Obtaining money by deception

by Readers Question

4 years ago

Obtaining money by deception

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Obtaining money by deception

I rented out my property and was unaware I needed to tell my mortgage company. Since renting it out my relationship has broken down and I became a single mother of my 2 children, having to pay rent alone on the property I lived in of £900 per month. I also got made redundant so I found it hard to afford my rent and the mortgage on my property. Obtaining money by deception

I opted to keep the roof over my head where I lived, I made arrangements with the mortgage company on my other property but I could not keep to it, I allowed the property to be repossessed. The tenants I had had wrecked my property and it was in a state of disrepair so I was unable to sell it because it was in such a state. The tenants became abusive to my father who lived next door so I never renewed their tenancy agreement so I could request they leave but they then stopped paying the rent.

They have since contacted my mortgage company and told them I am renting it out. They have also said they have been to a solicitor and are going to get me prosecuted for receiving money by deception.

They opened my my mail from the mortgage company, this is how they found out I was in arrears and being repossessed.

I had an estate agency trying to sell my property but the tenants were abusive to them and the people viewing the property.

I am really worried as someone said I could go to prison if I’m convicted of obtaining money by deception.  I have 2 young children so any advice would be very much appreciated

Thanks

Gaiety Clark



Comments

Mark Alexander

4 years ago

Dear Gaiety

Clearly you have committed several breaches of your mortgage conditions and whilst that is a serious matter it is unlikely to be considered a criminal offence. Nevertheless, if your mortgage company lose money when the property is eventually repossessed and sold they are perfectly entiled to hold you responsible for their losses and even make you bankrupt.

It may get worse though! If you have been claiming housing benefit without declaring your rental income that is certainly a criminal offence which could carry a custodial sentence.

I'm sure that your tenants are more than a bit miffed that they have been paying you rent and that you haven't been paying your mortgage. The fact that they are also being thrown out probably resulted in them seeking vengeance by reporting you.

I strongly recommend that you contact a legal aid funded solicitor at the earliest possible convenience.
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Adrian Jones

4 years ago

Sorry to add to your woes, but have you informed your insurance company that the property is being let?

Things could get a lot worse.

Ian Narbeth

4 years ago

Your tenants have probably committed a criminal offence by opening your mail without authority. Report them to the police.

Their threat to prosecute you looks like an empty one. Are they seriously going to incur legal fees to try to bring a private prosecution? If they think an offence has been committed they should tell the police. Who are they alleging you have deceived and from whom have you received money by deception? I find it hard to see how it can be the mortgage company as you had already received the money before you rented out to them and I doubt it is the tenants unless the nature of your mortgage arrangements was discussed when you let the property to them. The fact you failed to pay the mortgage whilst receiving rent from the tenants does not look like obtaining money by deception, otherwise every defaulting landlord would be a criminal. You obtained money from them because they had signed a tenancy, not because you represented that you were keeping up your mortgage payments.

Have you forfeited the tenants' deposit and are you able to sue them for the unpaid rent and damage to the property?

Mark makes an important point about having claimed housing benefit and you should take legal advice urgently.

Mandy Thomson

4 years ago

Hi Gaiety

What an appalling situation - sorry to mention it here, but this really does demonstrate the argument for landlords needing basic training and accreditation or at least the need for reliable and knowledgeable letting agents to set up the tenancy on their behalf.

I agree with Ian Narbeth - your tenants sound more like criminals than you. I've heard of several cases of rogue tenants and lodgers threatening this and threatening that against their landlords - firstly, it takes money and a degree of organisation to pursue a legal case against someone. These people could have at least done their research and established whether failing to get consent to let really amounts to taking money with deception! They aren't even able to control themselves, or run their home properly - imagine how they'd be under cross examination. Also, they may well have been in trouble with the authorities themselves in the past, and will be wary of initiating proceedings for that reason alone.

There was a lady on here not so long ago who had a very difficult lodger she was trying to evict who had serious issues - he was (allegedly) going to take her to court to claim compensation/rent refund - it turned out that the poor man had very serious mental health and alcohol issues, and could barely stay sober or get out of bed... http://www.property118.com/rights-evict-lodger/66707/comment-page-3/#comments

You say the tenants wrecked your property - if this was through wanton vandalism, that is another criminal offence they've notched up... You can counter their threat of legal action with your own, much more valid one... Maybe this might encourage them to move out more quickly?

if your property is now in the possession of your lender, and the tenants have moved out, then the only thing you could do is to focus on getting your life/head back together, providing a stable environment for your children, and try not to worry.

These are empty threats from tenants who did not get their own way and who have taken spiteful actions in an attempt to stress you. I have had some threats from tenants - none of them have ever followed through with their threats.

As long as you tell your lender exactly what happened, and are honest with them, they will have heard all this before, and will hopefully understand that separation brings all sorts of emotional and financial issues.

Is there someone impartial in your life who you can share all this with ? An older relative, or long-standing friend, who can help you get your priorities straight ?

Your priority has to be the children. Good luck

Tim none

4 years ago

It is sometimes worth finding a mediator to talk to trouble tenants and work towards an amicable resolution, however that may be achieved. You are probably too emotional and close to the situation to make them listen so (if it's ongoing) it's best to step back and use a third party.


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