Paying bills for tenants after their notice expired

by Readers Question

13:23 PM, 13th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Paying bills for tenants after their notice expired

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Paying bills for tenants after their notice expired

Our tenants notice expired last week and they have said the council has advised them to stay until they can be housed. Their rent has always included bills. bills

They have offered to pay some rent, but we are not sure if, by accepting it, we are legitimising their continued occupation of the property. However, we don’t know how long we can afford to pay the bills as they are a family of 4 and have the heating on all the time!

They have complained to the council about harassment and we now don’t know how and even if we are allowed to approach them about the bills.

We plan on starting court proceedings for eviction as soon as we can but need to know what to do while process is happening.

Advice appreciated

Shannon



Comments

Neil Patterson

13:27 PM, 13th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Shannon,

Mark has told me that If tenants gave Notice to Quit (NTQ) and are not moving the landlord can claim mesne profits (two times rent) and immediately apply for an eviction order without notice.

However I can see this one getting messy so best to make contact with Paul Shamplina and his team at Landlord Action. Please see his members profile >> https://www.property118.com/member/?id=190

Mark Alexander

13:32 PM, 13th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Yes that's exactly what I would do Neil, despite having three decades of experience!

Landlord Action deal with problems like this day in day out, thankfully, I don't

Gary Nock

23:14 PM, 13th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Horses For Courses

Problems with car - Mechanic
Problems with Boiler - Gas Engineer
Problems with Tenants - Landlord Action

Kelly Joanna

12:40 PM, 14th July 2016
About 2 years ago

your question reads as though you have issued notice to vacate to them. Based on the fact they have not left, you can only evict them with a court order as you probably know. You cannot refuse rental payments from them regardless of how the rent is made up. This will go against you in court if they issue a counter claim. It is better to get something rather than nothing at all. Sadly many authorities have nowhere to house such people and are still advising people to stay until bailiff. What they don't advise is how traumatic this is for a tenant to go through. This aside, do not visit them at the property. Court method of delivery is Royal Mail 1st class with proof of postage for any relevant correspondence; not recorded delivery as many think. Apply to the court for possession ASAP.

Lenny Felix

13:57 PM, 14th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Ask the Council what their intention is with this advice to the tenants and ask if they are aware that the Housing Minister (have a look at his website) has written to all councils informing them that they must help tenants rather than waiting for it to go to court, bailiffs, etc. Engage your MP if council are not responding.

Sharon Betton

14:45 PM, 14th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Kelly Joanna" at "14/07/2016 - 12:40":

There is a rental liability on the tenant until the date the Court orders possession. Only after that date, when they become illegal occupiers, must you not accept any rent payments. No local authority should be saying "stay put until we can house you", but would advise stay put until you become homeless or within 28 days of it, ie, when the court orders possession. In my own local authority, this would then meal temporary accommodation is provided whilst the rest of the case is investigated - ie for vulnerability, intentionality and local connection.

Kelly Joanna

16:30 PM, 14th July 2016
About 2 years ago

I don't agree with your comment. The date the court orders them to vacate is not necessarily the date you get possession. If they don't leave you need a bailiff. They are only illegal occupiers if they have been evicted by a court bailiff and then return to the property at which point they are trespassers. Even after they leave, if they owed you arrears why wouldn't you accept payment from them if they were trying to clear the balance? As for the Council, they have been recommended to stop using the 'wait for bailiff' script and try and intervene early. But if there is no temporary accommodation (and definitely no social housing) what can they do other than offer the afore mentioned?

Romain Garcin

16:41 PM, 14th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sharon Betton" at "14/07/2016 - 14:45":

Actually, unless otherwise ended, the tenancy will continue until the possession order is executed by bailiffs.

Therefore, rent continues to be due even after the expiry of the possession order, and all other obligations continue to apply as well.

Kate Mellor

17:03 PM, 14th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Yes, as others have stated the end of the notice period does not end the tenancy, so rent is still due and payable until you are given vacant possession of the property. Take whatever you can get.

Don't 'wait for the council to be able to house them' this will never happen as demand far outstrips the availability of council accommodation. Apply for a possession order as soon as humanly possible because if they are waiting for the council they will be waiting forever!

Communicate with them by mail (keep copies on file) or email and make sure you are professional and courteous in everything you say, that way you will have a record in writing of all contact should they claim harassment. You are perfectly entitled to issue invoices for payment and reminders and final notices etc but you must not interfere with their quiet enjoyment of the property by visiting without a minimum of 24 hours written notice & with their agreement; or haranguing them in person or in any other way. Don't allow the creation of any avenue/excuse for them to challenge your application for your possession order. 'Keep your eyes on the prize'.

Nick Pope

7:51 AM, 16th July 2016
About 2 years ago

I am open to correction on this but you can take payments but they must be accepted only as "compensation for use and occupation" which would include the services.
I also suggest that you talk to the service providers, explain the situation and see if they would put the services in the name of the tenants.


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