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claiming rent arrears


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I have tenants in my property who are now 11 months in arrears. I'm pursuing an eviction via my solicitor under section 21 (the tenant should have moved out last July and didn't) which has been complicated due to the letting agent not serving the notice correctly and also wording the tenancy contract incorrectly - we now have to go to hearing. I have tried to by sympathetic and patient because this was a good tenant who fell on bad times. However, due to other unexpected expenses hitting me at the same time, I am now struggling to keep up the mortgage payments without the income on the property - not to mention the legal fees to date. The house is my home - not an investment property - which I am letting while I am working overseas. I've reached the end of my tether and I can't afford to be nice anymore.

1. Can I claim the arrears through the small claims court? And can I do it without being in the country? (I am in the ridiculous situation that if I return I am going to have to rent somewhere until I can get these people out of my house.)

2. Can I make him involuntarily bankrupt?

3.Would it be legal for me to make him an offer of payment to vacate the property by a given date?

I'd be grateful for any advice/suggestions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Have been in the same position - although not abroad at the time and not my home !

If you make a private agreement between yourselves and the tenant leaves of his own free will and you give him an undisclosed amount of money then i dont think there will be any further problems !

I would LEND him enough to hire a van (£100) and tell him that the debt is being passed to a debt collector who will keep the debt live for at least 6 years plus £100 plus collector fees.

As for the letting agent - you need to begin actions to sue for losses immediately.

Why has he not claimed housing benefit ?

If all else fails then create an enviroment where it is easier for him to leave than stay ! a friendly plumber doing a routine gas safety inspection and finding fault with the boiler necessitating it to be switched off (remove fuse ) leaving no hot water or heating for a week while you get a part never encourages people to stay ! and while he is there he could accidentally snap a key in a lock somewhere or put his elbow through a window which is going to take time to repair - use your imagination - my tenants do when they are making up excuses not to pay the rent - IMPORTANT DO NOT THREATEN THE TENANT OR DAMAGE YOUR PROPERTY IN ANY WAY - make sure they are accidents !

He could trip the electricity and leave him with no power for a while

You just need a throughly incompetent handy man - there are thousands out there !

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