So I have a tenant and my property is currently being managed by an agent! The reason being he has been a difficult tenant form the start regarding communication/changing rent dates, inspections and quite frankly it was stressing me. He is so rude to me.
So after he had been in situ 9 months I put the property with an agent. She was well aware of why I did this.
So the agent contacted the tenant by email as soon as the LD was announced to ask if he had difficulties paying rent due to CV to make contact immediately.
Two weeks later my rent day came and she received from the tenant an email saying
he had been off sick for 2 weeks (so he had delayed advising this) having self diagnosed CV and he would be unable to pay his rent- and he added I want my free 3 months rent like the gov. said I could. He works for a food retailer so his work at the mo is in high demand. I should add his mother is a guarantor. After many emails back and forth I eventually got half my rent as he is on sick pay and he said until he got his wage he didn’t know how much he would get. He added his mother could not pay as all his family were ill too. His mother won’t answer he phone either.

2 weeks on (so that’s 4 weeks off sick now he says he is still symptomatic and is not returning to work. He went back to work and they said he coughed so they sent him home. Although I should add he won’t pick up the phone and emails are not opened for a week so moving forward to find some agreement is difficult. I believe he is a chancer and trust me 9 months of dealing with him has told me this.
My rent is now due in another 10 days and as he has to date been off for 4 weeks his sick pay will be even less so I probably won’t get anything at all this month. He has been sent a letter regarding a payment plan but he has emailed to say he won’t know what wage he’ll get so won’t agree to anything.
I have no other income and can’t claim any benefits. My husband is self employed so won’t get anything until end of June.
I’ve no idea when he’ll return to work if at all. How long can someone be symptomatic? How can I prove anything at all.
The agents answer was to give him notice!
She said you can’t send out a payment plan and approach a guarantor together ??
Any advise out there please

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I’m not recommending the following - it’s just something that was sent to me, saying that if you sign up for the Landlord blog, you can access free legal advice from this site: https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/life-is-a-rant/

It states: ’ Reminder: you have access to Free Legal Advice if you’re facing difficulties with your tenant(s) during the coronavirus pandemic! No strings attached.

Thank you Gareth for your reply. I’m
No further forward with the tenant or agent at the moment. Communication from the tenant is zero

Sounds to me that your Tenant is playing you and I also think he’s under the misconception that the government has granted tenants a free rent period where in actual fact it’s a deferred rental period and your tenant ultimately has to pay the missing rents.
You need to agree a repayment plan that your comfortable with and if the tenant is receiving 80% of his normal wage then perhaps he should be paying at least 80% of his rent.
Your not allowed to give a section 21 or 8 notice u dear the current Corona virus situation but if it was my tenant acting like this I would certainly be getting their section 21 notice ready for when this virus business is over.
Some tenants think they should be allowed to live for nothing in someone else’s property which is clearly not the case

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when the goverment announcement was made about a rent “holliday” they never stated clearly enough that it still had to be paid at a latter date. At the same time they asked lenders of property money to give clients a break. This has led to the illussion that no one has to pay anything. I am certain that certain scumbags will play on this in order to pay nothing.

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Hi Geoff
Thank you for your reply. I am now 5 weeks down the line with this tenant who has emailed to say he is still symptomatic with CV and has a chest infection now, 5 weeks off sick so has, and will only entitled to ssp which is around £95 PW. Tje dilema is how long will he be off. No information has been offered about his health. The agent is clearly not following through with anything either and allowing him I feel to control the situation. Rent is due this week end and should I not get anything I will then ask the agent to approach the guarantor (his mother). One email sent to him doesn’t get followed up. I have to prompt the agent constantly and then we are lucky if we get a sentence only back from
The tenant. His lack of commitment is shocking. I ha e tried to be understanding but for me if he had become ill with flu or anything else how would he have paid rent. Don’t any tenants save for a rainy day/ back up plan. Frustrating. I think this week will be a time to make some decisions


How is this situation persuing? has he paid anything in the passed 2 and half weeks?? Maybe think about handing the papers over especially the amount of time wasted on said tennent.

I hope it works for you (Really annoying when the landlord still has to pay but the tennent doesnt. Really makes you question said choices. Im not a landlord but i certanly see such frustration.

Hope it gets sorted and please respond with progress :slight_smile: all the best within this pandemic

Thank you Rhyce for your email. I have had part payments but it’s the lack of evidence and communication that frustrates me. He contradicts himself at best (tell lies) and still the saga isn’t resolved going forward of when he will return to work and how he will pay arrears. He is still not back at work almost 10 weeks now. Says he was admitted to a And e and first said he’d had a test, then he hadn’t, now says he hasn’t. He is a key worker and didn’t bother to get a home test kit. He says now waiting for the test to say he has had it. Won’t send any paperwork in whatsoever says it’s not my business - agent useless. He now says I cannot access for a gas check or lender valuation (want to change lenders) until pandemic is over, although he originally said we could when he was Symptomatic (that’s not likely to happen for many many months). My new boiler will not be covered now Under warranty should anything happen as it’s two months over due it’s service I served him notice Friday - he went mad so I asked him to clarify some points by email by 3pm Yesterday or notice still stands (copying in the agent). He sent a text not answering all my questions so as far as I’m concerned notice stands. The agent hasn’t even contacted me since having copied her in. I assume they think it’s all ok which it isn’t. She also broke my confidence by telling him I was thinking of selling when I specifically told her not to. I’m really stressed. I have got a landlord that potentially would by it with tenant in situ but I can’t get him
In to see it. I’m in a mess!

Oh Jesus i do hope its all goes well and tbh you did the right thing by issuing the papers all the best :slight_smile:

Your tenant must allow access with 24 hour notice for: Inspections, viewings, gas safety inspections and certification of gas appliances.
However, there is an issue regarding “Suspension of evictions” at the moment whilst the pandemic is happening so I’m not too sure that your “notice” can be deemed valid.

Yes I know but try and get them to allow It, it is easier said than done when they originally said they were symptomatic, then too I’ll and now flatly refuse until the pandemic is over.

Always keep a record of all you do Emails calls etc Letters WITNESSED being put thru the letterbox. You may need this in the future .Forget the agent handle it yourself agents are only interested in money , targets and bonus

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Thanks Colin
The agent has served notice and currently that still stands so it’s hard to get rid of them at this stage although they’ve been as much use as a chocolate teapot.

I presume the guarantor was adequately reference checked so presumably has assets and/or a reasonable credit score etc. Your tenant has refused to comply with reasonable requests so I would not hesitate to go after the guarantor and demand arrears at this stage. Give them a week to either resolve the issue with the tenant to your satisfaction or you will commence proceedings. Remind them of the possible impact of a CCJ and that their liability is not limited to the amount of the bond and you will seek ALL costs including legal etc.

I always make sure the people I have as tenants or their guarantor have something worth losing, be it their creditworthiness or an asset and threaten to go after them. Whilst it sounds ruthless, some people, as appears to be the case with your current tenant, just take advantage and the only way to deal with them is to demonstrate you are serious and that they have something to lose.

I see your agent has given them notice. You are currently are required to provide 3 months’ notice for section 21 eviction and can’t boot them out until after September (this date may be extended). It is legal to commence proceedings. Also remind the tenant of possible difficulties in renting again in the event they are evicted and/or have a CCJ on their credit record.

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Yes the agent ( who so far has been useless) did try and contact the guarantor Initially (tenants Mother) without luck. She works and owns her home and is worse than the tenant having met her on every occasion I have had reason to inspect or carry out a repair. The agent didn’t pursue her further as she said it would seem unreasonable during the pandemic to not give the Tenant the chance of paying arrears back through a payment plan. This was sent and got ignored and guarantor was never chased again as the tenant said his Mother was also off with CV. It Is just lie after lie I’m fed via the agent who doesn’t appear to challenge or keep the lines of communication open and I’m now hesitant to get rid of the agent as I have never had to serve notice to a tenant and I’ve been doing this 10 years.
Apparently the tenant will still not allow access 11 weeks for both the gas safety check and
Boiler service and Mortgage valuation As i want to change lenders . He is now saying No until the pandemic is over as he is ‘vulnerable’. So apparently he was symptomatic mid March - self diagnosed himself with CV - never got tested even though he was a key worker. Then said he had heart and lung damage from CV. Now he says he’s waiting for a test to say he has had it but still won’t allow anyone in despite him saying he’s had it. Utter nonsense - I am so so frustrated. And to top it all he has been seen smoking roll ups in the communal garden. So much he is ill huh.

Hello Tracey9

As a tenant (and somebody who worked for an agency in the past) I would like to give some insight into this. Yes, I know I’m a bit late, and probably this has all been said before. But, just to clarify further, your tenant is a horror that needs to be dealt with. Sorry that this is happening to you.

Firstly, your tenant is playing you and you have every right to seek legal advice. Nowhere in the bill does it state that tenants have the right to withhold rent under any circumstance(s) only that rent can be deferred. And, if he has not got permission from either yourself or the agent acting on your behalf, or a response to say his request has been considered, then sorry, it doesn’t stand. The agency acting on your behalf should know this. And if they a) say they don’t or b) are simply forfeiting the issue and ignoring it to maintain ‘business’ with you then leave them. An agent is there to protect the interests of the landlord; they have to do this to ensure they have continued business otherwise what is the point? If they’re no good, then find someone else. I know that plenty of agencies will be willing to take on rental properties right now.

On the subject of Covid. It’s been a right f*** up for landlords and tenants both. Unclear ‘guidelines’ and not enough confirmation on the bill has led to a s*** sandwich. All tenants right now are likely feeling unsure of themselves. Landlords too. I know we did. But we are renting. And the rent is paying for our landlord’s mortgage and their livelihood. If we don’t pay, we have no home. Simple. And we planned ahead to keep some form of business going. Unlike some poor people who have lost their job, etc during this, this guy has a job so he really doesn’t have a leg to stand on. We signed a contract to pay a certain amount each month and that is what we will do. Sick or no, had I been in this person’s shoes I would have addressed the issue of sick pay with the employer, bringing to their attention that I was renting, how much, etc. Considering that he a) has not told his employer(s) about this and b) is failing to liaise effectively with you or the agency, then he is not taking responsibility.

It might seem strange, but have you at all considered communicating with the tenant’s employer? I know there is little they would probably be able to do, but it would confirm whether or not the individual is telling you the truth or just porkies. Consolidating the truth would give you some peace of mind at least.

Furthermore, a guarantor has signed a legal contract to cover the cost of arrears should the tenant fail. Failure to do so is in breach of the contract they knowingly signed. You have every right from now to file for a court hearing and reclaim the arrears. Section 21. Section 8.

Yes, we are living in strange times and difficult times. But there are very few excuses which actively would stand up in a court of law. First and foremost, your tenant should be able to pay something. He has an employer, he has completed the quarantine process, etc. His guarantor is legally obliged to cover the arrears. She cannot legally refuse for any reason unless stated in a contractual agreement. Referring back to my memory of ASTs, guarantors cannot contest their agreement. So, you really need to consider processing this legally.

Again, I am really sorry this is happening to you. As if there is not enough stress going around right now. It is also making a bad name for tenants. But a tenant should be responsible; we have always ensured to keep a ‘nest egg’ back for times of crisis and that has always worked in our favor. To me, it sounds like you have just got unlucky with a bad tenant, and seriously need to consider court action. ‘A cold’ is not going to stand up as a reasonable defence for bankrupting someone else.

That’s my two cents on the matter. I would be interested to see how you pursue this.

All the best.

NB. I know that government guidelines have issued a ‘suspension’ on the eviction process, but it does not make your notice given invalid. Plus, you could see the silver lining too that is it gives you more time to seek the arrears before it gets to that point. Good luck!

“The agent didn’t pursue her further as she said it would seem unreasonable during the pandemic…”

What is also unreasonable is your tenant, nor guarantor refusing to pay (any) rent.

It is a bit of a loggerhead situation.

Boiler servicing is essential work. He cannot deny that because if his boiler broke then your property would not be legal under the Housing Act. So that is essential and cannot be cancelled unless by an engineer or by yourself due to ‘risk evaluation’.

Mortgage valuation on the other hand is non-essential.

If he is concerned about his vulnerability due to a servicing visit, refer him to the Gas Safety page. Engineers all have to be assessed before going out on the job and, he could easily avoid the situation by staying in a different room or going outside whilst they conduct the work.

He sounds dodgy to me, sorry.

Thank you Gemma for your replies. Things have moved on somewhat and it’s long winded but the conclusion I reached was I had no alternative but to serve notice.
The tenant is still not back t work, refuses to show evidence of being ill (apparently none of my business) and the agent has said we must respect this!! I’m not sure exactly where he works so can’t approach them.
He still hasn’t has a test for COvid 19 although a key worker and originally said he had self diagnosed. He then said lungs and heart were damaged by C19 and now says waiting for a test to say he’s had it. Says he’ll pay arrears by August but still not at work so can’t see how that can happen. He has been in cooperative and I fear he won’t be moving out when he should August.
He won’t let anyone in until the pandemic Is over despite saying he’s had C19 so don’t see how he would refuse. The gas engineer texted him as he wouldn’t pick up and he told him he couldn’t let him in due to high risk. Well he can’t be everything can he? I’m not stupid I knew from day one he was playing me and had the agent taken a firm approach I wouldn’t be where I am now. He’s been difficult from day one and I am going to sell it along with all my others. This was my pension but the stress of this and dirty stinky properties I visit on inspections having spent hundreds of thousands doing them up to show home condition breaks my heart. The conflict I get isn’t worth it for any amount of money. I doubt this tenant will leave lightly so we will have to wait and see. I should add this lying low life scum has even been seen in the garden with roll ups (non smoking flat) despite him
Saying he’s been hospitalised for king and heart damage due to C19. It’s a joke isn’t it

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Tracy 9 you can do up a house TOO WELL for some people it may not be appreciated

Yes funny how landlords get a mortgage payment holiday and don’t have to pay it back but tenants get a rent payment holiday and do, I can’t understand why there’s confusion.