Tenant Sent to Jail

by Readers Question

17:14 PM, 3rd March 2014
About 7 years ago

Tenant Sent to Jail

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Tenant Sent to Jail

Hi All

Have just followed a thread from a few years ago about an “abandonment notice”. I found out last week that one of my tenants has been sent to jail for two months. He is a tenant in receipt of housing benefit. The council have suggested that I put an abandonment notice on his door, stating that if he doesn’t return within a week of the notice (which he obviously won’t!), then I am within my right to change the locks and store his belongings for his collection.

I certainly don’t take what the council tell me as gospel and the article I’ve read proves why I shouldn’t!

Anyway, I’m just looking to find out what can be done in this situation as the tenant has been particularly problematic from the start of his tenancy only seven weeks ago and I thought this could be a good way to get rid of him.

I also haven’t received any rent from him! Tenant Sent to jail

All advice appreciated.

Thanks

Natasha



Comments

Mark Alexander

17:23 PM, 3rd March 2014
About 7 years ago

Hi Natasha

You have definitely done the right thing by ignoring the local Councils advice. Did they put that in writing to you by any chance? If you were to follow that advice you could end up with fines running into five or even six figures!!!

From what you have said you are in a position to serve a section 8 notice. That entitles you to seek a possession order via the Courts after a period of two weeks from correctly serving the notice.

I strongly recommend you to seek professional help to do this, it doesn't cost a lot of money to do things properly but it will end up doing so if you get it wrong.

Please take a look at this article >>> http://www.property118.com/tenant-eviction/39099/ - I always recommend Landlord Action and suspect many other members will do so too.

There is also a self help kit available via Tessa Shepperson at Landlord Law which is very good providing you follow all of the instructions to the letter. Personally though, even after having 25 years experience, I would rather pay a bit more and get Landlord Action to deal with a situation like this for me.
.

sharon underwood

19:42 PM, 3rd March 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "03/03/2014 - 17:23":

Glad you said that Mark about not listening to council, I must have been lucky with the tenancy agreement I got online as it had a section saying if the house had been left empty for more than 2 wks I could consider it abandoned & not be made liable for prosecution & that any belongings I can do what I liked with.
I did have shelter try to argue this point but as I pointed out they had made alterations to the contract & signed said adjustments & could therefore not be disputed.
The other thing I found out is that the council HAVE by law to pay rent for up to 52 wks even if tenant is not living at property. This went to the high court so i may just sell up claim my housing benefit & sod off to spain hehe. .but seriously they have still got to pay his rent to you I assume.
Please remember I am not anything close to an expert but as I say if the clause is in the contract its in the contract & it saved my life on this particular occasion...Good Luck

Romain Garcin

20:13 PM, 3rd March 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "sharon underwood" at "03/03/2014 - 19:42":

"I must have been lucky with the tenancy agreement I got online as it had a section saying if the house had been left empty for more than 2 wks I could consider it abandoned & not be made liable for prosecution & that any belongings I can do what I liked with."

I would not want to try to defend that in court...

Mark Alexander

20:18 PM, 3rd March 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "sharon underwood" at "03/03/2014 - 19:42":

Hi Sharon

Romain is right, statute trumps contract every time.

Your clause would have been unenforceable if you had gone to Court.
.

Industry Observer

8:01 AM, 4th March 2014
About 7 years ago

Correct but only because it is a badly written forfeiture clause.

Council advice unbelievable and illegal. Tenancy continues tenant would like to occupy but can't, so is being prevented from doing so rather than choosing and it being an abandonment.

Normal possession procedures unless an intermediary can act and get tenant to surrender. But then why should he LHA can continue at least 6 months while a claimant is in prison or on remand, may depend on there being dependents and other occupiers, but tread carefully

Ian Ringrose

9:03 AM, 4th March 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "sharon underwood" at "03/03/2014 - 19:42":

Have you tried to get direct payment of the rent?

andrew townshend

9:05 AM, 4th March 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "sharon underwood" at "03/03/2014 - 19:42":

had same problem last year,issued sec21,wrote to tenant in prison advising i would keep goods 3months, h/b paid rent for 13weeks. now have new tenant in property. will be having a big bonfire soon. tenant will not be out of prison for many years, if ever. think i did it right?

Natasha Chambers

9:21 AM, 4th March 2014
About 7 years ago

Lots of interesting comments here and i knew it was wise not to listen to council. I do get paid directly from the HB department so shall be chasing them constantly for backlog and to get confirmation of any future payments whilst tenant in question is not there!

sharon underwood

10:56 AM, 4th March 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "03/03/2014 - 20:18":

Hi
I cant understand why if someone signs contract why it would not hold up in court?? I did not even read this agreement it was only when I started to have problems with tenants that I read it BUT they read iit all & as I have said made many adjustments, so they couldn't then say to the courts "oh well it was in small print" etc,
I purchased this agreement from a law site who I assume I could sue IF they had sold me a product that wouldn't stand up in court, the site is called law depot & they are all lawyers so I am confused as to why others think it wouldn't stand up in court?? A few yrs ago I started a law course & the definition of a "contract" is that BOTH parties get something from the contract, but again I am not a lawyer or an expert in anyway shape or form, & from my point of view if it did not stand up in court then I would be within my rights to sue this law firm is that not right???

Mark Alexander

18:03 PM, 4th March 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "sharon underwood" at "04/03/2014 - 10:56":

Possibly, it would depend on the terms of sale.
.

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