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

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

15:32 PM, 9th January 2019, About 3 years ago 40

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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

by fruitfulhands

19:24 PM, 12th January 2019, About 3 years ago

Im sure that was my old tenant !
Was a horrible time.Always complaining of disrepair
No rent for one year.
Spend shed loads of money to evict her.
At last hearing came to court pregnant!
After leaving demanded for her deposit.left house in a mess
Dont stress Ela. Just contact Chris Sharp of "The Landlord group" for help fast.
Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers

by Ela

19:51 PM, 12th January 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by fruitfulhands at 12/01/2019 - 19:24
Hi , Thank you. I have served her section 8 and will be applying a possession order in2 weeks. Why did it take a year to get rid of your nightmare tenant? That’s worrying.

by Mark Shine

0:28 AM, 13th January 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ela at 12/01/2019 - 19:51Once again: good luck Ela. I may be wrong but even if you had a top housing lawyer acting for you (eg @nearlylegal), IF the tenant is advised, as is usual, to wait until the actual date that bailiffs ultimately attend before vacating the premises... I suspect you may still have to wait another few months yet. Hope I’m wrong!

In my case took best part of a year.

by Mandy Thomson

8:28 AM, 14th January 2019, About 3 years ago

If you want to save on legal fees, try Possession Friend.

by Mandy Thomson

8:44 AM, 14th January 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 11/01/2019 - 00:46The landlord organisation I work for has had some recent cases of courts (incorrectly) throwing out possession claims against pre-Deregulation Act tenancies BECAUSE THE CLAIMANT HAS NOT MADE IT CLEAR IT'S PRE-DEREG TENANCY and therefore certain aspects of the Dereg Act (such as proof of service of gas cert) do not apply.
ALWAYS endorse the relevant questions on the N5B claim form "N/A tenancy pre-dates 1 October 2015" as a minimum. If the situation is more complex, write a clear letter setting out your case in bullet point format, to go with the claim form.

by Ela

8:55 AM, 14th January 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by fruitfulhands at 12/01/2019 - 19:24
Thank you. So kind.

by Ela

8:55 AM, 14th January 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Shine at 13/01/2019 - 00:28
Thank you.

by Ela

8:55 AM, 14th January 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mandy Thomson at 14/01/2019 - 08:28
Thank you.

by Mike

10:01 AM, 14th January 2019, About 3 years ago

And Thank you very much Mandy Thomson, indeed we Landlords are left only the precise tools with which to fight stone throwers, we have to indeed use bullet points to be precise in our defence against rouge tenants who fails to pay us rent as though we owe them a living and expect us to provide free accommodation and have lavish holidays with the money they saved by not paying us any rent. The law gives them a wide range of ammunition to attack us. Why treat all landlords as rouge when only a fraction are abusing tenants, why not deal with them on individual bases rather than impose strict regulations on all.

by Ela

10:38 AM, 14th January 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 14/01/2019 - 10:01
Hi Mike, I certainly agree. I wrote to my local MP and she is also serving as a minister no answer so far. No one will give us our rights we have to work hard, lobby and demand equal rights given to tenants. When you search for eviction, the net comes up with lots of warnings towards landlords and organisations offering help to tenants only. I have not seen any organisation warning the consequences of being a bad tenant which I believe none existent for someone who has no assets or credit history. Pages after pages offering help to bad tenant whom failed to pay rent endless suggestions how to keep our properties longer without abiding the terms of tenancy. Sickening.
I am puzzled to see the possibility of judges to offer up to 6 weeks to a tennant whom failed to pay rent and taken to the court for eviction or habit of paying less or making late payments if they claim, eviction will cause them inconvenience if they are sick or have a family. We all have families, bills and mortgages to pay while a bad tenant enjoys free accommodation at our expense. I can not turnaround and say I am sick, I have other bills to pay give me more time to the mortgage company.


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