Fergus Wilson Panorama documentary – now available on iPlayer22:10 PM, 18th March 2019
About A week ago 99
I recently bought a property and wanted to rent it a 6 months on short term assured tenancy. I have been using the local council with my other property and had no issues in the past as they would always pay the rent to me directly. This time I used a neighbouring borough.
The housing team did not give me much information about the scheme I was introduced to and the tenant was putting me under so much pressure to sign the contract. I received a call from the council housing team and was assured the tenants checks were made and she can afford and will be paying the rent to me. As I always received the rent directly paid to me from my other property with my local council, I assumed this would be the case.
I sent an email to the council asking them to confirm that the rent will be paid to me. I have not received a confirmation but received the above phone call. Previously I signed the contract in my local council offices as I knew the tenant was pushing me and the council and I met the tenant in the property to sign the contract. She arrived with other 5 family members.
I realised I would have troubles with them and I did not want to sign, but felt I would get a backlash and signed. From that moment I knew I was in trouble. I called the council to ask if they are processing her housing benefit. I was told that they were not the one who will be paying as my property is not in their borough which was never mentioned before and it was up to my tenant to apply for her housing benefit at the local council where my property is based. I was shocked.
I have contacted my tenant who confirmed that she has but never had. I contacted my usual contact where she would apply, but was confirmed that there was no application for my property. She has not paid a penny in rent and it has been 2 months. Every time I contact her she claims that she paid the rent and was going to send me the evidence. Just insulting me.
I have complained to the council which introduced her to me with several calls and emails. They contacted her and they were told the same that she paid. They arranged to meet her to chat, but she cancelled at last point. I have told the council that I was getting legal help and I complained that they were the ones put me in this situation by misleading me. They have not accepted or denied any of it they said they did their checks, but would not tell me what checks or whether if they knew the tenant had previous bad behaviour before introducing her to me.
The council which introduced her told me that they have no property to offer to her and that they believe she will pay me the rent arrears. Basically I was let down by them and they will not offer me any help. I will be issuing a section 8 notice to my tenant, but I am very upset to find out that it will take 6 months to evict her (already been in my property 2 months rent free) the cost of mortgage payments and legal cost not to mention the possible damage considering the tenants behaviour so far has effected my well being.
Could you please advise is there any solution to my situation.
I am shocked how the councils housing team put me in this situation and all they are doing is believing that she will make a payment even though I have sent them evidences of my tenant’s string of lies about how she has applied for her benefit, and when, how much she paid etc and and my bank statements to prove that was not the case.
Finding out how the law treats landlords was another shock.
It seems people’s homelessness is prevented on tax paying landlords expense. Just looking at the requirements to evict a tenant who paid nothing in rent makes me think that the policy makers want landlords to take care of people’s housing needs. I have already paid a large amount of stamp duty and will be paying income tax next week.
Any thoughts and suggestions would be very welcome at this very stressful times.
Thank you so much.
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