Landlords Revenge

Landlords Revenge

11:30 AM, 3rd July 2013, About 9 years ago 41

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A landlord who came out and told BBC’s The One Show of her troublesome tenant has now had further problems. 

Broadcast on 2nd May, the landlord Mrs Trivedy was featured on the show in an item about rent-arrears and the difficulties landlords are having with tenants on benefit who are not passing on the rent.

Mrs Trivedy was shown getting the help of Landlord Action when her social tenants stopped passing on their housing benefit yet refused to vacate the property, leaving her £4400 in rental arrears. After the case was broadcast on the BBC, the tenants moved on which may have been a good result.

But the tenants left with much of the landlord’s furniture. And they have wrecked the home. Mrs Trivedy says “Wear and tear in a rental property is inevitable but what I was faced with, even given the tenants previous behaviour, was completely unnecessary. Not only is there damage to every room, they have stolen two sofas, a wardrobe, a chest of draws, a fridge-freezer, curtain poles as well as numerous smaller items. What remains was a complete mess and totally unliveable.”

The Condition of Schedule following the tenants’ departure describes the property as in poor condition with damage, missing items and a lack of cleanliness reported in every room, in addition to the garden being littered with dog mess.  Mrs Trivedy says she has made a statement to the police in regards to the missing items but was advised that it was unlikely to be taken much further as there are varying degrees of theft and it is her word against the tenants.

Mrs Trivedy says “I am obviously thrilled to have regained possession following the notice served by Landlord Action which has avoided further rent arrears and additional court fees, but I still face being thousands of pounds out of pocket.  I will have to make-over the entire property and replace furniture in order to let it again. I think the tenants should be made to pay.”

Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action says this is not an uncommon scenario. Tenants can feel aggrieved after being asked to leave. But he adds, “In this case it seems the TV exposure may have made these people more upset”. Even though the house in Bracknell was shown on screen, the tenant was interviewed and the landlord is very shocked at their behaviour.

Shamplina also advised that in these cases landlords have to be careful not to throw good money after bad. The potential outcome of further action has to be weighed up against the costs and time involved. Firstly, is it possible to track down the tenants to recover the rent arrears and if so what is their financial position? Secondly, when you regain possession, what state is the property in and how much will it cost to put right? An inventory is paramount to proving this.”

Landlord Action has a busy rent recovery department for landlords who will act on behalf of Sandra Trivedy in helping her locate her ex tenants for a fixed fee. However Mr Shamplina says “in a case such as this, we must take a view as to whether the landlord really wants to spend money and enforce a money judgement if the tenants do not have a job or any assets. Obtaining a CCJ and trying to get a court order for monthly payments off such tenants is likely to take years to clear. Many landlords wish to do so out of principle but we advise landlords to weigh up their options before going down this route.”

Contact Landlord Action

Specialists in tenant eviction and debt collection. Regulated by The Law Society.

Landlords Revenge



Comments

by Andrew Taylor

23:51 PM, 3rd July 2013, About 9 years ago

I thought direct payment was a standard policy now? But, if you can not prove to the council they are two months behind I can see that being a problem. When I went for direct payment with my LA, they just took a copy of the AST and an up to date rent statement as sufficient evidence.

by

4:18 AM, 4th July 2013, About 9 years ago

Anon; just to advise you
A LL is NOT liable for any water bill belonging to a tenant providing the LL has advised the Water company ( Remember there may be 2 Water companies for the same address); as in a property I have in Southend.
The LL should advise that at no time should the bill be put in the LL name unless the LL contacts the companies.
The LL should always advise who is the tenant at the property to the utility companies
IF the LL does NOT advise the companies of any forwarding address which he may have then there is a possibility the LL is liable.
LL MUST realise they are NOT liable for tenants' utility bills if the bills are NOT in a LL name at his requirement.
I have tenants who have robbed thousands from utility companies.
I have NEVER paid any of those bills and have NEVER had any requesrt from those utility companies to do so.
Any LL who pays a tenant's bill is an IDIOT!
Just don't do it!!

by Kulasmiley

8:00 AM, 4th July 2013, About 9 years ago

URGENT LEGISLATION NEEDED FOR LHA-UNIVERSAL CREDIT!!
With respect what we and the local authorities need is urgent legislation that states that taking rent from local authorities and NOT handing it over to the landlords (private, local housing assoc, etc) should be deemed as deception carrying a criminal offence. WE now all need to work together on this site to loby the appropriate department within the gov't. IF we don't act we will all lose. 100% of our tenants are DHSS, I know this sector very well. We are meeting with council next week on this approach. LETS DO IT NOW!! WHO IS WITH US???!!

by

8:17 AM, 4th July 2013, About 9 years ago

Anyone involved with HB tenants is really going to suffer when UC is introduced.
LL should consider replacing these tenants with tenants on whom they can source RGI on or similar.
Then it won't matter about rent arrears as the RGI company will boot the tenant out; but the LL will have ALL the rent paid directly to him.
Get yourself full LL contents insurance including malicious damage and theft and then the wrongun HB tenants can do their worst and it will all be covered by insurances.
HB tenants are trouble and will be more so when UC is introduced.
If UC is not paid directly to LL; they will exit the HB market making life very difficult for HB tenants.
What the answer is I just don't know.
I DON'T take on HB tenants because of all these problems.
I think other LL will come to the same decision!
I feel very sorry for those HB LL that try their best and get turned over by their wrongun HB tenants; with NO real form of redress.

by Industry Observer

8:25 AM, 4th July 2013, About 9 years ago

@Anon

You need to moderate your language. Best tenant I ever knew was a single mother with one child, left a newly refurbished flat in better condition than when the tenancy started!! Had another child, moved to a 2 bed flat that was in dreadful condition when she took it over, on reduced rent for sorting it out. Ended up looking like something that would win best in show at the Ideal Home Exhibition.

Please quote the "Law" you say was passed several months ago re water bills. This does not exist as there has been no industry comment on it at all. I think I know where your misunderstanding comes from, but those who say you cannot be liable for a utility bill of any description are correct. It is all about contract and who has liability at any point in time.

NOW having said that...............

Whoever said never put bills in LL name is wrong. The liability once the tenancy has LEGALLY ended is the property owner's, and it is an offence not so sign for and pay the standing charge.

As I say please quote exact name of this Statute you say is now on the books and I'll investigate and report back for everyone's better enlightenment.

To all those who seem to take light years to evict tenants - change solicitors, or more likely stop trying to do it yourself. S8 is an easy form to mess up - for example it MUST be completed in black ink!!! With an expert legal firm it should never take 8 months unless there are incredible mitigating circumstances.

Whoever posted about day 31 notices as they are called, immediate action soon as month two is missed, is dead right. And make sure you involve any Guarantor at the earliest possible stage. After all a Guarantor is taken every time on a HB tenant case, isn't it?

by Andrew Taylor

8:29 AM, 4th July 2013, About 9 years ago

I've have been in meetings where senior civil servants from DWP have spoken, and they have stated they do not view any landlord as having entitlement to a benefit payment made to a third party. The question of 'theft' of benefit was raised where housing benefits are not spent on housing (it was raised by a local authority representative) but the response was clear - utter contempt on us for even considering that view.

It was again stated that benefit is paid to those who are 'entitled' to it, an important definition as payment comes not from need but simple qualification. It was also stated that once a benefit claimant has received a payment they are entitled to, the state has, and should not have have further influence over what the claimant spends their benefit on.

SO DWP SEE NOTHING WRONG WITH A TENANT NOT PAYING LHA TO A LANDLORD, BE IT PRIVATE OR SOCIAL.

by

8:36 AM, 4th July 2013, About 9 years ago

Think that was me IO.
I meant don't have bills in a LL name unless you are doing inclusive bills or the tenant vacates and then the LL MUST take over the bills until a new tenant comes along.
There is the option of bills being in the tenant's name ; but the LL pays the bills by DD.
I do this.
It assists tenants with their credit status.
But unless the LL has agreed to pay the bills for a tenant and recive an inclusice rent; bills should normally be in the name of the tenants.

by Industry Observer

8:37 AM, 4th July 2013, About 9 years ago

Oh dear Paul back to the same old RGI (rent guarantee/legal expenses) chestnut again!!

As we have debated before you can get RGI on ANY tenancy provided the tenant OR a Guarantor passes referencing, especially credit referencing.

The problem is most quality RGI policies insist on agent involvement to the extent of rent collection if not full management.

Be careful too on consent to let from lenders but especially freeholders and insurers as many will not allow HB tenants, along with students.

On Universal Credit as things stand at the moment the facility to automatically have the rent paid direct to the LL will not exist after October. That is what is in the proposed scheme, the Cambridge (I think) pilot may well be using discretion and not applying that and allowing switching after 8 weeks arrears. But it is highly likely when UC goes national that the facility will remain lost and only if the LA determines the tenant to be vulnerable will the LL be able to get rent paid direct.

Generally speaking landlords would be well advised to brace themselves for all HB tenants being paid their benefit and if they can get any redirected to themselves that's a bonus

by Industry Observer

8:39 AM, 4th July 2013, About 9 years ago

Paul

Of course

I'm talking about end of tenancies and during voids etc. When the ex tenant is no longer legally liable date-wise then the LL needs to have the account in their name for the void period.

Someone has to pay the standing charge after all

by

8:43 AM, 4th July 2013, About 9 years ago

IO that is the real problem; very few HB tenants can source a guarantor who would pass a RGI check.
This is why MOST HB LL come a cropper.
HB tenants who can source a RGI qualifiable guarantor are as rare as hen's teeth!
If I could source HB tenants who could find a guarantor that would qualify for a RGI policy I'd take the tenant on if they could afford my rent; which they can't!
This is why HB cause so many problems as LL have to leave themselves so exposed.
HB know this and and and abuse these poor LL.


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