Shelter’s Income and expenditure figures highlighted13:57 PM, 4th February 2019
About 2 weeks ago 35
I own a property which I purchased 11 years ago with an in-situ tenant who is under an old style Assured Tenancy (not an AST). Unfortunately the housing association I originally bought the house from claimed not to have a copy of the tenancy agreement and the tenant himself had lost his copy over the years (he has lived there since the early ’70s), so all we have is notifications of prior rent increases, but all parties seem to agree on this originally being an Assured Tenancy.
Anyway the rent has not been paid for the last 2 months.
It seems the sole tenant was in hospital so we gave him some leeway. Now we are informed by the tenant’s son that his father has dementia and has had to go into a residential care home and will not be returning to the property.
The son does not have power of attorney over his father’s affairs, indeed no one does. We wish to take back possession of the property, but how should we do this? The son has said he will sign a release but without power of attorney I am not sure this is legally binding.
1) Should we write to the son and ask him to get his father to sign a letter to terminate the tenancy? Not knowing the degree of dementia I am not sure this is possible.
2) As he is 2 months in arrears we could issue a Section 8 notice to evict the tenant. However this seems a bit of overkill seeing as he needs to leave himself and will probably slow down the process. Plus we do not want to cause the family additional stress.
Regarding the rent, his son says that his father is in debt to the bank and that he himself is having to pay towards his father’s care. It seems unlikely we can recover the outstanding rent and as it is an old style tenancy there is no deposit.
That said we would be prepared to forego the 2 months rent for a quick solution and return of the keys.
As an aside I assume we will not be responsible for any council tax until the tenancy agreement is terminated?
I believe this also is not currently being paid as the son seems to think they are no longer liable.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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