Tenant stopped paying immediately

Im hoping somebody can help. My tenant moved into my flat in mid May, but im yet to receive any rent (excluding the first month to start the tenancy). He is already 3 weeks late with no indication he will be paying, and another months rent is due next week.

I’ve tried speaking to him. He aplogised and promised payment, but that didnt happen and he is ignoring my messages now. Hes on a decent wage and passed all the affordability checks. He does have a CCJ but i naively looked past it after i met him because he seemed like a decent guy.

Im only renting the place because i cant sell it (cladding issues) and had to move away for work. My service charge is unaffordable, and without the rent im in a very tight spot. I also have a baby on the way and im desperate to get this resolved as quickly as possible.

Can anyone advise on the best course of action. Obviously i dont want to go down this route, but im thinking Section 8 or Section 21 if he continues to not pay. Im not sure which is better though, considering costs and timeframes? Its a 6 month AST which expires in mid November.

Thanks a lot!!

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You took no first months rent > Did you take a 5 weeks deposit?

I took the first months rent and 3 weeks worth of rent as a deposit. But he hasnt paid anything since.

got it misread first time. >How long the lease? CCJ as well .Heart ruled head here . You need eviction specialist help before you make any more mistakes Hard lesson mate.

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No worries, thanks for responding! The lease is 6 month, so expires in mid November

Did you put deposit into a protection scheme ? Give " how to rent" booklet and gas? elec. certs?

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Yes right to rent guide sent via email on move in date, i belive openrent send it too. Its an all electric flat. EPC was also issued via email on move in date along with EICR. Deposit was protected too, all done through openrent.

that is all good .done correct. s21 cannot be issued in the first 4 months of a tenancy. Check out sect 8 grounds . This sadly will be sticky.

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what was previous LL’s reference like? Did you get a ref?

The reference was refused by the agent. Stating they don’t have to provide one. In hindsight this should have been a major red flag, but at the time I just assumed it was the agent being lazy and not providing references as standard procedure.

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that’s not an agent being lazy, that’s an agent being negligent. If you have the energy, I’d complain to their redress scheme about how their lack of cooperation in this regard has caused you problems.

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Services of Paul shamplina although you’ll have to wait & it’ll cost £’s…

The advice others have given is sound. I am so sorry for you. A high service charge, unsaleable flat remote from your home, and a baby coming… I can’t even imagine the stress.

If you look up my previous comments on here you’ll see I managed some very big estates in my career. A lesson I learned many years ago (nearly 60 years ago actually) and have never seen any reason to unlearn is that bad tenants never become good tenants. So step one is to harden your heart and accept you have a bad tenant and they are not going to get better.

Step 2 is to get all the paperwork in order, scanned if hard copies, and have certified copies made and kept somewhere separate from the originals so that if your current run of bad luck gets worse you have a backup reserve of all the papers. Paperwork is EVERYTHING in these cases. The courts will listen to any amount of cow excrement given verbally by tenants but landlords MUST have their paperwork in order.

Step 3 is to find an eviction specialist who can take your case and who you can afford. You really do have to do this because from what you have said you simply don’t have the experience and knowledge to solve this problem by yourself. Sorry about that. More expense. Can’t be helped.

Step 4 is probably to make a MoneyClaimOnline (the current version of a County Court Judgement), and pursue it diligently This tenant has stitched you up at a vulnerable time in your life. Vengeance is justified, but more importantly two CCJs should be enough to prevent him pulling the same trick again and if he can put his hands on the money he owes you he might cough up just so he can move on and con another landlord.

And step 5 is the hardest but you have to do it. You said ‘I naively looked past it after I met him because he seemed like a decent guy.’ Learn the obvious lesson from that.

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Ok you have some good advice on here. What else? Well go round there with a witness, tell him you require an inspection on a morning, be a bit vague on exact time. Take some pictures, have a good look round. Let him know its not his house, tell him he will be out anyway but if he goes now we can call it quits on the money, even dangle a good reference
Make it uncomfortable.
Tell the suppliers and council tax about failure to receive rent, tell the tv license people.
Dont overtly threaten but keep the pressure on, keep in contact. A text a letter an e mail
I have had a reasonable amount of experience dealing with the bottom feeders and have found the strict legal route expensive and stressful and lengthy. Do that yes but getting in their face gets results, something many landlords wont do
As for your flat put it in auction and walk away and turn a new page

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What about the next Landlord !

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Thank you everyone for your help on this. Ive given a 2 week deadline to pay what’s owed and if this isnt done i will be serving Section 8, and then Section 21 at the earliest date if he reduces arrears to less than 2 months.

I have a taken your advice and sought legal advice for an eviction solicitor. Ridiculously expensive but as you all say, it’s better to be safe on this one.

Ive learnt a very valuable lesson to be honest, and ill be avoiding anyone that doesnt get a gleaming reference check from now on. It’s sad that this is the way things are going.

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I will be pursuing another CCJ if it comes to it and a money claim online, regardless of the cost and efforts. This sort of behaviour needs to be punished to prevent it happening to the next poor person. I could offer a good reference but not actually do it.

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definition of dangle: “offer an enticing incentive to someone” eg .‘the defence portfolio could be the carrot to dangle before him’
I did not say give a reference

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I’ll definitely be considering that. Thanks.

A CCJ and a refused reference are two red flags, That said, we have had a lady tenant who had a CCJ (caused by ex-husbands gambling on a joint account) who has been a lovely tenant for over 10 years. I would be more concerned about a refused reference that a CCJ where there is a clear narrative and evidence to back up the story (eg business failure/profligacy of ex partner). There is nothing to stop you issuing both a Section 8 and a Section 21. You can do these yourself but I would join a Landlord Association to guide you through the steps.

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