Tenants Will Skip Rent to Pay for Christmas, says Shelter

Tenants Will Skip Rent to Pay for Christmas, says Shelter

16:34 PM, 12th December 2011, About 12 years ago 17

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Homeless charity Shelter is predicting thousands of tenants will skip their rents to pay for Christmas.

Renters are putting festive presents, food and drink before the costs of housing and risking their homes rather than spending within their means and protecting the roof over their heads.

The charity carried out the survey in Scotland and found one in 12 renters is ready to go into rent arrears over Christmas and the New Year.

Graeme Brown, the director of Shelter Scotland, said: “Too many people are risking their homes by missing or delaying rent and mortgage payments. With Christmas just around the corner, many can feel pressured to spend money they simply don’t have.

“Combined with the existing daily struggle and misery felt by thousands of families, the cost of the festive period could lead some to breaking point.

“The cost of housing is putting increasing pressure on day to day finances and forcing some families to ultimately risk their homes in order to pay for Christmas. As Scotland begins to feel the full impact of savage cuts to jobs and housing benefits, and as more people face even greater debt, the perfect storm is brewing for a rise in homelessness.

“We urge people to think very carefully before delaying rent or mortgage payments. It can seem like a quick fix, but can have long lasting implications.”

Meanwhile, banks and building societies blame Christmas debts on failing to budget and save.

On average, most people save around £423 for Christmas – with 30% putting money aside each month from the New Year.

Saving that amount means putting away £38 a month.

Zack Hocking, of The Co-operative Bank, said: “Christmas is one of the most expensive times of the year, and we know it can be difficult to get into the habit of putting money aside regularly.”

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23:56 PM, 12th December 2011, About 12 years ago

If a tenant of mine did that I would evict them.
I have to pay my mortgage they have to pay the rent.
I will have a s--t christmas as I have no surplus monies; so why should they not pay the rent and me subsidise their lifestyle.
I am afraid the banks don't care what time of the year is; they want paying irrespective.
So I am afraid any tenant of mine who doesn't pay on time even if they attempt to catch up in the New Year would not interest me.
They WILL BE evicted.
I am a business not a charity.
If my tenants don't like it they can f--k off and go and find some other mug landlord; but go with a damaged credit rating and negative infoe on landlordreferencing,co.uk.
Life is all about choices; if you are a tenant the rent is paid BEFORE ANYTHING else, end of!!

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

9:49 AM, 13th December 2011, About 12 years ago

My policy will be to serve notice on any tenant who thinks this is a good idea. There are plenty of good people that want to rent quality properties and that's what I provide. Fortunately, I have guarantors for most of my lets now and they are copied into all correspondence which could result in me calling upon their guarantees. I am toying with the idea of giving any tenant who goes into arrears by more than 14 days until the expiry of the section 21 notice to bring their rent up to date. I may then consider offering them a new tenancy for a fee of £200 subject to them being able to secure guarantor arrangement which is acceptable to me. Therefore, any tenant who chooses not to pay me on time will incur an additional charge of £200 if they wish to stay in my property. They will be better off doing without or funding Christmas another way. I, like Paul Barrett who has commented above, will also report any late payers to LRS and TenantID. Shelters warning to tenants is a good one. Tenants may well become homeless if they do not pay their rent this Christmas. I'm not Ebenezer Scrooge but neither am I a charity, although I do try to do my bit for the right ones. I just hope Shelter haven't created this propaganda to plant the idea of skipping rent this Christmas. If tenants do end up homeless I'm pretty sure it won't be a Shelter Soup Kitchen they visit when they are homeless, they don't have any so far as I know. I've also heard they raise millions to help the homeless but they've never even laid a brick to build a hostel to house anybody in their time of need. Is it any wonder that landlords like me don't support Shelter? PS - I've just made a donation to a homeless person who I will never know and never meet via the Salvation Army. They put a card through my door with a reply paid envelope with a nice letter. The idea is you return the card with money in it and they pass it to a homeless person. I've enclosed £20 and written the following message in the card:-

"If you can get access to Twitter (public library maybe) you will find me @iAmALandlord. We are not all Ebenezer Scrooge! Happy Christmas. Mark"

Neil Patterson

11:55 AM, 13th December 2011, About 12 years ago

Ho Ho bloody ho!

If any of my tenants were try this one on they would get served notice with their Christmas Card and a box of Paxo as a present because so far as I'm concerned they could get stuffed !

Mary Latham

12:00 PM, 13th December 2011, About 12 years ago

I think that Shelter are being disrespectful to the many good tenants who ALWAYS pay their rent on time and in full no matter what other pressures they are under. 1 in 12 is not my experience nor is it the experience of most landlords that I talk to and I have seen many Christmass as a landlord.

In my opinion there are those tenants who do not see rent as high priority and those who do and the time of year has little to do with this attitude.

Mark that is a great campaign by the Salvation Army - in my opinion they are the unsung heros who never waste the money that they raise on "campaigns" they just give their time freely and get on with caring about those who need them. God bless all of them for standing in the cold and asking for our help and then giving up their family time at Christmas to do a great job.

12:57 PM, 13th December 2011, About 12 years ago

Bluntly stated but accurate. In particular the point that there is an expectation that someone else will subsidise our lifestyle choices. The idea that we deserve what we see on TV should have been left behind by the age of 10!! Grown ups are entirely capable of making better choices and taking personal responsibility for the consequences of those choices.

John Curtis

15:47 PM, 15th December 2011, About 12 years ago

Welcome to the real world of being a landlord. All my properties are managed by a letting and management agency and have been for the last 5 years.
Within that time my maintenance costs, loss of rent, voids and damage by tenants has increased out of all expectations. The business has gone from profitable to a liability.
I have now given 3 of my tenants notice to leave as they are behind with their rent, I expect them to leave by the end of Feb.2012, so I expect to be left with the present arrears, no rent until they leave plus a void until we relet, plus the damages they have incurred. The 6 weeks deposit will help to soften the blow but the 95 days waiting period will do nothing but encourage them to claim that they did not do it or it was like it when they moved in regardless of the inventory.
The whole business has been taken over by do gooders who believe landlords can do no good and tenants no wrong.
When will we get back to sanity when banks do business, landlords buy property and tenants pay rent!

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

16:01 PM, 15th December 2011, About 12 years ago

Sounds like it's time for you to switch agents John, I'm not having problems like that.

John Curtis

16:04 PM, 15th December 2011, About 12 years ago

I'm in the process but can't completely rock the boat yet.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

16:11 PM, 15th December 2011, About 12 years ago

I've heard lots of good reports about NPG Lettings for managing portfolio's nationally. Let me know if you need a Director level intro. They have agents nationally and operate from a central hub so it doesn't matter where you are based. You also get access to your account online. As I say, they have a very good reputation but I have to be honest, I don't use them myself as we manage ours between family.

8:54 AM, 16th December 2011, About 12 years ago

After my blunt posting and on reading Mark's response perhaps on cooler reflection his pragmatic approach might be a more appropriate mthod of dealing with such non-rent payment.
I think such pragmatism however is only generally possibly if one has sufficient funds to pay the mortgage without rent receipt.
I am not one of those persons and that is why there was the initial blunt response to the item.
Were I to have 'spare' funds then I believe such pragmatism would be forhconing.
That is not mine or lots of other landlords situation who are in the position of just in time payment to pay the mortgage.
Do these tenants thinks we have buffer funds just for them when they make other spending decisions and even if we have those funds why would these teannts expect or presume that we should use those funds to cover their decision not to pay rent as they need the money for Christmas!!!!
It is breach of contract plain and simple which is all a landlord needs to decide to get rid of them.
Unless the landlord wishes to exercise extreme forbearance, then the tenant must expect there will be a risk to the tenancy.
With the increasing use of social networking and RGI policies being taken out by Landlords the days of moving onto another mug landlord are rapidly coming to a close.
Perhaps Shelter should impress upon tenant the impoertance of keeping to their tenancy conditions.
After all can you remember that much about last Christmas.
Would you as a tenant really wish to lose the roof over your head for the sake of those few days!!?

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