Landlord Changes Locks To keep Scumbag Tenants Out

One of the most active and interesting articles (in my opinion) on this website is the I’m evicting my tenants post. The post is basically about me throwing my toys out of the pram and having a gutless whinge about my tenant, and how I want to evict her stupid ass. For the record, if there’s any justice in the world, she’ll be slowly burning in hell like a skewered lamb kebab right now.

The post is interesting because a lot of people have been actively commenting on the article; majority of the them being Landlords that are also experiencing frustrating situations with shit-for-brains tenants.

I’ve dealt with some real scumbag tenants in my short time of being a Landlord, consequently I know how stressful it can be. If I had it my way (providing that a tenant steps out of line), all landlords would be well within their rights to change the locks and throw their tenants onto the streets.

Having said that, here’s an interesting comment left by a landlord:

ive been a landlord foe 20 odd years and seen and heard it all.

I used to get real angry when this sort of thing happens but in the end it just eats you up.

you have to realise there are loads of fucking arseholes out there that don’t give a fuck how much grief they cause. I had one who was 3 months in arrears then, can you believe this. Sub let it to a load of drug addicts who wrecked the property it cost 12 k to refurbish it.
I was so angry i forced entry when they were out. Paid a man and a lorry to empty the whole lot. Cost me £400.00 Everything they owned. Took it all to the local tip, flat screen hi fi whole lorry load, Tipped it up good riddance. Changed the locks and waited for the phone calls. took about 2 hours then boy did the phone ring. Wheres all our our stuff they screamed. Down the fucking tip you low life. take me to court if you like.

Still waiting to hear.

risky but sometimes you just have to step up to the plate and take whats coming.

good luck


Now, that’s how shitty tenants should be legally treated in my opinion. Although, 3 months in arrears is way too long, they deserve to be locked out after 2 months of arrears, max. I’m not condoning this activity, because I wouldn’t even do it. I’m just saying that’s how it should be. If you’re a Landlord with a pair of dinosaur balls (like Paddy), consequently have no qualms with laughing in the face of the law, then all the power to ya’

It is illegal for a Landlord to change the locks?

Just to clarify, yes, it is illegal for a landlord to harass or change the locks to prevent tenants from entering the property. Tenants have a statutory legal right of “Quiet Enjoyment”, which protects them from this kind of abuse. So before you go storming into a property with the intentions of taking the law into your own hands like a crazed wild-west lunatic, think of the consequences.

Acts of illegal evictions include

  • changing locks when tenants are out
  • physically throwing tenants out your home
  • physically stopping tenants from entering their home.

Landlords have to follow a legal procedure to evict tenants, by serving the correct sections. More on Evicting tenants legally. Illegal eviction is a serious civil and criminal offense, and a landlord can be prosecuted if guilty of doing so.

In most cases, the landlord must obtain a possession order from a county court after serving a valid Notice to Quit. The tenant doesn’t have to leave at this point, and a lot usually don’t. Only the court can decide whether the tenant has to leave the property. It will normally take several weeks before the case is decided in court.

Exceptions to the rules

The landlord does not need to obtain a court possession order to evict if:

  • you have a resident landlord with whom you share facilities, like the kitchen and bathroom
  • you are not paying any rent for your accommodation

In these cases, the landlord is only required to give reasonable notice to the tenant to leave the property. Once the notice has elapsed, the tenant becomes a trespasser and the landlord can legally change the locks at the property.

Are you a landlord that has been forced to change locks? Maybe you’re a tenant that has changed the locks. Tell me your story…

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253 Comments- join the conversation...

Showing 203 - 253 comments (out of 253)
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David 2nd June, 2014 @ 13:37

Nige you are clinging at straws with chip pan if and if and if.

The original tenant is responsible, office of fair trading guidelines oft356 are a rule of thumb for judges. So beware on being unreasonable or you could end up on the receiving end of a lawsuit yourself.

I am a Landlord and a tenant, I have had a landlord sign me up for a 3rd year only to "change his mind" and then try to harass me out. I have never been in arrears, I think he just wanted more rent although he did not try to increase the rent because he knew it was at market rates (way above LHA).

It has cost him £900 in costs for failed attempts and because he never protected the deposit or followed the procedure to provide prescribed info I can hit him for 6 months rent as a fine, he has not protected any of the deposits for 2 different tenancies.

It is because he pissed me off that I will do this and on the last case I will probably get another £1k in costs.

There are scumbags out there, both landlords and tenants but if you I had a landlord behave as you suggest to try to have the "attitude" you have I would do all I could to rub them up the wrong way

Personally I hope Labour do get in and bring in the minimum 3 year tenancy, it will force the bunch of amateur Landlords out of the business.

You provide a lot of good advice on this site but some of it encourages people to be adversarial which just makes things worse

At least that guy will not have to worry about rent for 22 years!

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David 2nd June, 2014 @ 14:01


Have your friend politely inform the landlord that you consider his treats harassment.

Despite the OP he cannot come in without an agreed appointment, so just don't agree. If he is aggressive then report him to your local council so there is a record of it.

If he wishes to issue a possession order he is most welcome to, if he makes any further attempts to harass you or your guest he will be in breach of the tenancy agreement (having guests is quiet enjoyment).

Explain it is a guest and he comes and goes so not a permanent tenant.

Do not let him into the property, as he has already made threats insist that a 3rd party agent be used to carry out any inspections up to the end of the lease.

Your friend does not have to leave until the end of the tenancy unless there are specified break clauses and those clauses are invalid unless they fully mention your rights under the law in a clear way.

No matter what a tenancy agreement says it is subject to the LAW, so if it says we can kick you out in 3 days for non-payment of rent it is an invalid contract term and unenforceable. Even if they made them sign a section 22 at the beginning of the tenancy most judges will kick it out.

Even a reasonable term like "The landlord may end this agreement by giving 30 days notice" is invalid if it does not also inform the tenant of their legal rights in addition to this clause. i.e. that they have to give 2 months’ notice, that the notice has to end on the same day as the end of a tenancy or rent period. Also that the 2 months’ notice has to be worded right, has to be served right and is completely invalid if the prescribed information has not been provided in accordance with the housing act amendments in the localism act.

So basically relax, the landlord has to give notice as prescribed in the lease, the tenant may leave or they can wait for a section 21 (2 months’ notice) to be served. That gives them 3 months.

The landlord may not like the friend staying, he may even have provisons in the contract thart forbid it, but those provisions are not worth the paper they are written on if they do not comply with OFT356 because that is the bible that judges use when there is no explicit law forbidding something.

A professional landlord would ask about the tenant, (how long are they staying, perhaps check them out and maybe even ask for more rent if they are staying longer by signing a new lease. He could ask for a personal guarantee from the person to jointly underwrite any damage caused to the property.

Ultimately, Nige is right, there are rules, for BOTH sides and if you as a landlord behave in an unreasonable way, expect to be treated back in the same unreasonable way and if a landlord is unprofessional and did not follow the exact letter of the law, they should not complain when they are taken to the cleaners.

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Nige 2nd June, 2014 @ 17:53


Yes we are bound by laws , rules regulations and goodness knows what. That's why bad tenants are weeded out at every conceivable point before a property is handed over.
Thats why credit checks, guarantors etc. are involved.
Tenants are usually tenants for a couple of reasons. They either cannot afford/get a mortgage to buy or they accept the fact that they want to be free of tie and can move jobs, change properties etc. and prefer that someone takes care of their needs housing wise including repairs. For this they are prepared to pay a charge (rent).
It is interesting that recently when I put a professional in to do my inspections that every tenant referred to the property as ''my house''. Nope it is not their house. It is their ''home''. They cannot change kitchen units or baths etc. as they would on their own properties. They do benefit howver in having no repairs to the fabric of the building including central heating etc.
Tenants expect repairs and rightly so but these cannot be magiced. If my own gas boiler breaks down in cold weather I have to wit in the queue like the rest. Yep I do supply emergency heaters as I would do on my own home but what do you say to a tenant who places a fan heater so close to a settee that it burns a hole in it.

Speaking to many landlords I know they are now pulling out of the rental housing market.
market. If Labour does impose a 3 year tenancy can we expect a premium rent. If I invested money in a 3 year investment bond I could expect a far higher return than from a 1 year bond or instant access account.

Regarding unprofessional landlords I do know lots who play at the game with one or two houses. You would be surprised at the number I meet who don't know the basics never mind the complexities. Housing is however one of the few services where you cannot get back what is rightly yours without going through due process and having to pay for it.

Funnily enough there is no register in the UK for bad tenants. There is one in the USA.
Conversations recently with the authorities reveal that they can only go on what prospective tenants will disclose and they are being caught out by the professional rogue tenant who uses the law to basically legally squat. That is take a tenancy..then don't pay rent etc and as it hits court vanish to the next victim landlord.
I have had this happen several times where the tenant has actually arrange new accommodation to move into before the court case as this hides the coming court case from the new landlord.
Would anyone in their right mind lend £100,000 plus to a stranger who can hide behind the data protection act. Thats what landlords do.
But look whats happening recently with mortgage reviews. They are finding that applicants are hiding their real living costs in order to get mortgages.
Banks have tightened up on mortgage arrears. A friend missed one payment and court proceedings were started. Almost lost her house until friends stumped up the cash.

Landlord bashing is common. Funny how tenant bashing is less so. Today I went to a house with a roof leak. Tenant in arrears. I asked him if he had a torch as he said he had seen the problem. Yep handed me the latest £500 phone with a torch facility. Enough said.

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David 3rd June, 2014 @ 17:00


You are absolutely right, it is their "home" and there is a real emotional bond as having a home makes you feel safe.

So when a Landlord acts outside the law, makes threats and is totally unreasonable, well then they can't complain if the law is used against them.

I know you have had bad tenants, but you also seem to have an attitude that they are all some sort of sub species with your "couple of reasons" for anyone being a tenant.

I am sure that given a chance to buy their own home they would, but they are excluded from society because they are not home owners. Maggie Thatcher understood this, she knew that if you sold someone their Council House they had "buy in" and the selling of those Council Houses created a lot of Landlords.

The trick this Government has completely missed is that if they had a massive social house building programme (our population has increased by 5 million) and then sold those houses to the tenants they would get millions of grateful new voters on their side. The money from that could be put back in to build more and so it should be. WHY, because it would fuel a permanent bottom up recovery rather than the top down recovery we have at the moment. Selling London to the Russians provides no "buy in" and they leave the properties empty so communities fall apart.

In my experience most people are decent if you treat them decently, some need to be given procedures and understand how to communicate, but if you treat them like a valued customer they will respond to that.

A friend of mine buys commercial property, hotels mostly, he does not make a profit on running them, he just wants a safe place to put his millions. Landlords need to understand that property is a long term investment, you make money from selling it and any rent is just icing on the cake. It should not be depended on, so if you can't afford it GET OUT and go invest in buy 2 let cars (they say 11% return per annum on the ads).

When it comes to repairs, again it is a business, get a contract on your boiler, take out insurance for everything else. In fact if you sort your tax situation out properly losses are a good thing.

Now Nige, you are not really "handing over" £100k you are renting a property under a legal contract that if worded fairly is gives you way more rights than you would get in any other country in Europe. In France you can't evict for six months of the year i.e if it is winter (even in the south). The minimum tenancy length is longer in most countries.

We all know that the mortgage industry virtually told us to lie on our mortgage forms, I remember back in the late 80's being told by a mortgage broker to go buy a copy of Sage payroll so I could print off fake payslips. The banks also played their part by relaxing their criteria, now if you move you cannot get another mortgage, so people LET their old home and become amateur Landlords.

The banks sold "sub prime" because they insured the debt, they then sold it and even took out insurance on the insurer going bust. That insurer sold the risk many times over so people were basically betting on whether someone would go bust and our banks bought into this in billion dollar bundles. We can call them credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations, derivatives or whatever sandwich they want, but when they nearly crippled the economy it was all of us (including our children) that bailed them out.

We can talk about recovery but if you look at the actual spending it is massively higher, of course they quote percentage of GDP and play with the figures, but it is like a gambler who keeps betting more in the hope of payback. They failed 28 out of 30 of their own targets according the OBR and then they get the ONS to quote net borrowing, "excluding the temporary effects of bank rescues and the Royal Mail pension fund transfer". What bollocks, stats, stats and damn lies.

My point is that every UK citizen bailed out the banks and now as you say after one payment they want to issue proceedings. Well next year will be the first "year of tears" because they will be increasing interest rates (we are already being softened up for it). As someone who has had a mortgage at 16% I can tell you even the smallest increase hurts, in fact now a rise of just half a percent will be huge because rates are so low and they are talking about half a percent per quarter.

You see the banks have had enough, they have tolerated low interest rates, but now we keep trying to stop them gambling with other people's money and we have the audacity to fine them for mis-selling products by by the billion and rigging the price of Gold or the libor rate. Oh and if you think they cleaned up their act, Barclays recently got fined for activities up to 2013.

Theseinterest rate increases will force a lot of people to sell up and house prices will drop as a result. Landlords will not be able to increase rents and a lot of the unprofessional ones (who think that they can live back to back between rental income to pay their mortgage) will be in shit street.

The Banks will repo those properties but they will have to wait to evict tenants, meanwhile the landlord will still owe them until the property is sold. We know they will sell it for a loss because they are insured for the difference and then the debt collectors will come after you. They will force you out of the home you live in and repo that too, your marriage will break up (whether Thai or not) and you will have to start over and rent.

Of course as someone with a bad credit record you will not be able to rent a home, social services will tell you that as a single bloke they have no obligation to you and they will recommend a local charity that meet twice a week. You sleep in your car (too old to repo) and then go along to find it is run by a bunch of well-meaning (but incompetent) volunteers who mainly try to find homes for people just out of prison. You complain about tenants but this bunch are Neanderthal by comparison, when you get chatting with them you find that every one of them was innocent and "fitted up". Some of them got kicked out of their home because they were violent after having too much weed.

Well after about 6 weeks the volunteers finally acknowledge you exist, they tell you they have Landlord that is prepared to let you a room in 3 bed house that he has converted into 7 bedsit rooms specifically for this kind of tenant. The rent is way over the going rate but structured to get the most out of the Council. Oh and your kids can't visit you, in fact the rules are not that different from the prison most of the occupants just came from.

So my advice is to sell your property in this fake honeymoon of a recovery because there will be blood on the carpet next year. Landlords will become tenants and then be on the receiving end of the only people that can afford to buy property - the Russians. They do not make the most friendly of Landlords.

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Nige 3rd June, 2014 @ 18:39

Sub species ? Yep I was actually one of those for a long time. Fully qualified in a profession but didn't earn enough with 2 incomes coming into the house to buy one.

I actually don't believe anyone should rent as such.

Some years ago there were schemes run by housing associations I can't remember the exact times and terms but it went something like this.

I bought a share for £5 in the housing association. Also had to put down a deposit.
I then became a technical owner in one 20th of 20 houses. We had a vote in how the association operated. It was the same as renting with a difference. You could drop out after 6 months and go elsewhere or sit it out.
After so many years you built up an amount of money and the longer you stayed the bigger it got.
If you decided to move out after say 6 years you could cash in your lump sum. The house was then relet at a higher rent depending upon a notional value of the property.
So if you stayed for years in the property you remained a shareholder in the scheme and could build up a sum of money to either move and buy a house, rent elsewhere or leave to your kids in a will.
The rent never went up except for the estate management part .
However a new tenant moving in became a member/shareholder and paid a higher rent on a notional valuation. They in turn could build their pot over time. The higher rent went into the association for general repairs.
A great scheme. You became an owner albeit a 20th of 20 houses , your rent was based on house valuations when you moved in and barely increased.And the bonus was that if you didn't damage the house or commit anti social behaviour etc then you had security of tenure plus a savings plan.On the other hand you could stay for 6 months as a stopgap so you could move in search of work. smashed up houses, estate kept well,neighbours made sure litter was picked up and lawns cut, low rents over time and security. The only downside was the management committee who of course took their cut after the association paid the mortgage on 20 houses.

A great alternative to council housing. Money on the mortgage was government backed and at a low rate and everyone was happy.

So what happened to schemes like this? I believe that housing associations moved in and gradually amalgamated them into their structure. Obviously dangling carrots at the tenant/shareholders in the same way that building society customers were conned out of their shareholding by banks.

If schemes like the one described had continued (and they might still do so) the altruistic members of the association might have bought or sponsored another estate.

It would also have negated much of the need for council housing and private landlords.

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Benji 4th June, 2014 @ 15:41


"a legal contract that if worded fairly is gives you way more rights than you would get in any other country in Europe."

This is a myth that is frequently trotted out by vested interests but it is simply not true.

Many European countries give landlords equal or more rights. For example; Czech republic, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Malta, Latvia.

"In France you can't evict for six months of the year i.e if it is winter."

It is not six months, it is from 1st November- 15th March, four and a half months. Which coincidentally, is about how long it takes to evict a non-paying tenant in the UK.

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Nige 4th June, 2014 @ 17:16

All my contracts are worded fairly and totally within rules ,regulations and the law.
I'm not quite sur why everything is foisted onto the private landlord and the ''poor tenant may lose their home''.
I cannot think of another private sector where it is the right to have something.
Tesco does not have to feed the starving.
Marks and Spencer don't have to clothe.

Landlords don't tend to evict willy nilly.
Why would I evict someone.

a/ They don't pay the rent. (section 8 notice covers this)
b/ I would like to cash in and spend my investment cash on something else. (section 21 covers this)
c/ They cause problems with other neighbours.
ASBOs and criminal charges can be brought and somehow this can be the landlord's responsibility.
4/ They are damaging the property and it is going to cost me money to resolve but this is usually in addition to not paying rent.

We have a social system in this country that gives free money to tenants to pay all or part of their rent.
Funnily enough this social system does not support those who buy their house and lose their job in the same way. Housing benefit can kick in the next day, it takes weeks for any help with interest mortgage (not capital)

This however benefits me as tenants can be assured that at least someone is paying all or part of their rent.

What doesn't benefit me is the fact that many tenants cannot be bothered to apply for benefit and then flash the latest mobile phone in front of me whilst racking up arrears.(yes I had a tenant yesterday fraudulently claim benefits and when I advised him that he was in fact committing a criminal offence he stated that he would contact them tomorrow..note not today. All the time he was clutching the latest Samsung Galaxy 5 ).

Nothing makes a landlord happier than to have a long term tenant who looks after the property. I have a long term DIY nutter who decorates, repairs , fixes, improves and pays his rent before or dead on time. Guess which tenant hasn't had a rent rise for 2 years.

And although David thinks I am a bad , nasty landlord he wasn't with me today discussing repairs and damage to property by tenants in 3 houses. Not one cross word. All agreed to fix themselves and I agreed to help if I could and also attend to any probs that were my responsibility. All calling me by my first name not cowering in a corner.

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pip 30th October, 2014 @ 09:13

Hi All

Most people on here have bad experiences with tenants who do not pay rent. Often they do this because they know the law favours them. I do think it is ridiculous that tenants who could easily pay don't because they know the law is on their side. There are no real consequences to them financially even when you do get them out they are not made to pay back what they owe.

I currently have a tenant who has been there for 2 months and not paid a penny of rent since moving in. He has driven away two other tenants because of the disgusting way he lives. He sells a bit of weed to other losers which pays for the pizza and other food they order in all the time and leave all over the floor.

He could claim benefits and pay some of the rent or move into a smaller room so that he could be less of a drain but doesn't bother. Why? Because the law sides with people like him and the council advised him I could not evict him without 2 months notice. I have served him a section 8.

I tried to help him initially by giving him a couple of odd jobs around the house and reducing rent. He did not bother doing them. I gave him extra time to pay it. I tried to organise a meeting with him so we could work out ways of paying installments. He avoided this. He has since broken the sofa, stolen the back door key and refused three times to allow a builder into his room to fix the "damp" in there. There was a small patch which could easily have been plastered over and painted - he offered to do it. Now there is damp all over one wall because he put water all over the walls and refused to use a de-humidifier. Instead he is in the house 24/7 and has his girlfriend live with him despite this being illegal.

As he has never paid any rent and he has been in breach of the peace- could he be considered an excluded occupant as he is one of 5 in the house. He has only ever paid a holding deposit. He has also run up a huge phone bill amongst other costs now around 1500. .Could I give him 48 hours notice and change the front door locks and just give them to the other tenants given that he undertaking criminal acts (using drugs and probably selling them too as cant see how else he has enough money for food)?

I have been more than generous. I even bought him a tv for the room as he did not have one. I also gave him plenty of time to pay. So much for being a nightmare landlord. The tenants who are a nightmare far outweigh the nightmare landlords. This is again because the law is on their side. The police would not even come to the house to get him to move from the room to allow the builder access.

I would advise any tenants who are not getting things fixed or see red letters coming though the door to give their 2 months and get out before things crash.
Genuine landlords such as myself will get things done and have a regular builder (if lucky like me) to fix anything that breaks and/or have insurance on plumbing etc

Can any of the more experienced landlords help me?

I really want this person out- its bad enough they are getting a free ride from me- the parasite- but to do all the damage and cause a host of other issues. Totally uncalled for. If poor people cannot pay rent that is one thing- to relish in doing this and other damages is another.


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pip 30th October, 2014 @ 09:17

Landlords only resort to changing the locks on non paying tenants- I only wish I could swap my current tenant with you- a paying tenant who only wants a new washing machine- that's the dream compared with the parasite I have

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Nige 30th October, 2014 @ 09:59

You have got to cut your losses. You would have been better issueing a section 21 and fast tracking it. A section 8 goes for debt plus property. Do you really think that he is going to pay any money ? Nope.
I understand that it is possible ( I was advised by council on this but didn't take the option) to involve the police regarding criminal damage to your property.

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David 30th October, 2014 @ 11:35


Have you considered renting the other rooms to some people who could "persuade" him to leave?

You could remove anything not contractually included, such as the TV, hell take the aerial.

Call the phone company tell them that he is the user of the phone, ask them to set it to incoming only until they do that. Tell BT that you are holding them responsible for any bills from now on. Hell, disconnect the wiring for the phone outside.

We had a second party added to a water bill.

If you move into the property yourself you have more rights but it does depend on the agreement you have with him.

If you put an additional tenant in they could ask him for a bit of weed and then you could provide that to the Police and have him done for dealing.

I disagree with you about bad tenants vs bad landlords, people only bitch when they have a bad tenant, you do not have people come on here and say "all my tenants are wonderful".

Why is it "illegal" for his girlfriend to move in, which law?

For the damp involve the Council, contact a housing officer and say that you have been accused of failing to maintain but the tenant will not allow access. They will send someone in to mediate.

The law is NOT on the side of tenants, there are simply a set of procedures that have to be followed, you can pursue him for the unpaid rent in the Court, he will get a CCJ, that will affect his ability to get credit and if he has any money you can get bailiffs.

I appreciate that total dossers who do not have any money mean it is a waste of time for bailiffs.

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Nige 30th October, 2014 @ 12:18

I have said that I have had/got good tenants. In fact there is a social change coming.
Our council has introduced new rules for getting council houses. ie if tenant is made homeless through no fault of their own.
Rule number one is that there are no arrears.
Rule number two is that there is no damage to the property.
Before this was brought in I had many tenants who knew there was a safety net if evicted for unpaid rent or damage.
It doesn't stop those who really play the system as they pop off to another area and live with friends and relatives for five minutes and use them as the last landlord.
As a result of these new rules all my tenants suddenly caught up with their arrrears and 'breakages'' have dropped to virtually zero.
This now means my profits can be used to upgrade the properties with new windows doors, bathrooms and kitchens etc. rather than the constant waste of money and time patching up the properties after an errant tenant has left.
Result? All my properties are improving and I have happier tenants.
Ironically I spent Tuesday fitting a new window in a tenants house because his wife wanted it opening another way. Yes he helped me. Ironically?? Yep because after I ordered the window he gave notice !! He needs a bigger house for his kids but that house will be decorated before he moves out. And the council has already helped him with offers of 3 different houses.

On your last 2 paragraphs.
They do not get a CCJ after a court orders them to pay restitution and give you the property back. The CCJ is issued after when you enforce the judgement so thats another load of cash to fork out.

I totally agree with you that bailiffs are the way to go. It ensures that the landlord has followed all due process. But last time I used them it was another £110 to add to the already unpaid bill.(on top of court costs)
And was there anything left in the house when the bailiffs turned up?? Nothing worth a penny but enough rubbish to fill a skip.

Oh and the rules if the guy moves his girlfriend in ? We assume that this is not just a couple of nights a week. HMO rules dictate a lot of this with occupancy rates, family names, ie how many surnames the property is let to, and whether the licence allows it to be classified as a HMO or not depending upon number of storeys etc. In fact new rules are being introduced here to tighten up HMOs but they only apply to some areas of the town. One rule I noticed is that the landlord will be responsible for ANY antisocial behaviour by tenants. YE GODS !! What is a landlord supposed to on the doorstep?

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pip 30th October, 2014 @ 13:45

Hi thanks for all your help people - have disconnected the phone, taken out his TV and while agree with regard to procedures being followed at the end of the day the law does seem to side with the tenant to an extent because it is always the landlords who are out of pocket (sometimes by 1000s and 1000s) and as you say- as if this one will pay the 1500 he owes or do anything about the damage. Thanks again - this person is well on their way out

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Maggie 10th November, 2014 @ 15:47

Hi, I have been renting my property for a year now. The girl was fine at first but then different stories every month why not paying on time and me sending letters every time for rent arrears.
Decided renting is too stressful and as market is up want to sell.
Did let her know that is the case and had estate agent in for photos and viewing. After letting her know we want to sell we give her 2 month notice. She did not pay since and on last day, day before we suppose to go get keys she txted saying she is all packed and not living there anymore but her staff are still in the house and she will not pay reminding money and give keys back till we take her to court so she can get council house.
Meantime I have to pay mortgage and selling isn't going well as struggling to contact her so could be viewed. I am private landlord, don't know the law that well and very stressed! Why should I now pay for court etc so she can get free house!
I am tempted to just go and change the locks and txt her that she's welcome to pick her stuff when convenient. It is not harassing or illegal eviction if she does not leave there and uses it as storage and still owns money! Is it, don't kow what to do???!

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Nige 10th November, 2014 @ 16:59

DONT. You may find yourself whacked into court with associated costs. Yep the law is in the favour of the tenant.
If she leaves as much as a toothbrush there she is still in possession.
My advice.
Give her a 24 hour notice of inspection. If she doesn't answer the door you have the right to enter. At least you will know what is happening inside.
If you then change the locks because of course you found the lock damaged post a secure notice on the door saying that she may pick new keys up from you.
Go through proper proceedure to get your property back or you are stuffed.
You may find 'evidence' lying on the doormat of course which might help your case but of course you are not allowed to read other peoples mail are you !!
When you get your property back via section 8 notice enforce the judgement by earnings attach etc. That way at least you get satisfaction of stuffing their credit rating .

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Nige 10th November, 2014 @ 17:01

PS Maggie,
Do it properly as you may be liable for council tax and until you get possession the old tenant is liable.

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David 10th November, 2014 @ 18:16


Normally, I would not risk entering the property or changing the locks without mutual agreement of inspection, BUT you have a text saying she is not living there.

You also know that she wants to be housed by the Council so that suggests she is on Housing Benefit.

First things first, you contact the Council, tell them about the arrears are over 8 weeks and they will suspend her Housing Benefit and write to her asking her to confirm she has paid rent.

Next you contact housing dept telling them you have had a text saying she has abandoned property and has made herself homeless by not paying rent (this will stop her getting Council house).

Has she abandoned property or not?

I assume you mean her stuff not staff?

Did you give her 2 months notice on Section 21 or just notice? Was your deposit protected and did you issue prescribed info within 30 days (do you have proof)?

So as she has abandoned you can go check the property out. Do not just go in, ring the bell and give her a chance to answer. If no answer it is up to you whether you enter. You could go back in the evening and see if there are lights on.

If you are certain she has gone go in with a video recording, if she is there you will capture any aggression, if she is not there you get to record state propertly left in. Do an inventory of property and her stuff.

If she has abandonned property you can change add an additional mortice lock without changing the locks. You put her stuff in storage and you get the place ready to sell.

You should then notify her that you are suing her and ask her for her address so you can serve papers. She will not tell you of course, but chances are she will not go back either.

If she has NOT abandonned then you have to follow the correct procedure which is a Section 8 for non payment of rent and a S21 concurrently for possession (if that was not served before, if it was then it is a case of seeling possession on the S21 already served and adding arrears and storage costs to claim).

You can't get away from the legal procedure and it may cost you but you will get a judgement against her. She will not get a Council House if she has been in arrears and still has them.

You may find that she has moved other people in, they have no rights so you can evict them, call the police immediately if you find anyone but the tenant in.

Property renting is stressful, it is a long term business and not for the faint hearted.

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landlord 17th December, 2014 @ 16:14

The eviction process in the UK is so effing stupid.

If you tenant turns around to you and tells you he is not paying anything and NOT moving out, you as a landlord should have the right to give then 30 days written notice and at the end of the 30 days change the locks and kick them out. SIMPLE as that.

All this b***hit about having to go to court, get possession orders, bailiffs is all b***hit.

This above rule should only be applicable for people with NO kids and individuals with NO disabilities

If kids are involved or the person is disabled then you should have the existing laws in place.

That would get rid of some of the issues in this country.

It’s the people with no attachments that are the main issue for landlords.

I have one pathetic individual living in my house at the moment. I rented the property to his girlfriend and he moved in with her. She has since broken up with him and abandoned the property and he is now refusing the pay the rent or move out.

I should be allowed to evict him with 30 day notice with no re-percussions.

But instead I’m stuck issuing warnings and Section 8 eviction notice.

Whilst he sits in my house threating me because I want him to pay or leave and breaking windows in the property and making a complete tip of it.

Talk about unfair treatment for the landlord.

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Nige 17th December, 2014 @ 17:04

Thats exactly why some landlords are charging two or three times the rent as deposit now.
Unfair. Nope That gives you protection of your rent for the time it takes to get them out.

As usual the majority suffer because of the actions of the minority.

As I told one tenant the other year who couldn't pay the rent cos he had to give the kids a a good xmas..''Well the little b******** didn't thank me because I had to give the kids a good xmas with my money..not you'' to which he replied ''Its only £500 I owe you'' to which I replied ''No its not its £100,000 which is the value of the property and while you are tying my money up I cannot get at it. And if you are so smart just pop up the bank and get a mortgage from the bank and buy it off me. Then see if the bank manager accepts 'giving the kids a good xmas' is a valid reason for not paying the mortgage.''

PS My local council advised me that if any part of the property was damaged by deliberate mis treatment then I should contact the police on the grounds of criminal damage.

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andy taylor 17th December, 2014 @ 23:03

"PS My local council advised me that if any part of the property was damaged by deliberate mis treatment then I should contact the police on the grounds of criminal damage".

Don't be fooled by this BS, I had tenant recommended to me by the local housing association, references the lot, two weeks after she moved in got told by the police who upto then I had a reasonably good relationship with, SHEs a BAD Un, known to the lot get rid.
Followed procedures served section 21 got the possession notice, requested the police eneter with me at te same time as the locksmith bailiff, surprisingly her social workers arrived at exactly the same time, I didn't inform them but someone did,
we all walk in they look with dismay, adandoned trashed completely, shit in the bedrooms, writing all over the walls, satanic messages everywhere her daughters name plastered all over.
Ask the police can we do her for criminal damage, answer We cant as we have no proof it was her, then the social workers tell me she has doen exactly the same in every house shes been in and the police know her and all aher family.
turns out they were "concerned for her daiughters sfety, abuse maybe, the police then smirk, I followed their instructions to get rid, but based my judgement on she had already damaged the kitchen by painting all my brand new tiles bright red and black, seems the police being shit stirrers deliberately provoked me in to getting rid, so she could trash yet another property, and they were " laughing at me as the loser who took her in , on recommendation from the council HA, because they could not rehouse her as she had also damaged and served rent arrears to them too, They palmed off their "CRAP to an unsuspecting trusting landlord and all of them smirked, its no use trying the police route if that's their game

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andy taylor 17th December, 2014 @ 23:30

The three year rule labour are hoping to bring in, they have already tested in Manchester, served me with court action threats that I had to serve my tenant a 3 year contract or use their sole letting agent, who could decide who and what types of tenants they wanted in anarea, told them they had made a cartel and overstepped my mortgage obligations and the tenants housing rights, as the tenant didn't want to be tied to staying 3 years.
For challenging them, I felt the full force of their pathetic fury, they ten served me with an injunction for anti social behaviour by my tenant, based on hearsay and no evidence.
mounted up costs of 25k at the first trial, with the tenants brief, defending both me and her against the councils bs and lies.These costs were paid via the taxpayer to the councils solciotors
They then serve the same court injunction with me alone trying to defend my self, stating I had not stopped the tenants behaviour, acknowledging in court they had not had any further complaints from or about my tenant, and I had already served her notice, having had to change her three year contract to a regular 12 month contract and awaiting oits expiry.
The costs this time having had all my ongoing letters to the ombudsman the council and many other parties, came to a staggering 50k, remember its an antisocial injunction against me, if I breach it I go to prison, plus 50k costs, and a mortgaged property that is now a white elephant. would you rent knowing you could go to prison on hearsay evidence against your tenant, for breaches by the tenant.
Since then I have had all my properties targeted bribed tenants, stalking and bullying. to the point I informed my lenders Bank of Scotland, I had informed them I was the victim of a corrupt cartel and invoked whislteblower protection, I was a mortgage advisor at the time.
Instead of investigating they then served me repossession proceedings instead, yep prison sentence 50 k costs, and now repossession proceedings, on all my other properties, on top of that whilst im in court, my mum, gran and brother died within a month of each other, and these nasty dipshits think themselves oh so cool, targeting me for whistleblowingt their own cartel
Not surprisingly I told the lenders to go get stuffed and as I had a property I could nopt rent for fear of being sent to prison, I served them voluntary repossession.
Its thenm you find the LGO local government ombudsman, the solciotrs regulation authority, the FSA, THe FOS fincnail ombudsman, the landlord associations, the government the police and even the fraud dept, all close ranks because the leader/ endorser of the cartel turns out to be a major solciotr and the chief executive of MCC, and he opr someone has put a black mark undesirables target comment on my files including my medical records, confirmed by the police and even my mental health team. Gay a landlord a whistleblower and standing up to them, has now served me up 50 debts, 50k court costs 22k legal fees for the voluntary repossession, 118k to Santander for repossession of my property because I got behind despite telling them of all the above
30k raked up arrears, a trashed and vandalised property waiting now 38 weeks for the insurance company L and G to pay out, one complaint afater another after another to The FOS, wilst also having the psychiatrist closing ranks and serving that im suffering a delusional disorder, whilst suffering extreme grief
And I still have to smile nicely as one tenant after another takes the piss.
Welcome to Britian the old landlords hate new landlords, and when you get rid of these new landlordsthe bribes to look the other way will escalate and we are back to dilapidated properties and bad housing, whilst they are always there when the freebies, boilers cladding, roofs, grants are being handed out, masonic boys club everyone of them, all shit scared of a corrupt set of police and solciotrs, what do they have over these people, Operation yewtree, funny handshakes and secrets that would blow your mind maybe.

I have now taken my lenders to court for not following procedures and as a whitleblower forget it, I have a good mind to do as my boss did grab as much as you can collect the rent , stop paying your mortgage(mort till death, leave the country and let them take the lot, sadly I don't have duel citizenship in south Africa to do the same, so im stuck with what a corrupt lying load of shitbags the councils and their agents shitheads are.

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pip 18th December, 2014 @ 08:41

There are some awful stories on here - tenants can cause so much damage. What I do now is never rent by whole property only by room. Then if despite refs and full deposit etc they are start not paying/causing damage you have to get rid one way or another- section 8 scares off most but not all. But at least if all the other tenants are paying you won't be too much out of pocket.
I do still wish landlords had more rights to simply evict though- you don't pay and there is no attempt to provide good reason/payment plan with Landlord because of p taking (and usually it is obvious when it is the latter) then at the end of the month as a single able person you should be evicted.
And also don't do council recommendations of persons on benefits or get tenants through them. Unless - equipped to deal with the fallout- my mate did this and had to deal with a dead addict overdose, breach of peace and a crazed attacker with machete...

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David 10th January, 2015 @ 19:10

Has anyone on here given up being a Landlord and switch to buy to let cars?

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Batesy 12th March, 2015 @ 22:44

I'm evicting my tenant this weekend, any repercussions I will just have to take on the chin, he's scum! Can afford fags beer and takeaways but can't make his £40 a week contribution to the rent ( benefits pay the other £63 a week)
Which they are now bizarrely going to pay this straight to him!!!!
F##k them he's out on Sunday!!

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Nige 13th March, 2015 @ 07:47

Check again.Councils have to pay direct to landlord if the arrears are a certain amount. Councils are keen at moment to keep landlords who accept DHSS.

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yvonne 12th April, 2015 @ 10:16

hi im wondering if you could help me ..I paid a years rent in advance and the deposit ,,i have left the property through a breakdown in relationship ,, ex still lives there but is moving out also so there is 8 months rent that i have paid is there any chance when house is empty i can claim monies back ??? as we only lived there since 19th dec and tenancy runs out 19th dec 2015 ,, if so how would i go about it and how to do it ???

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Nige 12th April, 2015 @ 12:22

Have you contacted landlord/agent ? Thats first port of call. Most landlords will break the contract if they can find a new tenant easily and property is in perfectly lettable condition. They may impose penalties on you like slightly higher rent for months you occupied or expenses involved in reletting. There is also the empty property council tax to consider. Most landlords don't want an angry tenant in there so would probably reach some deal. At very worst you could end up paying until December and lose your deposit but I doubt it.
As you dont live there make sure that your x is keeping property up to scratch and clean for a fast relet. If it isn't you may find that repairs/redecoration/ cleaning will upset any deal.

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Lundy 2nd May, 2015 @ 11:20

What does one do when their tenant has become verbally abusive & uses profane, vulgar language towards me when asked not to feed my pets on the property. I live on the property myself and feed my x2 animals, however they are on a strict diet due to intense allergies.
I asked him to leave after he got so verbally abusive because I dont feel safe in my own home. He has alternatively sent me a lawyers letter stating that I cannot evict him on my whim, as per say and if I threaten to then they will consider it harassment and take it further.
Please can someone give me some advice as well as a reputable law firm. Does anyone know much about Legal Wise?


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Nige 2nd May, 2015 @ 17:09

Lundy can you give more details.
Do you live on the property or in the property. ie does he live in the same house or are they two dwellings on the plot of land.

My immediate reply might be to contact police for harassment. Also would your tenant be so foul mouthed if he thought that you could land him an ASBO ?

You might consider serving a section 21 notice which allows you to get your property back without giving a reason. (look up terms of section 21 notices which is 2 full rental periods)

Much might depend on how long the agreement is for and other factors.

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david 8th May, 2015 @ 00:42


Nige is spot on, call the Police immediately, do it in front of him, they will hear his violent abuse and it will be recorded. Also if he gets more angry he virtually digs his own grave.

You will be able to request a copy of that recording and it will have more power being a Police record.

If you live IN the same property, he is an excluded occupier

You are an excluded occupier if you:

are a lodger, sharing the kitchen, bathroom or other living accommodation with your landlord

live in the same building as your landlord (as long as it isn't a block of flats), and you share your living space with a member of your landlord's family

Check Shelter as if you are him

Reasonable notice for excluded occupiers

If you have a written agreement with your landlord it may say how much notice the landlord has to give you. This is the minimum notice that your landlord must give you. If you have lived in your home for a long time it may be possible to argue that it would be reasonable to give a longer period of notice.

Even if you don't have a written agreement with the landlord, you may still have agreed with your landlord about the length of notice before you leave. If not, the landlord has to give reasonable notice.

There are no set rules about what is reasonable notice. It depends on:

the length of time you have been living there
the length of time between rent payments
your behaviour

The notice doesn't have to be in writing. Your landlord can just tell you to leave by a particular date.

People who are so aggressive often have a record or are "known" to the Police, they may arrest him immediately if this is the case.

Nobody has to take abuse.

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claire 23rd May, 2015 @ 10:53

My freind was a tentet she let me live there for 2 years now she gone to live somewere else left me in the property can the landlord evict me and put my things in a scip to thouth away

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Nige 23rd May, 2015 @ 11:26

If your friend was the tenant and you were not listed on the tenancy agreement then technically she was subletting.
A lot of your situation depends upon your friends tenancy agreement.
If your friend ended the tenancy with appropriate notice then the tenancy has come to an end you may not have any rights to stay at all. You should have left when she did.
You do not give all facts so difficult to advise.
You should discuss things with your friend ASAP.
Personally I feel that you may now be squatting and new laws will affect you.
Have you talked to the landlord? Could you take on the tenancy alone with the help of benefits ?

If you are not on a tenancy agreement you have few rights and I personally would be salvaging my goods any way I could before the situation gets 'heavy' and bailiffs or police turn up.

For any help get advice from citizens advice or your local council ASAP.

Some friend you have !! Leaving you in a mess !!

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david 23rd May, 2015 @ 12:03

Speak to Shelter

Nige is right on, speak to the Landlord, pay them some rent, keep the place in good nick and you may have a tenancy yourself.

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Lundy 30th May, 2015 @ 15:24

Thanks for the advice Nige and David. I live in the house in the master besdroom and rent out the rest of the house to 3 other tenants who live in the house and have their own bathrooms. I could go to the police but he only seems to be verbally abusive when no one is around and I seriously doubt that he would behave un toward if the police were around. He may then just sue me for harassment for that. What is an ASBO Nige. His lease term is 7 months of which he has been here 3. Thanks again for all the information and feedback. It really helps...


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Nige 30th May, 2015 @ 17:52

An ASBO is an anti social behaviour order.
If you watch the treatment of police on the tv programmes you will see that although the police are used to abuse they can charge people for using threatening behaviour and bad language.
You don't have to put up with this. Go to the police.
There is no reason why you should put up with bad behaviour from any tenant.
Don't know what special terms you have in your lease but my contracts have no nuisance clauses.

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Lundy 31st May, 2015 @ 20:09

Thank You Nige, I have learnt the hard way and will definitely be putting that no nuisance clause into the new lease agreements drafted. Weather or not he will sign it is another story all together. I am also from South Africa so not too sure if we have something called ASBO but I will check it out. Thank You!

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Mick 15th August, 2015 @ 23:16

I have given my tenant a 3 year contract (with a 1 year clause) and also guaranteed no increase in rent over the 3 years. However, the tenant just started taking the Pi**. First change the toilet seat, then a new dining table, then a new washing machine, a new TV stand, a new carpet .
Now, I thought yes, maybe it will last for 3 years. But he got more greedy and then starting causing trouble - his living habits caused mice to get it (so I had to treat it) ; it started to get nasty when I told him that I would terminate after 12 months. He started to say the property was his (what planet are these people on ? yes - they are a sub species as far as im concerned). If it were his 'property' he wouldn't be paying me rent.

Now I'm not being nice anymore and will serve a section 21. The problem is there is disconnect between language too and expectation from European Tennants as to what renting a flat involves - I think they expect a sultan's palace or something !; I will think very very hard renting my flat to anyone from Eastern Europe or Armenia again if I can help it unless they have 4 or 5 impeccable references.

Regarding the deposit - I no longer plan to ask for a deposit but will ask for the last month's rent in advance - removing any word of "deposit" from the Tennancy agreement. This way I avoid paying the rip-off of tenancy deposit scheme and avoid fines. I may even think of short term-contracts where all the rent is paid upfront so need to worry about deposit

In short, some tenants are real scum, some are a nuisance, some are trouble causers and some are great whom id gladly let out to again.

The law is unjust against Landlords - it needs to be changed. The tenancy deposit scheme is a load of Bollocks written by politicians with a sticks up their arses when they were writing it ; it awards tenants upto 3x deposit for even 1 day late - even if you return the full deposit.

I think Landlords should lobby to kick tenants out faster and quicker when they are troublesome.


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JSS 16th August, 2015 @ 19:26

"Regarding the deposit - I no longer plan to ask for a deposit but will ask for the last month's rent in advance - removing any word of "deposit" from the Tennancy agreement. "

Not sure that would work to be honest. Housing Act 2004 s. 212-215 define a "deposit" as any monies or property that are held as security under the tenancy agreement for the tenant's performance of obligations under the tenancy agreement. Even if you don't use the word "deposit" it would still be held as that.

There were at least 2 cases on this also - Johnson -v- Old, and Piggott -v- Slaven. In the former, rent in advance was not held to be a deposit but only because the landlord could point to a specific period for which it was paid and the tenant hadn't made any payments during that period. However in the second one the landlord stated it was the last month's rent but then continued to accept rent throughout the whole of the tenancy, and the landlord simply saying "this is advance rent, not a deposit or any form of security" didn't entitle him to sidestep the legislation.

Saying "last month's rent" then not charging the last month's rent wouldn't be enough because you can't say with any certainly when the last month would be.

In any event, deposit protection is very easy, frankly, and you can do it entirely online via an insurance-based scheme. It is not onerous and even the prescribed information comes out pre-printed from the scheme. It would actually probably take more time and effort to come up with a dodge than it would to actually do it.

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David 18th August, 2015 @ 13:27


JSS is right, it would be deemed as a deposit, but if it were not you would lose the right to use it to offset it against any damages caused by a tenant.

You started off too soft but then you got too hard, if you treat people as scum they will behave as such.

Do not rent furnished, if you do then you do not have to replace things until they are worn out, if they have been damaged by a tenant then the tenant can pay for that.

I bought myself a brand new looking TV stand for £1.38 on ebay just by bidding in the lasrt few seconds on local items where there is no delivery and few bids.
I got a dining room and chairs for £30 that were in excellent condition and same guy (who was emigrating) sold me a bunch of other stuff.

I think you are at high risk renting to people who have no UK references, so ask for a higher deposit (2 months) and set your rent high, this will exclude those that can't afford it.
Most importantly you need to communicate well with your tenants, be help and considerate to reasonable requests but do not be a milksop when it comes to things that are unreasonable. Get a service contract on the washing machine, so you get it repaired, if a machine is fuctional and they become a pain complaining about everything then replace it with a second hand item in working condition but older.

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whatonearth 30th September, 2016 @ 20:12

My mortgage company recently contact met to say there had been a complaint about over occupancy in my buy to let property. If these claims were substantiated they may seek to repossess!!!!!

anyone out there had a similar experience? any advice most welcome

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David 1st October, 2016 @ 09:01

I would start by figuring out who made the complaint and where it was made (was it direct or via the Council).

You do not say how many rooms you have and how many people you let it to.

Is it possible that you let it to someone who is subletting? I know a EE guy who lives in the small room of a two bed flat and had 10 mattresses in the larger bedroom.

Could it be a prossy (probably one @landlord knows!!) who had men coming and going?

I would call the Council and ask if they have had any complaints, say you are very concerned and looking to gather evidence.

Start by parking up nearby but not too close, take some video of comings and goings.

Then armed with that you contact tenant for a random gas inspection as you have had reports of people smelling gas and you need to verify there is not a problem.

You will know if you ARE over occupying, in which case STOP.

Interesting tactic to contact your mortgage company, I suspect it is a Council, but why not contact you first?

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Nige 1st October, 2016 @ 10:07

Being a landlord is getting to be a harder game and regardless of how many controls you put in someone always puts a spanner in the works .
Recently I received a letter.
Basically said that the neighbour threatened to kill Darryl with an axe so they vacated 2 months ago and here was the door key.

The letter was addressed to my house, no name.The enclosed letter was signed by 2 people but did not give an indication of address and posted 100 miles away. ??????

It also indicated that I should stop pestering them with txts and emails ????

AS I didn't recognise the tenants I spent a couple of hours checking with police, current tenants etc but no clues whatsoever as to property etc.

So somewhere there is a house vacated by tenants 2 months ago and I have a key.

On another note I am selling a property (friendly eviction as tenants knew it was coming 2 years ago).
But due to council rules I have forked out £355 in court costs , had 2 hearings and just paid £121 for bailiff possession.

Who would be a landlord ???

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David 1st October, 2016 @ 14:43


What Council rules are you referring to, there is now a legal directive that says an S21 is enough and the tenant has to obey it because as an accelorated action it is enough.

Some Council advise tenants to stay as long as possible, some even gatekeep, but there is now a Gov minister you can report them to.

Of course if your tenant does not leave you have no option but to evict them, but you should put pressure on Council to follow guidance and take responsibility.

I can give you the link to PDF of guidance for this, a solicitors letter to the Council is cheaper than what you paid.

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Nige 1st October, 2016 @ 16:04

Hi David

And you have just pointed out the problem.

Yes a section 21 is sufficient to get your property back. Or is it? What happens if they refuse to budge. Do I send in the heavies with baseball bats or do I have to go through the process with bailiffs. Well you know the answer to that !!

As it stands at the moment help is not available to those who have made themselves homeless ie complied with the section 21 (or 8) so they sit there until the legal heavies (bailiffs) throw them out. Then the councils will act.

I am (but decreasingly so) in the business of letting a property for which I should get a return. Yes there are rules and regs to comply with but basically the process should be simple. Yes you can live in my property as long as you comply with the conditions and I will do the same. When you want to leave you can and I should be able to say I want to sell my property and get it back.

Now this scenario might work for people who have something to lose but there are many who have nothing to lose. Thus the fact that no landlords I know in the private sector that operate in my area will risk DHSS tenants on new tenancies.

Yes I might be able to report councils to a minister and spend my working days campaigning for my rights but that does not stop tenants from sitting tight until the court heavies move in. It can take 3 months to evict with the due processes and many will stop paying rent in that period and there is very little the average landlord can do unless they want to break the law and subsequently spend their days defending their actions.The chances of recovering debts from DHSS is very low and even attachment of earnings on working people has limits.

Its hard enough even drafting a section 21 these days with different forms and timescales that even an experienced landlord like me has to check and double check the latest round of changes to ensure that it is not going to be thrown out of court on a technicality. I have got a friend who works in lettings for a large company and in the absence of a newsletter from HMG stating changes we rely on bouncing info we have gleaned from trade magazines off each other and checking the internet for the latest form/rule/regulation etc.

Yes its part of the job if you want to be a landlord so we just have to accept it. A solicitors letter might be cheaper but it isn't going to change the situation of a tenant sitting tight knowing that the alternative is a bench in the bus station or even worse (as what tends to happen) a room in emergency accommodation in a dingy HMO.

As it happens my tenant (DHSS and been with me for 11 years) is semi cooperative and not putting obstacles in my way but they have access to FREE legal services to ensure that I play the process the right way so that I don't break the law. I am not in a great hurry to sell but tax laws on CGT , the time to update a property for sale and some uncertainty due to Britexit must all be taken into account and most landlords do not plan an exit strategy.

On a slightly different note my friends are selling up their rental properties and going in to buying and renovating for sale which shrinks the availability of rental in the private sector even further.

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David 1st October, 2016 @ 22:53

I hear you @Nige

What you say certainly WAS the case but things have changed, the Gov issued a directive that Councils must accept the end date if an S21 being the date their obligation to house starts.

Some Inner City Councils in their panic started to gatekeep by telling applicants bullshit to delay their application. Others found legal loopholes as detailed in link below/

Now all I can say is that most Councils are following guidance if they are reminded by a suitable 3rd party. Councils get their money from central Government so to an extent they have to do what they are told, but some have such huge lists of homeless that they fear their system will collapse if they do not.

It sounds as if your property may be in such an area

You can read more about the tactics here

I can post links to the guidance and section numners (is a huge doc).

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Nige 1st October, 2016 @ 23:30

Thanks David but I have now got rid of my DHSS tenants who of course behaved as mentioned above.
Not that I had anything against DHSS but times have changed.

I won't go into the stupid mistake I made by NOT evicting a tenant at the end of a six month tenancy who subsequently announced she had cancer and died. Her family wrecked the house whilst she was in the last stages before she died but of course the tenancy was in her name and I still can't prove who did the damage. Police not interested. Insurance wont act without proof. Stalemate but as the dust clears there was interference by a council employee working outside her remit and its a case of watch this space.

Interestingly enough you cannot evict a dead person without going through accelerated possession !! And yes accelerated possession now costs £355 !! Rip off. {more if you don't do online).

Interestingly enough the building societies are playing the same game as landlords . ie one month and one day in arrears and in this case if a person loses their home they are deemed to have made themselves homeless.

As you say councils must try to accommodate but the reality here is the available stuff is rough to the extreme. A friend went into the HMO game and pulled out after 6 months due to trouble from tenants and despite being offered 4000 a month for 5 rooms by the council (thats 800 a month per room when housing benefit will only pay 595 for a 3 bed house ) refused to take anyone except working people.

I don't know about other areas (and Im no expert on getting a house) but here the homeless in temporary rooms have to bid on available houses. Ive seen the lists and all houses seem to be housing associations and zero private landlords.

Ah well only one property to sell after this one and then Im out sitting on a beach drinking cocktails. Can't wait for retirement 3 years late.

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David 5th October, 2016 @ 12:28


I totally get where you are coming from, I do feel that HA's should be enabled to provide accomodation for long term DHSS tenants. HA's have much better ways of dealing with "trouble" tenants. Although they offer very long tenancies their ASB clauses mean that the license can be revoked pretty damn quickly.

I have spent the last 2 years regularly visiting someone who was made homeless, I saw them in living their car, living in temp accomodation when their health finally got so bad that they became vulnerable and finally when they were housed a year later.

When you regularly visit temp accomodation places you get a real picture of what is going on, the different demographics of "residents", I also got talking to the staff. One saturday a family of 14 turned up, the first thing I noticed was the suits, these so called refugees were loaded, a separate van brought their cases which filled the large recention area. The classic bit was when the oldest man (a grandfather I suspect) asked the lady behind the counter something in Arabic and she responded in English saying "No this is NOT a hotel". I asked her what he had said and she said he asked if there was a porter to help them with their luggage. She was a sweet Muslim girl on mininum wage and she was spitting nails because that family were occupying 5 family units, including the ones they keep in reserve for medical emergencies. She told me on another visit that they had been housed. What I do not understand is that Council is one of the ones that have been slated for not taking any refugees, so I still do not know how they managed to get access to the place. What I do know is they were driving Mercedes within a few weeks of arrival, so they clearly had the ability to support themselves.

I do know that there are scum in our society, people that trash properties, drug addicts that play the rehab system, get housed and then make life hell for other tenants. I think the only way to win is to do up your property to a much higher standard and seek more affluent tenants.

I have posted the properties on the bidding lists and you are right, they are just HA's mostly, a few charitable trusts. Even on those there are two levels, those on a "social" rent and those on an "affordable rent" the latter is witin 1p of the LHA rate but may include a service charge for mantainting communal areas. These often make the property unaffordable because the benefits these people are on simply cannot budget it. So they become homeless and are told they made themselves homeless. They are not the crowd that have the latest iPhone, they are more like the heat or eat brigade. I always advise clients to try to bid on social rents, they also have a service charge but usually low if ex Council stock or HA new build in a big block.

I was talking to a guy at an HA a few months back, his told me his are technically insolvent after Government cut off their source for socal stock. They are refinancing their current stock to survive but desperately need to merge or they will go bust.

Enjoy your retirement!!

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Nige 5th October, 2016 @ 14:01

Thank you David.

After 20 years in the game there is little that anyone can tell me about tenants and their antics !! Some are so dumb that you wonder how they survive...dumb that is until their rights are involved.
I have nearly always housed DHSS but its a case of NO MORE.
My recent experience as follows.
I did a property up to sale standard but due to another property falling vacant sold that instead
Lady 3 kids thrown out of last property as rent went up to much. Nice lady as well .clean and with a degree of ambition.
She was taken on a 6 month tenancy which then ran periodic.
Then she got cancer so I rearranged other future lettings and sales of property to keep her in. MISTAKE BIG TIME. All inspections by my third party inspector had been good BUT
Every time the lady went into hospital there was damage to the house and this was done by her brats. For example the bathroom was trashed to the extent that the toilet was broken, sink off the wall, brand new flooring damaged so badly that it affected the chipboard floor underneath and the bath panel kicked in.The water also damaged the downstairs cloakroom wrecking the ceiling and floor.

Now this would not be so bad..I wasn't fixing it and told tenant to do so. THEN environmental health got involved !! I was accused of letting a substandard house . Apparently a slight leak under the kitchen sink at the other end of the house was causing damp in the cloakroom !! DUH ? What leak as nothing had been reported. That took weeks of letter writing and reports.

Sadly the tenant died. Was I informed. NOPE. I found out 2 weeks later when her brats started fiddling everything they could and phoned the council to say the boiler wasnt working.It wasnt working because they had smashed the flue off and taken off the casing. Cost one new boiler. By the time I got to the house the council were involved although they shouldn't have been and much of the property had been botch repaired.

I took back the keys from the executor but there was no money in the accounts. Housing benefit had been stopped even though her kids were still living there.(one was 19 by this stage)

I kid you not when I tell you the damage found.
There was not one single item in this house that had not been damaged. NOT ONE. Walls, ceilings, electrics rewired wrongly,kitchen wrecked, bathroom wrecked,cloakroom leaking sewage under the wooden floor, carpets wrecked, holes in doors.

Day one we went in and totally gutted the house from top to bottom to the point of it being a shell. It took 3 months to pull the property back to a state that it had been 40 months before.

Insurance ? Not interested unless I got police reports. Police..not interested as it would have been impossible to prove who did the damage. Nobody thought to ASK the little !!!!!!!!!!. money in the pot.

So three months lost rent. Accounts for damage not all done yet but 5k for materials excluding labour.

Who loses. Well I do for one but will offset against tax. Thats 28% less tax I will pay in CGT.
So society pays for these tykes.
My time. Three months of my life gone and without pay or rent .

As said the matter is not closed yet as someone from the council was getting involved behind my back and this is going to cause the brown stuff to hit the fan.

This is an extreme case but I have spent my life in lettings a friend says ...clearing up other peoples Cr--ap and repairing things that were broken.

Retirement? 67 years old and just evicting a tenant so I can cash in. I know what I will find when I get the house back. More work to rectify damage and UNFAIR wear and tear done by a 35 year old who has 3 kids by 3 different fathers and who has never worked in her life.

PS houses I have left are now let through an agent at high rents (well above DHSS) to working people with huge deposits.
Why didn't I do this before ? Well I did but my agent went rogue and never reported damage etc and let the tenants do what they wanted.

Ah well. Such is the life of a landlord !!

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Nige 7th October, 2016 @ 22:16

David and a warning to other landlords.
(Sorry copy/paste cut off part of article)
Notice its not just councils but also Shelter and CAB advising staying put until bailiffs.

All News
Press Releases
NLA Lobby

Revealed: the cost of bad eviction advice
Article Posted -
14 Sep 2016

The average cost to a landlord of their tenant being advised to ignore an eviction notice stands at nearly £7,000, according to a recent survey of landlords.*

Private tenants are often advised by local councils and agencies to ignore eviction notices served by their landlords – and to wait until evicted by bailiffs – in order to qualify as homeless and thus eligible for rehousing.

The latest findings from the National Landlords Association (NLA) reveal that the mean total cost of a tenant being advised to remain in a property is £6763.

In addition, half (47 per cent) of tenants who have been served a section 21 eviction notice by their landlord say they have been told to ignore it by their local council or an advice agency such as Shelter or the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB).**

The news comes as the National Landlords Association (NLA) is due to give evidence to the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Select Committee today (Wednesday 14 September) on the Homelessness Reduction Bill.

The Homelessness Reduction Bill, as introduced by Conservative MP Bob Blackman, amends the Housing Act 1996 to expand councils’ duties to prevent homelessness by:

· Providing that Section 21 Eviction Notices are proof an applicant is threatened with homelessness

· Doubling the definition of threatened with homelessness from 28 to 56 days

The NLA has long campaigned against councils advising tenants to ignore eviction notices and in March, 2016, the then Housing Minister Brandon Lewis wrote to all local councils in England to clarify homelessness guidance.

Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer at the NLA, said:

“We have consistently campaigned on this issue, but despite many warnings to councils and agencies, this damaging advice is still being given out to tenants.

“Possession cases can take a very long time to resolve, and aside from putting an unnecessary strain on everyone involved, not to mention the Courts, these findings demonstrate just how cost

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daljit dodd 22nd October, 2016 @ 01:33

Distressing to hear stories about bad tenants. LL should follow procedure.
there are very bad LL there especially those that make up story of damage to property to usurp the deposit it can be done is being done all you need is a decorator 2 witnesses that property left in bad state some photos. This is a cruel world
From the accounts above LL seemed to be the most hurt you have not seen the bad ones.

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Nige 22nd October, 2016 @ 09:31

As the landlords other post states you get good and bad.
Most landlords in this country are small businesses with only a few properties. I know a lot of people in the game and luckily I grew up with the multitude of changes to legislation.
Take section 21 for example. Its changed again and even experienced agents are having to double check forms to use.

Not every instance can be insured. How many landlords for example insure against the tenant dieing. Ive had 2 in my properties. One from cancer, one from suicide. There is no money in the estate and you have to follow the section 21 route to get the property back. In the meantime relatives seem to do what they like and trying to prove that they damaged it rather than the tenant is a nightmare.

Ive worked in drug dens..or should I say the aftermath of a drug factory. Totally wrecked top to bottom. A friend who was an agent had tenants who burnt everything ..doors, floorboards etc.

In this country there is no database available to allow prospective tenants to be checked out. Even if there was you get an unmarried couple where one takes the tenancy. ie unmarried mother who moves boyfriend in. The house is wrecked so the boyfriend takes the tenancy on another house for them.

Thats why checks, double checks, triple checks and big deposits are becoming the norm and the only place tenants can raise the sort of cash needed is from the official money lenders at 1000% .

Ah well there are those who win in the landlord game and there are those that lose.I know many who are cashing in now as there is more money in renovation than there is in renting and as usual the bad tenants spoil it for the good ones.


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