Terrible time with council tenant and shock at how law treats landlords

by Readers Question

15:32 PM, 9th January 2019
About 3 months ago

Terrible time with council tenant and shock at how law treats landlords

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Terrible time with council tenant and shock at how law treats landlords

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.

Ela



Comments

Neil Patterson

15:36 PM, 9th January 2019
About 3 months ago

Dear Ela,

I am very sorry to hear of your situation and your trust in the council being taken advantage of.

It nearly always saves time and money consulting the professionals so it is worth checking out our tenant eviction page >> https://www.property118.com/evicting-tenants/

Ela

16:18 PM, 9th January 2019
About 3 months ago

Hi Neil,

Thank you for your suggestion. I have already instructed a company to issue section 8 notice. Do you know is there anyway I can take the council to the court for misleading me in to tenancy and all the cost and damages I am incurring right now? I would be happy to exploring that option.

I am also outraged how the law treats landlords by allowing a bad tennant use landlords honest earned property so many months at landlords cost. Surely this is not fair and we need to start some sort of campaign put this right to get the right balance.

AA

19:40 PM, 9th January 2019
About 3 months ago

You felt that there would be a backlash so you signed ???? !!!!- you are in the wrong business. You always go with your gut feeling come hell or high water !

Ela

21:06 PM, 9th January 2019
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by AA at 09/01/2019 - 19:40
I agree. How was I suppose to defend myself against sort of people you would normally keep away from? 3 man and 3 woman turned up in my property. It was all planned I realised. I heard racist remarks her mum was telling her dad that I was a foreigner and have no family. Which I interpreted we will have an easy ride. Easy target to grab a property from. Surely lesson learned at a great cost.

Anthony Endsor

9:47 AM, 10th January 2019
About 2 months ago

Really sorry to hear about this situation. I can relate to it as something very similar happened to me a few years ago. I ended up losing thousands in rent and damage to the property.
I wouldn't trust a Council with a house in monopoly and HB tenants are long in the past for me following my incident.

silversurfer2017

9:51 AM, 10th January 2019
About 2 months ago

I remember the old TV detective series Shoestring and his mantra. His ABC of his approach to detective work.
Assume nothing
Believe no-one
Confirm everything
A little extreme but I do adopt a similar approach on commercial transactions.

John

10:16 AM, 10th January 2019
About 2 months ago

What a shame this has happened.
Unfortunately you have come up against the sizeable minority in this country who do not work, their families have never worked and they know how to play the system. These tenants must be avoided like the plague.
I have been there and done it many times. I usually manage to make the tenancy work because i am a hands on landlord, but i am now much better at screening out these really dysfunctional families and so i don't have any on my books at the moment.
I always ask for a guarantor. Usually they cannot provide this and so they will move on. This is a very important filtering tool.
Being a landlord works well when things run normally, but once you get a dysfunctional tenant life becomes very stressful.
Are you able to name the local authorities in question ? It would help others if so.

Mike

10:41 AM, 10th January 2019
About 2 months ago

Who said it would take 6 months, no it would not, two months have passed away without any rent received, so now serve them a 2 weeks Notice for rent arrears and then file a section 8 Notice at your local court, use a lawyer as in the long term it would save more as cases can get complex, also use discretionary grounds that you were mislead from the onset, and hopefully your case can be heard in about 4 to 6 weeks after the application, if by this time they have not brought their rent up to date you will get possession order from the court giving your tenants 14 days to leave, and yes if they still do not leave then you will need to go back to the court to get court bailiffs arranged to evict them, overall about 4 months but court will also award you all the costs against the tenant and all the debt that you can then pursue it further and hopefully either get paid or you apply for judgement order. Have these piss takers "marked" as dodgy tenants so other good landlords can avoid them like a plague. I am always going to be on the landlord's side because I have suffered at the hands of irresponsible monsters. Good responsible tenants are heros of course.

Ela

11:24 AM, 10th January 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by John at 10/01/2019 - 10:16
Hi John, I will look in to doing it soon. I have send them another e mail asking for assistance if they carry on fobbing me.

Seething Landlord

12:59 PM, 10th January 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ela at 10/01/2019 - 11:24
You won't get any help from the Council and every day that you delay is another day's rent that you will probably never receive.

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