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Tenants say they can't pay rent

(22 Posts)
MrsParker Sat 18-Jul-09 22:22:26

I rent out a 2 bed flat that I used to live in, I live with my partner & kids
Tenants moved in october 2008, carried out a reference check myself throgh a profession company, no lettings agent, all was good.

The tenants are a young couple, no kids. After they moved in they announce social services will be paying their rent.
This has happened since nov, but they made the last payment beginning of July.

Rent now payable by tenants beginning of August. They have contacted me to say they can't pay it on time, it will be 3 weeks late. Apparently they had a big vet bill

They had a 6 months tenancy agreement, which ended in April, it continued on a month by month basis. So they have to give a month's notice to leave and I have to give them the same.

I am concerned that the first month they are due to pay rent, they can't pay. They haven't been the easiest tenants. Not sure if they have any intention to pay at all.

Do i give them a months notice now?
If they don't leave will it take ages and cost a fortune to evict them?
They want to pay the 25th every month when its due the 4th.

We are struggling financially ourselves so not sure what best course of action is?

Any suggestions?

AnarchyAunt Sat 18-Jul-09 22:28:29

Is this in England? If so then you have to give them two months notice, not one month.

I'd give them the notice (Section 21 notice to quit) and hope they go, but if they don't then I'm afraid you will have to take them to court for possession.

jkklpu Sat 18-Jul-09 22:32:08

give notice - you're not responsible for their inability to pay

AnarchyAunt Sat 18-Jul-09 22:34:17

Bear in mind also that the rent arrears are not grounds for eviction until they are two full months behind. You need to follow the 'notice only' grounds for possession if it is less than this.

MrsParker Sat 18-Jul-09 22:42:22

They had a 6 months shorthold tenancy agreement which expired in April 2009 Which stated that after the tenancy had ended, the tenancy would continue on a month by month basis.
I brought a law pack with all the documents in it for renting so all legitimate?

oodlesofpoodles Sat 18-Jul-09 23:11:34

You can serve a section 21 notice to quit due to tenancy being up and a section 8 notice which is a notice to quit based on other grounds, in your case rent arrears but if they pay monthly then they need to be 2 months in arrears before you serve notice, then you have to wait 14 days from 'deemed receipt' before you can apply to court.

If you use section 8 then you can apply to the courts online using PCOL here but its not for sec 21 claims.

Try posting on landlordzone.co.uk

If they are less than 2 months in arrears when you go to court then you are not guarenteed to get them evicted but there are discretionary grounds for having any arrears or being persistently late paying.

oodlesofpoodles Sat 18-Jul-09 23:19:24

You can buy section 8 and section 21 notices on ebay for £2 and they are emailed to you. Other places charge £10+. I think PCOL is about £100 but its been a while since I've done it.

Earlybird Sun 19-Jul-09 03:40:36

Why did they pay the vet bill instead of rent? Why not make the vet wait?

AnarchyAunt Sun 19-Jul-09 10:25:16

Whatever the tenancy agreement says, the law is that the landlord has to to give two months notice to end a periodic tenancy. The tenant only has to give one month which is where confusion can arise.

The vet bill is most likely bollocks an excuse and not paying the rent is obviously not on, but you do have to follow procedures exactly else you are open to them claiming illegal eviction.

LIZS Sun 19-Jul-09 11:18:05

AA is right if it is a standard Assured Shorthold agreement, tenant has one month's notice , landlord 2, unless it specifies alternative notice period if it rolls over the 6 months - unlikely if you used a standard form. Rolling on a month by month basis is not the same as you being able to give a month's notice. Give notice now, it isn't worth the aggravation of waiting for them to default and going through the courts. I assume if HB has stopped their income must have otherwise changed in some way so they should be able to pay it. if they have a change in circumstance ie that they now get paid later in the month then they need to find a way of bridging the gap short term but meet your due dates(4th) in future. Do you have a deposit for any damage ?

AnarchyAunt Sun 19-Jul-09 11:35:33

Oh yes, do you have a deposit and if so where is it? Presumably its in an approved protection scheme?

expatinscotland Sun 19-Jul-09 12:23:57

'Apparently they had a big vet bill'

I'd start taking action to get rid of them.

And we're lifelong renters.

Rent and council tax come FIRST. Always. If you can't pay one or the other (because you lost your job or had to take a paycut to keep your job or fell ill) then you apply for benefits. Your benefit is to pay your rent and council tax, not a vet bill.

Anything else is a tenant not worth having.

Street 'em.

HecatesTwopenceworth Sun 19-Jul-09 12:25:42

I think they need to go.

What if they never pay their rent? That will cost you a LOT more than what it would cost you now to get rid of them!

expatinscotland Sun 19-Jul-09 12:27:14

if social services is paying their rent then what they're getting is money into their account. to pay their rent.

paisleyleaf Sun 19-Jul-09 12:39:00

We had a bad tenant (about 5 years ago, and have never let since). We gave him the 2 months notice to quit. It is 2 months for a periodic tenancy.
But wanted to be completely sure about going about things the right way, and were anticipating him not budging, so we went to CAB for advice.
They were no help at all. Even told us that they are more there for the tenants, and their advice to him would be to stay put!
It's awful. landlords/ladies are just ordinary people these days with their own mortgages etc to meet. Not property tycoons like Van Hoogstraten.
I hope you get it sorted smoothly, the fact they've animals they can't afford should not be your problem.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 19-Jul-09 18:02:51

I'd give notice too, rent should be the first bill they pay. The fact that they didnt declare they were DSS tennants would have been enough to make me worry. I presume your BTL mortgage and insurance covers DSS tennants, many dont.

MrsParker Sun 19-Jul-09 22:40:24

They paid a months deposit and a months rent in advance. Deposit is held in a deposit protection scheme.

They were not claiming housing benefit, but the council was paying it direct to me as tenant was formerly a foster child in training. Training now finished. Didn't know this at the time, form said he worked and this was confirmed by referencing company.

My dp now suggests we tell them we want £200 on the 4th August and they can pay £600 the next month. Not sure if this is a good idea?

Its all so worrying. Mortgage company allowed me to let property for 12 months, and may consider extending this. Can not sell it as now in negative equity.

LIZS Mon 20-Jul-09 10:07:11

Please give notice ! It may be a vet's bills this month but what have they also not paid if they can't even pay the rent ? Utilities, Council tax, debt/overdraft .... it will catch up with them and by default you will suffer. You cannot afford to lose the income through their unreliability , either make this very clear to them should you decide to agree new terms (under a new contract which you would have to do to move the due date)or minimise your risk by looking for new tenants. If you referenced them now what would it show I wonder.

unavailable Mon 20-Jul-09 12:55:08

Mrs P - It sounds as if the reference checking company may have been negligent. If your tenant wasnt working but stated he was, they cant have followed up the details he put down on his application.

I know it doent solve the problem, but I would explore possibliity of claiming compensation against the company.

(I also think you should give the tenants notice.)

inscotland Mon 20-Jul-09 21:03:09

Have you given them permission to have a pet in the property. If not that could be another reason to commence eviction proceedings.

violethill Thu 23-Jul-09 19:41:16

Serve notice as soon as you can.

IME tenants like this will be a nightmare - get rid. You are paying a mortgage on the property - why the hell should they live there if they're not paying their rent on time?!

It's worth following up unavailable's idea of seeing whether the reference checking company are negligent, but again, from personal experience, these companies usually have small print to cover their backs. I used a well known letting agent who completely fucked up with one tenant (used photographic ID for the tenant and failed to notice it wasn't the same person!!) You'd think they were liable in a case like that but they managed to wriggle out of it..... anyway, I wouldn't worry about compensation tbh: your priority is getting rid of these tenants and getting some decent ones in.

carter657 Sat 08-Aug-09 13:37:41

ive rented for the past 10 years, last 7 beign a private tenant.
i can honestly say if id ever missed my rent payment id have had notice given to me. from what i remember form my tenancy agreement there was something that said if i hant paid within 14 days of rent being due then my tenancy was over.
have you got anything like that?

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