This is an update of the eviction of my non paying tenants, the process has well and truly dragged out for ages and ages. About 5 months in total.
In court the judge had ordered that the tenants leave on Jan 23rd and give up possession of the property. The tenants had agreed and I was to meet them there on the 23rd. On the 21st I called the tenants and asked about the 23rd and they told me they would not be leaving. Great!!
I went back to court when I could to ask for the court baliff to kick them out. This cost me Â£95 and I had to wait for the baliff to arrange a date. When I finally got documentation through for the eviction from the baliff the date they had set was for the 18th Feb at 11am. This was nearly another 4 weeks from when the judge had ordered them out. another 4 weeks of non rent payment Grrrr!!!
Court Baliff and the Police
The court baliff will turn up with the police if you think that it will be a problem getting the tenant out. I didn’t think this was necessary and I don’t like to waste police time.
So now I had an eviction date and knew when the property would definitely be empty. So I advertised the property in the local paper at a higher rent then before as I need to recoup some losses on the Â£4k in lost rent. I think my bad luck on this property had turned to good luck as I recieved at least 20 calls about the property from possible tenants. It turns out that this is one of the most desirable areas to live in as the schools and town centre are both very close. I scheduled as many people to come over on the 18th as possible to view as I really wanted to let the property ASAP.
On the 18th I went to the property at 11am to see that the tenant had already left and that so people had already turned up to view the house and were chatting to the baliff. I let the baliff in and he had a quick look round to check the tenant had left. When he had checked the house I had to sign some kind of form to show that he had done his job and the tenants had left. I changed the locks on the doors and my cleaner went about cleaning the house. 2 viewings later and the property had been let, a young couple really liked the house and had put down a large deposit for the property.
I was so happy, the nightmare of the bad tenants and non rent payment is now over. I’m pretty sure these new tenants will be a good ones. They actually came from a recommendation as I already rent a house to the girls mum and another house to her older sister and her mum is acting as a guarentor. So I didn’t actually even need to advertise the property, but at least now I know that that property is in a great letting location and in high demand.
You can read my earlier posts on my first eviction court eviction and section 8 eviction and tenant eviction
Possession Court Hearing
The possession court hearing for my first eviction was scheduled for today at 12pm. I put my suit on and took the following evidence:
Rent received statement
Section 8 notice
Court Possession Hearing letters
I ended up being 8mins late due to traffic and I thought I was going to miss my appointment so whilst driving was cursing all the slow drivers on the way! I even had to park my car on double yellows outside the County Court as I didn’t want to miss my appointment. Luckily the hearing was late as the judge was still in session so I got to move my car into a nearby carpark.
When I sat down in the waiting room I could see my tenant but did not make eye contact with them. I felt quite bad as this is finally the day a judge will hopefully ask them to leave. I had to tell myself again, its the tenent that has done me over by not paying me money that they owe me, they owe me money a lot of money. They owe me money and have made no effort to repay any of it. They have been living in MY HOUSE for free, whilst i am paying the mortgage.
After 35min in the waiting room me and my tenent where finally called to see the judge. The court room was surprisingly simple, clean and slightly clinical in feeling. The judge was very friendly and reminded me somewhat of a primary school teacher with big smiles and a very warm personality. He didn’t strike me as a judge dread type of character at all. I felt very comfortable in the courtroom.
My tenant was being represented by the duty solicitor who was very inpersonal and to the point, but i guess that is her job. The judge had not actually had a chance to look over the case files and mentioned that he didn’t have them with him. He asked the duty solicitor to explain the situation which she did. The tenant hadn’t paid rent since May 2007 and had no payment proposal to pay the rent of the arrears. the tenant had been to see the council housing and will go back later today. The judge told us that he had no choice then but to grant possession to me in 14 days. With this information on paper the tenant then would stand a good chance of getting alternative accomodation with the council. The judge also told me that the tenant now has a judgement against them for the arrears (Â£3600+) but I would need to make seperate arrangements to recover that debt. I doubt I’ll see any of that money again.
I had a little word with my tenant outside of the courtroom and they were still adamant that they would pay me back my money. I arranged to meet them at the property in 14 days to see them out and told them that we can then take it from there. I’m slightly doubious that they will leave that easily.
I’ll report here what happens.
You can read my earlier posts on my first eviction here and here
I’m still waiting for the court date for my unpaying tenant, so that I can eventually get them out and get new tenants who DO pay rent in. I’m trying not to think about it too much as its not very nice to throw someone out of their home. But the fact is I really don’t want to pay any for them to live there every month, they should be paying me. The courts have set a date for Jan 2008, hopefully all will go well then.
More Rent Arrears
Just to pee me off even more another tenant who has had payment problems in the past has stopped paying rent, even though they are only meant to pay Â£85 per week, they can’t even afford that. I can’t believe it. They have about 10 weeks worth of arrears now. I must be strong and send them their final warning.
I feel really bad sending them notices when its so close to Xmas as they really shouldn’t be thinking about losing the roof over their heads during their Xmas holiday. Christmas is a time when we should celebrate with our family opening presents, eating turkey and all sit round the TV to watch the queenâ€™s speech.
Do they think about me?? Do they think if we don’t pay our rent then our landlord may not have money for Xmas?? NO THEY DON’T The fact that they haven’t come to me with anything not even excuses has made me realise that I should not be considerate to them as they are not too me. I run a business and I should be business like. No matter what time of year, if tenants haven’t paid then I need to be procedural and proceed like clockwork. Get the warnings out to them, get the notices out, get them bad tenants out!!
I often get asked for long tenancy agreements of 3 to maybe 5 years to give my tenants long term security. Don’t get me wrong I would love nothing more to be able to give them a 25 year tenancy agreement and have the tenants agree to rent the property for 25 years. However the terms and conditions of the BTL mortgages we use stipulate that the tenant must be given an AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) of usually no more than 12 months.
12 Month AST
But why only 12 months?
This is to protect the lenders interests as well as yours. If in the worse senario you couldn’t meet the mortgage payments either because you were not getting the rent or maybe you’ve spent it all on holidays. The bank to protect its loan would seek to evict the tenants, take the property back and sell it on to payback the loan.
Tenants can only be evicted if the contract has elapsed or the tenants are in breach of contract (usually for non payment of rent). I’ve learn’t the hard way that even when you want to evict tenants the process is long and messy.
The Banks unwanted Situation
With a longer tenancy a situation could arise where you are not paying the mortgage, but the tenants cannot be evicted as they are not in breach of the tenancy. You would still be collecting rent, but not paying the mortgage. I suppose the bank may be able to take over ownership of the property, and keep the tenants on as their own? This would be a bit of a legal minefield therefore its understandable most banks insist on 12 month AST’s
Long Term Tenants
I always prefer long term tenants, but with conventional BTL mortgages it is difficult to offer longer tenancy agreements. How do you get around this? On one hand we want long term tenants, they want to be long term tenants, but we are not able to offer them longer tenancies.
I always make a point of telling my future tenants about my portfolio and my plans for it. I put it to them that I am a landlord, this is what I do, I buy property to rent out. If they pay the rent and behave why would I not rent the house to them?
I also make a point to tell them that if they pay on time in full they will almost never see me again, I will leave them alone. BUT if they do not pay me then I will be on to them.
This is an update to this post about Eviction using a Section 8 Notice
well its been 14 days now since i issued the Section 8 Notice and the tenant has made an effort to contact me. about a week ago i got a text message from them asking me to call them. she tried to explain that apon visiting her back it has become apparent that loans.co.uk has been taking money from her account. they do not have a loan and the police have been informed as it could be identity fraud.
so for all the weeks that the standing order has been refused its because loans.co.uk was taking money on a direct debit from their account, which meant no money left for me. she assured me that she would now keep the rent in a jar at home and i’m welcome to come and collect it. its ok i told her, but she must deposit it in to my bank as she has my bank details.
i check my account everyday, but no deposits. i contact the tenant and she informs me that she has just paid the last weeks rent in and will pay this weeks in tomorrow. that was at least 3 days ago so the money should be in my account right? lies, lies and more lies? i’m really doubtful that this tenant will ever pay properly or tell the truth.
apply to court
the next step for me will be to apply to court for posession of the property. i can only do this 14 days after the Section 8 Notice. this will be a 1st for me too. i’ll keep you informed.
back in may i wrote about my bad tenants situation in this post http://www.dave.so/property-investment/watch-out-bad-tennants/
since visiting them 2 of the 3 bad payers are slowly paying of their arrears by paying more every month. I have 1 tenant though that just does not play ball. I have changed her payments to weekly payments to make it easier for her to pay. she assured me that she would never be late on her payments again.
it’s the banks fault – i’ve paid you
after going to see her she paid for about 4 weeks in a row, then its back to her old tricks with only 2 payments the next month. in July she paid on the 10th and then no other payments were made. so much for her promises. “it’s the banks fault – i’ve paid you” she keeps telling me. looking at her bank statements i can see that she has paid the bank Â£35 each time for cancelled standing order. her bank Natwest are charging her Â£35 each week as she has insufficient funds to pay me. this is appalling that her bank should keep doing this to her and i believe she can claim these charges back. this shouldn’t really be my problem though as whilst she isn’t paying rent i am paying it for her. she is living in my property for free! this wouldn’t be so bad if i didn’t have to pay anything, but i have a mortgage on the property and without her rent i’m paying hundreds in mortgage payments that should be covered by her rent.
no other choice
i have to do everything legally and i have already given her every chance to pay on time. regretably i have decided to evict her unless she pays most of her arrears and starts apying on time. unless she does this i don’t think the situation will improve and i will be paying for more of HER rent. i don’t actually think she can afford this as she is not working her partner only works part time and she has 2 teenage kids. i feel really bad about this, but i’m not prepared to pay for her to live in my property.
Do it right, within the law
there are 2 main ways to do the eviction right. you must serve one of the following notices and then apply to court after 14 days.
section 21 notice
a section 21 notice can be served if they are out of contract (the 6 or 12 months signed for has elapsed), no reason needs to be given for a section 21 notice to be served. some landlords ask the tenants to sign this as part of the tenancy agreement, thus making it easier to get the tenant out. i need to consider doing this.
section 8 notice
a section 8 notice can be served if the tenant has broken the terms of the tenancy agreement. this is usually due to non payment of rent, but can also be due to disturbance or damage etc.
if using the section 8 notice for non payment of rent you can use grounds 8, 10, 11 depending on the situation. here is a brief explaination of each ground:
ground 8 at the time of the notice at least 2 months or 8 weeks of rent is unpaid
ground 10 at the time of the notice some rent is unpaid
ground 11 at the time of the notice payment of rent has been persistently delayed.
i have used all 3 grounds as if you only use ground 8 the tenant can pay you Â£10 to bring the arrears to less than 2 months and the courts may not evict. not that i really want to evict, all i would like is some of my rent please.
i served notice on 31st August so i’ll report back on how it all goes. i really don’t want this to go through, but i also don’t want to be a mug anymore by paying someone elses rent for them. i guess its all part and parcel of the proffession i have chosen..