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LittleSnowBear

Tenant not paying not answering calls!

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I am posting this on behalf of someone else who would appreciate any advice!

 

There is currently a tenant in his property, she has recently not paid rent and has stopped answering the phone.

 

The property is managed by foxtons

 

He is worried as he will be unable to pay his morgage if she does not pay.

 

Also the Gas certificate is about to run out and because she is uncontactable he cannot arrange for the Corgi chap to come round.

 

Foxtons have said that there is nothing they can do until she is two months behind, there is only two months left on her contract.

 

They have informed him that if she does not pay the deposit will be released to him on the 10th of August, which is two morgage payments away and will still not be covered by her deposit.

 

Can anyone give any advice on how to proceed?

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Foxtons are right. Action can be taken as soon as the second month's payment is late. However, action takes the form of court action which is slow.

 

So advice, unfortunately, is to start thinking of other ways of getting hold of the money to pay the mortgage.

 

Though there is two months on the contract, has the tenant been issued with a Section 21. Without a Section 21 the tenancy will automatically continue after the fixed period is up.

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With regards to the mortgage repayments then give the mortgage lender a call, be honest with them letting them know that they will get their money, sooner or later, but they need to bear with you, my mortgage lender have always been reasonable with me during difficult periods.

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Just out of interest, how long has she been a tenant? If the tenancy started after April 2007 how could Foxtons release the deposi when it should have been in a scheme.

Of course if the tenancy started before then my question is irrelevant!

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Foxtons have no right to "release the deposit". They work for the Landlord, not the Tenant, and the deposit is not released until a check out inventory is carried out when the Tenant leaves the property and the Landlord agrees that it should be released.

 

And since most rent is due to be paid one month in advance, technically the rent is 8 weeks (or 2 months) in arrears after one month and ONE DAY.

 

Issue a s.8 notice, quoting grounds 8 (rent arrears) and 10 (rent owing) to get possession and rent owing, and issue a s.21 notice for possession as a backup (this has to give tenant 2 months notice).

 

It may be too late for the s.21 to take effect before the end of the fixed term. It may be worth considering getting some legal advice since it is important to get the details correct on both of these notices. I would have suggested getting advice from the Agent, but if what you have said about Foxtons is correct, they are being singularly unhelpful.

 

Rereading original posting, it seems Foxtons are releasing the deposit to the landlord. Not sure they can do that if tenant objects. And since Foxtons are "managing" the property (probably for an exhorbitant fee) they should be assisting the Landlord with the issue of the correct notices etc. Landlord needs to get on to them to carry out their responsibilities on his/her behalf.

Edited by Kentish Lass

Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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"Also the Gas certificate is about to run out and because she is uncontactable he cannot arrange for the Corgi chap to come round.

 

Foxtons have said that there is nothing they can do until she is two months behind, there is only two months left on her contract."

 

Well, this is a way for Foxtons to get into the property and see what is going on. You already know that when that CP12 is due is has to be done, end of. Therefore, Foxtons should be looking at getting an injunction to enter the premises to carry out this service, if the tenant is not letting them in. (or you if they only find the tenant and leave you to manage the property). So try pushing that point with them first of all. Its not so difficult to do yourself.

 

Failing that -

here's the practical solution, and I suggest you pop along to Foxtons to assist them in their duties! Although this isn't necessarily going to get the money back quickly, it may result in getting the house back, turned around and let again.

 

Foxtons or you need to post an abandonment notice to the front door. Should be addressed to the tenant and/or current occupier, and should state

 

"I have been unable to make contact with you since ......., and I have reason to believe that you have abandoned the property. I therefore inform you that if I do not hear from you by ............. I will assume that you have abandoned the premises and I therefore intend to enter the premises on ............, take possession, secure the premises, and prepare the property for reletting.

 

You can contact me on ............ or at ............ to let me know your intentions in this matter.

 

Legal advice can be sought from your local CAB, Shelter, or a solicitor or local authority.

 

Yours

 

Pin that on the front door, take a photo of it. Put a further copy in an envelope, together with your S21 or S8 which ever you are going to use. (S21 in this case I should think, if not reached 8 weeks arrears yet, S8 NOSP will have to be served on discretionary grounds, and you want mandatory - that's what Foxtons are on about) Make sure you do a "Proof of Service" for the NOSP. That goes through the letter box.

 

If you have any other contact number, or address for this person, then send a copy of the notice, telephone and leave messages. Make clear notes of all that you do in a diary form in case you end up going to court later. Keep copies of everything, do POS whenever you hand deliver anything to the property or anywhere else, or send registered signed for as well as first class. (I do that because very often people won't bother going to collect because they know its going to be crap - but they can't avoid it coming through the door in the normal way as well, and it shows you tried everything you could.)

 

Now, this will either make her come out of the woodwork, or neighbours will soon be on the phone telling you all and sundry about her! Actually, there's no harm in discreetly speaking to the neighbours, because of course, you are concerned for her welfare aren't you?;) and I'm sure you would never discuss any personal information with the neighbours.

 

Assuming you hear nothing back, go to the property on the day you stated, with locksmith, and a police officer (ring the local SNT and speak to the Sarge, about a week before - if he seems reluctant to attend, then start asking him the procedure should you find a dead body in the house or a man with a shotgun!!) The officer will just make sure that you are safe to enter, check out anyone who happens to be there, and will probably have a nose around (believe me, the local plods love an opportunity to get into a property on their patch and have a look around). You can't be accused of any wrong doing if you have the PC with you.

 

Once in, and if its clear that the property has been abandoned, take photographs of everything, and make a full written inventory of everything the tenant has left behind. You are going to need to store all of these items for at least 28 days. (Not perishables). In any case, you need to check all the post to see what you can discover from that, dates etc. Check fridge to see if there is food in it, note sell by dates etc., check meters, hopefully the electric is pre-payment, if there's a debt on it, well, they can't live there without electric now can they? Put your gloves on (in case of sharps) and dig down the back of any furniture, go through rubbish, you'd be amazed what clues this turns up. I've traced debtors by finding their children's exercise books down the back of settee's! Its amazing what kids write.

 

Even if the remaining stuff seems just junk, its never safe to assume that, so you either need to store it in a garage or somewhere for 28 days, or box it up, bag it, and leave it in the property (you can try and work round it if you have a lot of clearing up to do). The purpose of keeping it, and documenting it, is to stop her coming back later and stating you destroyed her property. Then suing you for the 42" plasma TV so on and so forth! Also (social housing hat on now - to give her the opportunity to reclaim her possessions if she wants to). Because of course you'll deliver it to her, and then you'll have a contact of some sort. You won't believe the amount of tenants who fall for that one, but then I will actually have their stuff delivered to them as well!

 

Once in and inventory done, I always post a Notice of Torts to the front door, (I just pick out the 10 items that seem to have a value and list them) and leave it there for a further 7 days. Also stating that anyone requiring legitimate access into the property can contact me ......

 

NB: DO NOT POST NOSP ON FRONT DOOR FOR ALL TO SEE! - Through the

letterbox only or personal service for that type of thing, but I've yet to be told not to post abandonment and Torts in this way.

 

After that I just go ahead and get on with turn around and relet. I have only once had a tenant come back to me weeks later and moan, I sent him off to Shelter, they told him he hadn't a leg to stand on.

 

Please be aware that I deal with high turnover specialist social housing - but if you follow the guidelines I have to you'll not go far wrong! As a private landlord you'll probably be doing too much, but then you'll always have your backside covered.

 

Good luck, I must deal with 3 or 4 of these cases a month, the properties are left like ****e and it costs a huge amount to sort it out. This is the way I deal with it, and like I said, I've not been caught out yet.

 

I'm going to sit and wait for our great legal seagulls on here to start shouting at me now!!!! :D

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I'm going to sit and wait for our great Im an orange on here to start shouting at me now!!!! :grin:

 

LOL - orange? where did that come from?!! I typed "our great legal seagulls"

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What is going on? everytime I type OUR GREAT LEGAL seagulls it comes out as Im an orange!

 

See what I mean? I'm trying to type legal seagulls but it just changes to orange everytime I post!

 

Oh, I give up! I am not calling anyone an orange!!!

 

banana is what I am trying to say! But whenever i type it together with our great it comes up as Im an orange! Hope that's clear now.

Edited by jackieandwayne
Totally confused by the computer and had to have a lie down!

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the I'm and orange came up when I typed l e g a l b e a g l e on another thread last night! Obviously some wag who has deeper access than we do has set those characters up to return Im an orange! Very childish!

 

Perhaps Moderator can sort out.

 

That's a very informative posting, Jackieandwayne - yours must be a fun job;)

 

I was assuming tenant was still in situ, just not answering the phone - as they do!

Edited by Kentish Lass

Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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Oh aye its fun all right! We are known locally as the last chance saloon! Still, it pays the rent.

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