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  • FIRST POST
    • HomelessHopeless
    • By HomelessHopeless 12th Oct 18, 4:21 PM
    • 14Posts
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    HomelessHopeless
    In arrears, what to do
    • #1
    • 12th Oct 18, 4:21 PM
    In arrears, what to do 12th Oct 18 at 4:21 PM
    Good afternoon.

    I have fallen into arrears with my rent. I am on a 12 month AST, currently five months in.

    My employment was reduced for two months. I have paid 500 per month for September and October, my rent is 950, so I owe 900.

    I contacted the EA before this all started to explain. I have offered to clear the arrears by the end of December 2018, and am happy to enter a payment plan. I will be in a position to pay my full rent from November onward.

    The EA has contacted me today to say the Landlord is not inclined to accept this and so will seek legal advice. They have offered to ask the LL to agree to release me from the tenancy now, with a payment plan in place for the arrears. This would make me immediately homeless. I have asked for some time to consider things.

    I know I have royally cocked up, I do not dispute that, but what are realistically my options? Can the LL serve an S21 and evict me? My arrears are equal to less than 8 weeks rent (just shy of one calendar month), does this make any difference when it is a private LL?

    I am really worried about this and what I can or should do?

    Any advice is more than welcome.
Page 1
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 12th Oct 18, 4:37 PM
    • 5,754 Posts
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    Comms69
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 18, 4:37 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 18, 4:37 PM
    Good afternoon.

    I have fallen into arrears with my rent. I am on a 12 month AST, currently five months in.

    My employment was reduced for two months. I have paid 500 per month for September and October, my rent is 950, so I owe 900.

    I contacted the EA before this all started to explain. I have offered to clear the arrears by the end of December 2018, and am happy to enter a payment plan. I will be in a position to pay my full rent from November onward.

    The EA has contacted me today to say the Landlord is not inclined to accept this and so will seek legal advice. They have offered to ask the LL to agree to release me from the tenancy now, with a payment plan in place for the arrears. This would make me immediately homeless. I have asked for some time to consider things.

    I know I have royally cocked up, I do not dispute that, but what are realistically my options? Can the LL serve an S21 and evict me? My arrears are equal to less than 8 weeks rent (just shy of one calendar month), does this make any difference when it is a private LL?

    I am really worried about this and what I can or should do?

    Any advice is more than welcome.
    Originally posted by HomelessHopeless
    The Landlord can evict for rent arrears, BUT to be honest by the time it gets to court you will be under the required 2 months arrears for a mandatory order.


    The court will then decide if evicting you is reasonable (which they tend to avoid)


    s.21 is only valid outside fixed term.
    s.8 is the rent arrears option.


    To be 2 months in arrears you would need to owe 950.01.
    • HomelessHopeless
    • By HomelessHopeless 12th Oct 18, 4:42 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    HomelessHopeless
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 18, 4:42 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 18, 4:42 PM
    The Landlord can evict for rent arrears, BUT to be honest by the time it gets to court you will be under the required 2 months arrears for a mandatory order.


    The court will then decide if evicting you is reasonable (which they tend to avoid)


    s.21 is only valid outside fixed term.
    s.8 is the rent arrears option.


    To be 2 months in arrears you would need to owe 950.01.
    Originally posted by Comms69
    Thank you for this. I thought two months in arrears meant two payments eg 1900? There's my first mistake. Still, as long as I repay the arrears it should be Ok? Even if issued with an s.8?

    I am so scared of becoming homeless
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 12th Oct 18, 4:45 PM
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    Comms69
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 18, 4:45 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 18, 4:45 PM
    Thank you for this. I thought two months in arrears meant two payments eg 1900? There's my first mistake. Still, as long as I repay the arrears it should be Ok? Even if issued with an s.8?

    I am so scared of becoming homeless
    Originally posted by HomelessHopeless




    Nope, sorry.


    0.01 - 950 is 1 month
    950.01 - 1900 is 2
    etc.


    There is also a discretionary ground for being in arrears, as well as, paying rent late. So obviously keep communicating, put your offer in writing. And pay asap.


    Given you can in theory afford 950 + arrears per month, even if you are evicted, why would you be homeless?
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 12th Oct 18, 4:47 PM
    • 1,526 Posts
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    saajan_12
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 18, 4:47 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 18, 4:47 PM
    Good afternoon.

    I have fallen into arrears with my rent. I am on a 12 month AST, currently five months in.

    My employment was reduced for two months. I have paid 500 per month for September and October, my rent is 950, so I owe 900.- did you have any savings? or spend money on any other non essential bills? Rent is a priority bill and if you become homeless due to non payment of rent, the Council will use that as a reason to not help.

    I contacted the EA before this all started to explain. I have offered to clear the arrears by the end of December 2018, and am happy to enter a payment plan. I will be in a position to pay my full rent from November onward. - how will you be able to achieve this and ensure arrears dont happen again? Perhaps contact your LL directly who may be more flexible and want to avoid voids. Show them the proof eg proof of income etc. Note if you do make up the arrears by December 2018 then there's little the LL can do legally until your fixed term finishes. However this may have made them nervous and the agent may convince them to evict eventually, so you reassuring the LL could help you long term.

    The EA has contacted me today to say the Landlord is not inclined to accept this and so will seek legal advice. They have offered to ask the LL to agree to release me from the tenancy now, with a payment plan in place for the arrears. This would make me immediately homeless. I have asked for some time to consider things. - They are suggesting this because if you leave, the agent gets new fees and the landlord avoids the risk of you falling into arrears again since you seem to be living paycheck to paycheck currently while being in possession of their property.
    I would explain that it would take you longer to clear the arrears if you also have to find alternate accommodation (new deposit, moving costs, less able to work due to upheaval). Present your plan for how you can get the arrears paid off and won't have this issue again.


    I know I have royally cocked up, I do not dispute that, but what are realistically my options? Can the LL serve an S21 and evict me? - yes, since you're out of the first 4 months. However it must give at least 2 months notice and can only expire on / after the end of the 12 month fixed term. Then they must apply to court for a possession order, who will give you a possession date, and then apply for bailiffs who actually kick you out. All in you have 9 months+ My arrears are equal to less than 8 weeks rent (just shy of one calendar month), does this make any difference when it is a private LL?- yes, it means the LL can't serve Section 8 notice on a mandatory ground until the arrears are 1900 ie 2 months. They can serve on a discretionary ground for any amount of arrears, but the judge can decide whether to evict or not.. if you have cleared teh arrears by the time it gets to court, then this would fail.

    I am really worried about this and what I can or should do?

    Any advice is more than welcome.
    Originally posted by HomelessHopeless
    You can simply ask the agent NOT to terminate because you have a definite plan to clear the arrears quickly and a termination would hurt both the LL (void while property is empty and searchign for new tenant) and you (upheaval costs)

    However if it gets into a long debate, I'd simply go ahead with your plan to pay down the arrears and make sure you never get in this position again.
    * LL can not serve Section 8 notice on mandatory ground if arrears below 1900 (2 months)
    * LL can serve Section 8 notice on a discretionary ground but the judge would decide, and if you have already cleared or have a plan to clear it quickly, and are not a chronic late payer, I doubt they'd evict.
    * LL can serve a Section 21 notice but it must expire on or after the fixed term ends, then the LL has to go to court etc.. all in 9+ months from now and by then if you have a good record of timely rent payments, its unlikely the LL would.
    • Blackpool_Saver
    • By Blackpool_Saver 12th Oct 18, 4:49 PM
    • 5,919 Posts
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    Blackpool_Saver
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 18, 4:49 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 18, 4:49 PM
    If you want to stay, and things are going to get better.....why not get a loan or overdraft.....
    Blackpool_Saver is female


    • HomelessHopeless
    • By HomelessHopeless 12th Oct 18, 4:54 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    HomelessHopeless
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 18, 4:54 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 18, 4:54 PM
    Thank you both for your help here. I am still confused by the two month rule, but the arrears shouldn't increase.

    Due to my health and that of a close family member, I have not been working my full hours. The situation was the same when I signed the AST and the EA/LL was aware. My employer however stopped allowing me to work from home and my wages were cut to reflect this.

    I am now back working full time (all explained to EA/LL in writing). I will be able to pay my full rent on time, and will receive a gift at Christmas to clear the rest (I will make payments on top of my rent in the meantime). Again, EA/LL aware of this. I cannot ask for the gift early otherwise I would, and close the matter now.

    If I do manage to not be evicted I don't think I will be renewing the AST even if it were offered.

    I would struggle to rent as I do not have any savings. I currently rent on a no deposit scheme with the EA as I had to move out very quickly. I wouldn't have a good LL reference, either!

    Thank you both for your help
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 12th Oct 18, 4:57 PM
    • 5,754 Posts
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    Comms69
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 18, 4:57 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 18, 4:57 PM
    You can simply ask the agent NOT to terminate because you have a definite plan to clear the arrears quickly and a termination would hurt both the LL (void while property is empty and searchign for new tenant) and you (upheaval costs)

    However if it gets into a long debate, I'd simply go ahead with your plan to pay down the arrears and make sure you never get in this position again.
    * LL can not serve Section 8 notice on mandatory ground if arrears below 1900 (2 months) - sorry just the one correction, otherwise great advice. it's 950.01
    * LL can serve Section 8 notice on a discretionary ground but the judge would decide, and if you have already cleared or have a plan to clear it quickly, and are not a chronic late payer, I doubt they'd evict.
    * LL can serve a Section 21 notice but it must expire on or after the fixed term ends, then the LL has to go to court etc.. all in 9+ months from now and by then if you have a good record of timely rent payments, its unlikely the LL would.
    Originally posted by saajan_12

    Mostly this is excellent advice
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 12th Oct 18, 5:02 PM
    • 5,293 Posts
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    Cakeguts
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 18, 5:02 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 18, 5:02 PM
    If you have offered to clear the arrears by the end of December that will mean that you will be in arrears for 4 months on rent that has to be paid before you spend any money on anything else.



    Not paying rent is not an option if you are short of money. So don't plan to spend a lot of money on Christmas presents or going out. Your rent is more important than celebrating Christmas. I hope that you are not waiting to pay off your arrears at the end of December because you have put money aside for Christmas. There is no point in spending money on Christmas and then having nowhere to live.



    You need to pay off the arrears as soon as possible. December is too late. 4 months is too long if you want to keep this home.



    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/eviction/eviction_with_a_section_8_notice


    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/private_renting/tenants_responsibilities
    • Balabalabala and Volare
    • By Balabalabala and Volare 12th Oct 18, 10:44 PM
    • 960 Posts
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    Balabalabala and Volare
    So, you've read some pseudo legal advice and had a slap on the wrists about personal responsibility. Take that as you will. What follows is in the real world:

    Your LL doesn't want to evict you.
    The letting agent doesn't want to evict you.
    Both are looking for reasons not to evict you. (LL gets the rent, LA get their cut)
    You have 7 months to give them a good reason not to evict you (5 months really, as S21 is 2 months notice)
    A promise is a guarantee to a fool.
    Focus on getting your rent account up to date and only make assurances you are able to adhere to.
    Adhere to any promises given.
    Why would a LL want to instruct the eviction of a rent paying tenant with a clear rent account?
    Even if they did, a clear rent account will be a positive to any future LL.
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 12th Oct 18, 11:52 PM
    • 1,027 Posts
    • 1,655 Thanks
    Slithery
    The letting agent doesn't want to evict you.
    Originally posted by Balabalabala and Volare
    Are you sure about that bit?

    I reckon that an agency gets a lot more for notice proceedings + a check-out/check-in + tenant finding + fees from new tenant + preparing new contracts for LL + everything else they charge for than the loss of a few months of management fee.

    I might just be being cynical though
    Last edited by Slithery; 12-10-2018 at 11:55 PM.
    • Balabalabala and Volare
    • By Balabalabala and Volare 13th Oct 18, 6:05 PM
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    Balabalabala and Volare
    Are you sure about that bit?

    I reckon that an agency gets a lot more for notice proceedings + a check-out/check-in + tenant finding + fees from new tenant + preparing new contracts for LL + everything else they charge for than the loss of a few months of management fee.

    I might just be being cynical though
    Originally posted by Slithery
    You may well be right, but they also run the risk of losing the landlord or, at the very least, damaging their reputation with him/her. As a landlord, my interests would be best served by lengthy periods pf stability and I would seek an agent best positioned to provide that. I'd have little faith in an agent who was constantly providing me with tenants so bad that they subsequently evicted them.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 13th Oct 18, 6:43 PM
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    • 8,062 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    So, you've read some pseudo legal advice and had a slap on the wrists about personal responsibility. Take that as you will. What follows is in the real world:

    Your LL doesn't want to evict you.
    The letting agent doesn't want to evict you.
    Both are looking for reasons not to evict you. (LL gets the rent, LA get their cut)
    You have 7 months to give them a good reason not to evict you (5 months really, as S21 is 2 months notice)
    A promise is a guarantee to a fool.
    Focus on getting your rent account up to date and only make assurances you are able to adhere to.
    Adhere to any promises given.
    Why would a LL want to instruct the eviction of a rent paying tenant with a clear rent account?
    Even if they did, a clear rent account will be a positive to any future LL.
    Originally posted by Balabalabala and Volare

    I don't know where you get the 7th months from as a reason for not evicting. What we have at the moment is someone who has been renting for 5 months where they have been in arrears for 2 months of that 5. They are then saying that they will clear the arrears by the end of December 2018 which means that out of the 7 months that they will have been renting they will only have paid the full rent for 3 and will have been in arrears for the other 4 months. That seems to me like a very good reason for a landlord to want to evict. It doesn't show that the tenant is taking paying the rent seriously. Or is taking in the fact that they signed a legal document the contract.



    This property is clearly too expensive for the tenant and it might be in everyone's best interest if they find somewhere else that they can afford without getting into arrears if their work is reduced again.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 13th Oct 18, 6:46 PM
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    Cakeguts
    What the agent wants is a tenancy that runs without problem. What they don't want are tenants that they have to chase to get rent payment. They want the correct rent to turn up at the correct time every month.
    • Craig1981
    • By Craig1981 14th Oct 18, 6:55 AM
    • 553 Posts
    • 261 Thanks
    Craig1981
    IF a landlord wants to evict you, it costs them dearly to do so, much more than the current arrears you are in now., without ever having the 100% guarantee they will get the costs back, have a new tenant in the day you leave etc

    This would come down to the agency - as said, they are the one that don't want to be chasing, get commission on tenants etc

    i would still look at clearing ASAP. and to be ruthless (sorry if i offend), put Christmas on the back burner completely. If the landlord is a landlord with multiple lettings, and cash to throw away, you my be issued with S21 in month 10 anyway. you will then need money for deposit for new place, rent in advance etc, so make sure you have a plan for that as well
    • HomelessHopeless
    • By HomelessHopeless 15th Oct 18, 10:23 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    HomelessHopeless
    Many thanks to you all for this advice and your comments.

    I spoke to Shelter, and would need to be in arrears of two months, ie 1900 for a s.8 to be upheld.

    My monthly rent is 950, I m currently in 900 of arrears as in September and October I paid 500 per month (I gave the LL and EA advanced warning of this). As such, I have either paid just over half rent for two months, OR I owe just shy of one month. I have never paid 'nothing' - i know this doesn't count for much, though!

    From November onward I will pay my full rent, plus an additional 200 towards the arrears, which will be cleared with a gift of cash at Christmas. I do not go overboard at Christmas, I have no children to buy for so it is just token gifts for family. No worries there.

    I can afford the rent under normal circumstances. Unfortunately I had a very hard time and have had issues with my employer and working away from the office, which was approved by my manager but not by HR.

    The EA have said they can get the LL to terminate my contract, backdated from 09/10, and are making it sound like he wants this to happen. I need to give three months notice at work, and have nowhere else to stay here (My family are almost 200 miles away).

    Should I contact him directly, rather than go through the EA? I have not replied to the EA yet..
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 15th Oct 18, 10:32 AM
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    Slithery
    And how much progress have you made in finding another rental to move to?

    It's been 3 days since you started this thread, you could have found somewhere by now if you'd been trying hard enough.
    Last edited by Slithery; 15-10-2018 at 10:54 AM.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 15th Oct 18, 10:40 AM
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    Comms69
    Do you have a source for this? CAB, Shelter and Landlord Zone all say "at least 2 months" for those who pay monthly. If it's actually "at least 1 month/between 1 and 2 months/1p over 1 month", it sounds like they all need to be much clearer and I'd like to send them this information so they can upate their advice.
    Originally posted by Sunny Intervals


    I don't understand why this is being debated. Let's say the OP paid 1 one month, but then paid correctly every other month, are we really saying that the OP is not in arrears?


    Cab, Shelter and Landlordzone are correct, it's the interpretation of what '2 months in arrears' means. The rent is a set amount per month, if you don't pay that, you are 1 month in arrears, whether you pay 0 or 949.99




    Many thanks to you all for this advice and your comments.

    I spoke to Shelter, and would need to be in arrears of two months, ie 1900 for a s.8 to be upheld. - That's not correct. a s.8 can be upheld in theory for as little as 0.01; the mandatory requirement is 2 months rent arrears. The person you spoke to has been poorly trained.

    My monthly rent is 950, I m currently in 900 of arrears as in September and October I paid 500 per month (I gave the LL and EA advanced warning of this). - so did shelter say you were 0 months in arrears because it hadn't reached 950 yet? As such, I have either paid just over half rent for two months, OR I owe just shy of one month. I have never paid 'nothing' - i know this doesn't count for much, though!

    From November onward I will pay my full rent, plus an additional 200 towards the arrears, which will be cleared with a gift of cash at Christmas. I do not go overboard at Christmas, I have no children to buy for so it is just token gifts for family. No worries there.

    I can afford the rent under normal circumstances. Unfortunately I had a very hard time and have had issues with my employer and working away from the office, which was approved by my manager but not by HR.

    The EA have said they can get the LL to terminate my contract, backdated from 09/10, and are making it sound like he wants this to happen. I need to give three months notice at work, and have nowhere else to stay here (My family are almost 200 miles away).

    Should I contact him directly, rather than go through the EA? I have not replied to the EA yet..
    Originally posted by HomelessHopeless
    - Why are you even considering replying. Just pay off your arrears and that's that.
    • LandyAndy
    • By LandyAndy 15th Oct 18, 10:46 AM
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    LandyAndy
    The EA have said they can get the LL to terminate my contract, backdated from 09/10, and are making it sound like he wants this to happen. I need to give three months notice at work, and have nowhere else to stay here (My family are almost 200 miles away).

    Should I contact him directly, rather than go through the EA? I have not replied to the EA yet..
    Originally posted by HomelessHopeless
    They can't. That simply isn't possible.
    • HomelessHopeless
    • By HomelessHopeless 15th Oct 18, 10:48 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    HomelessHopeless
    Slithery, thank you for your reply. I have not found anywhere else to rent because a) I live in a very expensive area, and do not have a deposti available, and b) I have been with a family member who has, in the last three weeks, been diagnosed with multi cancers with a terminal outcome (this is the situation which began the problems). I am also struggling with my own chronic health issue which is worsened by stress.

    Comms69, thank you. I am intending to pay as per my previous post. This is NOT being accepted by the EA, so I am unsure whether I need to contact them or not, or just pay as I intend to?

    With regards how many months in arrears I am, it doesn't really matter, what matters is that I am in arrears and my payment offer is not being accepted by the EA/LL. That is my main concern. If they plan om chucking me out anyway then I will just take the early termination and not pay in November, just clear the arrears and be done with.

    I have come to this forum for help and advice. I have not blamed anyone but myself for my situation, and I am not hiding from it.

    Thanks to those of you offering help. I will call Shelter today and let them know that their advice is incorrect.
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