Tenant now in prison and friend looking after property and cats?

by Readers Question

16:52 PM, 28th September 2016
About 2 years ago

Tenant now in prison and friend looking after property and cats?

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Tenant now in prison and friend looking after property and cats?

I rent a small studio to a chap that I have discovered is in prison. He was obviously expecting it (apparently breached a restraining order with his ex) and has left a friend living in the flat, to look after it, including all his belongings and 2 cats, until he gets released.cats

The housing benefit has ceased.

What are the feelings with regards concluding the matter?

Many thanks

Rob



Comments

Neil Patterson

16:53 PM, 28th September 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Rob,

Do you know how long he has and will be away for?

Jay James

17:06 PM, 28th September 2016
About 2 years ago

If the rent is not up to date, evict him.

Robert Rivers

19:54 PM, 28th September 2016
About 2 years ago

I am lead to believe he has been given 22 months Neil.
I understand I can evict him, but unsure of best way to do it and what do I do about the guy living there, can I just go and change the locks, what responsibility do I have for his belongings and cats?

Jay James

20:24 PM, 28th September 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Rivers" at "28/09/2016 - 19:54":

the belongings you will have to look after for a time, then get rid and give the proceeds to him. Eviction - get help from Landlord Action.

Gary Nock

20:25 PM, 28th September 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Robert,

Ignore the fact he has a prison sentence. What you have is a tenant who will not be paying rent, an unauthorised occupier and a couple of cats. Lets break this down.

Now what do landlords do with non-paying tenants? They evict them. Along with the "mate" looking after the cats.

You could try communicating with the tenant via his mate by getting his HMP address and writing a letter, asking him awfully if he would like to surrender the tenancy, and moving his mate out with the cats.But I don't hold out much hope.

I would suggest getting hold of Paul Shampalina at Landlord Action. He more than likely has had experience of this and will know how to go about it. The alternative is to try and do it yourself. Serving Section 8 and Section 21 Notices ( you will need his HMP address to do this) and then theres the issue with the cats. RSPCA springs to mind.

Its a can of worms and you need expert advice on this.

Darlington Landlord

22:35 PM, 28th September 2016
About 2 years ago

if he is on housing benefit i believe they will pay the rent for a period while he is in jail. worth checking out, don't mention someone is visiting to look after the cats.

hmolandlady

12:27 PM, 29th September 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Rob. If you throw anyone or anything out you run the risk of being done for illegal eviction later down the line.

1.Serve a S21 notice on the tenant at the prison. This will have to be accepted by the Prison Governor on behalf of the tenant. You can always give a copy to his mate which will give an expiry date the tenant is expected to leave by.
2. The friend may then liaise with the tenant and agree to move everything out (you could always give him some cash to help this process along). If no one has left by the expiration of the S21 notice you'll need to spend £340 filling out an Order for Possession with your local Court. If he leaves, make sure the friend leaves the keys AND gets the guy in prison to sign a Voluntary Leaving Letter AND takes all the belongings.
3. Once the Order for Possession has been granted, you'll then need to instruct bailiffs.

Can you contact the guy in prison? He may have family willing to give up his tenancy on his behalf - I find mum's are quite sympathetic and dad's are usually embarrassed by their child's actions. They may even agree to pay the rent to keep the property so the child doesn't go back home once released.

The tenant may be hoping to be let out on parole early which quite often happens if they've breached a restraining order. He can also ask the council to pay the housing benefit for up to 4 months direct to you - this should tide you over whilst you get the paperwork in place. If none of this works, try filing for direct payment by the council as the rent hasn't been paid for 8 week's/2 months and provide a tenant statement as evidence. None of it is ideal, but better than a big fine and record for breaching the rules.

The above process could be looked as at damage limitation...........

micky alderson

22:08 PM, 29th September 2016
About 2 years ago

I like Tandori Puss, infuse a medium moggie in some good Tandori Spice for 24hours then cook on a closed charcol burner , make sure you remove all the fur or the old girl next door will grass you to the RSPCA111

brian clement

22:16 PM, 29th September 2016
About 2 years ago

I had an ok tenant sent to Prison for 14 months. I contacted the Prison and had no help from them. I left them my details. They contacted me asking if my tenant was able to return to my flat. I said they could. They released my tenant back to my flat on Tag after only 3 months. I received HB for their 3 months in Prison. I was told that releasing tenants on Tag back to a property after only a few months is quite normal. Thought this may help you.

Chris

12:53 PM, 1st October 2016
About 2 years ago

I believe HB will pay if the sentence is 13 weeks or less.

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