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Aibu tenants not paying rent

(266 Posts)
FrenchFancie Thu 26-Mar-20 08:35:32

We are ‘accidental’ landlords in that DH got posted abroad four years ago and we put tenants in our flat. It’s our only flat, we have a mortgage on it. Rent has always just about covered mortgage and costs, we don’t make any money on the flat.

Tenants have contacted us to say they can’t pay rent due to one of them loosing work due to Covid. Fine, ok, I know it can’t be helped.

I’ve asked them to apply for whatever help the government will offer, asked for clarification if it was a job loss through redundancy or just that she’s been given no hours (iirc she works for a retail chain). - as this will make a difference I think in the support that she will be offered?
I’m prepared to accept lower rent for a period but I want them to apply for whatever they are entitled to in order to minimise both their loss and ours! I’m not going to evict them due to this, and we probably won’t treat it as rent arrears but instead just write the missing rent off - I think I’m being pretty reasonable with this, but tenants say it’s none of my business what benefits they apply for and I just have to accept whatever rent they choose to pay as they can’t currently be evicted.

AIBU to think they are being CF? I mean I’m happy to work with them on this but feel we are being taken for mugs if they just refuse to pay rent.

Halo1234 Thu 26-Mar-20 08:43:40

Tensions and stress will be high. But you are not being unreasonable. I would go to them with a softly softly approach. Basically ensure they know what u said on here. Explain that u need to use the rent to pay the mortgage on the flat. And are concerned about how u will continue to pay the mortgage. That you all have the same goal of keeping them in their flat and that you want to help facilitate that. Good luck. And I think you sound like a lovely landlord.

sashh Thu 26-Mar-20 08:44:20

Considering you can get a 3 month mortgage holiday and they can get under £100 a week I think you are being unreasonable.

thecatneuterer Thu 26-Mar-20 08:45:22

They are certainly being CF. And you can still give notice (as long as it's now a periodic tenancy or if their fixed term expires in three months time or less). You now have to give three months notice rather than two. Join the NRLA, if you aren't already a member, they will give you all the information and forms you will need. Of course, with courts closed, how possession can actually go ahead is anyone's guess, but it might at least jolt them into cooperating more.

userxx Thu 26-Mar-20 08:45:50

Can you not apply for the 3 month mortgage payment holiday?

Iwalkinmyclothing Thu 26-Mar-20 08:47:39

Apply for whatever help you can get, like the mortgage holiday.

Drpeppered Thu 26-Mar-20 08:48:28

How are they being CF if they’re not able to work because of Covid 19

Op you need to apply for the mortgage holiday. If they are applying for UC that is only £57.90 a week.

Undecided91 Thu 26-Mar-20 08:48:30

You can get mortgage holiday and YABU!!! My landlord is the same and I do feel sorry for your tenants! You sound greedy and very very unreasonable for stressing poor people who lost their jobs even more

thecatneuterer Thu 26-Mar-20 08:50:02

How are they being CF if they’re not able to work because of Covid 19 They are being CF because they are not willing to discuss what help they can get to pay their rent so that a reasonable level of rent going forward can be decided with this in mind.

Jammydodger1981 Thu 26-Mar-20 08:50:34

They can be evicted, it’s no fault evictions that have been blocked. Cheeky fuckers.

PristineCondition Thu 26-Mar-20 08:51:52

Get A mortgage break.
They are fucked and will be getting hardly anything.
help them for God's sake.

OhMy05 Thu 26-Mar-20 08:51:56

Yanbu, you’re trying to work a solution with them. If it came to it you can give them notice but three months instead of two. Maybe they think you can’t.

thecatneuterer Thu 26-Mar-20 08:52:56

Jammydodger doesn't have it quite right. Both Section 21 and Section 8 are still operable, however the notice period for Section 21 has increased from two months to three, and for Section 8 rent needs to be three months in arrears, rather than two, before proceedings can begin.

Reluctantbettlynch Thu 26-Mar-20 08:53:22

Apply for mortgage holiday yourself. If they are in retail they've likely been furloughed; so will eventually get 80% hopefully of their wage. The fly in the ointment is the employer needs to have enough money to fund this until govt funding is sorted - looking like May earliest at this point.

clareOclareO Thu 26-Mar-20 08:54:27

YABU. Apply for the mortgage holiday and see where they are at when that ends. They have enough stress at the moment as it is. Ultimately you don't have a right to know where they get their money from. IF they are in arrears when the pandemic is over, you can start eviction proceedings then.

So many people use the term "accidental landlords" as a way to justify their position. Ultimately you chose to be a landlord and have to accept the position you are in - these people are paying your mortgage, after all.

zsazsajuju Thu 26-Mar-20 08:54:40

If they have indeed lost their jobs they can apply for housing benefit /universal credit housing element Which should cover most of their rent. A mortgage holiday just defers the payment due and I wouldn’t do that unless you have to.

They are indeed being cf by just refusing to pay.

VenetoResident Thu 26-Mar-20 08:54:52

Do you have any insurance? Our landlords insurance covers the rent for 6 months.

Accidental landlord here too. Their rent pays our rent. We can't stop paying our rent.

forgivemeimnew Thu 26-Mar-20 08:55:16

I would see if I could get the 3 month holiday on your mortgage to give you a bit of breathing space. As it’s only a holiday those 3 months get added on to the end of your mortgage term, I thought it was the same for renters? If they have a 3 month holiday then it still has to be paid, monthly rates would go up to cover it?
That may not be the case, it was just my assumption of it although I haven’t looked too deeply into it, sorry.
I do think they are being chancers, as if they’ve lost their job they will be able to claim benefits and so ‘shouldn’t’ be much worse of. I don’t know exactly how the benefits are working at the moment.

thecatneuterer Thu 26-Mar-20 08:55:27

@Reluctantbettlynch in which case they can discuss this with the OP and they can come to an agreement on the basis of it. It's not on to just to refuse to discuss the situation.

Drpeppered Thu 26-Mar-20 08:55:32

But actually the quickest solution to this is for OP to speak to her bank about a mortgage holiday.

No benefits are instant. They are probably already stressing out about how they are going to pay for their other bills and put food on the table.

People are so heartless

Santaclauswhosthat Thu 26-Mar-20 08:55:40

Have you told your tenant you won't evict and that you'll write off losses? If she doesn't know that then I can understand her keeping her cards close to her chest as she won't be wanting to get into a discussion about has she claimed X by y date. Also, it's really early days - she may be unsure about what help she is entitled to and may be waiting for clarification from her employer.

Also, have you yourself done what you can ie applied for a mortgage break?

I would just keep the lines of communication open if you can and make it clear that you're opening up the discussion in the interest of keeping the tenancy going.

NotEverythingIsBlackandwhite Thu 26-Mar-20 08:55:59

tenants say it’s none of my business what benefits they apply for
It isn't your business really.

and I just have to accept whatever rent they choose to pay as they can’t currently be evicted.
We'll, it's true that you can't evict them under the current circumstances but it would have been better if they weren't rubbing it in your face like this.

Only you can tell if they are CFers from their attitude.
Maybe they just know their rights and want to ensure you know they do? Maybe they are frightened that if you knew how much they would receive in benefits, that you would ask for too much so they wouldn't be able to pay their other bills?

IF they are CFers, I would give notice to leave as soon as you are able to (when the law says you can again) and I would seek any arrears through the courts.

Palavah Thu 26-Mar-20 08:59:56

I agree you want to try to keep things amicable and civil if you can, but I don't think appealing to them on the basis that you need their rent to pay the mortgage is going to win you any sympathy. Why would it?

Worth investigating the mortgage holiday.
Do you need any evidence of tenants' inability to pay for that? Or do the tenants need anything from you to help their claim?

How would it benefit them to not apply for help from the government? Especially if the alternative is UC.

How would it make a difference to your losses if they claim/don't claim help from the government?

Why wouldn't you just treat it as rent arrears until you know a bit more?

zsazsajuju Thu 26-Mar-20 09:00:20

@Undecided91 how is op being greedy and unreasonable for trying to discuss solutions with her tenants? Why should they get to keep their housing benefit which is paid to them for the purpose of paying their rent?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 26-Mar-20 09:03:00

How is 'accidental landlord' a real term? It's not an accident that you have tenants, is it? confused

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