When a tenant denies being a tenant Huh?

by Readers Question

9:25 AM, 7th November 2014
About 5 years ago

When a tenant denies being a tenant Huh?

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When a tenant denies being a tenant Huh?

I doubt lt if anyone here has ever had this problem. I have a tenant 30 yr old Chap that has been renting out a flat for 2 years for £475 per month, his housing benefit was then reduced under new law not to pay under 35s a one bed rate (£450), so Housing Benefit was paid at £250.

This put him in arrears, to the tune of circa £1,500. His friend and son offered to move in so council paid their £550 rate, thus the rent was set at £800. You would think great news for landlord, but the friend tried to intervene to receive the rent from council and they refused and paid me as landlord.

In anger and spite, the friend then phoned council to state that she has NEVER LIVED at the property, and said she only visited her boyfriend at the address (this after signing the HB form stating she lived there). Council suspended payment. Council have not requested payment back.

We have sent in 3 witness statements from neighbours stating they have seen the friend go in and out over the past few months. We have sent a recorded letter to the friend with rent arrears notice today (this should prove she is there). Her and the original tenant’s tenancy started Aug 4th, as council say they have never had a tenant state they do not live at a place (even though they feel she is there). The council have sent officers out twice to check but no-one answers the door.

What do you think I should do?

AAdenial



Comments

All BankersAreBarstewards Smith

11:15 AM, 9th November 2014
About 5 years ago

yes I believe you cannot issue a S21 that expires before the end of 6 months but if there are rent arrears then I believe a S8 can be issued at the appropriate time (dependent on the rental period)

Mark Alexander

11:17 AM, 9th November 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jack Ass" at "09/11/2014 - 11:02":

Yes the advice you have been given is correct, you cannot evict inside 6 months unless you do so based on section 8, e.g. two months arrears.
.

Mark Alexander

11:20 AM, 9th November 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "All BankersAreBarstewards Smith" at "09/11/2014 - 11:15":

We must have been typing at the same time, clearly you're a faster typist than me LOL
.

Kulasmiley

15:32 PM, 9th November 2014
About 5 years ago

1. I have sent J (female joint tenant) a 14 day notice to comply to pay her two months arrears.
2. Should I send D male and J jointly a section 8, remember they are joint tenants?
3. Should I also send a section 21 (b or a??), and what date should be on that (is is February 5th 2015? as their tenants agreement is dated Aug 4th 2014?
4. Another problem. When we split the flat (in accordance with hb advice) is that this flat was allowed to have a separate own bedroom for D (a £220 rate), and a 2 bed flat rate for J (a £515 rate). (This pushed my insurance up of course), plus more costs involved in decoration and garden improvements for the child.
4. After J did not receive my rent she has phoned the council and stated that she never lived there and was visiting her boyfriend, but on her hb form it states that she is single. She has committed fraud. The hb officers have been out 3 times and not caught her there, curtains withdrawn. The problem with undertaking a schedule visit is that J will take her clothes (D will cover for her and refuse us entry). I am very close in going to the police, really not sure how to handle this.
5. Jonathan I think was right in that we can maximize our rental, but you can imagine the costs in going back and forth, etc, it is our rights as landlords to do our best to gain this so we can put the money into our other good tenants.
6. For the record I do my repairs asap, plastering, plumbing, rendering, roofing. I never retaliate as this is what we all mostly do.

Thank you Mark for posting this for me, I will of course be contributing to this great site that helps all. Kevin (AA Properties)

Charline Caisse

13:40 PM, 10th November 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "07/11/2014 - 10:28":

You're a pro!
🙂

Michael Barnes

15:25 PM, 10th November 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "All BankersAreBarstewards Smith" at "08/11/2014 - 16:03":

The rent was put up based on what the housing benefit would provide. Increased from £475 to £480, which seems like a lot for the same property.

I can therefore see that it could be construed that LL is in some way conspiring with the tenants to get money from benefits authority in a fraudulent manner.

I'm not saying it is (I do not know), but I can envisage such an argument being put forward by the authority. (my outlook on life is to look at what might go wrong, then look for ways to avoid it)
Hence my question to anyone here that might know the answer.

Rod

16:33 PM, 10th November 2014
About 5 years ago

I charge below market rent to try keep good tenants. I should screw benefits as the council screw me for FULL council tax even when property is empty plus 50 percent on top if empty more than 2 years! HB tenants pay nothing, ever!

Michael Barnes

9:50 AM, 11th November 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Barnes" at "10/11/2014 - 15:25":

Ooops!
£480 should have been £800.

Landlord Geoff

15:27 PM, 11th November 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Barnes" at "11/11/2014 - 09:50":

I'm confused.
1. How many tenancy agreements are in place. One (with three names on) or two - the one for the original guy and a second one for mother & daughter?
2. So you have a shortfall of £225 pcm when new U 35's rate starts which you say results in £1500 arrears, which my maths says 7 months of underpayment to you by him.
3. Wasn't it obvious when U 35's rate was effective that he was bound to get into arrears, and therefore why didn't you issue Sect 21?
4. So you set a new rent of £800 pcm when you knew HB/LHA rate was only £220 + £515 = £735

Sorry if I am misunderstanding the situation, but at the end of the day your solution options are very much based on what signed "paperwork" is in place.

Geoff
landlordgeoff.weebly.com

Robert Mellors

19:20 PM, 11th November 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Barnes" at "10/11/2014 - 15:25":

If, by having the friend and her son move in with the original tenant, it then meant that they would get the 2 bedroom rate of HB at £550 pcm, why on earth did you set the rent at £800?
Like Landlord Geoff, I'm also getting a bit confused.

I think you can establish that the friend and her son live there, with the original tenant, and thus you granted a joint tenancy for them as a family, and as such they should be entitled to the 2 bedroom rate of LHA, but I fail to understand how you are trying to justify a rent of £800 pcm if the 2 bed rate is £550 pcm.

You can charge whatever rent you wish, but if you are hoping to charge extra so as to recover the rent arrears, then this is not allowed under the HB rules. By making such a massive rent hike (with same tenant still there and owing you lots of arrears) you are at risk of the Council saying that it is a "contrived tenancy", and if they come to this decision then ALL the Housing Benefit will stop (and they may require you to pay back any you have received).

You appear to be digging a bloody great big hole for yourself......... STOP DIGGING!!

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