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Desperate situation


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I have been letting my home in the UK while I have been working overseas. The tenant has been unable to make the rent payments since March 2006. We have been to court once but my possession claim was denied on the grounds that the tenant didn't receive the notice to quit as he was in hospital. Unfortunately, my letting agent didn't bother to verify this. They also made mistakes in the letting contract which meant that we had to go to a court hearing and I had to employ a solicitor. We have recently tried to serve another notice to quit but the tenant was again in hospital. He has been receiving some housing benefit for the last few months but this is only approximately half the rent. He wants to vacate the property - and told the judge so at the hearing - but he wants council accommodation and therefore can't make himself voluntarily homeless.

I am desperate. I am struggling to keep up the mortgage payments without the rental income. I have also now had to pay out more than £1000 in solicitor's fees with the prospect of probably having to pay the same again. I also need the house. My overseas contract is ending next month and I need somewhere to live. There is no way I can afford to pay the mortgage on my own house and then also rent somewhere for myself to live. The whole situation just seems crazy and totally unfair. Is there anywhere I can get advice and help?

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Hi Shamal

"mistakes in the letting contract" need to be legally explored to see if you can make the agent liable for some of your costs....

Is there any reason why you cant re-serve a notice to quit NOW properly ?

(go and see him in hospital and take a few witnesses to be sure it is seen to be "served")

not an immediate fix but at least only 8 weeks or so !

Negotiate with the agent to find alternative accomadation for the tenant who is getting HB( so rent paid) and will have to wait his turn for a council house!

Also put a debt collector onto it - the court may have rejected your claim for possession but the debt is still outstanding - this can be very expensive for the tenant and it is amazing what funds they can find when under the correct pressure!

I would also add all costs incurred so far to his bill then negotiate dropping most of them - even paying HIM £100 to vacate immediately.

This should at the very least motivate him into going to rent somewhere else and free up your prop.

If all else fails you could wait until tenant goes out and try squatting in your own property ! -- could be interesting !

be interested to hear the result for this one


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