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.
Sort: Newest first | Oldest first
16/12/2011 1:54 pm
This post has been removed.
16/12/2011 2:00 pm
Probably a silly question, but knowing that some councils can take a long while to process a claim, and then it is paid in arrears, is it possible that the outstanding funds have not been paid to the tenants either?
16/12/2011 2:05 pm
Sorry to double the posts Wendy (I hate it when others do that) but as an after thought on your 'never to LHA tenants again'
How will you ensure that as anyone could find themselves claiming LHA - indeed it seems these tenants did not start out as needing LHA. Can you have a clause in the tenancy that says automatic eviction if you claim LHA?
Similarily - if you had a tenant who was not supported by LHA who withheld payments would you refuse to let to non-LHA tenants in future as a reprisal also?
There is a contract between the two of you, they have broken it, you are now enforcing it. Where is the problem exactly, in terms that did not exist when you started this business venture?
16/12/2011 6:03 pm
Wendy, please ignore the comment from the anonymous first poster, I honestly think that was well out of order.
F451 raises a good point about claims taking some time, but I gather from your comments about payments being stopped, that this is not the case this time. As for not renting to non LHA, it's going to be difficult to be able to terminate your tenancy if they lose their job after having moved in.
I'd rather you didn't stop renting to LHA tenants as there is going to be a growing demand considering the current economic climate, but your reaction is not too dissimilar to those that we saw a few years ago in the early 80s and early 90s, when we were in a similar situation.
I can't offer advice on your current situation, but if you're willing to rent long term, you can consider approaching a housing association, who will sign a fixed term contract to pay you rent whether the property is let or void, and will have to agree on the standard the property can be returned to you. The rent might not be as high, but it takes the worry and the hassle out of it for you.
17/12/2011 8:43 pm
@Wendy - Private Landlords are a favourite pantomime villain of some posters to this site. Usually this includes F451.
You didn't say how long they have been tenants; it may be that you could consider accelerated possession (Section 21). In future, consider serving a section 21 notice early on as a precautionary measure. The only grounds the tenant has for disputing accelerated possession is if the Section 21 notice is incorrect. You can then evict them at the end of six months (provided you follow the procedure correctly) on any grounds.
Unfortunately this does not protect you against arrears - you will need to pursue a Money Judgment.
The only advice I can give is to make sure you properly check the tenants up front (via credit checks etc which you should charge the prospective tenants for). Also, make sure the deposit is sufficient given the risk - for instance I have friends who let to students and routinely ask for six months deposits upfront otherwise its just too problematic.
Hope this helps - and please ignore the first anon post you received. IH has many contributors - ranging from the valuable to the loonies.
17/12/2011 8:49 pm
Just a clarification - the Section 21 notice has to give the tenants at least two months, but you cannot evict them within the first six months under this process. Once the notice period ends (or the first six months of the AST is up depending on when the notice is served) you can then proceed with accelerated possession.
There are a lot of resources which outline the process available online.
18/12/2011 10:00 am
Thank you Jono
Tenants have been in for 9 months now so tenancy is now periodic. I have served a section 8 on grounds 3 10 and 11. Basically, they have been paid full rent from LHA and kept the money for themselves, just wish the court process was quicker as they will stay in the house until I evict and this takes time. I could understand if I was a nuisance landlord, but the house is well maintained and I have only made 1 inspection in this time. Now my tenants chose to ignore letters etc so no contact whatsover and If I go down to the property to try and discuss , I could be accused of harrassment. I appreciate that tenants need protection but I feel the scales have now tipped totally in the tenants favour leaving us landlords high and dry.