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Tenants won't move out- court hearing approaching

(9 Posts)
FranTan Thu 12-May-16 22:09:27

Please be kind, I'm so stressed over this.

We have been accidental landlords for 5 years. Bought before the crash, left in negative equity, needed to relocate but couldn't afford to sell so have been letting the house. It is managed by an agency.

The property is in a rough area, we have had a stream of non-paying, anti social tenants. The latest ones stopped paying rent after a couple of months. They're currently nearly £2k in arrears, although we received some housing benefit direct. Most recent inspection showed they've not taken care of the property. We're sick of it so are going to cut our losses and try to sell. Agency served them a section 21 at the end of 6 month contract. Due to their family situation (I believe there are vulnerable children, social services involvement etc), they are claiming they have no where to go so they didn't leave. Agency have gone down the accelerated eviction route. The court now want a hearing. Apparently this is because one of the party have submitted a defence (probably the wrong term) but the other hasn't. So we've got to go to court, my partner has to drop a day's pay to attend and I am so stressed.

I've read online of the possibility the court may allow them to stay if they pay their arrears due to exceptional circumstances. We just want them out but they won't go. They are so entitled, nothing is their fault, they claim the can't afford to heat the house so there's mould growing up the walls. Finances have stretched to pets though, despite a no pet clause. sad

Can you tell me if there's anything else we can do? The agency are going to conduct another inspection before the hearing and send all paperwork to head office to ensure its all accurate so there aren't any nasty surprises on that front. It all seems so unjust.

Thanks.

IWasHereBeforeTheHack Mon 16-May-16 22:37:05

Sorry, you have my sympathy but I'm not qualified to advise. Have you tried asking on a specialised forum like LandlordZone? I wish you luck.

whatadrain Mon 16-May-16 22:39:52

No expert advice here, I'm afraid. However I know from experience that tenants are advised to become evicted so that they can go to the top of the list for social housing. I think it's unlikely they wouldn't want to be evicted for this reason.

Sorry I can't be of more help! Good luck.

LostMySanityCanIBorrowYours Mon 16-May-16 22:44:18

Yes, tennants are advised to stay put (by the council and CAB etc) until the bailiffs come and physically turf them out. If they don't do as advised then the council can and quite often will refuse to re-house them due to them being 'voluntarily homeless'.

I understand it's stressful for you, but it's not exactly a picnic for them either.

Rents are getting higher and HB is getting lower. While this is still happening situations like this are going to continue growing in frequency.

FranTan Tue 17-May-16 14:55:20

Thank you. I suspected as such.

CaptainTrub Tue 17-May-16 22:33:39

It sounds like the tenants have applied for the warrant of execution to be suspended. In other words to give them extra time to find alternative accommodation. The court may well grant them this if they are vulnerable - 28 days is usual. The Hearing at court gives you the opportunity to go along and find out and make your own arguments to the court as to why they should go.

After the expiry of the suspension, you can 'execute' the warrant ie get the bailiffs in to turf them out.

Good luck

specialsubject Wed 18-May-16 14:07:15

They will be removed eventually, and become the councils problem. Be prepared for major damage and be grateful if it doesn't happen. Sorry. I hope you have suitable insurances.

BTW would it be cheaper to pay the agent to go to court? Do you have legal cover?

FranTan Wed 18-May-16 18:15:56

We have landlord insurance which includes buildings and some some contents. It says malicious damage is excluded. We have legal cover but I don't know what this includes.

We're paying the agent £100 to accompany me to court.

I wish we had malicious cover. I had thought about contacting insurance to find out where we stand but without knowing the extent of damage I have been hesitant. Any advice with this?

specialsubject Wed 18-May-16 18:50:55

Unfortunately several of the household names exclude malicious damage cover. Legal cover should kick in when rent is in arrears, but of course it depends on the policy. If it is covered, in your place (and I'm not there and not a legal eagle!) I'd contact the insurers as a claim will be coming.

all you can do is hope. Mould is easily sorted and at the moment you've no further evidence that they are trashing the place. The deposit will deal with some of it IF you have an agreed inventory.

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