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Tennant not paying


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Hi all, my first posting on the forum :)

After a few years of good tenants I seem to have found one that can't pay.

I've read the various threads regarding the legalities regarding eviction but I was just wondering how many emails to send the chap first hoping for a change of heart before pursuing the legal avenues.

I use the estate agents on a 'find only' basis so they do the paperwork and check references etc. So far the chap is only 22 days late but other that the first month's rent that the agents take as payment I've only had one payment from him and the second has not arrived. So I suspect I'd be better to get rid of him

I've had a very agreeable series of emails from him, firstly he asked if the rent date could be moved from the last of the month to the first of the next due to his payday (he's a mechanic at a large car dealers) but after the rent never arrived I've had 'stories' about illegal activity on his bank account that would be put right and further suggestions that his family would lend him the money. He informed me of the date that I would be getting the money and now that the date has passed he has not answered my last two emails.

Personally I think he is immature and irresponsible regarding money matters. So do I just sit tight now and wait for the next month + 1 day and get started with legal paperwork or should I pester him with more emails. So far all emails have been polite and courteous but I'm aware that sending too many could be deemed as harassment? Maybe a letter or phone call would help?

Anyway, what do you think best?

KR Julian.

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My advice is to stop sending emails and organise a council of war meeting with the tenant at your property ASAP.

It's clear he hasn't got the rent at the moment - which is probably why he is avoiding you.

You need to agree a repayment plan with him .... explain that if he keeps to the repayment plan then you will take no further action otherwise you will evict.

You could also ask that the rent be transferred to you directly from his employer out of his wages ... including any additional amount to contribute towards the arrears he owes.

If he is a reasonable tenant then he will agree to all of the above ... and if he is bad at managing his money then getting the rent paid directly from the employer should mean that he should not fall into arrears again in the future.

However ... If he doesn't agree to the repayment plan and he doesn't agree to direct payment from his employer .... cur your losses and evict.

In fact ... It might be worth letting him off the rent arrears in return for the keys of tour properry back.

Good luck


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Thanks for the advice. Oddly enough I just had an email from him with more excuses - away with the kids (divorced) limited email access, assumed it was sorted, back Thursday, will be onto the bank then etc etc.

I live 80 miles away so council of war meetings are costly for me. Taking all the emails I've had collectively it has become clear to me that, in common with many younger folk today, telling porkie pies is a way of life. Unfortunately he seems a bit hard of thinking and he fails to understand that Inspector Morse isn't needed to detect the nonsense.

Anyhow, I'll keep my fingers slightly crossed for now, I think that any replies I send will be nothing more than an acknowledgement and I'll keep my powder dry for the 8 weeks in arrears and issue a section 8. As I also have a full time job I don't feel inclined to waste too much more time and would prefer to be rid off him and get someone else into the apartment.


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If you had rent guarantee insurance or a home owning guarantor it might mean you would worry less.

It always amazes me the number of people letting property who make little or no effort to mitigate risk.

Don't make the same mistake next time.......set yourself a set of ground rules, here's mine:

The most important thing that any potential landlord can do is choose their tenants very very carefully.

1. Get Referencies.....bank, employer and previous landlord.
2. Take out rent guarantee insurance.....its not expensive.
3. Get a home owning guarantor. Carry out reference checks on the guarantor. Give the guarantor a copy of the AST. Make sure the guarantor document is drawn up as a deed.
4. Don't let to people with pets or children......the risk of them giving you problems are big.

5. Don’t let to anyone under 18 (minors). Draw up your own limits….I prefer nobody under 25.
6. Don't let to smokers........you won't get rid of the smell.

7. Don’t do Company lets.

8. Don’t let to anyone on Housing Benefits.

8a. If you do choose to let to applicants on Housing Benefit CHECK that your mortgage & freeholder (if your property is leasehold) allows it.

9. Don't let to anyone who isn't working full time.
10. Inspect properties every 3 months.
11. Only let initially on a 6 month AST.....that way you can both part company after 6 months if you don't get on.
12. Use a reputable Lettings Agent OR one who has been recommended OR do it yourself (only if you know what to do).
13. Meet your tenants personally. Make sure you ask all the right questions and gauge whether they are right for you.

14. Protect the deposit in one of the official schemes.

14a. If you have a dispute with your tenant(s) over deductions from the deposit remember…..you can either go through the DPS adjudication process OR take the tenant to the Small Claims Court for recovery of your losses where you may have a better chance of success.

15. Issue a section 21 notice as soon as the deposit has been protected.

16. Make sure there is a detailed inventory & schedule of condition……signed by both parties.

17. Remember its a business....so avoid emotion & being overly sympathetic to your tenants.

18. Read as much as you can about renting & letting i.e. educate yourself.

19. Don’t let to anyone who doesn’t speak or understand English.

20. Don’t forget that you will need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)…….before you market the property.

21. Don’t forget to get an annual Gas Certificate.

22. You are responsible for ensuring anything electrical in the property is safe so consider getting the electrics checked professionally….and any appliances you provide.

23. Try to avoid having your property classified as an HMO……meeting regulations is expensive and time consuming.

24. Make sure all adults living at the property are on the AST & any other documents.

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Thanks for the replies.

I've an idea that this chap is going to start paying when he gets his next pay packet. And I like the idea of having him ask his employers to pay me direct.

The question I'd like to ask now is how would any plan that we agree regarding payments, or how would being in arrears with payments (but still paying) subsequently impact upon a decision to evict should payments stop again?

At the moment the situation is easy and clear-cut. But with payments and arrears maybe arriving in dribs and drabs then the situation becomes difficult?

Cheers Julian.

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OK, I've completed a section 8 which was easy enough, I'm just waiting for a copy of the tenancy agreement to make sure I have the details absolutely correct.

Taking advice I'm going to serve a 21 (1) b notice too. Has the expiry date got to be a minimum of 60 days from time of serving even though the tenant is now 2 months in arrears?

<EDIT, I have the asnwer c/o Google thanks!>


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This is the deposit info from the agreement:

''A security deposit of £550 to be held by the Land Lords Agents who is a member of my deposits as stakeholder until the end of the tenancy. The deposit is safeguarded by my deposits, which is administered by HFIS plc (Hamilton Frazer Insurance) etc etc.....

Is this OK? There's more blurb but it's pdf format so not easy to copy.


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It think that I'd be a nice move to offer better living environment. Maybe a full property refurbishment or just a quick refresher. Just improve the living conditions. I hope this makes the tenant pay more regularly.

So, you would suggest the landlord spends some money. Anything between a few hundred and a few thousand pounds.....refurbing / refreshing the property, IN THE HOPE that the tenant pays more regularly. Is this a joke ?

That's the worst bit of advice sorry, wishfull thinking I have ever seen on this forum !

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aliving11 is a troll

I would not rank his status in life as high as that. :D

Stupid comment even for a Troll.

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Indeed a daft comment. As it happens the property is an apartment in a newish block. Lovely fitted kitchen, all rooms like new and freshly decorated and top spec insulation that results in very low heating costs.

If I was 30 years younger I would be delighted to rent such a property, so aliving11 couldn't be further off course if he tried! He has reinforced my belief that the current tenant can take a hike as I'll look forward to getting someone else in who's more deserving. And as such he has scored an own goal.....


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My Son has just carried out 4 Landlord's gas certificates this week. The last house he visited today he said it was probably one of the worse he has seen in a long while and believe me he does see some sh*tholes with tenants to suit.

He said to the person. "Seen your Landlord lately"? "Nah"! came the reply " "Havn't seen him in 3 years."

So there you go. This landlord will be in for a very nasty shock at some point in the future. He won't be amused when he sees the badly hand-painted murial on the lounge wall. :D

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I went round a property many years ago and the tenant who was a friend of mine before I was in this profession had done a mural of the Rolling Stones LP "Tattoo you" full size across the living room wall.


We all though it rather good at the time but with my agent/landlord head on nowadays I think differently

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just to let you know that the tenant departed a few days after the date in the Section 8. No dramas or fuss and still on polite emailing terms :-) A shame really as I suspect he's a nice enough guy, but a bit behind the drag curve when it comes to money.

The oven door outer glass is broken, but that's all and accidents will happen. I'm struggling to find replacement glass and I thing some of the fittings have gone AWOL so I may need a new oven, the deposit will probably cover about half of the outstandings I think, so I'll chase him for the rest.


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Thanks Chestnut found one on that site.

Yikes, i'ts £114 + I need two extra brackets at a tenner each. AO.com have a nice shiney new Indesit model for £174 so I'm tending towards a new oven now.

I have an Indesit oven at my house and it's been just fine now for a few years so looks like they're OK.


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When I buy ovens (and any cookers or white goods) for my rental properties......I go for well known makes, at the lower/ budget end of the price range.

That way, I spend less initially, spend less on replacements, usually spares are readily available at reasonable costs and tenants just don't look at makes when viewing.

Don't forget any integrated appliances are still tax deductible wether you are claiming the 10% W&T allowance or not.

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Thanks Richlist, I tried to like your post but the site said 'I had reached the maximum of number of likes for the day' even though I've not liked anything for weeks :-(

I'll but the Indesit one as they're a popular product according to AO.com and like you say, spares are cheap and easy to get.

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