Repossession of private rented house : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

Can anybody give me advice please? I have been renting my house from an estate agents for six and a half years, signing a new tenancy agreement every six months. We have had several letters from Birmingham Midshires recently and although we rent the house from an estate agents, we have the landlanys address and have been forwarding the letters to her. I am not sure if the estate agent knows we have the landladys address as the only reason we have it is because she paid us a visit to look over the house last year and left her address. We have now received a letter addressed to the occupier and found out that there is a repossession hearing in december as she has not been paying the mortgage for the last five months. As Birmingham Midshires are sending the letters here and not to the landlady, I presume they do not know she rents the house to us? I have not contacted the estate agents yet as we would like to try to buy the house if it was repossessed and not just be offered another house by the estate agents. Should I contact Birmingham Midshires and enquire about a mortgage and let them know that we are renting the house and have been for over six years? Would the building society be prepared to look into giving us a mortgage or would they just prefer us out? The estate agent we rent from are not very good anyway, we have not had any safety checks (gas etc) in over a year and I have contacted them on several occasions regarding the poor condition of the windows(most of them not closing properly and with no handles!), plumbing problems etc and they never get back to me. We even had to re-tile the bathroom due to leakage in the kitchen as they never sent anyone round to repair it. We are very worried as we have quite a few pets and would find it hard to rent another property allowing us to have pets (both landlandy and estate agent know we have pets). We have decorated the house throughout since we have been here and would really like to buy it if the oppurtunity arose. Do we stand a chance of that? What (if any) rights do we have? Or would we be better advised to just start looking for another house to buy? Hopefully somebody can advise. Thank-you John

-- John Newman (, October 16, 2004


I would suggest you contact BM immediately. It does not matter now whether or not they know about the fact that the property is let out - what is important is that you let them know you are living in the property and have a letting agreement with the mortgagor (i.e. your landlady). It is standard repossession procedure to send a letter to the house as well as to the known address of the landlord/lady as it covers just the situation you are in -it lets the occupier know about the proceedings.

I also suggest you stop paying rent until this matter is resolved BUT put the rent money into a separate bank account and keep it there until the rights over the house have been sorted. Make it clear to the agent what you are doing and why.

If the possession hearing does go ahead, you will need to be represented at it, so go see a solicitor asap. The court will need to be informed that you are a tenant, otherwise what will happen is that (depending on whether or not the ll appears and/or settles the arrears makes an arrangement to do so) the court will make as suspended or immediate possession order following which the Bailiff will be sent to turf you out.

Don't worry about dropping the landlady in it, she has effectively put you in the brown stuff in that you stand to lose your home. Ask BM about the possibility of buying - also ask the agents and the ll if you have direct contact still.

By the way, BM will take a very dim view if the ll has not told them she was letting and got permission beforehand - if this is the case, the judge is unlikely to make a suspended order.

If it does all turn pear shaped and BM will not let you buy and the house is repossessed, then you could look to the ll for all the costs associated with finding another property to live in and moving there - so you could sue her* - make sure you have her current name and address - if you haven't, demand it from the agent - they have to give it to you by law. (*offset by any rent you have withheld)

Also make sure you have a rent book to go with the rental agreements in case you have to go to court.

Let us know how you get on.

-- David J. Button (, October 17, 2004.

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