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 Everthing 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 (in this particular scenario), then all the power to ya’

It is illegal for a Landlord to change the locks?

Just to clarify, it is illegal for a landlord to harass or change the locks to prevent tenants from entering the property. 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 you are out
  • being physically thrown out of all or part of your home
  • physically stopping you from entering your 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…

193 Comments - join the conversation...

Showing 144 - 193 comments (out of 193)
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Nige2013-10-30 17:36:32

Yep I have had my fair share of scum.
It is however landlords own fault. Once you have possession you should follow through with the bailiffs. THEN ..Follow through with a small claims court action for lost rent etc.
That way they go onto the Experian/Equifax or any other credit checking site and it stuffs all their credit and it shows up on checks if they apply somewhere else. Yep it costs a few quid and you are unlikely to get any back but it wrecks everything credit wise for them.

Best eviction story.
Landlord has female tenant on benefit.
She says she is getting the benefit on a certain day by cheque so landlord turns up on that day. Post has already arrived.
So they let themselves in and open a window.
Landlord installs a paid guy to sit in the house with 6 cans of beer, changes the locks and goes home.
When the woman returns she cant get in an phones landlord.
Landlord turns up and says nothing he can do because she left window open and now has a squatter. !!
She calls police. Police say they cant evict squatter unless done with court order and go away.
Woman was left on street and nothing she could do. She couldnt even get in to get her clothes and all her worldly goods were in the place.

Dont know how this would work with latest laws.

A tip about court proceedings. Make sure the paperwork is 100%
I had a case where our beloved post office took seven days to deliver my documents in my home town.
The judge said as they hadnt got them the case was going to be adjourned.
I informed the judge that the tenant hadn't bothered to attend, I wasn't well having just had an operation, it was 5 days to Xmas and traffic was hell. I said the tenant was sitting at home with 20 fags, a bottle of vodka and watching a 50 inch flat screen TV.
Seeing sense the judge gave me 1 hour to get copies. Duly done I got my possession order.
Downside ? The 14 days extension meant that over Xmas and New Year the tenant wrecked the place with parties which had doors off and toilets broken. So see the first part of the post regarding taking them to small claims.
This tenant conned the next landlord and by the time we caught up they skipped leaving that landlord in the mire.

Funniest court case.
After rejecting my case on the smallest technicallity . That technicallity was using recorded delivery to serve documents. ALWAYS USE FIRST CLASS POST with certificate of posting which is deemed to have been received in 2 days.It was reheard.
So I took witnesses with me. Paperwork was triple checked for dates and 110%

The judge went in to a tirade about I ought to use professional help, get a solicitor to deal with it, that I didn't know what I was talking about etc. All my witnesses looked at the floor thinking what had I done now.
I flicked frantically through the documents and found what I was looking for.
'' Your honour..YOU HAVE GOT YOUR DATES WRONG ''!!!
Oh so I have...whack the rubber stamp went down. No apology. No 'So I have'. Nothing.
Luckily I had witnesses to a judges stupidity.

As a result I am no longer frightened to argue with a judge.

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Carl2013-11-06 08:33:20

My landlord is a great man but recently leased his shop to a complete prick. How would my landlord go about getting this lease terminated and this man away for good?

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Mat2013-11-06 12:52:01

I've read about what this landlord did and I found it fair.The tenant didn't pay him, so what about the agreement that was signed? Where is the law here? He did what is better for him and his property. Of course he could do everything legally many states require you to give the tenant written notice before you even start filing for an eviction. You may also have to give the tenant time to correct the problem before you can file. But this man was fed up with the situation. But for those who dont't know, you can file at your local courthouse, and you’ll have to pay a fee to start the process. After completing the paperwork, the clerk will give you a hearing date, and the court will notify the tenant.

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Nige2013-11-06 17:06:21

Thee are comments on here from landlords and tenants.
Interesting that the tenants all pour out some hard luck story. Thats the way the cookie crumbles. My income is my rent so why do tenants expect me to fall on hard times because they did. I had a tenant (49 yrs old) who boasted that he was always wagging it from school. Yep that was why he was on benefits and renting.
There would be one simple solution to this.
Anyone who owes bills or debts that they have no intention of paying(yep loads and loads by the letters I get after a tenant vacates) should be subject to income tax on unearned income and have it deducted from any benefits or future wages.
I get taxed on all sorts of income earnt or unearnt and some tenants make a living from renting a place, not paying rent, not paying utilities, furnishing on credit and then vanishing. On one house they vanished after 3 weeks having bought everything under the sun on credit. i know because they left all the packaging in the garden.
I would be a simple task to set up a tax department to tax those who dont pay rent and it would sure as hell cut down my running to court if they knew that they could be reported for getting goods/ services without paying.

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Liz2013-11-06 19:22:30

I have a great landlord he is always kind honest and fair I have never owed him a penny and never would but this is the thing I am survivinggoing to scare you with I am on DSS as I suffer from MS I been with my landlord five years but he still dose not know I get benifits and he hates people like me ironically I m a close friend but he thinks a am a copy editor from home but I wished I was a braver man cuz then he would realise not all claiming are scumbags

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Nige2013-11-06 19:43:38

Liz, Landlords dont care if you are on benefits or not. Obviously you pay your bills and the housing benefit is paid to you. He doesn't have to know where the money comes from.
From a landlords perspective a tenant who pays the rent, keeps to the tenancy agreement and keeps the house in good order is as good as it gets whether they are working, on benefits or living off other income.
As they say one bad apple spoils the barrel. But as you have read the number of bad apples is increasing with the attitude ''whatcha goin to do about it''. If they damage the property, dont pay the rent they always plead they dont have money. Whereas a tenant with a job or a guarantor can find themselves sorting out problems fairly quickly or else.
We have 6 houses and 5 are let to DHSS. Guess which house is never in arrears, does minor repairs himself, decorates etc. Yep the working one. Guess which is the cleanest and tidiest. One of the DHSS ones. Which 2 are never in arrears. One DHSS and the working one.
Takes all sorts .

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Lambie2013-11-28 23:15:51

I'm not a landlord but I have huge problem to kick off the squatter. Me and my wife is renting a house and our cousin is living there and paying the rent (we are not subletting, the contract is under our name but our cousin lives there and pay the rent to the agent directly). For some reason my cousin has to left the country for couple months and the house is empty (but he is still paying rent).

2 months ago some squatters have moved in, they have changed the lock. When we figured out, we asked them to move out, they agreed in the beginning but the next day they lied to the council that we "sublet" the house to them and we "forced" them to move out which is not true. The council contacted our agent and we got huge problem becoz of that. The agent thought we do the subletting which is breaching the contract and they don't believe those people are squatters. The squatters doesn't wanna move out and they have a small child and we can't do anything to kick them out. They even told the council that we tried to harass them and their child.

We are so pissed and we have been so stress coz we have to deal with the agent and on the other hand those squatters act like innocent and all the time look for the protection from the council. I wanna move in there and scare them away. Can I change the lock? I'm a legal tenant but not the landlord in this house. If I change the lock and throw out their stuff, can they call the police and arrest me? And what if they bring the child again to the council and complain about us, what can I do?

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Drake Berry2013-12-04 16:49:27

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RayInLondon2013-12-27 13:36:58

I'm currently buying a property that is let out to a tenant. Was trying for ages to get a copy of the tenancy agreement to understand when tenant would be leaving and finally the seller revealed that they were having to remove the tenant through the courts.

Seller's solicitor finally sent us a copy of the court transcript - they were more than 6 months in arrears!

Tenant is still there now - but court ruled in favour of the landlord and our exchange is conditional upon vacant possession.

My nightmare scenario is that when we finally complete on the purchase, the tenant turns back up on the doorstep with a document saying the eviction was not legal and we are then left to fight it with the seller long gone.

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Nige2013-12-27 16:40:06

Relax !! If you are going to be a landlord you had better read up on section 21 and section 8 notices etc.
If you are just buying to live in then your seller knows the process.
Read what I say carefully .
Your purchase is dependent on vacant possession.
I would also make it a condition that the house is in the order that you viewed it in. A tenant can badly damage a property to get back at the old owner and can remove doors, wreck electrics, steal boilers, crack toilets and baths.This sort of behaviouris carried out in the period between the court case and actual eviction. Stupid harrassment laws prevent the landlord from annoying the tenant in this period.
Now onto the bit to protect yourself.
The court case means diddly squat. Your seller has a possession order.
At that hearing your landlord would have had to appear with documentation. The tenant should also have been there to argue the case.
Most tenants dont turn up.
When the possession order is granted giving the landlord back the property he has to apply to the court to send bailiffs in. This takes about a month where I live. The bailiff turns up with the landlord and effectively throws the tenant into the street and gives the keys and property back to the landlord. There are other matters like seizing property etc but this doesn't concern you.
Once all this has happened the house is vacant for your seller to sell to you.
Tenants usually scarper before the bailiff turns up as they dont want to lose the xbox or big screen tv.
With the property back in the owners hands it is illegal for the tenant to try and get back in and they could face severe charges if they try and do so.
All processes must be carried out by the seller not you.
Im wondering why your solicitor isnt advising you of this and putting conditions on the seller.

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Nige2013-12-27 16:44:46

Contact the police NOW !!
Laws concerning squatting have changed.

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carly2013-12-30 10:44:15

If I kick a tenant out without doing it the legal way, whats the worst that can happen ?

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Benji2013-12-30 17:01:22


"If I kick a tenant out without doing it the legal way, whats the worst that can happen ?"

Two cases here, one for £16332 the other for £17500;

These cases are referred to because they are recent, not because the compensation is exceptional. There have been numerous cases where much greater sums have been awarded against landlords.

Moreover a landlord who is successfully prosecuted under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 must face the prospect of an immediate substantial custodial sentence.

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Nige2013-12-30 18:23:32

Squatting is different from tenancy.
Yep dragging the bad uns through the courts is time consuming and has costs and maybe losses of rent. Six months rent in one of my cases because of a sympathetic or should I say pathetic judge.
But what you don't get you cant pay tax on.
Unfortunately a lot of people saw BTL as a pension opportunity and bought on mortgage.
Only having one or 2 properties on high mortgages leaves no room to move if things go wrong.

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David2014-01-08 12:08:28

I can see a common thread here of landlords treating tenants like some sort of underclass and then wondering why they mess them around.

Renting a property is a business and generally if you treat your tenants like customers you will usually get fair treatment.

My advice would be to make your flat luxurious, put your rent up, rent only to affluent people and take a very large deposit.

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Nige2014-01-08 13:26:19

Absolute rubbish David. Not everyone houses top of the range properties. I have had good tenants who have had long tenancies but still **** you around. One of the classics I had was a 12 year tenancy. Treated them well through their ups and downs. I ended the tenancy because I was selling through retirement. I even wrote off some arrears to help them get the next property. Then the next thing that came out of her mouth was ''where is my fin deposit'' . Yep the deposit that wouldn't have even have covered their arrears.
Yep treat housing like a business. Just like pay get. But then again Tesco is covered by theft rules. Landlords have their business pillaged by tenants hiding behind rules that benefit them. So the principal of throw them out the day after they don't pay their rent doesn't apply to landlords.

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David2014-01-15 09:48:42

OK Nige you have your valid reason to end the tenancy

What you might not be taking into account is that for your tenant this is a major upheaval, you know that the three most stressful things in life are moving home, divorce and a death in family.

Like all of these life changing scenarios it is a bereavement process, so yes there is an shock/denial, anger, sorrow and depression to get through before acceptance.

It was kind of you to leave arrears but if you want to treat this as a "business" then you are subject to the law which says that the deposit can only be used for desposit unless you go to Court and get a judge or you show the arrears to the DPS.

The issue was how you handled her, I would have written to her well ahead of time and explained that you had to sell for your retirement, say that you would be pleased to sell her the property if she can raise a mortgage and if not give her a glowing reference and some support with moving.

You tell her that communications is fundamental to keeping things amicable.

You also need to understand that if a tenant has arrears they propbably have a poor credit record. Most properties are rented by agents who rip people off by charging huge fees for credit searches.

If she had kids she might be entitled to social housing but that is a nightmare, it requires that you evict her to get into emergency accomodation which usually means sharing with drug addicts.

To apply for social housing she would have to "bid" for a property every two weeks but be rejected if her category was not Level A (most are Cat D). Even then all she can do

Many of these people do not know how to help themselves, so a little time on your part helping them may pay off later.

I would not have conceded the arrears, instead I would have offered to help them find a new place and say that if they are prepared to be co-operative you will consider a reduction in the arrears.

If after all that you get a hostile approach you just use section 8 as there are arrears.

I would always start by ringing the local housing dept and asking the name of local charities that help homeless. Then call them and offer to make a donation to their charity if they can find a place for your tenant.

I know that there are total scumbags out there but most people are not, they are just shocked by a life changing situation. Put yourself in their position and treat them accordingly.

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Nige2014-01-15 12:05:36

Thanks for the advice David. Maybe I live in a different world to you !!
My portfolio ran up to 13 houses at one stage most of which are on benefits of some sort although at least half treated the tenancy as a ''private'' tenancy and paid on time and I had no way of knowing if benefits are paid.

I do treat them as I am treated. That is if I don't pay my bills then the heavens fall upon me because I am accountable because I was stupid enough not to wag school and got a few qualifications to tide me through life.

I think that I am unique in some respects. Every month the tenant gets a full running statement from the start of tenancy. I also write a monthly letter which advises them of various things like energy saving, changes in benefits, how to get cheaper finance from credit unions etc. We tide them over bad times, liase with benefits departments etc etc.

Helping them ? Exactly how much help do they need ???? And there lies the problem.
While everyone runs about changing their nappies for them and they get social workers involved etc. My business is not letting houses...its babysitting. Tell them to apply for benefits and they don't. Show them how to save and they buy an x-box for xmas with a wonga loan.

I have just taken a property back. 4 year tenancy. Great people. Used to sit and drink tea almost like friends. They WANTED me to evict them. (as I was selling anyway I changed sale from one house to theirs) 6 months, Couple of hundred quid in court fees, very little damage to property. They lost their council bond. (council now taking them to court)

Now ask me how Im spending my days.

Im renovating the property and as you can imagine the place is full of builders materials.
I'm fending off bailiffs threatening to confiscate my stuff, dealing with 101 credit agencies as they took loans out in other names etc.etc. Water bill of £2500 unpaid etc.

Help these people. ????? They have more in the bank than I have !!! Yep Ive seen statements.
£6000 in one, £2000 in another.

Now you might think that I don't understand the benefit lifestyle. Well I do !! My girlfriend is on benefits and has a house of her own. We had severe arguments about benefit claimants initially. She had a flat screen TV before me, runs a car etc. (she is unemployed but on training course)

She watches in absolute amasememt at the tricks and wangles these claimants get up to to avoid working or paying bills. Her attitude to benefit claimants has changed dramatically from watching the problems I have even getting these idiots (or should I say very smart fraudsters) to even claim the benefits they are entitled to.

I have lived in my house for 29 years and never had a door fall off its hinges. I have found doors in gardens !! They dont do maintainance expecting the landlord to fix all. Yep we have a responsibility to maintain but not repair damage. The courts fall on the tenants side in 99% of the cases and the tenants bleat they cant afford to pay arrears/damage etc.

New benefit regs are affecting all including those working.

Moving house is an upheaval ?????? Yep.
Nobody need tell me. After my divorce (stress) I had a choice. Sell my properties to pay my x or keep my tenants in accomodation and somehow maintain my income so that I didn't lose my house. Guess which route I took. Stupid me.I never had my heating on for 3 years and we survived on my daughters student grant loan.

If we go back to the original thread.

My female friend who owns a tiny house has just lost her job. NO HELP here at all. She is facing repossession and homelessness when her arrears hit 2 months on her mortgage. Her prospects are to rent a room in a shared house.
Now should someone in a rented house face the same situation the council will rehouse !!!
So where is the fairness in that???

I can fully understand why landlords do extensive credit checks, put rents up to a level which tenants can barely afford and take heavy action to evict. As you say. This is a business . Am I unique in what I say. Nope. This thread says it all !!!

The program on TV called Benefit Street may be slightly biased but I see the attitudes many landlords have to deal with including me.

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marie2014-01-16 17:03:09

i can confirm that there are good and bad tenants and I am aware there are bad landlords. But the law is so in favour of the Tenants it is ridiculous.
Scenario - polish tenants arrived. Tenancy Agreement for 4
but there were always at least 6 in the house. However, they did look after the house and paid the rent for 6 years. Mind you, apart from the "lead" guy people came and went with great frequency. Lead guy - wife leaves him - don't know why. he has a couple of people give him a hard time himself. I reduced rent to help for a while. Six months later began the serious arrears. Gave him sectio 8 and Section 21 Notice. You have to wait until that date comes up before you can apply to the Court. Court hearing another month to wait. Court find in your favour but he still gets another fortnight to find somewhere. He does not leave. You then have to apply to Court baiiff - another 3 weeks. he leaves before Bailiff arrives. Total time taken about 6 months. Total debt £7100. You apply to the Court for an Attachment of Earnings Order but this is only given if the tenant earns more than £400 per week - and if so only at £25 per week.
it will take him about 7 years to pay it off. The others on the Agreement left much earlier and earn no more so no point in spending more on further court action. i agree with Mike Rhodes 17-03-2013. Although this would be the same had the bad tenants been Brits.

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Nige2014-01-16 18:04:56

Yes Marie,
It does apply to uk tenants as well and they know the law to a T . They would of course as they have an army of do gooding helpers from social workers to charities to help them.
Define a bad landlord. One that asks for his rent to be paid on time !!
All the troubles I have had with tenants not paying rent have been as a result of giving leniency. Try buying petrol at Tesco where it is illegal to take the goods without the means to pay. Try stalling council tax and see how long it takes for God to descend and a court order flourished. Try delaying your income tax form...yep £100 penalty before you even start.

Lets put this in perspective. One tenant who has just left. Owes rent. Owes council tax. Owes huge water bill. Lost £600 council bond so council will try and chase.
Income over £1000 a month in benefits plus £600 rent plus only 8.5% council tax.

My income from 3 houses £1800 per month gross and I have to do repairs, gas checks, and supply all the trimmings of a business.
Plus I pay full council tax, get banged for income tax and N.I. Then after x years of having my money tied up I get banged C.G.T.
Often to renovate a rental property to sale standard after it has been abused by tenants who fail to maintain and if they do it is done to a standard of a six year old child, costs a shed load.

And as you say judges fall in favour of the poor tenant and fail to make them pay what is due.

What is often not looked at is additional costs caused by DHSS tenants. They tend to use a house 24 hours a day . 16 if you count sleep time. A working tenant will sleep 8, work 9 and use the house for 7. So a DHSS tenant can use the things that wear out like boilers twice as much as working tenants.

I can see the day coming when no DHSS tenants will be taken by the private sector without severe guarantees and deposits. This sounds like an anti DHSS rant but I have had and do have good DHSS in my properties.

But the fact remains the law and judges favour tenants against landlords.

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David2014-01-18 19:38:29

All I am hearing are how several landlords are unprofessional.

Have you not heard of INSURANCE?

As you say this is a business, so factor in ALL the costs and if it is not enough SELL UP and stop bleating like a wimp.

Even complaining about a boiler, a joke, unless of course you bought a crappy one.

All you want to do is get profit for nothing.

Like the TV you count your stupid rent in the amount of benefits you whinge that your tenants get.

The lady who lost her job has no worries, she paid into the same benefits system and will get her mortgage interest paid soon enough.

A friend of mine was made redundant, he just finished an extension to his house, now had to move out and rent it because he is over 50 and nobody wants him. Add to that his mother was just put in a home and the council want £800 a week off him.

I have earned six figure salaries and lived a high life, also lost home and experienced time homeless. We are all just a short step from falling off the ladder, any one of you could be on benefits next month.

Of course the system would first bleed you of your savings, mine lasted 18 months, I then went into debt convinced I would dig myself out of hole. £50k of debt and then made homeless, Council said, "nothing we can do for you".

Still I sold what I had left and started over, I can't afford heat or hot water and I eat on the beggars aisle at the supermarket.

All of you do not realise that you bought into a con, the people on benefits are just doing what they can with the SYSTEM and it is the SYSTEM that is wrong.

I saw Benefits Street, a Landlord lets 14 Romanians live in a 3 bed house, that enables them to have lower living costs and so the living costs of the whole country have to get lower. Result more people on benefits, poorer service and LESS TAX to the Govt. If someone earns up to £10,000 a year they pay no income tax.

Immigrants work 40+ hours a week but paid for 24, that is £3.72 an hour.

Over a million people on zero hours contracts, that is why they can't afford your rents.

Do not blame tenants because you do not manage your properties.

Do not blame tenants because your cost of finance is too high so you have inadequate net profit.

Do not blame tenants because even though you own a property you do not have cashflow to run it as a business.

Do not blame people on benefits, blame the politicians who give themselves a hike in their pension and an £11k rise while everyone else has to take it up the backside.

You foolishly think this Govt. has your interests at heart? Think again, they are the same as the others, self serving.

Pensions sold down the river in charges or gambled away by bankers.

Nurses, 5000 fired while management consultants are paid £1000 a day in the NHS to make "efficiency savings" that increase costs.

Pensioners, the wealthy are untouchable but the poorer ones get nothing for years and then promised £2.45 a week to buy their vote.

But wealthy gets a £10k a year tax break and they have a plethora of ways to fiddle already.

The PM was questioned about 200% bonuses at RBS at question time and said "no overall increase in salaries from last year" Well I would hope not, they fired 2500 people at RBS in the last year.

Being British used to mean you did not kick a man when they are down, well that is all this Govt. has done.

Wake up and smell the coffee, the people on benefits have and they see that there is nothing for them here but they have no way out.

Stop blaming the people who have nothing and already realised that it is a crock of shit. It is not the law, it is the SYSTEM, you can't blame benefits claimants or immigrants they are both just using it.

Get your act together and manage your properties properly. Get insurance for everything, joint he national landlords association and sure get decent tenants if you can, inspect every month which will keep them on top of it. Do not rent to smokers and forbid smoking in the property.

If they do not pay the rent the insurance will kick in and pay legal costs.

Yep there will be repairs, you will have to clean carpets, replace boilers and all kinds of other stuff, that is the business.

Sell up and get out of this country and if you want 11% then go let a car it is far simpler (

end of rant

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Nige2014-01-19 00:57:18

Regarding being British. Yep your word was your bond. Thats long gone. I jump through hoops to get credit because despite having a good credit record there are others who try to outsmart the system.

I have done business in other countries where a handshake seals a deal not 12 pages of contracts.
Yes I do have insurance. Yes I am a member of NLA. Yes I am also accredited with another body. Yes my council has good relations with me.
Landlords will give good credit records to get rid of bad tenants. Where is the register of good and bad tenants like they have in the USA
Oh and yes have we forgotten that in 2007 my whole portfolio was valued for CGT at approx 12% tax and it is now subject to 18% or 28%.

Government policy has as its always been. Get people into an industry and then regulate or tax it.

So even getting out of it all has to be phased to avoid a large tax bill.

Yep Im getting out. Notice how housing associations are growing fast. Not just building estates but buying individual houses on estates with cheap subsidised funds and can easily undercut private landlords.
Notice how student accommodation is being funded by big business building ''hostel blocks''.

Now let me see. Would I rather be housing tenants and making sure that they do not damage my property and comply with the tenancy agreement and at the same time face ever increasing regulation, OR would I rather spend my life on a sunny beach drinking cocktails.

No contest.

PS as far as my redundant friend is concerned her ''benefit'' to pay mortgage interest will not kick in fast enough to stop the lender repossessing.

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debbie2014-01-24 19:10:05

New Landloard, first and last time of being one!.....makes it worse its my daughter in the property 7 months no rent on the 1st of feb, b4 that part rent paid I cant pay the mortage put the house on the market sells next week 30th jan 2014 notice to quit given runs out 24th jan have to sell..... up to my eyes in debt because of this and need house sold grrrrrrrrrr! what can I do

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Nige2014-01-24 20:02:06

But as David says..its a business.
My advice.
Read up on section 8 notice on the internet and act upon it.
When you get possession (maybe after bailiffs evict) FOLLOW THOUGH with an order to enforce the judgement.
Consider banging her into small claims court.
If she is on benefits ie LHA or housing benefit contact benefits and ask for any housing related benefit to be paid direct to you.
If she is working put an attachment of earnings order on her.
Lets face it she doesn't care that you go to the wall so why should you care if she does ?

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Debbie2014-01-25 06:49:49

Ty Nige for the above info

It's a nightmare that they can dodge the law and not pay there rent due without all the hassle landlords have to go through to get no what's there's as its with my case family even worse....

Not sure if anyone knows if it's my only Home and I'm homeless is there anyway Ivan act on it?
I'm just a Mum that was trying to do best by her family and it's come back to bite me in the butt!

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John2014-01-29 10:39:06

There are some tenants that are disaster for landlords. This case is an example of how a tenant doesn’t pay his rent and lives in your house, gives excuses every time. It’s pity that it’s illegal for a landlord to harass or change the locks to prevent tenants from entering the property. And landlords should follow all the steps of the eviction process to do everything right, but it takes so much time. And all this time your tenant is living in the house that is yours without paying a penny. The only thing the landlords can do is to check the information about the tenants before they move into the property (for instance, ask for photo ID to ensure the tenant is who he says he is; ask him for a bank statements for the past three months and check income to see if he can afford the rent).

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Nige2014-01-29 11:49:44

I agree with everyone reference details etc.
My application form is a mile long with photo id , passport or driving licence, national insurance numbers, you name it , Ive got their details.
So into court we go after spending hours getting details 110% right. Temant doesn't bother to turn up. As judge pours through half a hundredweight of paperwork making me sweat the tenant never ever turns up. Sitting at home in the warm safe in the knowledge that the judge will try ans find the tiniest fault to throw it out. And I'm paying. Ive had 3 court cases where Ive done all by the book. In those 3 cases I have had to fight to get my property back. Ive even been tiraded by a judge for 10 minutes being told I dont know what Im doing until I pointed out that he got it wrong.
In a recent scenario my tenant cleared off and gave the house to his ex wife who he had split from. My gawd what a complex mess that is.
As for credit checks, referencing, insurance. These are only as good as the suppliers of that info.
I have got a ''good tenant'' . By that I mean she pays the rent and does not give me hassel.
If I was now to run checks she would pass all. But pop round the house and you cant move as she is a hoarder. Its not top end rental and it pays well but the next landlord would never ever consider her if they viewed the mess she lives in. How many agents or landlords go and look at how their prospective tenant lives now ?? Very few.
And what happens when you get possession. If its damaged, rent outstanding etc. try chasing them for the money !! It costs you !!
The bottom line is that as David says moving out is traumatic. Yep usually for the landlord.
All the laws are stacked up against landlords and in favour of errant tenants.
As David says it is a business. Yes it is and so problems are factored in usually by higher rents. Just like increased costs for shoplifting landlords must build in the costs to cover all eventualities. Unfortunately like most laws in this country the majority suffers stupid controls to cover the few who wish to ''do what the hell they like ''
So its about time that this country banged the errant ones hard and leaves the normal law abiding individuals to get on with life without paying through the nose for those who wish to live by the rules.
Nuff said.

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Tami2014-02-01 01:27:47

Hi I'm so upset , we rented a house 17 month ago and told it was long term rent. We got first tenancy for 6month then requested another one , alarm bells should of gone off but we believed the landlord that a rolling agreement would be good . Anyway when we first got the house the landlord rang crying saying they didn't have enough money to pay mortgage even tho we payed £1400 to move in so we payed another £700 to help them out . We pay our rent early every month and have never missed . The cooker broke and we were told we had to replace it even tho it was integrated ! So we did .. Then the fridge freezer went again integrated we had to replace , then the dishwasher !!! The heating was playing up and it took them 4 weeks to send a gas man . Anyway after baylifts and mounting post from banks ( all stamped with Santander) we forwarder them back as they hadn't loved here for so long . Tonight we are told they are selling the house . So angry I have just for out of hospital I am a disabled 39 yr old married mother of 3 and they treat us like this ! My husband has decorated the whole house even payed £200 for new parking area out front . Is there anything we can do to stay until suitable accommodation can be found as we don't have these upfront fee and deposit money they all need and I need a house wheelchairs accessible aswell . Plz advice if u can . Many thanks . Tami .

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Nige2014-02-01 09:32:30

Many aspects here.

My first point would be start looking for another house now. Sooner or later you will be evicted and so contact your local council immediately.

It sounds like you were able to rent this house only because the ''owner'' ''landlord'' was in financial problems himself and trying to recoup his mortgage from renting.

It is normal for new tenancies to be issued 6 monthly and renewed otherwise your tenancy becomes what is known as periodic.
There is every chance that your landlord is
a/ letting the property without telling his mortgage company...hence his mail coming there or b/ has terms imposed on the type of tenancy they can offer ie 6 months at a time.

Bells should have rung when you had to do your own repairs (unless you abused the equipment)

As regards improvements I can only say these should have been done only after written permission and tenants must remember that it is not their property and any improvements can be wasted money.


Your deposit should be in a protected scheme and god help your landlord if it isn't. If it is in a scheme its open to arbitration. If it isn't then a judge will award you 3 times the deposit as a ''fine' on the landlord.

When you leave take your cooker and other items you replaced as these are your property but you must put the broken ones back.

From what you say I feel that the house may become repossessed and whoever financed the house./ probably Santander, will go to court to evict you so that they can sell the property to recoup their finance. This is why I advise you to immediately contact your council with all details including rental receipts etc so that you can prove that you did not deliberately make yourself homeless.

Sometimes clouds have silver linings and you may be rehoused in a better house.

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Benji2014-02-01 14:53:03


" If it isn't then a judge will award you 3 times the deposit as a ''fine' on the landlord. "

It is only up to 3 times the deposit and is costly to pursue.

Otherwise good advice.

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Nige2014-02-01 15:33:25

Thanks for input. I know of a case where the landlord didn't put the deposit in a protected scheme and then tried to evict a tenant. Yep the award was made against the landlord but as the case went on ....and more in keeping with the OP was revealed he tenant hit the landlord. The judge said that he wouldn't award for that reason.
On another note.
I would keep paying the rent as councils are not helping people who show arrears with rent.
That's one of the points that make you ''making yourself deliberately homeless''.
I would think that in this case as said the landlord is in severe financial trouble and sooner or later the house will be taken back from the tenant but of course this is a due process and notices must be served.

Again on another point. Tenants especially long term ones often think they are secure for years but eventually a time comes when either by retirement or death of the landlord or similar, the security of tenure will be rattled. Talking to a letting agent yesterday they said that as property prices rise many older landlords are cashing in. I offered one of my properties to a good long term tenant . His rent if far higher than a mortgage would be. But again in keeping with this thread he cannot get a mortgage (even with the government help to buy) as they didn't make a final payment on a mobile phone 5 years ago.!!!! And so in keeping with this thread its a matter of priorities. Rent paid or 55 inch tv !!!

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Tami2014-02-01 15:56:43

Thanks for all your comments and help , I can't replace the old white goods as they were out in the tip but the landlord said we r to take the ones we replaced . We are going to look for a new home so fingers crossed we get sorted , as far as I no the deposit is in a proper place , I shall leave the house in the same way I got it as I feel these ppl who trash property's are only showing there true self . Thanks again tami .

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Nige2014-02-01 16:48:30


Get everything in writing.
Looks like the house is going to be a repo. Thus grab your things. I say get it in writing as there may be a dispute ref taking things supplied with the house. This could affect deposit return.
You should know if the deposit is in the proper place as you should have a document to say where it is. If not ask the landlord.

Yep as you say the good suffer for actions of the bad. Either apply to council. May be more accommodating if you need access or try housing associations. On thing to consider is if you need alterations for disability. Councils and HA are more likely to alter a property than a private landlord.

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Tami2014-02-01 17:23:08

Thanks nige
I just spoke with estate agent who I got house through as I no her and apparently the deposit is with them so I'm happy and they are witness to the white goods being replaced by us so fingers crossed we get deposit all back . I need my stair lift and the doors have to be wheel chair accessible , I'm going to council on Monday so hope I can get some advice and help from them aswell . Thanx tami :-)

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amit chavan2014-02-09 23:40:07


Recently in the house where I am living . landlord did( 7 days ago) some refurbishing. while doing so he throw away the bags (two) which contain all my university books, notes, cloths and shoes. The bags where kept in storage room as there was no space available in my room. the books and cloths where expensive one and I never thought I will use them in near future so I kept in storage room. my house mates also had there languages too. but fortunately they found there stuff in trash so they asked landlord and landlord said he asked the existing flatmates and the stuff in store room belongs to the old tenants who left the house.

in fact he never asked anybody about the same. now I checked it and I don't have anything there. what should I do ? I pay regular my rent through Direct debit and no problem whatsoever from my side . but now I lost almost 5K stuff...including shoes, notes and expensive books which I cant afford now....please help.

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Nige2014-02-10 11:51:07

You do not give enough details of your tenancy to make a comment. Obviously some sort of shared accommodation.My advice would be to check whatever arrangement for use of the building outside your particular room.
Tenants have a habit of assuming that the meter cupboard etc. are for storage of rubbish and things when in fact they are for services such as meters, water taps etc.
I might question why you put 5k worth of stuff in a place where others had access and you might have a difficult time proving who actually removed it.
Also a lesson for all. Make sure that expensive , important or valuable things are secure and many tenants do not take out insurance. I do know that we all have a habit of storing in black dustbin bags and it is mistaken for rubbish.
As said you do not give enough info on your tenancy but in my experience shared buildings have a list of places you can use ie kitchens and bathrooms and forbid storing your things outside your room.

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marie2014-02-10 12:30:06

Nige - interesting comments. Yep. Being a Landlord in UK
is the pits. Amit - it is a pity the Landlord did not at least have a peep in the black bags but it seems he thought all the stuff had been "dumped" on him by previous tenants - which sometimes happens. I feel really sorry for you, but don't know what to suggest.

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amit chavan2014-02-10 13:02:08

First of all thank you for your comments.

Actually it was not a black bin bag... the store room we are using since last one year to keep the extra stuff.The place I am staying is like a shared accommodation but slightly like a studio flat, where the shower is in our room but the kitchen and toilets are in combine. store room was an empty shelf near to the boiler room.

To be more specific..It was a proper new Luggage bag and the most expensive stuff were books of mine and my girl friend. We recently finished our masters in finance and all finance course books and reference books were there. each book we purchased for minimum 40-60 pounds. It was kept in store room in Luggage bags with intention to sale it on ebay or Amazon when the new master intake will start. it was two big Luggage bags ...on the top landlord never asked us about the Luggage and rather assume it belongs to past flat owners..

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marie2014-02-10 13:37:21

Hi Amit,
I am afraid it is a bit of a grey area as the tenancy was not for the whole place but in effect a multiple occupation.
How many people were tenants at the building? If it was more than 5 then that opens a can of worms for the Landlord.
Ask him if he intends to compensate you. If more than 5 tenants, then possibly take this to citizens advice bureau.
paying tenants not unofficial guests -
If less than 5 tenants I am not sure, possibly ask the Citizens advice Bureau about a small claim in the County Court. Dubious.

It does seem the Landlord acted in too much haste but possibly he was thinking about fire hazard.

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Nige2014-02-10 18:14:59

Im afraid its welcome to the real world where (sadly) you cannot trust anyone.
Of course you will get conflicting statements from co tenants and the landlord. Who is to say that one of the tenants didn't sell the stuff. Each blaming the other.
I can assure you that as a landlord I get dumped with loads of stuff in properties when tenants scarper. If its worth anything I keep for a while and sell it. Half the time they don't own it anyway and bought it on credit.
As I said did you have insurance?? Having been a student myself I doubt it. I urge all my tenants to take out personal property insurance but few do even though basic cover is around £1 per week.
Learn by your mistake. If its you say..keep it in a safe place not a communal area.

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Dee2014-03-24 09:45:09

help i need advice. I have had my property for almost 6years and gave it to a family friend to manage it for me, since i am usually in and out of the country. i have never meant any of the tenants, the tenancy agreement is in the managing agents name. well recently i realized this agent has been taking the piss and paying the bills late and its all in my name hence messing my credit up. i plan on selling the property soon, so i need to get the property valued. how do i go about this, as there is a tenant who seems to be friends with the agent and they are trying to make it difficult. i plan on going there and giving a 48hrs notice to get access so the house can be valued, also i plan n changing the locks and giving a copy to the tenants and warning then to allow access to this agent, will this be the best move. i need advice

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Marie2014-03-24 10:10:26

Dee - Oh dear.
You definitely need legal advice and may be join the National Landlord's Association. You can google to find them.

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Nige2014-03-24 10:24:40

Get advice and get it fast.
Firstly the tenancy should not be in the agents name. It should be in yours.
Secondly if you deny tenants the right by changing locks you could end up deep in brown stuff.
You are allowed to give tenants notice that you want to inspect/value the property.
Read up about section 21 and section 8 notices and be aware that just trying to throw the tenants out is not an option unless you want a judge to go mad at you.
Basically dont plan on selling for 6 months.
2 months notice as its a periodic tenancy. This must be 2 full months rental period notice.
1 month to get the case heard in court.
2 weeks the judge will give the tenant to exit.
Then if they dont exit another 2 weeks to instruct bailiff.
Then a month for bailiff to evict.

Get the process wrong and its snakes and ladders. Judge will not give you back property and you will be back to start of process.

You will have to pay for court costs. YOU ..not agent will have to attend court. You will have to pay for bailiff.
THEN ...if you intend to sell you will have to basically renovate even if its just a coat of paint otherwise you will be selling a property with 6 years let and it will be tired. If you are lucky you will get away with minimum upgrade but dont count on that.
Ive just taken back a propety after 2 very long lets (15 yrs) and to bring it up to scratch has cost £7000. I could have sold ''as is'' but the market would have been limited and would have been £20k less than other properties.

I will say it again. GET ADVICE and fast otherwise you will be in a deep mess. Try the internet for help or contact a company called Landlords Action.

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dee2014-03-24 10:37:18

Thanks Nige and Marie. @ Nige you can say I have been very naive. I don't plan on kicking the tenants out but I want to change the locks and give it to the tenants, as I need access to the property and I want to restrict access to this agent. Also I came across a company called " National Property Trade" who are interested in buying the property and say they will take on the cost for refurbishment.

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Nige2014-03-24 10:59:35

Get your paperwork together.
Instruct agent that they no longer work for you.
EVERYTHING IN WRITING and post FIRST CLASS with certificate of posting. This is accepted by a court whereas a registered post/recorded delivery is questionable.
Go and have word with tenants.
You may have to do all paperwork again in your name.
I had a rogue agent. When I got rid of him I had a load of tenants. I wrote to all saying that as I was managing my property now that all communications should now be through me.
I gave them security of tenure for a while.
Big question is where is the damage deposit. ????
You may have legal recourse against the agent for not managing properly.
There are many schemes for purchasing property with sitting tenants but they do make their profit somewhere.
You can sell a property with a sitting tenant but its easier when vacant.
Not that you should tell your tenant but its quite usual for these investment companies to buy with a sitting tenant and then start eviction fairly soon so that they can renovate and sell on open market.
Unfortunately you will be on a loser capital wise if you sell with sitting tenant and I know of cases where house was ''abandoned to the open market'' by a landlord for £100k and subsequently sold for £150k 6 months later.

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Marie2014-03-24 11:09:17

Hi Dee,
I have to agree with everything Nige said - especially about selling.

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dee2014-03-24 11:19:51

I have done a written 48hrs for the viewing of the property as I do not have the keys and I need to get access because valuation needs to be done this week. Will this suffice. Hence why I thought of changing the locks and giving a copy to the tenants.

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Nige2014-03-24 11:34:02

Then tell tenants you are replacing locks and get them to sign for new set.
Dont forget to tell agent that they are not acting for you any more. Get scenario of your situation ref. rents/paid bills/where deposit is etc. etc.
Tell tenants what you are doing. If you keep them informed writing...they have no excuses. BUT post letters first class with cert of post ...or hand deliver with witness as if it hits court ref eviction the witness must attend.


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