Taken over management of a property with a LHA tenant – Readers QuestionMake Text Bigger
I would like some advice about one of my LHA tenants?
I have recently taken over management of 4 properties with Housing Benefit tenants resident. All are great except one. A tenant of 3 years with another agent is refusing to accept the take over of management by my company, sign any agreements or mandates and will not pay the rent direct to my company or even the landlord.
They are also refusing access to my maintenance team to resolve issues at the property that they reported on first visit, such as no smoke alarms at the property and a gas cooker feed which is apparently unsafe.
The tenant will only respond to letters to say they are unavailable for any inspections, and calls my contractors shoddy and unqualified and threatens to call the police if i try to visit or gain entry. I have issued the section 21 as a way to get the tenant to see sense, but this has not worked, is refusing to accept it and is very hostile towards me.
The tenant says they have a solicitor involved and will not pay rent until the legal position has been resolved. The tenant has told the landlord to change to another agent as I carry out regular inspections and does not want this system in place, and is apparently taking me to court for not supplying the landlords address although I have supplied my contact details should she wish to serve notice or have any maintenance issues. Also the solicitor will be contacting me for not allowing “peace and enjoyment at the property” along with harassment.
I have now set up the LHA rent to be paid direct to me as it is 8+ weeks arrears, so that is hopefully sorted. What I would like to know is how I can gain access without going to court under Section 8, ground 12, as the landlord does not have the funds to cover this cost. I have sent the letters to say they will use management keys if they are out, but the tenant says that they will call the police if I do so.
Can I do this? Can you suggest any way in which I can resolve this issue? I have also managed to get the landlord to reduce her rent to LHA level if my agreement is signed. I have sent a letter to confirm but the tenant now believes it is reduced without an agreement being signed and is appealing against the amount of arrears.
I would be very grateful for any voices of experience if you could advise me.
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