A right mess to sort out

by Readers Question

10:23 AM, 21st October 2016
About 2 years ago

A right mess to sort out

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A right mess to sort out

Ok….I’ve got a right mess to try and sort out. I had a couple move into my property 18 Months ago, six months later they split up and she moved out, giving us written confirmation of this. We were hesitant to offer him a new 6 months tenancy until we saw regular payments. He was claiming housing benefit which he paid us until 4 months ago, served a section 21, court date next week.messy situation

We found out today he left the property 6 months ago, was still claiming housing benefit. Also we found out she never left the property and still resides there! We only found out this because she appeared in the local court for stealing £30k from residents of a care home, and had given her address as my property. Speaking with the neighbours confirmed this!

So where do I stand? Is she legally allowed in the property? All court papers have been served against him, we do not know where he has gone and is not contactable!

Any advise would be grateful.

Scott



Comments

Neil Patterson

10:26 AM, 21st October 2016
About 2 years ago

What a pickle Scot.

I think you are going to need professionals on this or at least someone with more experience than myself.

Please see our tenant eviction page >> https://www.property118.com/tenant-eviction-2/

Dr Rosalind Beck

9:21 AM, 22nd October 2016
About 2 years ago

I have no idea whether this would apply in your case but you might be able to tell her she will owe you double rent from the point at which her own notice expired as she is kind of like a squatter I think. This is according to the Rent Distress Act. This might be over-ridden by the contract you gave to her male partner though (although she might not know that). Worth running past any adviser you talk to. Good luck.

Hazel de Kloe

17:39 PM, 22nd October 2016
About 2 years ago

Crickey...that is an interesting one Scott. I've never come across anything like this before either. I definitely agree with Neil that you should speak to eviction specialists ASAP.

Apologies if I have misunderstood, did you actually go ahead and issue a new tenancy solely in his name? If so, together with her letter of surrender, she should not be entitled to be living there in my opinion. I would have thought that once the court grants you possession, that you will then have to look at evicting her as a squatter, and you may even be able to run this alongside the case against him, however I am not an expert in this subject.

We're you self-managing, or was an agency involved?

19:10 PM, 22nd October 2016
About 2 years ago

Make sure that the local authority are aware for Council Tax purposes that they have been still resident - the newspaper article will come in handy for that.

Craig / LGFA92

Harlequin Garden

17:18 PM, 24th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Some time ago I posted a comment for help as my HMO had been assessed as being no longer an HMO and all tenancies were subject council tax. This has I think been dealt with by the HMO officer who said very bluntly 'well it's not going to be affordable housing then is it, and this is what this system is all about' - he advised me to put in more shared areas which I am doing but as the rent is 'all inclusive' wondering how to go about mitigating my losses - at the moment I am losing rent on a room as I am turning this into a new shared kitchen, I'm 'happy' to meet the costs of this obviously with multiple appliances but knowing tenants as I do , if there is a free plug in there then they'll use it, likewise will leave things on - which is why I have card meters in their rooms for electricity. I had thought about putting card meters in but that does mean that only one can use at the same time without a fight about whose electricity it is. I know from another property that when I stopped 'all inclusive' for the electricity and put in a pre payment meter (with a top up from me each month on how much I felt they should use and they topped up any excess) the uses dropped dramatically - halved even if not more. This was a shared house with some sort of co-operative going on (i.e. they managed to split this 'extras' bill without too much fighting).

Any suggestions on how I can limit the usage/wastage of power with multiple users who are not related in any way or am I crying for the moon here.

As for the council tax issue I received multiple letters for the units and responded to the council tax department who told me that nothing was outstanding and I've never heard any more and I've been issued with another license.

Darlington Landlord

23:35 PM, 24th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Some thoughts - Can you still get old fashioned coin meters anymore? or a communal card. If they have sockets in their rooms do you need to provide free sockets in the kitchen or just hard wired appliances? Can you charge a reasonable amount on top of the current rent with the condition that they will all have to pay equally say every month for anything above a generous level of usage and monitor it with Hive or another smart option?

H B

6:25 AM, 25th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Harlequin Garden" at "24/10/2016 - 17:18":

You could build little cages around the power points to prevent them bring used by unauthorised devices.

On the other hand it might make the place feel less like home for the tenants.


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