10:08 AM, 21st August 2020, About A year ago 12
To make a long story short… Tenant of about seven years standing finally became intolerably unreliable towards the end of last year – the rent was not paid on time and in full even once in eighteen months.
We’d been as helpful as possible with offers to arrange staged payments, refunding her deposit, referring her to places where help was available (local authority grants) etc, so finally, reluctantly a section 21 notice was issued.
It matured – she didn’t move.
We got a possession order – she didn’t move.
We applied for enforcement – paid the fee and a bailiff was due to evict her on 25 March. On that day the bailiff phoned, said he wasn’t going there because of COVID-19 and that was that!
Since then, fortunately, have had some direct payment from Housing Benefit and then Universal Credit, but the payment stopped on 8 July – no payment (no notification, no contact, nothing).
We then learn that on 13 June she was given a social housing place, but she hasn’t finished emptying my property, nor returned the keys nor surrendered the tenancy.
I have taken legal advice and have been told that the tenancy therefore still exists and that I am not yet able to take possession of my own property. According to reports from neighbours, the tenant returns from time to time to collect more possessions, although it seems that the main items of furniture such as beds, white goods, sofa, chairs etc. have been removed.
The tenant is obviously living comfortably somewhere else, and getting her benefits to pay for it while using my property as a convenient storage facility. UC will not pay me any more in respect of rent, although the tenancy still exists.
As far as I know, the Bailiff is still “Working From Home” (there’s a joke) and this tenant now has TWO tenancies in her name, and, as far as I can see until this case comes to the top of a very long list of outstanding bailiff warrants I can’t have my house back, but she hasn’t even lived there since June!
There must be sense and justice in this somewhere, but I am dammed if I can see it?
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