Tenant in custody!

by Readers Question

9:32 AM, 14th March 2018
About 8 months ago

Tenant in custody!

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Tenant in custody!

My tenant was arrested last week and is still in custody. She is 1 month into a new 6 month AST.

I understand she was involved in some kind of drug deal (on behalf of her boyfriend) – not in my property. The day after being arrested the police came back to search the flat – obviously took the door off rather than calling me so now sorting that! The police won’t even acknowledge they have been in – ‘data protection sir’

I use the standard RLA ASTs. If she is convicted of a drugs offence do I have any grounds to serve her notice and end the tenancy?

She will not be 2 months in arrears for another 6 weeks – if that happens I assume I can apply for a Section 8 possession.

I look forward to any advice from fellow landlords who have experienced this.

Jon



Comments

terry sullivan

9:42 AM, 14th March 2018
About 8 months ago

police have no idea re data protection

the deal was not on your premises--so police had no grounds for breaking the door down--why not contact you--ask them to cover the cost

evict the tenant--S8 i believe will cover this

JO CHAPMAN

10:07 AM, 14th March 2018
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by terry sullivan at 14/03/2018 - 09:42
Under Section 18 of PACE the Police have the right to enter and search any premises under the control of a person, after their arrest, for evidence of like offences. They will not reimburse you unfortunately. I would issue a S8 if she is 8 weeks in arrears or a S21 if she manages to pay her rent. You don't have to have a reason

CARIDON LANDLORD SOLUTIONS

11:42 AM, 14th March 2018
About 8 months ago

Dear Jon,
I am sorry to hear what you have experienced such issues.
Remand prisoners can claim Housing Benefit for up to 52 weeks and 6 months if on remand if claiming Universal Credit.
You could also evict the tenant under s8 under breech of tenancy.
Please feel to give a member of our team a call on 02037289937 for further advice and assistance.

Gunga Din

11:44 AM, 14th March 2018
About 8 months ago

If the Police won't acknowledge they've been in your flat, why not report a break in to them? If you're involving insurance you'll need a crime number anyway.

Robert Mellors

12:52 PM, 14th March 2018
About 8 months ago

The police will not re-imburse you for the damage caused by them breaking in, and if they then secured the property, e.g. got it boarded up, then they will invoice you for this cost as well.

I don't know what is in the terms and conditions of your tenancy agreements, but presumably you can add the cost of damages to the tenant's rent account, which may push her over the 8 weeks/2 months rent arrears level such that you can serve the Section 8 Notice based on rent arrears (Ground 8). Alternatively, or in addition to the Ground 8, you can still issue the s8 Notice based on other grounds, and also issue the s21 Notice.

You also need to let Housing Benefit (or Universal Credit) know that she is in prison and that you want the benefit (HB or UC rent element) to be paid direct to you. If you are unfamiliar with this process or have any trouble getting this in place then you may be wise to ask Caridon to help you do this. You may also be able to ask the DWP to make a "third party payment" to you towards any rent arrears.

You should try to contact your tenant in prison and ascertain how long they may be "inside" for, and then see if she would be willing to surrender her tenancy so as to prevent to accumulation of rent arrears. Any tenancy surrender should be in writing, if she is agreeable then you may need to send her a Deed of Surrender to sign (and have witnessed), and of course provide her with a stamped addressed envelope for returning this. Liaison with the prison's Housing Support Worker may assist with this process.

Chris Daniel

20:28 PM, 14th March 2018
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by terry sullivan at 14/03/2018 - 09:42
Yes the Police can ! An Inspector can authorise the search of a detainees residence if they believe there may be illegal items there. ( that’s the short version, as I don’t suppose anyone is interested in the regurgitation of Section 18(1) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act - PACE )

jonney

10:18 AM, 15th March 2018
About 8 months ago

Thanks for the advice.
The tenant wasn't on benefits as was full time working and I doubt she will start applying for benefits from her cell!!
She will clock 2 months' arrears in 4 weeks' time so I undertand my most straight forward route is a Section 8 2 month arrerars one. To use other Section 8 grounds I need proof she is in custody and the police will tell me nothing so I have no evidence she is - only what the neighbours and her mother says. Model tenant for 4 years then this!!
Thanks again

CARIDON LANDLORD SOLUTIONS

13:38 PM, 15th March 2018
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by jonney at 15/03/2018 - 10:18
Dear Jonney,

Perhaps her mother can obtain a letter from her daughter stating she is in Custody.

When the police entered the property they would have left some paperwork to show that they entered, maybe you could use that to support your Section 8 or ask the tenant's mother to see whether the daughter would be willing to surrender the tenancy.

info@thukral.co.uk

16:49 PM, 16th March 2018
About 8 months ago

Aim for Surrendering tenancy will be the best option. As suggested, contact your tenant in prison with deed of surrender to sign and return duly witnessed possibly by prison officer. Then Your tenant can arrange with her contact to reach out to you to collect her belongings. This is best option to surrender the tenancy.
Best of luck!
Raj

Rob Crawford

17:46 PM, 19th March 2018
About 8 months ago

The best way forward would be to contact the tenant and ask her to write a letter to you that surrenders the tenancy and authorises a relative / friend to put her possessions into storage. She is unlikely to want to run up any arrears so I fail to see why she would not think this is a good way forward for all involved.


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