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Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

Tenants in arrears advise needed

(24 Posts)
WottyMcWottFace Fri 31-Mar-17 21:47:37

We bought a little house last year that was in serious disrepair, we put all our savings into the renovation and even more blood sweat and tears into making the little house into a beautiful home for someone. The house was never intended to make an income as such but just to invest our savings in and self sustain then in the future would be passed to my children to give them a good start.
Anyway,
Male couple moved in October, managed 3 rent payments and nothing since. I've sympathised with them and given them grace to get back on their feet but the more they now seem to take liberties.
Rent owed now £2100 and it's now excuse after excuse, followed by extreme drama between the tenants! I'm sick and tired of the lies and the run around and have asked for a proposal regarding monies owed by Monday or notice will have to be served. I really didn't want to go that route but I feel like I'm left with little option.
Does anyone have any advice at all? I feel in such an awful place and eviction was very last resort but I'm not sure what else i can do now

19lottie82 Sat 01-Apr-17 19:38:23

You need to submit a section 8 to evict them based on the fact that they have more than 2 months of rent outstanding.

It's important that this paperwork is 100% correct. If it's not then it will be rejected. By a judge and you will have to start the whole process again.

If youre not comfortable doing this yourself then it would be wise to get some legal assistance.

WottyMcWottFace Sat 01-Apr-17 20:03:01

Thankyou so much! Il ring a solicitor on Monday. I asked them to contact me today at the latest to propose a repayment plan, I tried to call them again but no answer then received a text to say they are busy this weekend but will visit me Monday to sort it. I doubt they will even turn up as it's just a constant stream of excuses at the moment. I feel terrible but i can't fund them any longer.

Gallavich Sat 01-Apr-17 20:05:23

Sounds like you're a bit too soft for this business. You should have served notice months ago and had it in court already. You will lose out on thousands because of your lack of action.
Renting property is a business, not a social service, not a favour. Be a decent landlord but treat it as a proper business.

ZilphasHatpin Sat 01-Apr-17 20:09:56

You need to get your business head on. You're too attached to the house. It's an investment. Notice should have been served as soon as rent was X days late. Seriously, this is not the time to be forgiving. You need to do this properly both for the sake of your bank account and for future tenants. Don't be another clueless landlord. There are more than enough of those making a mess of things.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 01-Apr-17 20:10:27

No need for a Solicitor IMHO. Depending on which type of tenancy agreement you've got them to sign and whether you want to recover the money depends on how you want to move forward. If you know where they work, you could go for a CCJ and then an attachment of earnings order for the arrears then an accerated possession order for the eviction.

If it was me though, I'd just go for the accerated posession, unless of course you are really sure on their employment details and think you can recover the debt.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 01-Apr-17 20:12:40

Agree with the others too, next time get the date the rent is due in the contract and if they are more than 3 days late go straight for a possession order (and I've got a heart of gold usually).

Strigoi Sat 01-Apr-17 20:12:55

Don't propose a repayment plan. Serve them notice, get them out and get someone else in who does pay.

I made the mistake of trying to help out a former tenant who was having difficulties. It turned into a shitstorm and I still get abusive emails from him because he failed to pay his rent and and I got to keep his deposit as a result.

Frouby Sat 01-Apr-17 20:17:06

In your position I would recommend serving both a s8 and a s21. The section 8 is more of a risk as you have to have an actual hearing which the tenants can appeal at. In my experience if there is any doubt the judge will side with the tenant. A s21 is a no blame eviction which you can rely on for 12 months. So if they for instance pay the arrears off, but then immediately start not paying again you can go straight for possession via the s21.

I would also contact them as soon as you have served both notices and offer to write some or all of the debt off if they give you written confirmation that they surrender the property as well as return the keys. It can save a lot of time and stress and money to do this. Good luck.

specialsubject Sun 02-Apr-17 10:07:11

No need to start with apologies for being a landlord, the haters on mn are irrelevant and will probably be quite pleased to see you giving free accommodation.

Don't feel terrible, you have freeloaders and it may get worse. Issue the proper notices

Do you have landlord legal cover? I assume you don't have rent guarantee, get that next time. Eviction base costs are about £600, double or more if you use a solicitor. It can take months, sadly. So get started asap.

specialsubject Sun 02-Apr-17 10:08:11

BTW I think sec 21 now expires after six months. Again, get proper advice from specialist lawyers, not high street dinosaurs.

specialsubject Sun 02-Apr-17 10:10:17

And more wrong advice - possession orders come after expiry of notices, not straight away. Unless you are in Florida , no 3 day notice.

19lottie82 Sun 02-Apr-17 11:50:26

Jilted if the OP is going to evict (seems like the most sensible option here), and is not COMPLETELY confident in serving the paperwork 100% accurately, then a solicitor is required. Even the tiniest mistake could be very costly.

Piehunter Sun 02-Apr-17 12:04:39

As a tenant I've never been even a day late with rent, I would expect to be served notice the same month if I missed a rent payment unless something had gone wrong unintentionally (money not transferred into correct bank account before standing order due to go out for example) and was immediately rectified.

You've been wayy to soft on them. All renters know that you pay the rent first if you've any intention of staying.
Did they have good references and it was affordable based on their bank statements? I would imagine they've done this before and the likelihood is they won't leave until removed by bailiffs...

ZilphasHatpin Sun 02-Apr-17 12:23:42

No need to start with apologies for being a landlord,

Eh? Where did OP apologise for being a landlord?

Frouby Sun 02-Apr-17 13:28:32

Specialsubject you are right they do last 6 months now not 12.

Just goes to show how important it is to get specialist advice on these matters. I worked in the industry until 2013 and a quick google has just shown how much jas changed since then.

Truckingalong Sun 02-Apr-17 13:34:09

She didn't apologise but her tone was almost apologetic.

specialsubject Mon 03-Apr-17 14:12:50

Right at the top op says that property is not to make an income, just to house savings and provide inheritance.

The guardian swallowers think accommodation should be free - good news , for these tenants, it is, and will continue to be so until the op spends money and a lot of time to evict them.

gotthearse Tue 04-Apr-17 20:00:50

You need to read the tenancy as that will set out what you can do. Assuming you can do a section 21 make sure its done correctly and you have done everything you should eg protected the deposit, done gas safety cert, provided epc's and the renting booklet and so on. You cant serve it before 4 months into the tenancy. The court forms are straightforward enough but check everything as a minor error can get it chucked out. Cab can help if you need free advice, lots on line too.

gotthearse Tue 04-Apr-17 20:01:53

And the other posters are right, they're taking the piss.

innagazing Thu 13-Apr-17 00:04:05

They're taking the piss! Don't wait til after you see them next week, just issue the eviction notice. They really retaking you for a ride and will just use delaying tactics to stay longer. if they had any intentions of repaying what they owe they would have offered you an arrears plan.
Also,
it sounds as though you didn't set the rent at a proper market value. I'd just say that in my experience, renting out a flat cheaply doesn't mean you get more loyal tenants. There's nothing wrong with charging the going market rate, so long as you're a good landlord and get repairs etc done efficiently. It's important to make profit and build up a reseve if possible for updating and dealing with non payers and legal fees etc.

whataboutbob Thu 13-Apr-17 08:57:09

I became an accidental landlord when I had to manage my Dad's properties due to his illness. I'm gradually getting more professional! Two things have helped 1) the Landlordzone forum (you'll see how hard headed some of the landlords are out there!") 2) joining the Residential Landlord's Association, for less than £100 pa I get access to the landlord's helpline and can get advice on any issues , and I can download legally drawn up contracts which I have used with new tenancies. Well worth it.

Viviennemary Fri 14-Apr-17 13:22:29

I agree that the the tenant is taking the absolute piss. It gives all responsible honest tenants a bad name. I'd go down the legal route and get an experienced solicitor and start procedures. Why are they behind with the rent already. They only moved in October. And you've spent all your savings on this. Don't be a soft touch. Some people will always take advantage. It makes me mad. Don't bother with repayment plans. And great idea to join those landlord associations.

WottyMcWottFace Sat 10-Jun-17 11:47:49

Following on from my original post, Thankyou all for your advice!! But the problem with my tenants has escalated!
Served the section 8 notice for possession which expired 24th may ... they didn't go! Issued court proceedings, still waiting for the court hearing, in the meantime benefits office contacted me to advise tenants housing benefit has been stopped due to them providing false information... firstly I didn't know they were getting it so that just tops it's that they've been pocketing the money and living rent free in my house with their cats which was a no pet agreement! The final cherry on the cake is that theyve set up a take away from the back kitchen!!! I just can't believe what they are doing! I'm now uninsured and in breach of the terms of my mortgage! They are breaking every rule going as it's unregistered and doesn't meet even basic criteria! I've reported it to the council and taken up my extreme concern with JUST EAT who they advertise though, they were unaware that they were trading illegally from the back kitchen of a terraced house but yet still won't do anything about it as I'm not the account holder angry I'm praying the court hearing hurries along but I just don't know what to do til then!

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