Should I start eviction process?

Should I start eviction process?

8:48 AM, 2nd May 2013, About 11 years ago 8

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Should I start eviction processI have a lady tenant in one of my flats who has been there for many years, up to now a model tenant. Over the winter she became ill and had to quit her job. She has tried to get housing benefit and I believe that eventually the local authority will meet its obligation.

The problem is that I have had no rent for five months now whilst the housing office procrastinates. Financially I cannot go without this income any longer being owed about three thousand pounds by now. My letting agents with the tenants permission have chased the council to no avail. I am reluctant to start eviction proceedings but am beginning to think this may be the only way forward.

Have you had any experience that would help me formulate a course of action? I would like to hear others’ thoughts on this.

Thank you


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Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

9:02 AM, 2nd May 2013, About 11 years ago

Hi Maggie

I can totally appreciate your reluctance, what a horrible moral dilemma!

One has to wonder what your letting agent has been doing for 5 months?

If you have a lot of money in the bank I can understand why you would want to help. Whether you can afford to take such a massive hit on your cashflow isn't really the issue here though is it? You are a private landlord and your property was no doubt an investment. You are not a charity at the end of the day!

Under these circumstances I would have issued a section 8 notice and a section 21 notice simultaneously as soon as the second rent payment was missed. That might have helped your tenant as it would demonstrate the urgency to resolve the situation to your tenant and to the authorities she is claiming from. If I were you I would be asking your agents why they have prevaricated for so long. They have a duty of care to you and 5 months is a ridiculous amount of time to wait before even considering whether to serve notices.

Only you can decide what to do Maggie but I would suggest that you serve notices ASAP and also instruct Debt Collection. If you don't trust your agent to do this for you, please see our legal section on the navigation bar above. If you hover over that section, links to my articles about Debt Collection and Tenant Eviction will appear below.

You may not need to evict your tenant if the authorities realise the seriousness of the situation as they may backdate the claims and settle up with you. They may also be able to arrange emergency financial support to help your tenant to pay off the arrears. They are more likely to act if your tenant walks into their offices in tears with eviction notices served by a solicitor and letters from a debt collection company. I know it seems cruel but sometimes you need to be cruel to be kind and this may well be one of those situations. You need to look after yourself as well as your tenant.

Remember, you are not a charity.

I hope that helps.

Paul Shamplina

10:35 AM, 2nd May 2013, About 11 years ago

Hi Maggie,

I presume your tenant moved in on an assured short hold tenancy agreement, as you say she moved in many years ago. If this is the case you have to serve a Section 8 Notice for rent arrears breach, which is a 14 day notice. If she fails to make payment to you, then you will have to apply to the court for a hearing date, which can take 6-8 weeks go before the judge and obtain a possession order and money order. By all means, if you need some urgent help, please call me on our helpline 020 3411 9455 and we can start the process.

Sally T

12:01 PM, 2nd May 2013, About 11 years ago

We have been through this several times believe it or not, the best thing you can do for your tenant is serve her an eviciton notice, if she takes it to the council it will speed up her appilication. The council know that when you evict her it will be down to them to rehouse her,so it's in their interest to prevent this.
If you know the tenant to speak to it might be worth explaining what your doing and that it should help her to sort things out quicker, but also expalin that if the council don'tsort things out you will have to go through with it.
We've gone as far as to go to the council with the tenant, sounds crazy but we've found it the quickest way to get answers. As she's over 8 weeks in arrears you can also fill out a form that will get any future payments paid directly to you, don't under estimate how handy this is. If she can't afford her rent she will probably owe other people money, it surprising the silly things people do when recieving a large sum of housing benifit (espically if it's back dated).
Good Luck 🙂

Tessa Shepperson

6:47 AM, 3rd May 2013, About 11 years ago

If you want to know what legal options are available to you, you may find this little website helpful.

It just sets out the courses of action available to you in a clear way.

Mick Roberts

7:23 AM, 3rd May 2013, About 11 years ago

You YOURSELF go to tenant, get her to sign u FULL permission letter. I have full detailed ones, I bought these in for the Government 15 years ago when nothing existed (Mark may get details off me). The Council now uses their own permission letter, but it won't cover your if's & buts. Get this faxed to the Council.
Explain to tenant u r doing eviction notice ONLY to get HB paid.
Get eviction notice (tenant don't even have to see it-I'm sure come people will legally correct me on that, but for HB purposes, get it to them first) faxed to Council. Most councils HAVE to pay claim within 14 days of eviction notice.
With HB tenants-I specialise in HB-u have to work with them a bit. Ring Council, ask WHAT they need to get this claim solved, it might be something simple, or tenant may be fibbing to u or council-This happens all the time. These HB authorities make it so hard for u if u don't know the system.
When u ring 'em, log time date of call & persons name, as they can bring up past calls if that person doesn't do what they supposed to do.

16:55 PM, 3rd May 2013, About 11 years ago

Maggie , the benefit system is a nightmare for those using it for the first time . Your tenant has to be getting some sort of benefit JSA , DLA or something else paid by DWP before the council will finalise her Housing benefit (Local housing allowance). You need to find out from your tenant what she is getting and issue your tenant with a Section 8 eviction notice which she should take to the housing benefit dept. They will then fast track her LHA application. If shes not getting or is still waiting to hear about DWP benefit then she will still get no LHA. You would then need to tell her to seek advice from the CAB or framework . Either way still issue the eviction notice as you may eventually have to safeguard your own financial safety.

9:24 AM, 13th May 2013, About 11 years ago

Evict using a Sect.21 because the council will act as if you are a social landlord and use you! they will not help until you force them to. Using a legal method of eviction makes them , by law , have to rehouse the evicted person immediately. I had this problem with Thanet council. My ex tenant was grateful!!

Maggie Dale

18:07 PM, 29th May 2013, About 11 years ago

I would like to thank all of you who left comments and suggestions. I heard today that the council have at last go into gear will be paying the full amount directly to my letting agents on Monday next. Plus the tenant who did owe a small amount has also paid.

A total of 2,000 pounds, quite a result.

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