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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18/01/2012 11:53 am
Your venom shows just what a nice private landlord you are nonny.
18/01/2012 12:05 pm
I do not begrudge you your venom against the financial loss, nor even the adults that caused you that loss - but glorying in the breaking of a family and condemning innocent children to life of misery (and probably abuse) in the State Care System is hardly something to boast about.
Such posturing does more to reinforce the negative private landlord stereotype than remove it, and does an injustice to the many good and caring people who are involved in the business of renting property.
Perhaps you'd want to put that matter right, perhaps you would not. It all depends on how much self respect you feel that you require.
18/01/2012 12:11 pm
Sorry but if you're not competant enought or honest enough to pay the benefits you receive from the taxpayer to your landlord then maybe you are not the best role model for young children.
Maybe the shock of said action will make these people think about their responsibilites, make them better people and better parents moving forward.
18/01/2012 12:26 pm
Do you really think that the experience will make your former tenants better people?
More to the point, do you think that the experience those children will have passed from home to home, fosterer to fosterer, held back in education and thrown out to fend for themselves on the 18th birthday having been disabled from knowing normal family stability or value - do you think they are likely to be all the better for it.
Yes, it is not directly your fault these children have been destroyed - it is still something of a sickness to relish their prospect Nonny, or indeed appear to congratulate oneself for one's role in their plight.
18/01/2012 12:31 pm
I am new to being a landlord and my situation is exactly the same as Wendy's and I am left about 7-10k adrift and not sure how to pay back even if I get the full paying tenants.
I believe this forum should be for us to guide each other rather than pulling each other down. Landlords should be able to vent their anger some how. There is another website and forum called Landlordzone and they have quite a lot of stuff on there.
I have been looking into trying to recover my money and unless you are willing to fork out even more money on court fees it doesn't appear there is a reasonable route to recovery despite getting the court money possession order. I have now gone down the route of getting company that does no win no fee work and will send out letters free of charge to the tenant - as long as you know their forwarding address. To put a CCJ against someone you will have to get an order which costs you money and it has to be a specific type such as charge against wages, charging order against property. The bailiff said that it costs £500 for the van so unless there are £500 worth of stuff (at auction prices) then they won't bother repossessing the goods.
Here I have imparted some of my knowledge in the hope it might be helpful.
18/01/2012 12:44 pm
Well done Meeta, you seem so much nicer than Nasty Nonny. The importance of tone is illustrated by your posts.
I've mentioned previously that there needs to be some sort of federation for small private landlords, so that you may enjoy the same sorts of benefit that the larger private landlords do who are able to use their size to achieve outcomes that you can not afford.
However, to date no small landlord has responded positively to the suggestion - which I find hard to understand.
Meanwhile - I apologise for any individual offence casued by my fascist behaviour of tarring all with one brush (not for the first time, and knowing my own failings probably not for the last).
18/01/2012 12:46 pm
What is your situation as a landlord and are you in the same position as Wendy and myself?
18/01/2012 1:39 pm
No, I'm not a landlord. Just somebody with a long experience inside housing and communities, and a passion for social justice.
I've had to assist people who's landlord was harrassing them, making exceptional charges, refusing them access to heat. terminating occupancy without terminating the tenancy - the list goes on, and I'm sure good landlords are as fed up as I am with the fly-by-nights and unprofessional, or frankly inhuman landlords who make the trade have a poor reputation.
I've also witnessed the massive rise in LHA fixing such as to optimise the take from the taxpayer cake, so to speak.
I do come down more on the side of the tenant, by default, but also support the person, which includes the small landlord. It is ridiculous for the government to carry on the ways of the past 30-years propping up poor and inadequate landlords with benefit payments simply to continue to try and make the private sector appear to be capable of replacing social housing. Meanwhile many good people, landlords and tenants, exist as collateral damage in the policy war that results.
As I see it, the best chance of small private landlords getting a fair deal is for them to stand together with each other, and even with their tenants, and so force the government into a more sustainable position. but that is just my view.
18/01/2012 1:44 pm
Good to hear that. Also there must be a mechanism that acts quickly when a tenant will refuse to pay the required rent, rack up loads of debt, put the landlord under stress and tablets and the case workers tells the tenant to stay there until they are evicted in spite of knowing what the landlord is going through because I don't think the tenants know all the legal aspects and the government has to change the ruling that they don't have to go until the bailiffs come round. Also once the court possession order is given there should be a simultaneous application for a bailffs order so you don' t have to wait a further month. I say, get the possession order and bailiffs order at the same time - this should be an option available where we can pay the fees in one go and get both orders together - the tenants would have been out by now.
18/01/2012 1:59 pm
There is more money to be made through direct renting, but less stress if using an agent, and even less worry if renting via a local authority scheme even though this delivers the lowest return.
I'd say that if any form of employment or work is adversly and unavoidably damaging your mental health then you should either stop doing it or learn to think differently about it.
If the proceeds of renting allows you to just about get by then the business vulnerability is beyond risk management. Where before the recession this risk was less likely to deliver a downfall, currently it will, and in the future with the majority being forced to rent privately the outcome is obvious just by looking at history when such was the case. Tenants would disappear when the rent arrear got too much knowing that there would always be another landlord eager to earn money from them. Landlords despised tenants for that very reason and looked to spend the bare minimum and so preserve profits in expectation of the moonlight flit. Tenants felt justified stiffing the landlord because the landlord offered such poor service. It is a self propelling mechanism for depravity and dispair, with only the financiers coming out with a gain.
I do wonder what would happen if all private landlords could show solidarity and refuse to take LHA clients until income was assured, and dependency issues removed - but would landlords accept charging a significantly lower rent to achieve such ends?
If the governments entire housing policy depends upon a vibrent, growing, and sustainable private sector, I think if you all stood together the government would have no choice but to meet you with an open ear. Whilst private landlords aim to outdo each other and squeeze the tenant, the government have you all where it wants.
18/01/2012 2:05 pm
This is my first venture as I had to leave my home due to the area I was living in became too bad - Tottenham riots etc.
I cannot sell yet due to negative equity and don't want to stay in the area. I have an agent but the tenant's change in circumstances started this spiralling effect. Hoping new tenants will be somewhat trustworthy and my new year will be good. Also hubby was intensive care last year so that doesn't help much!!!!
18/01/2012 2:24 pm
Tough times for tenants and landlord - how many more landlords will share your experience as more and more people lose jobs and incomes and need to try to make ends meet with shrinking benefits and disappearing work options.
Of course, public landlords have been faced with these loses previously - or more to the point the public purse has ultimately been responsible for writing of anything that can not be recovered. Now, because of the privatisation of housing, private landlords face these losses and any write off is between you and the tax man as to how much may be offset.
The privatisation of debt, the privatisation of housing, and the centralisation of wealth plays a considerable part in the negatives that you are experiencing trying to gain an income from the trade-able commodity that was once your home.
I return to my fundemental point, that whilst working people allow themselves to be divided the ruling class will always ensure that we carry the heaviest load for the smallest reward. Hoping to one day belong to that class is no protection against their ensuring we never will.
Perhaps you should consider returning to your home. After all, the vast majority of Tottenham residents appear to have survived the riots, and indeed appear to be building a stronger community in their wake (just like they did before, forming the community you lived in previously.)
19/01/2012 1:45 am
I have to admit that as someone who's been involved with social housing for many years, I remember the legislations that the Government introduced in 1999 for fair rents looked like a very positive step at the time, and served many tenants well since it came in.
However, as the economy shrinks and people tend to become more selfish, it does seem as if I'm hearing/reading more cases of landlords being left in the lurch, and it's a shame it's taking the Government a long time to assess the legislation, I do think there is a case for quicker independent arbitration away from the courts.
19/01/2012 9:52 am
I have scrolled through some of the posts on this forum and would again reiterate that you should serve the section 21 and 8 at the same time. You will then receive a date from the court and all they will request all information on rents paid and amount owing (this was handled by my Agent). Usually these are undisputed and therefore you will get a date for eviction. I tried to get the date pulled forward but they did not change this (date of leaving was 20th). When this date passes, which it will without tenants leaving, on the same day you will need to file for bailiffs order (£110 I'm afraid). The bailiff's dept will give you date for eviction. This date will take time in coming so I would suggest, as I did, that you keep phoning the court and bailiff and plead that you need these people out of your house and you can't go on any longer because you don't have the money, and the stress you are under. If you get someone who is understanding then they may be able to get a date quickly. I don't know what area you are in but in LB of Enfield they do about 350 evictions a month so I was lucky to get a leave date of 20th December and an eviction date of 24 January (bearing in my we had Xmas hols). So this means I have lost another 700 pounds on top of everything else.
Going back a bit - When you receive the possession order you will need to complete a form for the actual eviction and this costs £175 before the bailiffs order is posted.
Just because you will get a possession money order, this does not mean that you will get any money. You then have to apply for the CCJ which is more form filling and court fees. You can apply for different orders such as warrant against earnings, charging order against property they own (both pointless in my case), you could ask them to go to court and do an interview in which they have to declare their assets, you could freeze their bank account (if you know what it is) or you could make them bankrupt (I wanted to do this but the cost and time is prohibitive but would have done this if I had the money).
Once you get the bailiff order they will come at an appointed time and you will need to attend with a locksmith. If they have goods to the value of more than £500 in auction value and you've got a money possession order then the bailiffs will cease the goods and return the proceeds to you.
So far my tenant has refused to speak to my Agent and her caseworker. My agent has sent a letter giving the tenant 48 hours notice that they will enter the property (I believe this is the law) and maybe its something you can do also. There has been no offer of any money or monthly payments from the tenant and if I want to enforce the order its going to cost and if she doesn't have any money then I won't get anything. Also ensure you get the forwarding address. I think the order is valid for 6 years or something.
This is what makes it hypocritcal on the government because they give you a possession order for your money but you can't get the money until you pay even more money to the court. My next option has been to go to a company with a no win no fee motto and they will send out a statutory demand letter advising that if they don't pay up they could be made bankrupt. Alhtough I doubt whether half these people really know what it means in the long run to be bankrupt.
I hope this is helpful and if I have said anything that is incorrect please accept my apologies but this is all the information I have gleaned from my experiences. My first tenant and my nightmare tenant from hell and taking advantage - she gets £953 and I'm sure she could have got a 2 bed in my area for this money. I even had to empty the tenant deposit account, thinking that I would get this back at a later date - no such luck. I must just be riddled with bad luck.
19/01/2012 10:42 am
Wendy you will probably have gathered from all these posts that there are good and bad people in the world
I have worked for the last 12 years housing some very vulnerable people with all sorts of issuesand have worked with private landlords to place these people in private rented,
build a relationship with a support provider in your area and when your property is about to become void you can talk to them about a family or individual who through support has learned to understand budgeting, healthy living, what holding a tenancy means, its important to me that i place the people i support in appropriate affordable accomodation and once i have a good private landlord would do my utmost to maintain that relationship
You can house people on benefits, but jumping into letting property without really understanding what a tenancy is or having some knowledge of the housing act will leave you in a vulnerable position.
I have friends in the building trade who have carried out work and then had payment refused for flimsy reasons they to loose thousands and its often the more wealthy who practice this
For your own health and peace of mind once you have your property back dont dwell on this experience and please dont tar all vulnerable people with the same brush there are good and bad in all walks of life.
hope your next tenant /s are more responsible and respect the opportunity of housing you provide.
19/01/2012 12:57 pm
Being a professional landlord would not make a dam bit of difference in these case. The law ties landlords to waiting 6 months before they can arrange the balifs. Unless you're prepared to pay some guy you know in the pub a few hundred quid to ask your tenants to leave your powerless. Being a lawyer who specialised in tenancy law would make no differnce either.