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'Forcing' tenant to pay arrears

(16 Posts)
IamAporcupine Fri 12-Jan-18 09:40:24

I am an accidental landlord. Our current tenants are very nice people who at some point had financial issues and fell behind on payments (~6 months worth).

We were very understanding and patient and have always tried to help giving them options but I think they are now taking us for granted and it would seem paying rent is not their top priority.

Is there any legal way we can somehow enforce payment without eviction?

As I said, they are good people and are looking after the house, so ideally I would like them to stay, I just want our money paid!

NoBallsHere Fri 12-Jan-18 09:44:32

You can give them a section 8 notice for eviction due to more than 2 months of arrears.
The only way for them to prevent eviction via the court would be to bring the arrears to under 2 months.
But really I think you need to join a LL association and learn how to be a professional LL. ‘Accidental’ LL is a cop out. You didn’t fall into a hole like Alice.

IamAporcupine Fri 12-Jan-18 09:58:02

Many thanks NoBallsHere, I will look into it.

And yes I guess you are right about the 'accidental' LL issue. I should probably just kick them out and sell the house, I really do not have time or energy to become a professional LL unfortunately....

specialsubject Fri 12-Jan-18 10:15:01

I'm a landlord. No one does it by accident. You presumably could not get the price you wanted for the house .

Issue a section 8 and ( if they are out of contract) a sec 21 too. They are most unlikely to pay arrears. You may also need to issue a separate money claim to at least give them a ccj.

I hope you have legal cover and rent guarantee insurance. They will almost certainly never pay as they can stay for free until the bailiff. Also have a word with the council to ensure any application for housing is binned as they are intentionally homeless.

Bailiff can take many months. Sorry.

IamAporcupine Fri 12-Jan-18 10:30:43

Ok, ok I get it. It was not an accident. It was an unfortunate decision.

Many thanks for the advice.
I really hate all this.
Such a bad bad decision.

NoBallsHere Fri 12-Jan-18 10:33:00

Do join an LL association. Fee is tax deductible and they can talk you through what you need to do now.

IamAporcupine Fri 12-Jan-18 10:39:04

Out of curiosity, can I ask you something?

Landlords seem to get annoyed at 'accidental' ones - why is that?

Is it because we have zero clue about what we are doing and end up always asking for advise? Or is it the use of the word 'accidental' that is annoying? Because I do not think we give real LL a bad name, or affect them directly? or we do, and do not even realise it?!

Just wondering really!

IamAporcupine Fri 12-Jan-18 10:41:04

Thanks I will join.

NoBallsHere Fri 12-Jan-18 10:43:34

Mostly it’s the denial. It wasn’t my fault.

You wouldn’t accidentally become ‘insert any other profession’ with no training or thought as to what your legal responsibilities towards other people were.

4yearsnosleep Fri 12-Jan-18 10:46:45

We are accidental landlords. We're a military family that were posted overseas, we were planning on moving back in, however I was pregnant and we wanted to be closer to my husband's work. We've had the same tenants for nearly 8 years, if they opted to leave we would sell, but we didn't need to sell to buy our current house and didn't want to kick a family out of what is their family home. We are lucky though as we've never had a single issue with payments, if she started not paying her rent, then we would take necessary actions to kick her out as if really rather not have the house, we never planned on having a buy to let.

parklives Fri 12-Jan-18 11:35:47

I'm an accidental landlord too, my DM passed away leaving me a property with a sitting/lifelong tenant who has to pay rent/upkeep the property - which they don't want to do. It's a pain in the arse, I don't want to be in this situation and would love to sell up, but I can't.
Doesn't that count as 'accidental'? confused

specialsubject Fri 12-Jan-18 11:56:42

Perhaps ' forced' landlord would be better - my mistake, I thought all sitting tenancies were long gone. What a nightmare. However there's no excuse for not getting informed and taking action to cover the risks.

Op, not necessarily a bad decision but the risk was what has happened - as a landlord you have to keep supplying, paid or not.

Sunnyshores Fri 12-Jan-18 19:27:06

This is a generalisation but.....I think accidental landlords are trying to absolve themselves from responsibility - pleading ignorance of the law, messing their tenants around with incompetence, bad standards of housing and potentially putting their tenants lives in danger. Whislt theyre still happy to take the money, much more money than those of us who are doing it 'professionally'.

Its bloody hard work, its stressful, its a huge responsibility and the public perception of LLs is generally really bad. So, yes people saying "oh dear its all an accident, not my fault" really irks me. That said Im happy to help when asked.

In this instance OP - they are not good tenants as you think, they are not paying rent!! By all means give them some leeway, a payment plan, but 6 months of no rent is not showing willing on ther part. Join NLA for £100 a year and they will help you evict them. Or pay more for someone like Landlord Action who will do everything for you. It will realistically take 6 months to evict.

4yearsnosleep Fri 12-Jan-18 19:36:00

Massive sweeping judgement there!!! I maintain our house whenever something needs doing (& fast too as I have a plumber and electrician lined up if there's an issue. And comply with landlord regulations. I completely redecorated for her this year and haven't raised the rent in 7 years as she's a good, reliable tenant. I think "professional landlords" are far more likely to be uncaring idiots than people that have lived and loved a house that they are renting out.

specialsubject Fri 12-Jan-18 19:49:41

The landlord associations won't handle evictions. Pay the £600 cost of the three firms who know how to do it. Plus the £355 court fee and the £110 for the bailiff.

The solicitors can't speed it up but won't get the paperwork wrong.

whataboutbob Sat 13-Jan-18 21:30:02

Agree with everything sunnyshores said- I was an accidental landlord for 5 years while my father was alive and had dementia and I had to manage his affairs as a power of attorney. Now he is no longer here and my brother and I have inherited his rental flat I call myself a landlord , but it feels odd. In the intervening time I have joined the
RLA , read up on the law etc. You have to grow an extra layer of skin as a landlord I'm afraid.

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