One HMO tenant left after Section 21?

One HMO tenant left after Section 21?

10:11 AM, 4th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago 19

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I own a 6 bed HMO and wish to renovate it and rent out as a whole house. Having served a section 21 several months ago (via my solicitor and agent) all the tenants have now left, except one. The remaining is refusing to leave. We have sent him a letter indicating we will now have to pursue through the courts to evict him, and he will incur charges and costs on top of any rent owed.

My agent has met him and offered him one month’s free rent to go. He still refuses to budge, saying he doesn’t need the money and has nowhere else to go.

Going to court and having him evicted will take 6-8 months minimum I have been told, and I will have to cover the mortgage and bills during this time. The property doesn’t break even unless four rooms are rented. It will cost me a fortune to keep it running.

The law is totally not on the landlord’s side. Any suggestions or thoughts on how I could get him to go?

Or has anyone experienced the court process and costs, so I know what to expect next?

The alternative I thought is to get more tenants in for say 6 months until he leaves to help cover the bills, but we may well end up back in the same position with other tenants.

Many thanks

Doug



Comments

by AdrianB

11:24 AM, 4th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

You could try and find him somewhere else to go and help with removal costs? Alternatively go through the eviction process but start the renovations and conversion back to a house with him still living there Presumably with just one person living there it is no longer classed as an HMO so you start the rip out and conversion

by Carol

11:29 AM, 4th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

It depends on how well you know the tenant. I had a similar situation and the tenant liked the house to himself. However, I knew he was a racist, so I told him that I was moving in a family of a certain nationality and the family were happy for him to keep his room and share the house with him. He moved within days.

by jrey@sky.com

11:36 AM, 4th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

You can apply for an accelerated possession order if your tenants have not left by the date specified in your Section 21 notice.

This is sometimes quicker than applying for a standard possession order and there’s usually no court hearing. It costs £355.

by Mark Weedon

12:02 PM, 4th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

Maybe you need to ask him how much he wants to go.

by Judith Wordsworth

12:26 PM, 4th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

Is his rent inclusive of utilities? Tenancy agreement jointly and severally? If the latter put all the bills into his name.
Could always say that the council have asked if you're willing to temporarily house transient refugees

by Nigel Parry

12:36 PM, 4th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

I think the approach depends on whether you let the rooms on individual AST on the house as a whole AST (e.g. students). The reason I say this, is you state you served a Section 21, not several.
If as a whole, because the property is not vacated, the other 'tenants' still have an obligation to pay rent. This can be a great leverage on the other tenants who will badger the last tenant to leave.
If individual ASTs then it is more difficult.
Going through the eviction process will take months, and I know the temptation is to relet the other rooms, but if you do that then the tenant may have an argument when you come to court to evict that your actions in reletting are contrary to the Section 21 request. It will depend on the Judge as to what happens.
Offer the tenant a mediation service? This will show willing to the Judge. I agree with others that you need to find a sweet spot for the tenant to move out. If nowhere to go is an issue, contact the local council as they have an obligation to rehouse, and despite some actions by Councils in denying this, Government directives are clear that service of a Section 21 is where the obligation starts and not when a bailiff comes knocking. Offer to pay deposit on new premises?
But always get the tenant to agree to surrender the tenancy if you reach an agreement, and don't hand over any money until that declaration is signed and you have the keys in your hand.
I would suggest continuing with eviction proceedings anyway, just in case you can't reach an agreement.
Hope that helps

by stvpim

17:03 PM, 4th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Weedon at 04/10/2021 - 12:02
Agreed. I’ve used “pay to leave” successfully in several situations, they all have thier price and of course it’s how much it’s worth to you for them to go on the quick.
I would suggest that one months rent is no where near enough with this stroppy individual!

by David

17:54 PM, 4th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

Increase the offer.

by Oliver Black

8:19 AM, 5th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

Some good advice from the other commenters, just wanted to point out that the UK law is actually massively on the landlords side compared to the rest of Europe.

A general suggestion, if you put more time into empathising and understanding what they want and their point of view, you're more likely to come to an arrangement amenable to both parties faster & cheaper than the 6 month court process.

The costs during the 6 months is just the cost of business of running an HMO, I assume you factored this in when you were budgeting the renovation?

by helaing56

11:28 AM, 5th October 2021, About 2 weeks ago

Like other comments - you could offer to find the tenant somewhere else to live and offer moving expenses. In the long run it would be cheaper than going through the court process. And remember the courts have a huge backlog of possession cases as they were closed for over 6 months during the pandemic and are not back to full working at the moment. The tenant has the legal right to remain in the property up until the time the bailiffs arrive to evict, which as you say will take months.

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