New purchase with existing Council Tenant now being difficult

by Readers Question

11:13 AM, 2nd December 2014
About 4 years ago

New purchase with existing Council Tenant now being difficult

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New purchase with existing Council Tenant now being difficult

I completed on a BTL studio flat in London on the 22 August with tenant already in place and I am still struggling to get hold of a deposit from her, which apparently is lodged with DPS I assume with old owners details.

The flat was managed by a local estate agent on behalf of the old owner and as I am a landlord I chose not to take on their services and deal with it myself and since then they have been difficult with me and have been advising the tenant.

The tenant is receiving housing benefit and after several months of speaking to the case worker today she told me to deal with her as I saw fit, because the tenant was not responding to the case worker either.

I am receiving rent from her regularly though, so all I want to do is get the deposit sorted as it being lodged with old owner does not help anyone.

Any help would be appreciated.

Kind regards

Armencat



Comments

Paul Franklin

13:57 PM, 2nd December 2014
About 4 years ago

If the deposit is held with the DPS I would contact them initially to get their advice.

Armen Khachatrian

15:45 PM, 2nd December 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Franklin" at "02/12/2014 - 13:57":

Hi Paul, thanks for your message.

I had contacted them initially when I first faced this problem and they told me only the tenant can call and change details and were not very helpful, but I called them this morning again and this time they advised me to register with them and request a deposit transfer from previous agents.

So I am waiting for a response from DPS.

Mean while I am also thinking I may have to evict the tenant and I was told it would be almost impossible to evict a single mother with a young baby, is this true?

Thanks

Armen

Paul Franklin

16:23 PM, 2nd December 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Armen Khachatrian" at "02/12/2014 - 15:45":

I'm glad the DPS have been more helpful, after all it's the landlord that registers the deposit with them, not the tenant, so I don't know why they wern't more helpful first time round.

If you have a tenant who is paying the rent and keeping the property in good order I would think twice before looking to evict her as it can be a lengthy and costly process, especially if you are a new landlord and make mistakes along the way. There can be a lot of technicalities to get right so I would encourage you to seek professional advice if you do not have experience with this. Property 118 often point people towards Landlord Action though other organisations that specialise in eviction work are available.

I would try again to get in contact with your tenant first and introduce yourself as the new landlord. Have you written to her or knocked on the door? Really your solicitor should have ensured you were provided with all the necessarry info with regards to the tenancy, the tenant and the deposit before you completed on the sale. It should not be down to the tenant to enlighten you of the details of her tenancy and her deposit etc.

It does not matter whether its a single person or a family with 10 kids, the rules are still the same to evict someone. You must first serve a valid notice and ultimately you may have to obtain a possession order from the court and a bailiff warrant if the person doesn't have the financial means to move and find another place to rent. Costly and time consuming business. If you have just completed on the purchase you must also ensure she is aware that you are her new landlord. Clearly it would be prefereable all round for both you and the tenant to avoid going through the eviction process so I would encourage you to continue to try and contact the tenant if possible and you never know you may find that she is a reliable, paying tenant worth holding on to.

Armen Khachatrian

16:45 PM, 2nd December 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Franklin" at "02/12/2014 - 16:23":

Yes, ideally as long as the rent is being paid and I have the deposit I will be happy to keep her.

All depends if I can resolve this deposit issue with DPS soon.

Thank you for your help so far.

Armen Khachatrian

16:49 PM, 8th December 2014
About 4 years ago

I bought this BTL flat under the impression that the tenant was on a rolling contract only to find out when picking up my keys that a new 12 month contract was signed while I was in the process of purchasing, now my conveyancers have confirmed to me that I am not liable to this contract which is between the old owner, the agents and the tenant, but the agents keep saying that I can not break this contract.

Could someone please let me know which one is true?

Thanks in advance

Armen


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