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No written agreement and tennants wonīt leave...

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Author Topic: No written agreement and tennants wonīt leave...  (Read 141 times)
Newbie
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« on: January 22, 2020, 05:34:58 PM »

We were moving away suddenly and allowed some friends to stay in our property for a nominal rent.  One paid every month, the other never did.  Before Christmas, we made the decision to sell our house and sent a letter to let them know that we would be taking back possession of the property at the beginning of February.
They are refusing to leave.
I cannot issue a Section 21 as it was not a formal agreement.
We are returning to the property on the 24th February to start selling proceedings.  What can I do if they donīt leave?  We still have property inside our home.
Any advice gratefully received.
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2020, 09:53:01 PM »

Well, you can probably stop describing them as friends now...

The lack of a formal agreement wouldn't necessarily rule out a Section 21. When did this supposed tenancy begin? If your property has gas, did you give the tenants a gas safety certificate at the start of the tenancy?

Do you know why your "friends" are refusing to leave? Are they having difficulty finding somewhere else to live? Perhaps you could offer a little something to help with moving expenses ... and promise not to sue them for the outstanding rent.
Newbie
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2020, 10:33:14 AM »

Thanks for your reply.  They moved in around April of last year.  It was a verbal agreement with the mother.  Have no arrangement with the daughter.  The daughter has paid her rent, however, since we have told them we would like them to leave, she has stopped paying.  The mother owes us about six months rent now.  We havenīt issued any certificates or anything like that as it was meant to be an informal arrangement. 
I think the daughter is refusing to leave becuase she would like a council property so needs to stay so she doesnīt make herself "intentionally homeless". 
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2020, 10:46:35 AM »

We havenīt issued any certificates or anything like that as it was meant to be an informal arrangement.

Wow!

That's awful... you can't go around doing this. Letting out property, whether informally or not (whatever that means), is a serious business and comes with responsibilities and obligations. I realise you are taken-aback by the situation, but you are / have been accepting rent for a property / product... you must uphold your part of the bargain, otherwise how can you ever expect your Tenants to play nicely? I hope no security Deposit was taken at the beginning of the tenancy?

I think a proper sit-down - focused on being adults and constructive - is gonna be your best bet... you don't want your Tenants to go onto Google and find out how much over a barrel they probably now have you.

You may need to be patient, even while she works her way up the Council list (or whatever they do these days) and your plans to sell could be on-hold - no private buyer would purchase without vacant possession and no Landlord would purchase this from you as it's kinda toxic and troublesome.
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2020, 10:53:00 AM »

I know exactly what you are saying.  Like I said, they were our friends in need of a home and the "rent" was a token - that is what we agreed - we have been covering their bills and some other living expenses.  Just very sad that it has come to this. 

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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2020, 11:17:31 AM »

There's a perversity to situations like this, whereby you clearly think you were doing someone a favour...and it might've started out that they felt much the same, but over time you become a different person in their eyes - someone who changes and morphs to become the person that they're doing a favour for... why should they pay you rent to keep your house safe-and-sound... heck, you should be paying them if it comes to it. After all, if you have >1 property on the go then you're obviously well-off and shouldn't you share the love? Property being let, however informally it might be done, between friends just breaks friendships... all the time. This is why it's considered Landlording Rule 101 to not let to family or friends.

If you had done it formally and let it to a stranger and done all the things you were supposed to do you would've gotten a market rate rent and none of this trouble... plus you'd still have these people as friends. I know this will be a lesson for you... I don't need to rub it in.

With the situation as it is, I would strongly suggest you humbly find out what is going to be needed to get them to move on... I'd forget doing things properly now (and it's not often I say that) as there's tonnes of stuff you might need to do to get to the position whereby you can force an eviction... and it will be long and costly... it might be time to consider crossing their palms with silver so you can consider selling with vacant possession... maybe the friends would see the sense that it might be better if they had a formal tenancy with some other Landlord, elsewhere, for Council purposes... not this unwritten 'arrangement' you have now.

You are probably going to have to hide your distaste for all this... and focus on the ultimate prize. You are going to have to sit down across from them and try to find out what they want to do what you want.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 11:35:49 AM by Hippogriff »
Newbie
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2020, 11:23:28 AM »

You are absolutely right and lessons are being learned. 

 :'(

Thanks for your response.  We are heading back to the UK at the end of February and hope that they will meet us - we were supposed to be clearing the property at that time. 

Appreciate your advice.
Newbie
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2020, 10:19:15 AM »

Talk about it with them first.

If they refuse to move then you will need to take legal action.  I read a similar case and the judge agreed the agreement was an informal one and lower rent due to it being a favour rather than a letting.  Hope you get a similar judgment.
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