My patience is being tested – Should I evict?

by Readers Question

2 months ago

My patience is being tested – Should I evict?

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My patience is being tested – Should I evict?

I currently have a problem with a tenant who has been with me for over 7 years in a HMO renting out a room on an individual AST.

He notified me and the agent that manages the property at the end of February that he has run into financial hardship having lost his job. He stated that he would not be able to make the March payment (due last day of Feb) and has subsequently failed to make the April payment which was due at the end of March.

He requested the agents don’t add any interest onto the debt. The agents asked for a plan and an update a few weeks later. Unfortunately the tenant has not responded to the agent however has picked up the phone on a few occasion when I called him.

I am getting really frustrated as I told the tenant that he has to communicate with the Agent so we can work together to resolve the issue. I feel for the tenant, but his failure to respond to the agent is worrying me. I know the agents letters and emails may be worrying the tenant, but I did explain that by updating them that is the best way!

My questions are 1) Should I evict the tenant? I believe he is already in rental arrears violation
and that a Section 8 can be issued.

2) Have other landlords used a company to do this or is there clear guidelines available in a pack form or a reputable company that can do this?

I am not naturally a hard person but this is testing my patience.

Many thanks

Raj



Comments

Ian Narbeth

2 months ago

Your quickest option will be to issue a s21 notice. You will have to claim for rent arrears separately. However, you need to check that the agents have got all the paperwork in order and any deposit has been properly registered. Subject thereto, get your agents to serve the notice.

escalera

2 months ago

Yes, evict.
Not your business if tenant has hardship. No free lunch in this world.

Gary Nock

2 months ago

Hard as it seems and feels, with a 7 year tenant, the only option now it to evict. Although Shelter and the Labour Party might think it, landlords are not charities or social housing providers. We are in business to make a profit. With some compassion I hasten to add. But we are still businesses. And businesses don't make a profit if the customers don't pay for the goods.

Paul Shears

2 months ago

Priority one: Protect your capital investment. Issue a section 21 having made sure that you have all the proceedure ducks in a row. If in any doubt, seek advice but there isn't much to this.

Ken Johns

2 months ago

If he has been with you for 7 years and is a good tenant, then a couple of months rent arrears is lost in the noise. If he is now out of work, then no doubt he will be claiming some form of benefit so make sure this is directed to you.
May take you a couple more months to sort, but that would be no more than you would have to pay for a change of tenant, and at the end of the day you still have a tenant you know and trust.

Ken Johns

2 months ago

I might add to my last comment that you could issue a section 21 in parallel so that if he does nothing then he goes. Tell him if he gets it sorted you can always withdraw it, should help focus the mind.

Luke P

2 months ago

Whilst non-paying tenants are a pain, it's only two months rent and even then it's one room as part of an HMO. I'm not saying it's right or should be ignored, but your level of patience (or perhaps experience) 'being tested' seems odd. So he owes March and April. Are you not used to voids/arrears and/or have large loans to service? Don't ever go into renting out whole properties as any arrears are on 100% of the rent and not a portion (as in the case of HMOs).

Seething Landlord

2 months ago

If the tenant is willing to speak to you but is not responding to the agent perhaps the best option is to try and clarify the situation yourself so that you know exactly what the issues are. If he is making a new claim for universal credit he may well be caught up in the red tape nightmare and be totally out of his depth, in which case you may be able to guide him through it to mutual advantage.

Ann Shaw

2 months ago

I've been here before. The only option for me was to evict using a s21. As people have mentioned before, make sure ALL the paperwork is up to speed. Did you issue the tenant with an EPC and Gas Safety Certificate as well as register the deposit within 30 days of receiving it? It's unfortunate, but you are not a charity, and your mortgagee won't have any sympathy for you if you suffer a knock-on effect with mortgages payments because of a bad tenant debt.

sam

2 months ago

How many tenants hv bn with u for 7 years or more ?
How many of them gave u no hassle until they lost their job ?
What does it cost to change a tenant ?
How many tenants bother to tell u they r out of a job or in any sort of difficulties ?
How many tenants voluntarily ask for mercy like not adding interest to arrears ?
Why wud he talk to u n not your agent ?
Sounds like a reasonably responsible tenant to me. I think just need a little handling n a bit of help. Plse ask him to contact me on this thread if u don’t want him. I might b able to help if he is in the Birmingham area. I don’t operate HMO but I hv friends who might b able to help.

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