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Tennant who should be on Jeremy Kyle


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Hi I'm new to the forum. Sorry to make my first post asking for advice but I never new you existed until last night when I was Googling for information.

I would appreciate your advice regarding my current situation.

A couple of facts first before I start the story:

Tenancy commenced 15/11/08

Standard Law Pak F302E Assured Short Hold Tenancy Agreement

Signed by the female tenant.

Guarantor by the tenant's mother (husband is a serving police officer)

Witnessed by the "paternal grand mother" of the tenant's child, (It will be obvious later why grandmother has quotation marks)

I have served today a section 21(1) ( B) with a date of expiry of 16/05/08 one day after the day of tenancy i.e. the 15th this gives her 3 months notice. The tenant signed the reverse to agree she received it.

I took no bond at the time of signing the contract but made a note on the contract of this and that the bond would be paid within a week. The mother was apparently going to get a loan to cover the bond. (I'm an idiot, I know but as I had a guarantor I felt assured I could pursue them if need be)

To date I have not received a bond.

I let a property to a young couple with a small child. I was reassured as I know the "fathers" side of the family. They are on benefits so I thought the rent was guaranteed or as much as can be. I used to receive cheques directly from housing benefits for my other tenants. I have up to now had good experiences with DSS tenants. I make a point of not judging people because they are on benefits. My theory is that if you are on the bottom rung of the ladder you can only climb it. Well as I'm sure you are all aware the lovely government has seen fit to change a system that worked and now insists on paying the money direct to the tenant. Here begins the problem.

The first months rent was paid on the dot as was the seconds no problems. The bond was not forth coming but the tenant told me she had fallen out with her mother and went in to details why, I won't bore you with these. The tenant and her partner assured me they had applied for a loan and the bond would be paid promptly.

So her starts the story fit for an episode of Jeremy Kyle the partner phoned me to tell me he had left the female tenant as the baby was not his she was seeing someone else etc. Could I kick her out of the house but he was going to live at his mums. I explained to him as she was legally the tenant, he had not signed the agreement my business was with her.

I then called the teary tenant to reassure her she still had somewhere to live and that she was the legal tenant. Also to make sure she still wanted to live there and wasn't about to disappear back to her mothers. Since I never have problems getting tenants I told her that I would understand if she wanted to leave the house and as long as the rent was paid up till the day she left it would be fine. She assured me that she wanted to continue living there. I also asked when the bond would be paid. Apparently the loan was being applied for in the boyfriend's name, so she would apply for one. To her credit she is a clean and tidy tenant and I know I have the guarantor to fall back on.

Ok then it's time for the third months rent. On the day the rent is due to be collected I phoned her to make sure she was in. No answer so I went around to the house no one in after messing about trying to contact her she eventually answered the phone. Lots of lies ensued DSS not paid it, her baby was in hospital, she had cancer some seriously nasty stuff you would think no one would make up. But to cut the story short she had simply spent it.

At one point she went to the police to tell them that she daren't go home because I was waiting for her and she felt intimidated. I explained to the officer that I was not in the habit of intimidating mothers and small children or anyone for that matter. Conversely because of how she has lied and continues to lie I do not go to the house alone and insist that my wife comes with me in case she ever accuses me of acting incorrectly.

Once again I went to the house no one in could not contact her so I went to see the guarantor. I explained the situation to her and asked for my outstanding rent. The step father agreed that he would cover the outstanding rent if I could not recover it off the tenant and in good time i.e. as soon as he is paid. I explained that if we could all be civil and amicable I saw no reason to involve solicitors thereby increasing their cost liability. Since then I have spoken to the step father on the phone several times to his credit he has been a gentleman and acknowledges that he as a liability to pay the money if necessary. He has asked me to send him a copy of the tenancy agreement as since they have fallen out with there daughter they have no access to her copy. I have agreed to send a copy and I will first thing tomorrow recorded delivery.

An hour after the phone call with the step father the mother called, very irate. Saying that her daughter the tenant was going to pay and I should not be bothering them. I reiterated that under the terms of the tenancy agreement she had signed she was liable to pay. Further as far as I could see, the daughter had no means of paying. She became more irate and then said she could deny signing it. Obviously there was a witness. My response was that if she was going to play games like that the phone call was over and I would now only communicate through solicitors. I further explained I would be seeking any incurred legal costs. She began demanding a copy for the tenancy agreement; she insists I had to send it to her. I explained she could ask me for a copy with please at the end and I would send her it, she slammed the phone down.

So to my questions:

Do I have legal recourse to pursue the guarantor for the money?

Am I obliged to furnish her with a copy of the tenancy agreement? The daughter has an identical copy.

Did I server the right document requesting possession?

Is the debt equally the step fathers, he is married to the step mother. He has verbally acknowledged his liability.

I'm happy for the bond to be paid in instalments by the tenant; would this cause me any other issues?

If the tenant trashes the place can I pursue the guarantor for any damages?

Should I / can I seek to recover the full outstanding rent plus the bond from the guarantor?

What's the best / cheapest / fastest way to recover this money?

Can I recover my personal costs time, expenditure etc as well as the legal costs?

Where do I stand with recorded phone conversations? Are they admissible as evidence if I have not told the other party that the conversation is being recorded?

I always try to conduct my business fairly and amicably up to the point where it is reciprocated, I think it's the best way

Thank you for taking the time to read this and your help is very much appreciated.

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Hi donside,

Firstly, the tenant is claiming housing benefit and she is not paying that money to you as rent. So - you need to contact the Council and demand that they stop paying her the benefit. Under the rules they MUST stop paying housing benefit to any tenant who falls more that 8 weeks behind with the rent. It would seem that your tenant is almost 8 weeks behind so - get on the phone !

Secondly, legal action benefits no-one but the solicitors! I would suggest the best way forward is to get the tenant to peacefully leave the property. I would even offer to write off a small amount of rent arrears to get rid of her because, quite frankly, even if you win Court Action against the tenant (and her guarantors) they have already shown you that they have no money .... so it is best to cut your losses and get rid.

The legal experts / debt collector mob will probably advise you to take Court action and send the money collectors around but you can't get blood from a stone and even when you win the Court action - and the tenant gets a CCJ - they aren't going to be worried .... because they haven't got any money!

Hope that helps ....


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It's a shame that you've had so much grief, which you clearly don't deserve, as you sound a decent person, although not taking a bond before handing over the keys, as you've assessed was a blunder.

Unfortunately for you, I feel Trenners advice is probably right in the sense of cut your losses, get her out, get a better tenant in who pays the rent on time each month.

I had a similiar experience a few years back with a DSS single mum, in my case, the guarantor DID pay me the rent that was owed, but I still received abuse and threats of violence from the tenant and her cronies, the annoying thing is, like you, I hadn't actually done anything wrong, they just decided they didn't want to pay me anymore.

If you did pursue a CCJ on the tenant, as she is skint, the court would probably allow her to pay you £1 a month or something equally ridiculous. You may have better luck suing the guarantor IF they are working and earning a salary, which he should be, if not he was never a suitable guarantor.

But the likelihood is as trenners wrote, if you pursue loss of rent, you could be spending more money on court fees and a continued period where rent isn't paid.

In my opnion the law is an ass and is not balanced equally between tenant and landlord. Treat this as a learning curb and make sure you are more thorough in future, good luck.

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