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Can landlord take back possession by changing locks

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Author Topic: Can landlord take back possession by changing locks  (Read 178 times)
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« on: February 08, 2021, 05:57:37 AM »

Hello, I have recently set up a Ltd housing company and have rented a few properties from landlords to house the homeless in HMO properties. One landlord has taken the property back after just a week by changing the locks even though he has signed a 2 year lease. The property in question was empty at the time of the landlord repossesing it and changing the locks.
His argument is that I missed a rent payment and therefore I'm in breach of the lease agreement...
Is what he has done illegal?  and what are my rights as the tenant.?
Please advise.
Thanks for reading.
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2021, 10:44:44 AM »

Look in the mirror first... before pointing outwards... and ask yourself, as a responsible and fair-minded and professional Landlord / Tenant, why you missed a rent payment. Maybe it's because it was convenient to you?

And then be thankful that at least no-one lost their home while this was going on. Then move on. No-one died. Whether you have a legal path to satisfaction I consider to be very different to whether you have a moral one.

Please don't take that harshly... if you set yourself up in this middle-ground kind of opportunistic way then the very least you must do is keep your snout clean. You don't challenge that you didn't pay the rent. You don't say why you didn't pay the rent... but whether it be brinkmanship, oversight, refusal... the Landlord in question here obviously saw an opportunity and just dived-in. You aren't going to take this all the way to the High Court, so I suggest you consider it a bad break-up and let it pass.
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2021, 02:07:03 PM »

Yes I do understand that it was an oversight on my part for missing a rent payment, that's something I would have rectified immediately had he bought it to my attention... What legal recourse do I have in his breach of contract of the signed lease!
Thank you
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2021, 02:40:12 PM »

Unless you want to line lawyer's pockets,in the real world you have no realistic recourse.With all due respect, you seem to be quite disorganised,especially given the specialised nature of the market you have gone into.Forgetting the first rent payment to a new client is a pretty schoolboy error. 
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2021, 04:29:11 PM »

Sounds like a possibly legal forfeiture by re-entry, at the only time it can be done for a residential premise without going to court as it was unoccupied at the time.
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2021, 02:44:17 AM »

Thanks for the info. What is a legal forfeiture and how can it be challenged...I
had a brief chat with the landlord, i told him he is in breach of the contract, but now he has completely changed his tactics and claims he didn't sign anything and that I forged his signature. I kid you not....That's just a clear attempt by him to by pass his breach of contract. How do I fight this, what are my options... Advise would be much appreciated...????
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2021, 08:25:08 AM »

What do you really want? The property back so you can leave it empty and not pay your rent... or compensation?
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2021, 10:47:57 AM »

Thanks for the info. What is a legal forfeiture and how can it be challenged...

I think - but I'm certainly no expert - that the Landlord can do this forfeiture thing if the Tenant (you) has breached the Lease... usually by doing exactly what you failed to do - not paying the rent. I don't think it's any succour to the Landlord here you bemoaning the fact that it wasn't brought to your attention... why should the Landlord do this? You are supposed to be a professional. I believe, if the concept of forfeiture is set up, then a Landlord can end a Lease without notice and just by peaceably re-entering the premises... no explanation required either... whether it's all been done 100% legally is another question entirely.

The good news is that you can apply to a Court. Though the Landlord can attempt to claim anything outstanding from you too. I think the Landlord may be unwise to suggest there was no agreement... better to say - "if you assert I breached the contract, then it was only in response to your breach by not paying the rent". Whether you call it a breach or an oversight that could be rectified doesn't really matter that much, it's a definite breach... so you're comparing one breach to another... where you have already proven you can't be a trusted Tenant / Business Partner.

Maybe it's time for you to pay a Solicitor if you want to take this further?
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2021, 12:22:37 PM »

What do you really want? The property back so you can leave it empty and not pay your rent... or compensation?
I want the property back so I can house the homeless as well as pay the rent to the landlord as per our lease agreement.
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2021, 12:44:42 PM »

But you didn't do either when you had the chance! Why would anyone want to deal with you now - I mean, you appear (at least on the face of it) to be, at best, incompetent (at worst opportunistically fraudulent). I am sure it's a misunderstanding at the heart of it... but just look for another opportunity and let this guy think that he's had a lucky escape.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2021, 02:41:41 PM by Hippogriff »
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2021, 12:50:41 PM »

I want the property back so I can house the homeless as well as pay the rent to the landlord as per our lease agreement.

If that's your ultimate objective, just look for another property. The homeless wants somewhere safe with a roof over their head first and foremost. There's no particular reason why it has to be this place.

You're risking money and time on fighting to possibly get possession of this particular place restored when it can be better spent finding somewhere else.
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2021, 02:42:54 PM »

I have been googling this type of business,and I have read some quite disturbing stuff.I am certainly not suggesting you are looking to make a quick buck at the expense of these people,but I would hope you are fully aware of the responsibilties you are taking on,both to the homeless and the landlords who are entrusting their properties to you. This is not one for amateurs. 
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« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2021, 07:42:25 PM »

I am no legal advisor but I believe until a payment has been received there is no contract in place.

In my view you need to accept that you messed up, learn from it and move onto a different property.
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« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2021, 08:37:27 PM »

I am no legal advisor but I believe until a payment has been received there is no contract in place.

No, the consideration is the promise of payment, not the actual payment itself.
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