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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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There, I have a query regarding a prospective tenant both

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Hi there, I have a query regarding a prospective tenant both my wife and I have deep reservations about and where we stand in terms of our tenancy agreement.
Our property, a 3 bedroomed terraced house in Slough was advertised in a local paper and on a property website which indicated that one month rent in advance would be required and one month's deposit. A man called Mr Beach phoned to register his interest two weeks ago and explained that the local authority (DSS) would be paying his rent and that he would like the property on 1st September. I explained I was ok with this (verbally) and also provided him a letter at his request which stated that I required six weeks worth of rent in advance in order to accept his tenancy. The tenancy form (a DIY kit obtained from WH Smith) was signed with Mr Beach and his wife as the main joint tenants, and their three children, a boy aged 13, a girl aged 4, and a baby aged 2). This was based on the need for the rent in advance and the deposit, he explained that he would then try his best to make made up any shortfall in funds personally. Both my wife and I explained that we would not be prepared to let the tenancy commence unless the funds had cleared. Each day when we asked about the shortfall in funds, we were told the Council/DSS had not resolved the Housing Benefit and that this might not be sorted out until the tenancy would commence after 1st September. Both my wife and I were not happy about this and were very concerned that this did not sound secure. I was shown a piece of paper by the man's wife dated 27th August from the local Benefits office stating that the claimant had been approved to receive £1020 from the local council/DSS. However, the period this award was for 1st August until 27th August, even though the letter was dated 27th August. When I spoke to the man again on Friday 28th he explained he was at the local Housing Benefit office and put me on the phone to the a Housing Officer who explained that the award of £1020 had been approved and this would be sent as a BACS payment which would take 3-5 working days. Due to the Bank Holiday, she explained the funds would not clear before Wednesday/Thursday this week, which would be after the tenancy was due to start. When I expressed my concerns to Mr Beach about not having had any rent in advance or any deposit, he continued to make excuses and asked if we could let him into the property and that he would try to pay us on a weekly basis for any shortfall in the rent advance/deposit.
Early on today whilst I was cleaning the property to be rented, a police officer visited the address asked if this man, Mr Beach lived her. I explained he is scheduled to move in on 1st Sept. The police officer did not disclose why he was looking for Mr Beach or his son, but this now makes me feel deeply uncomfortable about letting the property to this man and his family as I am certain he is involved in criminal activity. Mr Beach also has not provided me with any references which I asked him for verbally during our first phone conversation.
Given the above situation and that he has not provided the required advance rent/deposit, (despite a payment that is allegedly been processed by the local DSS), and my concerns about his criminal character, am within my rights to cancel the tenancy agreement and not let him into the property on 1st September ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
1. Where no deposit or advance rent has been paid by your prospective tenant, you are within your rights to refuse to let them into the tenancy on 1st September. In fact, I would suggest, that given the circumstances and this person's criminal character, you would be very foolish to do otherwise. In law, the essential point is that if someone does not act in good faith and perform their end of the bargain by providing a deposit and advance rent, you can anticipatorily repudiate the contract and treat it as ended and not perform your own obligations under the contract. So here, simply write to this person and bring the contract to an end as they haven't provided the deposit and advance rent which was paid over by the DHSS. Otherwise, you will have a tenant in place, squatting, with no deposit, no rent paid and then you will have to employ a solicitor to eject them. All at a loss. So, don't let this go any futher and definitely, don't let them into the building without any deposit and advance rent.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for clarifying this. Mr Beach, (the prospective tenant), has previously mentioned that if we attempt to cancel the contract, he will initiate legal proceedings; do we have anything we may have to answer for or be liable for in a court of law ? My other concern is that as we will be letting him know that we do not wish for him or his family to be our tenants, this will leave him and his family homeless ? Do the local authorities have any grounds to act against us and will they be able to provide him with emergency shelter/accomodation ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi. Just to give you a further update, we have told Mr Beach, (the prospective tenant) that we are cancelling the prospective tenancy agreement, but he is still adamant both he and his family will turn up on 1st September.

Should we be worried about any potential counter action they can issue against us in a civil court ? Do the local authorities have any grounds to act against us in this situation ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
I see you have relisted this - what else do you want to know?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Alex

Apologies, the query has been duplicated.


I have spoken to the police and they have mentioned they will only be present tomorrow to prevent a breach of the peace, however, could they assist him in trying to gain access to the property ?

As we are within our rights to anticipatorily repudiate the contract as he has not acted in good faith, what are my immediate options if he turns up at the property ?

Best wishes

Imran

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
No the Police cant allow him to break entry into the house. it can only be unlawful eviction if they have possession, they dont. Therefore they cant be evicted unlawfully.
You can repudiate the agreement and ALL he can do is sue for breach of contract, nothing else. If he turns up call the Police. He has no keys, he can't break in - its a civil matter.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
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Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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