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Tenant stopped paying rent and "allegedly" in Hospital

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Author Topic: Tenant stopped paying rent and "allegedly" in Hospital  (Read 87 times)
Posts: 1

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« on: January 30, 2020, 12:03:12 PM »

I have a tenant who has for the past two years paid rent without fail. Now they are two months behind in rent and have texted me to say they are in hospital and will be for some time and now want to give up the flat. They are on a 12 month AST which runs to Nov 2020. They are sporadic in the texts and keep saying they will phone me to explain -  but never do. The property I think has now been unoccupied for 2 months and I have some concerns over property condition - its Scotland and it gets cold! I am new to the renting out business and only have the one flat.

How do I legally get into the flat to check that all is good - I can't give notice of a visit as they don't reply to emails but text only - and only reply very very sporadically.

They may be in hospital with a serious condition - I cant yet confirm that until we have a person to person call - but they may also be BS'ing me!

Has anybody experienced this scenario - I don't want to go through an eviction process and court action for unpaid rent if they are really seriously ill - but they might be making it up?
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2020, 11:24:40 AM »

Has anybody experienced this scenario....

Something like this. Radio silence from a Tenant who said they were in hospital. Hadn't paid rent. Few days late and we were talking sporadically. Then it got even more interesting, I started to get emails from a person purported to be her sister... from her phone, her email address... reassuring me that she was taking care of her financial affairs while the Tenant was in hospital and she would be arranging a transfer that afternoon, then the following day, then some issue with logging-in, then another with a random security check... I realise, like you, it can be very frustrating but you need to play the long game and not act or react too quickly.

Things have a habit of coming out in the wash... and as long as you can survive financially, then you need to give them space to either come good (hopefully) or hang themselves.

Mine got even worse... when the Tenant eventually resurfaced herself, she had this amazing claim that her blood sister had gone through her accounts, emptying them, and had gone abroad with her new beau (who was a "bad influence"), Police were informed, Crime Number (that I never got) and investigation set for her return... in the meantime, an arrears payment plan arranged by us that would claw back the ~1,2000 outstanding... I was lucky because I had a small mortgage and could juggle things around... some Landlords can't.

In the end, she has come pretty good... there's only ~400 outstanding of that 1,200 now, and she's paid the actual rent due in full and on-time... I never heard about the outcome regarding the sister, I was offered information saying she'd been interviewed... but I didn't express genuine interest, so I think she just heaved a sign of relief. Now... the interesting thing is that I believe she was in hospital... and I would not like to initiate action of any kind while someone was incapacitated.

It's all going to depend, I think, on how much financial stress you're under... keep good records, something must come out of it in the end, no-one stays in hospital forever, and eventually they must resurface. They're still responsible for things like bills and Council Tax while in possession of the property, so at least that's not hanging over your head.
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