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my LL shouldn't evict my downstairs neighbour

(70 Posts)
Grrmum Sat 31-Jan-15 08:14:31

I live in a house with a separate flat in the basement. The house is four floors and the flat is just half of the basement, so our rent is a lot more than his. The LL wants to sell the house (as one obviously) - the sale has been rumbling on for a while, with two sales falling through. Towards the end of the last sale he gave my downstairs neighbour 2 months notice to leave on January 4th. I thought this was bad because the xmas period is not good for flat hunting. So he had a miserable Christmas and didn't find a flat. We didn't get given notice (because he doesn't want to lose our rent).

So, January 4th comes and goes, my neighbour is in a right state because he is 70, not in great health, has no internet access, hasn't found anywhere. He has packed up lots of his stuff but he is still there, having nowhere else to go. LL came to visit him with his DSIS and they 'find' him a potential flat online, he said he didn't like it and didn't want to move there. So they said, right, you've known for ages the house was being sold, you've had plenty of time and you're not willing to look at the options we show you. They started legal action to evict him and have told him he could end up paying 2k in legal fees and have his possessions repossessed. He is now walking around like a wreck.

Then the second sale fell through at the last minute (after he gave downstairs neighbour notice) and now the flat is on the open market (the previous two were off-market so no viewings). We have been suffering 8-10 viewings a week which I know we don't have to allow, but I did because we have always got on well with the LL, even though he didn't have the common decency to ask us if we minded or offer a rent discount.

We haven't been given notice and our rent day is the 24th, so we'll be here until April 24th. The LL and his sister are very wealthy, very young (24 and 26) and this man is very old and very poor. Does anyone not agree that they could let him know he has another month under the new circumstances and withdraw all the threats? His rent cheque was returned uncashed this month.

scattered Sat 31-Jan-15 08:22:08

I think he needs to contact Shelter. What they can do legally will depend on the type of tenancy he has (I'm guess it's periodic assured short hold). There is also information on the CAB website

It might be wise for him to make a homelessness application once he has got a firm date, as they should help him. Or maybe Age Uk can offer some assistance, they have a help line. Hope he finds something soon.

AmarettoSour Sat 31-Jan-15 08:31:48

I feel for your neighbour but from the sounds of it he hasn't made any effort at all to find other accommodation. Surely he could manage to the library for internet access? As for your LL 'finding' him a flat, he's well within his rights to not want to move to that particular one, but by the same token your LL is within his rights to want to sell his house.

You say you have always got on well with LL so I assume he's been fairly decent apart from this. He can't put off the sale forever because 'he's 70 and doesn't have internet access'

It's a tricky one!

GratefulHead Sat 31-Jan-15 08:35:36

There is lots wrong here and you might do well to post in legal for advice too.

As for your neighbour, would he go to the council, could someone go with him and explain the situation. He is a vulnerable adult and surely meets the criteria for social housing.

As far as I can see, the LL are not acting legally if they haven't given you notice etc. Unless of course they are waiting for the offer/things to really move so they keep their rent coming in as log as possible.

When you say your neighbour's rent cheque was returned uncashed, do you mean that they haven't taken any rent from him this month?

SaucyJack Sat 31-Jan-15 08:37:11

This is the thing. Your LL hasn't done anything technically wrong, and certainly not illegal.

The issue is with the lack of regulations and tenants' rights in the system overall- your LL has behaved in a perfectly acceptable manner.

yellowdaisies Sat 31-Jan-15 08:37:32

I would suggest your neighbour contacts the council. At 70 he may be a priority for social housing and if not they should be able also to help him find another private rented place.

I'm guessing your landlord knew he might not go early which is why he's started the process earlier.

Grrmum Sat 31-Jan-15 08:41:47

He has been looking - friends are helping him out with internet access but the flats are either gone or they say he's not the sort of tenant the LL wants etc. He is a miserable type but actually very kind and honest.

The LL is decent enough but very young. It's his sister who is also a LL who has motivated this, she is really pushing for the sale. I had words with her when she said I 'had' to allow a 3 hours appointment for photographing the house and doing the floor plan, 2 days before xmas, when I had four x 5 year olds screaming around the house plus adults drinking relaxing in the kitchen. Apparently I should have cancelled the party because she gave me notice they were coming (perhaps she genuinely believe this is the case).

It's a very expensive house, no mortgage etc. so they are about to get 7 figures in cash, i just believe it wouldn't hurt them to be a bit kinder, frankly.

Good idea about shelter I think I will try and arrange that for him.

Grrmum Sat 31-Jan-15 08:48:31

Grateful, no, he's not doing anything illegal, just not very nice. He is definitely trying to hang to our rent till he definitely has a new buyer. I imagine he'll give us notice on the 24th of next month (unless he doesn't know that part of the law or thinks we will negotiate with him/take money, which we won't now on principle). Is that an issue? <hopeful>

LaLa5 Sat 31-Jan-15 08:51:53

It's the landlord's house and they have given adequate notice of 2 months that they are selling. As long as the landlord has given notice of viewings each time so they've done nothing wrong.

UmizoomiThis Sat 31-Jan-15 08:57:33

Why don't you help your neighbour instead of bitching that his landlord should? Also, no the landlord doesn't have any obligation to a tenant who simply doesn't want to move. You have no idea what anyone's circumstances are so your judgey-pants need to stop being hoicked up so high.

The landlords most likely lost their parents or a relative and have inherited a large house if it's mortgage free, along with its tenants. They may be renting themselves because their parents entire inheritance is tied up in that house.

The tenant may have 100k in the bank. You bloody don't know.

Grrmum Sat 31-Jan-15 09:03:58

umizoomi after 3 years and a few shared bottles of wine, I know the LL's situation perfectly. I don't know my neighbour's financial situation but I really don't think he's going to pull 100k out from under the bed.

I know you're just having an innocent game of AIBU cliche bingo but pace yourself, there's a long day ahead.

Altinkum Sat 31-Jan-15 09:05:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Grrmum Sat 31-Jan-15 09:12:28

Altinkum the not niceness is the fact that now the sale has fallen through, he could have another month to look without the threat of legal costs. He has been there for 7 years (we have been here for 3). They didn't find him a flat, they showed him one on RM and said, there, how about we call up about that one? It was a tower block miles away so he said, eh, no, I don't want to live there. Obviously he has to open his mind to new areas etc.

I get that I am talking about what is a good rather than what is a legal.

I am obviously helping him with Internet, advice etc. He is registered with all the agencies nearby.

lala5 It is not the case that they can give 24 hours notice for viewings. That is for maintenance and inspections. Tenants do not have to give access for viewings. I know this because I have been in this situation several times as a vendor and I have talked to the tenant, asked them to allow viewings and given them either a discount or some incentive.

GratefulHead Sat 31-Jan-15 09:12:51

Fabulous response OP ...yes it is indeed a long day ahead grin

Altinkum Sat 31-Jan-15 09:16:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Altinkum Sat 31-Jan-15 09:20:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LaLa5 Sat 31-Jan-15 09:23:28

You're actually incorrect. If it's in lease that tenant must allow notice for viewings given sufficient notice (24 hours) then they must give access. I've just sold my flat which had tenants in, hence I know this.

Cobain Sat 31-Jan-15 09:29:45

The LL has sought of been proven right, that if he had left serving notice until needed to complete sale the tenant would not of vacated before completion of sale.

UmizoomiThis Sat 31-Jan-15 09:33:49

LaLa5, they really really don't.

If they refuse, you as the LL cannot force entry. If you try, they can call the police and have you arrested.

Just because you put something in a (civil law) contract, doesn't mean it's surpasses (criminal) law. You can't force entry to do viewings.

Grrmum Sat 31-Jan-15 09:36:14

Lala there's no specific provision in the lease. I've had to look into this when selling myself and get legal advice. The only time I've been able to give 24 hours notice for viewings was when it was a Foxtons lease and they'd stuck that provision in there and only then in the last two months of the tenancy.

Altinkum I do see what you're saying and on all levels but one, I agree.

UncleT Sat 31-Jan-15 09:39:31

Yup, as usual - depends on what was signed.

ohtheholidays Sat 31-Jan-15 09:39:45

Poor guy it sounds like it's the last thing he needs right now.With his age he most probably thought this would be the place he'd live in till the end.

Get him to make an appointment with the CAB (citizens advice bureau)he'll need to take any letters with him that's he's had from the landlords,proof of any benefits he's having,anything to do with his poorly health ect.
They're usually really good and should be able to help him found out about support with moving in to a new home and moving his belongings from his old home to a new one.

Would he access any help from age Concern or an Adult social services team?There's also this charity as well

Do you know if the gentlemen your trying to help was ever in the forces?If he was The Royal British Legion are amazing.They've done loads for my Dad and they did for my Mother as well.

LaLa5 Sat 31-Jan-15 09:40:34

Well then I'm wrong smile and I consider myself lucky I had tenants who didn't mind! What's the point in putting it in the contract?

If it's not even in contract then yes I would agree you've no obligation to give access for viewings.

But I do agree with the other poster who said you don't know circumstances of LL and they may need to sell for reasons you don't know , plus it's not up to LL to rehouse a tenant. I do feel for the old man but perhaps one of the organisations suggested can help?

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Sat 31-Jan-15 09:44:42

Nope, LaLa you are completely wrong. Even if it's written into the tenancy agreement, tenancy law is clear that tenants do not have to allow anyone into their property unless there is an emergency. Viewings are not an emergency and tenancy agreements do not trump case law.

LaLa5 Sat 31-Jan-15 09:49:55

Yes ehric thanks for that! grin I'd already said I stand corrected!!

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