Disappearing Tenant Found – In Prison

Aaargh!  Another slippery tenant.

I’ve just received a phone call which explains why Greg  has been avoiding me and hasn’t been answering my messages – yesterday he was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison for breach of his bail conditions.

Greg is lovely – I mean eye candy lovely.  I hate to breach the professional landlady/tenant divide and most of my tenants are very, very easy to resist but this one I could look at for hours:  very tall, huge muscles, lean body, blue eyes and a smile to break the hardest of hearts.

 He was one of Lewis’ friends who turned up earlier this year having been ejected from a relationship and was a good, honest painter decorator – what could go wrong?  Actually, he’d been ejected from several relationships, the children he’s fathered all seem to be pretty much the same age and, since becoming unemployed, he’s spent hours at the gym honing his already well toned body.

 A couple of weeks ago I went to confront him about his rent arrears and his future in the house – I really should have worn a blindfold.  Tom and I were chatting in the kitchen, in walks Greg and I asked him to take a seat whilst we discussed his future in the house, I’m not a charity, I’ve reduced his rent to help him out, etc. etc.  Much to Tom’s disgust the conversation went:

“Now Greg, you’re not being honest with me and send me texts with lots of excuses as why you’re not paying your rent.  It can’t go on like this and we need to agree a proper payment plan to clear the arrears and cover the existing rent.  I realise you have lots of girlfriends and children to support, but your rent really does need to be put at the top of your priority list……blah, blah, blurgh, blurgh, and don’t try flashing that smile at me, it’s just not going to work this time”.

“Yeah, I’m really sorry but my bitch of an ex girlfriend is making my life hell.  I love living here and you’re a great landlady.  I promise I’ll do better and will make sure the rent is there regularly.” (Flashes me a winning smile)

At this point, I would have looked sceptical, told him the consequences of a Section 21, shook his hand and left.  Instead:

“Oh, alright Greg.  I believe you, (giggle, giggle) try to sort this out (snigger, snigger, blush, blush).”

Greg left, Tom looked at me with distaste and sniffed  “For God’s sake, call that a bollocking? You scared the life out of me when I got pissed last month for swearing at everyone.  I’ve seen you do better than that, you sappy old cow!  By the way, those muscles are down to the steriods ”.  I think he’s just jealous.

So, if I want to serve a Section 21 notice, I must do so on the Prison Governor.  Instead, I’ll now get onto the Council to ask for the rent to be paid direct to me, watch his top up build even further in arrears and hope that prison gives him a chance to think about what he’s going to do in the future and take the sheen off those rugged good looks so I can actually follow through any Notice to Quit procedures.

4 Comments

Filed under being a landlord

4 responses to “Disappearing Tenant Found – In Prison

  1. Not an enviable position I completely emphasise, never an easy task.

    Good luck

    Steve

    • Thanks, Steve. Turns out you can issue a Section 21 on the property plus a copy to the Prison Governor to pass on to the tenant, then apply to the Court for a Court Order. I’ll see if he’s out early for good behaviour first!!

  2. daveg

    I had a tenant that was in prison, the housing benefit was already being paid directly to me, no problem you would think, well think again, I had Birmigham Council clawback rent as they say he was not entitled to benefit whilst in prison as his board and lodging were being paid by the prison service. Oh by the way, I was not aware that he was actually in prison until one of his relatives informed me.

    • hmolandlady

      Hi. Welcome to the world of misconceptions, misinformation and no-one knowing what to do as the only person who can sort it out is giving his visitor passes to his girlfriend!

      My tenant was told that the council would automatically pick up his rent with me for a period of four months, yet when I contacted the council they just stopped it altogether and sent him a letter at home!!

      All I can say is that I empathise with you and our experiences are all part of the greater smokescreen created by a complicated system. Your best bet in the future is to get a Section 21 served preferably before he goes to court (call it “insurance”) although, like you, I didn’t know mine had a court date either.

      You just have to roll your eyes, put it down to experience and thank your lucky stars you don’t work for Housing at your local council.

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