16/12/2011 12:55 pm
My tenants started caliming LHA housing benefit in September, payments have been made direct to them but they have not paid me. I have contacted the LHA after arrears got to 7 weeks , they suspended payments and now they have asked them to to contact LHA. I am owed over a £1000. I only rent the one property which was my former home and immaculate throughout. I have started section 8 proceedings but am aware this will take months to get a court date. I feel I am in a no win situation as I pay morgage on this home and now I am financially struggling. I have read some views on private landlords reeping benefits etc, but trust me there are 2 sides to every coin. I will never rent my home to DSS again, as this system is appalling. Landlords have no rights as far as I am concerned. I am owed money and they are still allowed to live in my house until I can legally get them out which will again cost me for court fees. The system is wrong, its my property yet I dont have any legal rights. Tenants are allowed to breach tenancy aggreements yet we cannot do a thing.
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06/01/2012 3:07 pm
I think Nonny you'll find the benefit cap will deal with that for such landlords as all they need to do is wait for the arrear to occur and then evict - might take a couple of months, the tenant may have been a good tenant for years, but as soon as they become an 'evil benefit claimant' they can be thus evicted, deemed intentionally homeless, and move to the nearest gutter.
This isn't a dig at landlords, but clearly the evil that is our government.
06/01/2012 3:17 pm
Landlords should be able to choose who their tenants are, exclude who we please, charge what we want and the government should be grateful if we accept one of their benefit cases.
As soon as the rent is not paid the law should consider the tenancy forfeit.
That is what we want of Shapps - he is working towards it but hampered by the sandal wearing do-gooders in the coalition.
06/01/2012 5:35 pm
F451 - clearly Wendy has explained she has tried to contact the residents, but they have been unresponsive. My point was that the legal issues facing her are not comparable to those faced by the nonny poster, and the choices aren't the same.
In response to other posts - a Private Landlord should have the right to withdraw the supply of their 'goods and services' if they are not being paid as agreed. To say otherwise is stupid. Perhaps I should put down a deposit on a Ferrari, and then explain I don't earn enough to pay the monthly repayments despite claiming I could, but should still expect to enjoy the benefits at cost to Ferrari. I know the consequences are different when it comes to housing but the principle isn't. No-one should expect the unearned. If you stop paying the rent, you stop earning the right to live in the property (in my view).
06/01/2012 8:24 pm
Precisely Jono - do remember that next time you feel the urge to blame tenants for failing to negotiate rents that they can afford etc - one sided negotiations tend to feel like Wendy's experience.
07/01/2012 6:30 pm
F451 - the situation of a prospective tenant negotiating what level of rent to pay, is entirely different to an actual tenant who has agreed to pay rent at a certain level and on certain terms. A private landlord should not have to negotiate, once that agreement is in place, over payment of the agreed rent. If they don't pay it, they should have to leave. This case shows how hard it is to enforce that principle.
A tenant is responsible for agreeing to pay a rent they can, and intend to actually pay. If they cannot keep to that, they shouldn't take up the property, or should hand it back and find somewhere else to live.
We all earn a living from our assets and skills - if one person exploits the assets and skills of another against their will do you not agree that the principle of it is wrong? Or do you think it depends on the victim? If you believe in the latter, will you admit to your prejudice?
07/01/2012 9:52 pm
Thank You Jono
I really wish people would read what is happening here. As I have stated, time and time again. I purchased the home I now live in by using equity from my previous family home to move closer to work and have quality time with my daughters(goodness knows, I deserve it). I've worked all my life and raised my daughters as a single parent, never claimed benefits and yes, struggled. I am not wealthy, I work full time and am 49yrs old. The law allows tenants to not pay rent and breach a so called legal contract, yet, when the landlord wants to take action...Blocked...get a solicitor..cannot afford one...I have had to rearearch how to serve action action through hours of scrolling through sites. I served action(fingers crossed I have completed forms correct or it will get slung out of court, regardless tenants still havnt paid rent or even tried to negotiate arrears). On the day of court, if I am lucky, I will get possession in either 2 weeks to 6 weeks, if tenants still stay, I have to approach the courts and spend yet more money I dont have to get baillifs, again, a date has to be set, could be another 4 to 6 weeks. How am I supposed to pay my morgages, work full time when I cant sleep, am suffering from severe anxiety and stress. As I stated before, I really hope this is a small minority trying to ruin this for the majority. I am not judgmental, but will have to look out for myself in future and be very careful when I chose a tenant.
09/01/2012 2:26 pm
Update. I have just received a very confusing call from Housing benefit advising me that tenents were not entitled to 13 week rule to get full housing benefit so their suspended payments have now fully ceased yet, they are not asking the tenants to pay back money as it was apparently housing benefits fault. Hello, these tenants have received over £1300 which should have been paid to LL not pocketed, yet, housing be are not asking for it back and if they claim again, they will be entitled to housing benefit. In the meantime they are still living in my house, not paying rent and I have to wait until February to go to court!!!!! Very disgusted as a hard working tax payer
10/01/2012 2:44 pm
Wendy - my sympathies are with you, having been in a simlar position myself sometime ago. Needless to say not only was I out of pocket from owed rent (like your situation it was kept by the thieving tenants), but alos left iwth a property that required substantial repiars also. So my resolution was go private every time. Unfortunately this does mean that some decent claimants of HB have to make another option, but human nature will take over. As you state, this is your home and you weren't in it for profit - you do get some idiot posters on here however who will judge every private landlord as a money grabbing facist!! They live sheltered lives. Hopefully your so called tenants will vacate the property prior to the court hearing and you can get back to a 'normal' life. The other option next time is to use a letting agent with guaranteed rents, may make it easier and they will carry out a full vetting process of any potential tenants. Chun up!!
10/01/2012 3:17 pm
Yes the law is an utter joke in this respect. If you want to evict a tenant within the 6 month AST period using a section 8 notice they need to be at least 8 weeks in arrears at which point you can apply for eviction - by the time you get to court a further 2 months or so later the judge may decide to grant another month or so to the tenant for them to find other accommodation. If they still don't leave the landlord has to apply for bailifs to get them out which again can take 2 weeks or up to a month. In short it can take approx 6 months to get rid of a parasitic tenant like the case above. Approx 500pm * 6 months = £3,000 in lost revenue whilst still having to pay the mortgage in most cases. It's a joke. No wonder so many private landlords take the law in to their own hands when faced with this issue. I'm not saying its right to use hired muscle to assist with an illegal eviction but I understand why they might be tempted to use this method.
17/01/2012 4:53 pm
I totally sympathise with you. I am owed over £4,000 which have accumulated over the last 6-7 months and only now have I got a date for eviction. The System is CRAP!!! These tenants can do what they like and you and i have mortgages to pay and I have had to go to pay day loans just to cover my out goings. its a diabolical shambles. If the tenant haven't got enough resources you will never get your money and they are not obliged to go until the bailiffs come.
I was in the same position that it was my home and we had to move because the area is bad but can't afford to sell it and there are no professional people in my area only those on benefits. I have found out that you can take out insurance for a year for less than £100 and I think its well worth it, providing you do the proper checks and get the correct tenancy agreement you will be covered.
Good luck with the eviction but it took me a good few months to get anywhere
18/01/2012 9:56 am
It's called 'insurance' nonny - I suggest you ask an insurance agent or your financial advisor for details - but simply you pay an agreed sum (the premium) against loss of rent through fraud, inabilty to let, breach of tenancy, and/or loss through damage or theft of fixtures, fittings or furnishings. In the event of any such loss the insurer pays an agreed sum against that loss.
It's a simple concept that even the least competent of private landlords should be able to understand - getting them to understand it as a business expense and profit protection may be difficult though as it involves paying up front!
18/01/2012 10:16 am
The company providing the insurance is called "Just Landlords"
18/01/2012 11:29 am
F451 I am aware of the concept of insurance, however, I was not aware of the particular insurance company which provided such competative rates. I already have landlords insurance covering buildings, and contents whether accidental or malicous but loss of earnings from parasitic tenants etc is normally more expensive. Your assumption that I was unaware of insurances just goes to show your ignorance and malcontented view of the world. You are one of those folk who are determined to be offended because you clearly have nothing better to do than rant on/sit on your soap box.
Thank you Meeta Grour I will ring this company forthwith!!!
18/01/2012 11:43 am
I'm sure nonny needs no advice, but may I suggest that you shop around for the best deal.
Squeal as you may Nonny, you were ignorant of the facts about such insurance. I am pleased that the more competent meeta has been able to educate others and help each become less amature. Perhaps meeta should consider a new income stream by training would-be landlords in the basics - there is clearly a demand.
18/01/2012 11:50 am
I'm not that amatuer F451 the last couple who tried to extort £4000 of me in mispend Housing Benefit ended up getting their kids took off them by social services when they couldn't get another private tenancy and the LA found them intentionally homeless (no duty). They also have a CCJ to contend with. The holiday they took at my expense certainly back fired when I took the case right to the end! I guess you would call these folk vulnerable or victims?
18/01/2012 11:51 am
It is also helpful to ensure that any payout from buildings insurance includes an amount for loss of income - that way if major repairs are needed then the cost of such and the rent lost while they are done are covered.
They have adverts on the TV for this sort of thing, so maybe Meeta's need as a trainer is not so needed.