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John LLB
John LLB, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1385
Experience:  8 years legal experience
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My tenant has a very basic agreement to rent my home which

Customer Question

My tenant has a very basic agreement to rent my home which was agreed sometime ago. We then agreed on two months notice on either side if one of us wants to terminate the arrangement. He has not payed October rent and is currently not taking my calls. If he doesn’t pay rent this month and just carries on living there without paying anything, what can I do?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: It is in reasonable condition. Last time we inspected it, mostly it was ok. We are about to have repair work done to some of the windows. Separately our daughter and husband plan to purchase the home within the next three months, assuming they get the mortgage they need
JA: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: The terms are very basic. We pay for maintenance. The tenant only has to pay the rent.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The tenant is on the top two floors. The ground floor is a garden flat and an art gallery. My daughter and husband look after these. They have access to all parts of the building and use the same entrance at times
Submitted: 8 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  John LLB replied 8 days ago.

Hello, how are you? Welcome to JustAnswer. My name is***** am a solicitor and I will be assisting you today. Hopefully we can get this resolved quickly

Expert:  John LLB replied 8 days ago.

Please note there may be delays in responding as I am away helping other customers but I will get back to you as soon as I can. I may also need to ask you some clarifying questions to determine the legal position.

Expert:  John LLB replied 8 days ago.

Hello is the agreement in writing and how long has he been living there for?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Originally yes it was in writing and we both signed it. I can’t remember where the signed document is. I think it lasted for a year or so. Then we agreed by e mail to,work on two months notice on either side. They nearly left some time ago at my request but I changed my plans at the last minute. They must have been there a good few years now. They have always said via email that it will be no problem to leave following two months notice, if we ask them to.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Also one of their sons is targeted by a gang who have broken windows and attacked him outside the home.
This is Eton so it is surprising
Expert:  John LLB replied 8 days ago.

Ok thank you.

If he continues to not pay rent, you can serve him a notice of eviction for possession of the property for rent arrears. You would need to give him 6 months notice in line with the Coronavirus Act 2020 if he has less than 6 months rent arrears. If it is more than 6 months rear arrears you can give 4 weeks notice. But he must be at least 2 months in arrears for you to serve this notice.

Technically, he could refuse to leave on receipt of the notice, so in that case you will then have to take him to court to obtain a court order. You will need to serve him a section 8 notice which I have attached.

If your daughter and husband plan to purchase the property, then the tenant will still have rights. This means that regardless of the sale, they will still have tenant rights to occupy the property even if there will be a new landlord. The tenant has a legal interest in the property so even if the ownership of the property changes, that interest is not destroyed. This means the tenancy will persist through and after the property sale. They will still benefit from all their tenancy rights as described by the law. None of them are limited, altered or restricted by the change of ownership. The correct legal procedures will still need to be carried out to get the tenant evicted.

If you are about to have repair work done to some of the windows, I would suggest using the opportunity to speak with the tenant to advise what you intend to do and just see how much of a challenge it could potentially be. It would be wise to do this before serving any formal letters/notices just so the tenant does not become difficult. It could be the tenant is unemployed or struggling to pay the rent so they are a bit embarrassed about it hence ignoring your calls. Find out what is occurring and then assess your position then.

Does this help clarify the situation?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you. I understand your answer. It’s not good for ourselves is it. So he can basically get away with not paying rent for 6 months . Our daughter and her husband can of course talk to him and I am hopeful that he will be reasonable. He did text and say that he would let me know his plans. He just hasn’t been willing yet to talk.
I hope that we can resolve this. One last question. The rental is my main source of income. Is there any kind of protection for our own income?
Expert:  John LLB replied 8 days ago.

I appreciate it is a difficult situation however, I would not see it as getting away with it because rent is still legally due. It's just unfortunate that in order to recover what you should have received, you have to go through the courts. So the matter is now delayed more than anything.

I would suggest speaking to your mortgage lender to see if they can put a payment holiday for you (they should be able to) or if you have any landlord insurance. If you have no mortgage on the property, then it is seen as having no loss unfortunately, so your redress would have to be through the court.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
The mortgage is only £295 per month. So a holiday won’t help hugely. The rent is £1800 so mostly profit which we live on. I rent my Cyprus home for £750 per month from and English man but it would be Cypriot law and I wouldn’t want to do the same to him anyway.
Expert:  John LLB replied 8 days ago.

I understand. If you have the means to cover the mortgage payments then it will not have as bad an impact on you however it is an option. I am not knowledgeable on Cypriot law so the rules may be different there but if you are not planning to continue paying rent for the home there, then it should not be an issue. I do wish you well in sorting it all out.

Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer, please let me know if you need me to clarify anything or if you have any additional questions. I am happy to help.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you very much for all your answers. I think we still need to,pay rent here but our income will be greatly reduced. So basically I guess we are the losers. We will go into some kind of debt if the tenant stays for 6 months without paying. I think that is just the way it is. The renter is protected but the land lord is not. Thank you again.
Expert:  John LLB replied 8 days ago.

Unfortunately that is the current case where the government has aimed to prevent eviction of tenants over the winter months, especially if renters have lost their jobs and unable to pay. My only suggestion is to offer the tenant a reduction for a certain period and for him to make up the shortfall at a later date. So he may be more willing to pay £1000 a month over the next few months. Just ensure if you do, that it is clear he knows he has to pay the shortfall at a later date and is not paying the reduced rate indefinitely.

I am happy to help. Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer