Section 8 notice procedure

by Readers Question

8:37 AM, 9th October 2013
About 6 years ago

Section 8 notice procedure

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Section 8 notice procedure

I have served section 8 notice to my tenant because she was over 2 months behind with rent, I gave her another 1 months notice which ends on 12th Oct. She claims housing benefit and I e-mailed them last week to tell them shoe owes over £1,200 they said they will look into it?

I have been told that she has been to Egypt twice in the last couple of months, and she is planning on moving out there permanently to marry someone just after Christmas, but she doesn’t know that I know this.

She has told me she will see if council will find her another house but I know the council will tell her not to move until I get a court order. I was planning on applying for a court order which will cost me another £100 and then will probably have to get bailiffs in to evict her maybe sometime before Christmas, I was then planning on putting a small claim against her through the court which will cost me again and might be granted £5 a week or something similar? I will be lucky to get this done before she goes and I don’t think a CCJ will matter in Egypt. Section 8 notice procedure

Is there anything else I can do to get her out of the property? will council pay her rent and arrears? any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Andy



Comments

Mark Alexander

8:45 AM, 9th October 2013
About 6 years ago

Hi Andy

This tenant is bang out of order. Whilst it can never be justified it is understandable why some landlords take the law into their own hands and evict tenants illegally isn't it? She would have a very hard job to fight a legal battle with you from Egypt and it would be uneconomical for her to do so. I certainly wouldn't condone such action though, you have a reputation to protect.

Did you get a guarantor?

If not you may just have to cut your losses on this one and chalk it up as a learning experience.

I will leave it to others who let to benefits tenants to comment further as I don't operate in that sector and I've never used section 8 to gain possession personally.

Not that it will help you immediately but it may in future - check out my strategy here >>> http://www.property118.com/landlords-buy-to-let-property-investment-strategy/finding-perfect-tenants-and-minimising-risk/
.

Romain Garcin

9:18 AM, 9th October 2013
About 6 years ago

As you are seeking possession through s.8 on grounds on rent arrears the court will make a money order in addition to the order for possession (assuming they do grant possession).
Ie. there is no need to start a separate money claim.

You should indeed have her housing benefits paid directly to you ASAP.

andy lyons

9:55 AM, 9th October 2013
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain " at "09/10/2013 - 09:18":

Thanks Mark and Romain,

I have no intentions of evicting her illegally as I have heard some horror stories about this before resulting in the landlord being fined in court, but I can understand why some landlords do not follow the system.

No I haven't got a guarantor but will definitely use this option in future tenancy agreements, and maybe I should ask for working tenants only like so many other landlords. (thanks for the useful link)

one mistake I have made is not giving a S21 notice at the same time, if she pays back some of the arrears, I don't think the court will grant eviction.

Thanks for the advice about not needing to put in a separate money claim because I used S8, I suppose this is a bit less money I need to spend.

My best hope is that she goes this weekend, if not that HB pay something towards arrears, I will still follow up eviction through court and hope she is evicted soon!

thanks again for advice

Damien Pritchard

14:12 PM, 9th October 2013
About 6 years ago

Hi Andy

Apply to the council straight away for direct payments. They haven't got a choice if over 8 weeks in arrears.
Some councils do offer to pay the arrears and continue to pay you directly if you withdraw the notice and let the tenant stay for at least a further 12 months. Try and get this agreement with them, then once the new AST is signed and she does leave for Egypt, you can inform the council they must continue to pay her rent until you re-let the property as per the AST. As with all councils, you've got to be pro-active with them on that, but threats of legal action etc usually help.

andy lyons

23:00 PM, 9th October 2013
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Damien Pritchard" at "09/10/2013 - 14:12":

I have e-mailed council and given all details regarding arrears, but haven't mentioned I have served section 8 notice, I will have to see what they say but it sounds like I should definitely tell them, Thanks

Damien Pritchard

23:15 PM, 9th October 2013
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "andy lyons" at "09/10/2013 - 23:00":

Make sure you speak to the homelessness team, stating that unless it gets sorted they'll soon have another case file open!

David Sweeney

8:44 AM, 10th October 2013
About 6 years ago

"Housing Benefit" department and "Housing" department usually have separate budgets. If that is the case with your council, HB won't be the slightest bit worried that 'Housing's budget is going to be affected.

Damien Pritchard

12:55 PM, 10th October 2013
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dave Reaney" at "10/10/2013 - 08:44":

The last couple of cases I've worked on that this "incentive" was used, the arrears (up to £1000) were paid off by the homelessness team, and the housing benefit then continues as normal, but being paid directly to the landlord.

So whoever the homelessness team belong to, I suppose it comes out of that dept's budget. But they do only have a limited amount to do this with (that's if it is even still going on) so for that reason, get on the blower to them asap and ask.

13:11 PM, 11th October 2013
About 6 years ago

Just for future reference, if you have a clause in your tenancy agreement that requests HB payments be paid direct to landlord, then council have no choice but to do this from day one.
You will not have to wait for a tenant to be in arrears before requesting this.

Damien Pritchard

2:03 AM, 12th October 2013
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Julie Ford" at "11/10/2013 - 13:11":

I've had experience of that clause Julie... The councils I've used that on insist that if the agreed rent on the tenancy is below what I expected, and was only reduced to accommodate the tenant then yes they would pay direct.

i.e.: the lha rate was £600, i advertise for £625, but agree to reduce to £600 if I get direct payments.
Also, if you use an agent, and your agent agrees with the council to waive their agency fee, they will almost certainly pay direct.

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