Repeat Fraudulent Tenants – A Landlords Story and Cry For Help

by Readers Question

15:47 PM, 31st January 2013
About 6 years ago

Repeat Fraudulent Tenants – A Landlords Story and Cry For Help

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Repeat Fraudulent Tenants – A Landlords Story and Cry For Help

Repeat Fraudulent Tenants - A Landlords Story and Cry For HelpThe following Landlords Story about “Repeat fraudulent Tenants” came from a landlord who wishes to remain anonymous but who would also very much appreciate any advice you can offer.

“I let a property to a couple found through agents last year. They have failed to pay any rent since then, save for the deposit and the first month’s rent on securing the tenancy.

The agents had obtained employers references. The tenants also provided a bank statement showing a hefty bank balance.

Following assurances given about payment being made the next day or within a few days which never arrived, I Googled them and found a decision from a Rent Assessment Committee.

It gave the details of the previous landlady who has been contacted and advised that she had eviction proceedings last year and finally had them evicted by bailiffs – the day they moved into my property. The tenants had appealed possession orders and claimed disrepair and harassment which delayed the matter. 

I have this week issued proceedings and am awaiting a hearing date. They have now raised issues of disrepair and harassment with me. 

They have asked for damages, compensation and alternative accommodation whilst the work is being done and I presume that once they receive notice of my application, they will counterclaim or provide a defence.

Any advice that you can provide would be most appreciated. I really just want to get them out of my property and not have to pay them anything at all.

Many thanks”



Comments

Mark Alexander

6:17 AM, 1st February 2013
About 6 years ago

It sounds to me like you are dealing with a professional rent dodger here.

Did your letting agent use a referencing company?

Did your letting agent offer to arrange Rent Guarantee Insurance for you?

If the answer to these questions is no then I suggest you never use this agent again.

I also suggest you register with http://www.landlordreferencing.co.uk/ and http://www.tenantid.co.uk/ and add this tenant to their databases. This service is free and whilst it will not help you get them out it may well prevent them from finding another property when you do.

You really ought to consider taking professional advice on this. The foremost legal authority on these issues is Paul Shamplina at Landlord Action - see >>> http://www.landlordaction.co.uk/site.php

Paul offers a fixed fee service, it isn't cheap but if he manages to get them out a few months quicker his fees will be money well spent.

Good luck!

9:27 AM, 1st February 2013
About 6 years ago

I have a tenant who is 2 months in arrears and I have been advised that I can only now serve a sec 21 notice which will take a further 2 months of lost rent before I can apply for eviction through the courts which could cost me a further £500 plus court fees etc. This has happened to me 3 times in as many years. There seem to be a lot of savvy rent dodgers out there who cost landlords a lot of money. The law must be changed!

Mark Alexander

10:30 AM, 1st February 2013
About 6 years ago

I completely agree Craig, but until it does, we are going to have to start using services like this >>> http://www.property118.com/?p=35711

13:40 PM, 1st February 2013
About 6 years ago

I think you are finding as Mark suggests victims of a professional rent dodger.
The ONLY way to ultimately protect yourself against professional rent dodgers is as Mark states.
RGI or something similar is the only way to recover monies and to pay your mortgage.
I have been in a worse situation than you and have FINALLY learnt my lesson!
I refuse now to take ANY prospective tenant who cannot pass a RGI check.
This means defacto very few DSS tenants will; ever be able to rent my properties or anybody with a history that the RGI underwriters don't like.
I have a similar situation going on as you and so far have been paid £10000 by the RGI company.
Very soon an eviction date will be arranged and the tenant booted out.
It will have cost me £99.00!!
Had I RGI on all my other previous wrongun tenants who stitched me up I would be minted rather than technically bankrupt!!
If LL wish to sleep easy at night and they do not have resources to service a mortgage whilst evicting a tenant they must have RGI.
Taking a tenant on without a RGI policy in force is a gamble pure and simple.
If you as a LL cannot afford to subsidise a tenant who refuse to pay rent until you can evict them then you need to have about 10 month's worth of mortgage payments.
Personally I prefer to now pay £99.00 and never suffer such losses again.
Yes it makes it harder to source tenants; that just shows you how many wronguns there are.
However I'd rather suffer extra voids until a decent tenant comes along than take a wrongun and suffer months of no rent payment.
These circumstances inevitably must lead small LL to invest in property types in areas and tenants who will pass a RGI check.
Defacto this means leaving the HB sector.
All it takes is one wrongun tenant to undo all the supposed advantages of extra cashflow a LHA tenant can bring
I'd rather have less cashflow and a tenant on whom I had RGI.
Like most things in life you have to decide whether to gamble of not!
Me I don't gamble anymore; the HOUSE always wins!!.

Nat Patel

16:43 PM, 1st February 2013
About 6 years ago

Hello, Mark said 100% correct.we must keep away from these professional Agents and rent dodgers.I have been similar situation last September.I am lucky that I went through the letting agent who know me from over 10 years & they let my house.I told them to get rid of them after 3 month they managed to move tenants.But I told agent I am not letting with him again as brought me wrong tenants.Please get professional legal help and good luck.

Recardo Knights

10:20 AM, 3rd February 2013
About 6 years ago

It seems every thing is against the LL but all in favour of bad tenants, The law should be changed in favour of LL, the tenant does not pay they should be out straight away. I have a tenant served with section 21 now. It is the first for me and took the best part of a lay to find and download the forms, find and copy all the information required in tpiplicate, £6 special post, £175 court fees Plus 4 months Partial loss of rent.
I applied to the LHA for direct payment, and told the tenant if they did not sign over the beneft, and pay the top up rewuired i would serve notice so they agreed. Notice was service when the did not pay on the 2nd month. Although I lost the first month rent the benefit paid to me by the council gives some income although app £160pm short,
I informed the council that notice was served and the tenant should leave on 4 feb. I asked if it was their intention to advise them to stay on and wait for the court order and thereby getting a CCJ against them. and all that would entail in the future. I said the tenants had made themselves homless by not paying the rent, and a CCJ would not help them in the future.The council DID not reply
I also told the tenant they may receice this advise but if it led to a CCJ they would find it hard to rent from a private landlord, be refused loans, and may only end up in B&B.
Told the Council last week the tenant should be out on 4th Feb, and could they let me know what was happening with them as the had refused to reply to my text,calls,and emails for the last month. They said they could not pass any information about the tenant to me, but they had susspended payments to me and would i let them know when they had left.
I said they probably new more than me as the tenant had indicate to me by email 4 days ago that the COULD not leave without a court order, and that the were very sorry for having to go down this road. I also asked the council why they could not give me information on my tenant on who's behalf
they were paying housing benefets directly to me, BUT i had to notify them of any changes of my tenant curcumstances who are vertual strangers to me and may have moved out 5 weeks ago. NO reply.
There was an article in the Sutton Guardian.co.uk on Friday 31 Jan: ''Council accused of balliff tactics''. A tenant was advised to wait for the court order and balliffs.
I am owed money I will not be able to recover and the Government allows this. The law should be changed now. If the tenant does not pay the rent they should be moved on, and the govenment should reenburst us and recoup they cost directly from the tenant, through benefits or from their pay packet if working

17:26 PM, 3rd February 2013
About 6 years ago

In this climate choosing not to opt for Rent guarantee or equivalent is a brave decision.
Use a professional agent (of course I am biased), but I see frequent examples of landlords who had not understood the risks they take. Make sure you pick an agent more interested in representing their clients than just closing a deal.

Mary Latham

19:28 PM, 3rd February 2013
About 6 years ago

Good for you for tracing the previous landlord, well done. Ask her to give you written details of her case without making any remarks just the facts. Tell the tenants that you have this information and now intend to produce it in court to prove that they are engaged in fraudulant activities. In fact you have no chance of them be convicted of fraud but they will not know that. Offer to let them walk away if they leave within 7 days having given you written Notice. Make CERTAIN that you get that Notice to prevent them saying that they were illegally evicted and do all this verbally. Even if the landlord will not put it in writing they will not know that, don't name her because I suspect that there have been several victims and they will not know which one you have found.
If you do end up in court take the information with you if you get it in writing. Also take any emails where you gave them Notice that you would be calling at the property during the tenancy, notes from any inspections you have carried out, a copy of the Inventory and any other documents that will prove that you have been a good landlord.
I am not usually a devious landlord but I get sick and tired of hearing stories like this and there comes a time when I play by their rules.
Log them with http://www.landlordreferencing.co.uk to warn other landlords and to help you to feel that they have not just walked away. Please let us know how you get on. Good luck
Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets


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