dog faeces in the garden. There is a considerable damp problem which we have reported but nothing has been done and was undetected until we had moved in because she had painted over it to disguise it. My daughter (aged 9) is asthmatic. The carpet in the bathroom was soaked with urine and we have had rats which entered the property through holes in the wall.

I think that if the landlady had shown us some kindness and consideration we may have been more understanding but as it stands she has shown little regard for us.

This is why we are hoping to take legal action as landlady's like this give others a bad name and should be accountable.

ann gardner

19:19 PM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Trent Zhang" at "27/07/2015 - 17:39":

Yes, well said Trent.

There really should be background checks with landlords to make sure they have permission to rent out their properties. My landlady has duped us from the start of the tenancy and has not apologised even once. In fact she has tried to blame us for her going into arrears with her mortgage by saying 'well, I did offer you the chance to buy it if you wanted but you said no'. Unbelievable.

ann gardner

19:21 PM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

PS.

I forgot to mention that the property also had to be fumigated after we discovered it was riddled with fleas. We moved in, then 2 weeks later had to move all our stuff out again for the fumigation to take place.

Mandy Thomson

11:25 AM, 28th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Trent Zhang" at "27/07/2015 - 17:39":

Hi Trent

I certainly agree with your assessment of Ann's appalling treatment at the hands of her "landlady", and I hope it works out for her.

However, please don't lump all landlords into one and accuse us of "groupthink". As a landlord, I will defend DECENT landlords vigorously, but I have NO TIME for slumlords (which it would appear this woman, this "landlady" - some lady!, is) who deliberately rent out sub standard accommodation and deceive and rip off decent unsuspecting tenants.

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