10:18 AM, 19th March 2015, About 8 years ago 2
I obtained a possession order for 2nd January 2015 and applied for warrant for possession immediately as tenants refused to leave. I have been waiting for the bailiffs to carry this out since then, and have had no messages from them despite emailing them and calling(no answer). The court says it can take 8 weeks!! However it is now more than 8 weeks and tenants have stopped paying rent. It is an ex council flat and I have to pay huge service charges plus major works charges. Southwark council have already said they will write to my mortgage company unless I pay these charges. I have no other income but from my flat so I am running up credit bills. Luckily, I live with my sister so I will not starve or be homeless, but I am afraid of losing my good reputation for paying my bills etc, or even my flat.
My tenants have manipulated me from the beginning. They rented the flat as 2 nice young girls “with good jobs”, 8 years ago, through a neighbour I had trusted. I worked abroad for 5 years, returning periodically , whilst he was supposed to be taking care of the flat. As soon as I had gone, they later admitted, one girl moved out and the other’s boyfriend moved in. Within 4 years they had had 3 children. All this time they lived in 1 bedroom and the living room, while renting out the other 2 bedrooms to migrants from their country. The place has been totally trashed through over-use, they never open curtains or windows and there is now condensation and mould because double glazing was installed, constant cooking and lots of washing, etc. I felt sorry for them as they are low paid care workers, etc, so I kept the rent low. Recently, I discovered that identical sized flats were being rented in that area for TWICE the rent I was charging. As the flat is my only income, I decided to give them notice, renovate it completely, and aim for a different type of tenant. My tenants declared that they wanted me to evict them, as they were going to get a council flat! They had found out that if they could get me to evict them they could not be declared intentionally homeless, especially with their 3 children (and mother in law who also lives there) They cleverly paid rent until I had obtained the warrant, after which they knew I could do no more, so that they could be seen to be blameless.
To crown it all, I am now informed that they had been claiming housing benefit, which I knew nothing about! Surely this is illegal, given the sub-letting. They were always insistent that these tenants were their “brother” or “sister” and I stupidly accepted this.
They think they might go into b and b for a short time, so they have told me they are going to leave their huge furniture in my flat!! I have sent them an email saying that they must take it when that leave, and I am going to send them another letter as soon as I have a bailiffs date. Will this be sufficient notice for me to get rid of the furniture?
I am at my wit’s end with this situation, and any advice would be welcome.
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