Help with tenants non payment of rent
Rent Arrears

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4 Posts
3 months ago

I have 4 tenants on individual tenancies in a 4 bedroom house. It is in a Council area where you do not need a HMO license. The tenants have all been troublesome with arrears, late payments and damage to the property that the offender just ignores every time I write to him to ask when he will replace the kitchen unit door (if the same kitchen is even made) that he has clearly kicked in. I wrote to them all recently advising(with 2 months notice) of my intention to terminate their contract when its term ends in April. This month, so far, one of the tenants is a week late with her rent so I have messaged her to pay it and tried calling her. I then received a response that she 'is in the process of taking legal advice and until she is advised of her position, she will not be answering calls or messages. She goes on to say I have an obligation to provide a safe and regulatory compliant property and that I am not doing that or have I been doing that since she moved in (almost a year ago and first I've heard of it). She advises she will not pay rent or bills until then. She has told me not to contact her as she has mental health issues and I would be harrassing her.  I am a disabled landlord who rents out what was my home as since no longer being able to work (after working all my life) I could no longer afford to live in it and pay the mortgage and bills. I have just had a hip replacement, I have broken my wrist badly and I am having excrutiating physio on it as it is not healing and my Dad is in Hospital and I was due to get back to the UK to see him (I stay in India as I cannot afford to live in the UK) and her not paying her rent (and all the bills are in my name) and running up expensive bills means I have no money to get back to the UK or to pay my mortage and keep doing my physio which I have to do for the next year as I have been left with a bad deformity. I have asked her what the unsafe or non regulatory issue is but she will not advise. I have told her that she still has a legal obligation to pay her rent and bills even if she feels she has a dispute. I have also said I cannot help the issue she believes there to be if she doesnt communicate it. I have an up to date gas safety cert, EIRC, landlords insurance. The deposit is in a Government scheme and all my compliance is good. I have fully furnished the house with rugs, lamps, artwork, artefacts, kitchenware, hoover, iron etc. I even provide a cleaner for the communal areas fortnightly as they do not clean the house, there is rubbish everywhere and mouldy food in pans and on dishes for weeks. I also provide washing machine and cover for it. I could not be a more giving landlord yet I am being treated like this. I believe she is just playing the system as she is still working, has the money to pay and is deliberatley witholding it. I am aware I cannot issue a Section 8 until she is 2 months in arrears but by then I will have defaulted on the mortgage and be in more debt with the utilities companies. This will obviously have a significant effect on my credit rating that I have kept perfect all my life and I may even lose the property. Is there any legal help to deal with this situation? I am not on benefits as I am not in the country right now and when the tenants pay their rent there is no issue. I know it would be prudent to have savings to deal with this but I have not been in that position unfortunately. Should I issue a MCOL? That costs quite a lot in court costs however and I'm not sure if I can add them and whether they would be recouped etc. Any help much appreciated as the financial ruin on top of my health issues and ongoing painful rehab is really causing me so much stress and anxiety. 

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