Tenant not paying full rent

This is on behalf of my parents. A woman is currently renting out the property, however as things have increased over years and with my parents having to pay the rates now, there needs to be an increase in rent, which hasn’t been increased for 8+yrs. Last time my father tried raising the rent by £5 extra a week they kicked off, so it was never raised.
It is on the agreement what she needs to pay and she is not paying it, meaning we are £20 short a week, my father also was made redundant, but this woman couldn’t give two hoots.
The problem is the woman is capable of self harm and has attempted suicide before, my parents tried to co operate with her but she doesn’t even answer the door anymore, my mother has tried messaging her but it takes weeks for a reply and the woman changes the conversation to her problems, by this point I feel like it is only to make us feel sympathetic towards her.
She is currently paying £79 a week, which for the size of the house and land around it makes no sense. It has been turned into a mess inside, the dogs are chewing at the doors, and has been devalued because of all of the junk.

How do my parents go around it to get her to pay more in rent? Bearing in mind that this woman would harm herself and make it seem as if it was our fault…

Sarah What do you mean your parents have to pay the rates now? Why is she/they not paying.? Her maybe self harming is NOT YOUR PROBLEM You need to evict them , this will NOT get better it will get worse .do yourself a favour act now It cannot be your fault. If you do nowt you only have yourself to blame

This woman is on the dole and benefits so it makes things more complicated. The rates used to be paid by the housing executive because she doesn’t work, however somehow it has flipped round so the landlord has to pay them now, meaning it takes another £800 of the income from the house. We can’t get in contact with her, my parents are trying to reach some kind of agreement but she doesn’t want to talk. Eviction I think is out of the question with the situation and roots

She thought we would pay the rates at the start, so she was engaging really well, really she will be paying them, just by raising the rent, now that she knows that she has went under cover

somehow it has flipped around ? no landlord pays the rates unless it is empty or is an HMO. you have let yourself fall into this situation because you are not a business person Sorry to seem tough but you are not being businesslike. If section 21 goes out of the window you will be in quicksand. I have been a landlord for 40 years so have a bit of experience. This will not get better if you dont act, See what other landlords say. Dont let heart rule head , You will be taken advantage of

Sad but true: while I empathise, as I have a less serious situation in which I am being soft hearted, you and your parents need to ‘wear two hats’: treat it as a non-socialist business and be a human.

  1. Be kind to the tenant: contact the Council “Safeguarding team” to report a vulnerable person. Explain that she has self-harmed in the past and may do so again, as you will be taking legal action against her. Don’t be pursueded not to take action, only to delay it a little if asked to do so, so that they can start their investigation into her needs.

  2. Be kind to mum and dad (M&D), but they may need to be with you (on the phone or in person, as they are the landlords, not you): contact the Council “Housing team” to report that the tenant has stopped paying the rates and that you will be taking legal action against the tenant if the Council cannot agree to cover the rent and rates in their payments to her. They would prefer to do that than incur additional time and expense by not doing so, as they will have to find alternative accommodation for her if she is evicted. I understand that some Councils may now pay M&D directly most if not all the rent due, and the rates perhaps to, so ask.

  3. Finally, after contacting the Council as above, though it is hard and makes caring people feel guilty, write to the tenant pointing out that the tenancy terms have been breached and unless points 1, 2 and 3 (e.g. rent underpaid, rates not paid, condition of house if damaged, access denied if that is the case, etc) are addressed within 2 to 6 weeks (you decide on what is reasonable in the circumstances), you will have no choice but to evict her. She may then respond with delaying tactics. Accept one or two but do not allow it to role into several weeks. Then issue a Section 21 Notice, or a Section 8, both to be researched to make sure you are in compliance with the law before issuing the Notice. At present, it seems a Sect 21 would be best, but will no longer apply sometime in 2021 or late 2020.

  4. Only by doing 3) and actually issuing a Notice will you be truly looking after the needs of your M&D: their health will get worse if you don’t! This is at the cost of your time and theirs, so that you will all end up feeling better in 6 months time. Do remember, that as soon as a Sect 21 Notice is issued, advise the tenant to notify the Council as they are then obliged to find alternative accommodation for her within 5 weeks* I am told, and that means she will be out within 8!

*To be confirmed by you when contacting the Council Housing Department

Good luck


As far as rights go, the tenant is not looking after the property, she is actively avoiding her legal obligation as a paying tenant, and she is causing stress for the owners of the property, namely your parents. Your parents have every right to seek a Section 21 or Section 8 in consideration of the circumstances and have the individual evicted. The tenant does not lay down the rules, the landlord does. It’s not for the tenant to say what is what unless for very good reason.

It sounds to me like the tenant thinks she can play the sympathy vote to avoid her obligations as a tenant and your parents are acting out of kindness. But you have to see it this way. The mental health of the tenant is not a landlord issue, it is a medical one covered by medical professionals only!

If she won’t pay or is refusing the landlord’s legal right to raise the rent, then have her evicted. It’s only going to deteriorate the longer you leave it. And if the place is being wrecked, that’s enough to have a Section 8 issued.

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Never mind the tenants mental health, what about your own and that of your parents?
I feel for you. Hope you get things sorted soon.

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Agree with all the above. 1st off STOP paying the rates - it is NOT under ANY circumstances correct for the landlord to pay the rates, it’s not even lawful to do so - it MUST be declared by the TENNANT and assessed by the council.

Is the tenant a total forwarding on her rates demand for you to settle or are you declared on the rates assessment?

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sarah jane we all want to know what will you do?