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reposession crisis

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
hi,

i haven't posted in a while...but now a crisis!

i moved into a rented property with my boyfriend just less than 2 weeks ago with the help of an estate agents who found us the property. to cut a long story short, turns out the knob of a landlord hasn't been paying his mortgage and so the lenders have taken over. of course we had absolutely no idea about this and the estate agents said that they didn't either. our tenancy is void because the lenders took over before we signed the agreement.

we had a little bit of hope though because the lenders said they needed to form an 'exit strategy' where they decide whether they want to sell or rent the property. if they decided to rent we would just continue as tenants. they sent a surveyor round and turns out their final decision is to try and sell the property.

we got told of this today. we haven't been issued with anything in writing but it was not nice on the phone this morning being told that you count as a 'trespasser' through entirely no fault of your own even if it is just a legal term. my contact at the lender did mention something about court and then issueing us with an eviction notice. so no idea about how long we have to find another place. but her over-riding message was 'find a place asap' which apparently is typical for a lender to say.

pretty fuming right now. have done a bit of googling and it seems like although prospective tenant's financial histories can be looked into, landlords are immune from it. after s peaking to a few friends and my mum they think we should hold the estate agents neglible for not checking and seeing that our landlord is dodgy as hell.

of course im going to get in contact with citizens advice but wanted to see if anyone can offer any advice or even words of encouragement.

feeling pretty shit. we got this place fair and square. it's our dream house, we took our time in looking and was sensible about picking this place. now we might have to just settle for anywhere asap. and everyone knows how stressful it is to move in the first place. to top it im looking for a job right now so have no idea where i'm gonna be living. makes the job search a tad more tricky.

thanks for reading

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    We had a similar situation once and I'm afraid there's nothing to do but find a new place (preferably through a new lettings agent, but one company is often as bad as the next).

    I would imagine you have recourse to some sort of compensation from the lettings agency, and if you sit on them hard enough you will probably get it without going to court. That may not be a legal entitlement (Arctic Roll will know) but in other situations I know of, tenants have been paid off to avoid court costs when the lettings agent isn't sure where they stand.

    If you've been in 14 days and not received notification that your deposit's been secured, that can be quite an effective thing to hold over the lettings agent because a court could order them to pay back three times the amount you paid for failing to secure it. In practice, I don't know how often that happens but that was the theory back when the law came into play.

    See what Citizens Advice have to say, but I think you probably have a very limited time to move - the law is not on your side. It's bollocks, but that's how it stands at the moment.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    thanks kate, i think that's what we're gonna do. my mum reckons we should just threaten to go to the local press and write to our local council person. but im crap at that kinda stuff. i have no idea really.

    the estate agents did freeze our deposit and the first months rent as soon as we told them the property was being respossessed but it really isn't good enough taking into account the stress we've both had and how upsetting it's been plus the cost of moving again. hopefully we get something from them because at the moment they lose nothing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    OK.

    Wait until you've seen Citizens' Advice (and be prepared to be there when they open and lose a morning; they get very busy) but I imagine you can write to the estate agent and try to claim moving costs at least.

    I'm not sure the Council will do much unless you want to try and get council housing on the basis that you're being made homeless through no fault of your own. You can always try calling them and get a sense of how likely that is to happen (and how long you'd be allowed to stay there). The experience of other users lately has suggested that they're pretty reluctant to offer housing at the moment and / or full so it might not yield anything.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    going to try ring them tomorrow and maybe shelter too.

    we dont want council housing, just maybe the backing of someone. my mum is ringing the estate agents tomorrow to ask how they are planning to resolve this. if they dont offer anything we can write to head office but i think we need to try to at least claim our admin fee back and get some money for moving expenses.

    my boyfriend has lined up a house viewing for weds so hopefully it's nice. just want to get out of here now.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Awww sorry to hear this, it must be so stressful for you :( Keep us updated with the situation *hugs*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They can't just evict you, they have to give you notice, especially if you have a tenancy agreement.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If the tenancy agreement is void they only need to give you two weeks' notice as far as I know. I was told that if my landlord's house was repossessed we'd only have two weeks to leave.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    yeah it was classed as void because the lenders had already seized control of the property before we signed it.

    bit of an update....

    i dont want to get ahead of myself before i have everything in writing but everythng seems okay and we can stay. estate agents sent a long email to landlord and landlord rang back having no idea this was happening and was straight on the phone to the lenders to sort it out. usually it's when your 6 months behind with the mortgage payments this sort of stuff happens but the landlord said he was nowhere near that.

    anywho lenders have stopped everything and landlord sends his deepest apologies to me and josh. so wow. yeah. seems we can stay here. apparently this happens a lot and then the landlord just sorts it. hmmm.

    waiting for it in writing and then want to discuss the likelihood of it happening again because this was pretty awful.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    piccolo, the law changed last year with new regulations covering tenants who were living in properties without the lender's consent. You can have up to two months' grace, with the permission of the court, but the law around it is new and complex and, quite frankly, is beyond my knowledge. Shelter are excellent at advising on that sort of thing; I've used Shelter specialist support when I've had students in the same situation. I have an understanding of the law but not knowledge of the intricacies.

    As for your landlord, they often say that things are sorted when they are not. Ask your agent to push for confirmation that the mortgage has been paid before they release the rent. I've seen landlords lie too often. That's not said to piss on your chips.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree about landlords being lying toerags. I would keep looking for somewhere discreetly until you've had written confirmation from the agent or the lender and definitely put it in writing to the agent that you don't expect your rent to be released until you've seen written confirmation it's all sorted.

    On a side note, glad the law is changing in this area even if it remains slow and complex.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    thanks you two. i've already asked for written confirmation from the agent. my mum also spoke to the lender who have said that the landlord has paid and that they have stopped everything but again I'd really like written confirmation from all parties involved.

    will ring estate agents tomorrow again to push it more though
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey,

    Sorry to hear about this - it must have been an awful time. Have you received anything in writing yet??

    :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi,

    We have :) received a letter from the lender saying that they have been told to cease everything and we are to continue paying rent to the landlord. waiting on a letter/email from estate agents but everything is sorted thankfully
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey,

    Great to hear this positive news! Now you can move on and enjoy your flat.

    :)
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