Newest Review: ... homeless" and they are therefore not eligible to be rehoused by the council. Landlord Action advised me after the court ... more
Very efficient service and successfully recovered 100% of outstanding rent (over £10k)
Author Name: Jason Harris
Advantages: Efficient, cost effective and professional - kept me informed at all times.
Disadvantages: Costs were slightly higher than the court allowed - but that's the court being unfair.
I rented out a flat in London Docklands to three tenants in Oct 2011. Within 2 months, they stopped paying the rent, with the main income earner moving out and leaving the other two tenants - neither of whom had a job - unable to pay the rent. The remaining two tenants were advised by the council to sit tight and not vacate the apartment until the landlord evicted them - which meant this would have to go to court to gain repossession of my property.
After waiting the requisite 2 months to be able to serve a Section 21 notice, I commissioned Landlord Action to start proceedings to issue the correct notices to evict. This was done efficiently and as per my instructions. After waiting 4 months for the court date to arrive, Landlord Action had a representative at court who explained the court procedure in full and made a strong case for me to the judge - with the outcome that I was awarded costs, possession within 14 days and all rent outstanding, with interest.
The tenant was then advised by the council to sit tight until the bailiffs physically threw them out - this is because if a tenant leaves of their own volition, then the council considers they have made themselves "intentionally homeless" and they are therefore not eligible to be rehoused by the council. Landlord Action advised me after the court hearing that the tenants would most likely not leave after 14 days and that I would have to return to them for a Bailiff Order to physically remove them from the property.
As expected, after 14 days, I advised Landlord Action that the tenants had not vacated the property, so I had to pay another fee to instruct the Bailiffs. After waiting another 3 months for the bailiffs to fit it into their schedule, Landlord Action were present at the property with the Bailiff and the tenant was finally evicted. At this point, I was owed more than £10,000 in rent - and had spent around £800 on fees.
The process took 9 months in total - but almost all of this was due to the court taking 4 months to provided a court date, but which time I was due 6 months rent (2 mths before issuing Section 21 notice, then 4 mths for court date), and then another 3 months for the bailiffs to visit to evict. The problem here is the council advising tenants to sit tight until the landlord evicts, the courts taking FAR TOO LONG to provide a court hearing, and then the bailiffs again taking FAR TOO LONG to evict. None of the delays were due to Landlord Action, who ensured this was all managed as swiftly as possible within the terms of the law and the court process.
Thankfully, the first tenant who moved out had included the details of a property that he owned when he filled out the application form to rent my property. This meant he had a physical asset that I could go for in order to claim the money I was owed through a Charging Order against his property. Landlord Action swiftly dealt with the Charging Order process, and was in constant dialogue with the tenant and myself to keep us informed of the progress - essentially that the tenant had 1 month from the date of eviction to pay in full or I would proceed with a Charging Order against his property for the full amount of money owed. The tenant wanted to make a payment plan, which I did not accept - as the Charging Order meant that I had some security of recovering the debt, even if it took years for him to sell the property. Landlord Action kept the pressure on the tenant and on the last day of the month, he paid in full the amount owed - less the deposit which comes back to me via the Deposit Protection Scheme as per the court order.
Are Landlord Action perfect? Of course not. Every company can make improvements. But the only thing I could criticise them for is whoever answered the phone didn't seem to know who I was and when I asked for my account manager, it was almost as if I was having to start again every time I called. However, when I got through to my account manager, or left messages for him, he always dealt with my case exactly as it needed to be dealt with - and their representative at court was experienced, knowledgeable and efficient.
Would I used Landlord Action again? If I was in the same situation again, of course I would. The process is not easy, and having someone guide me and represent me through the legal maze was important. As an accidental landlord I needed a company who understood the law, the rights of both tenant and landlord, the court procedures, the bailiffs, and how to recover the debt after the eviction - Landlord Action provided all services as instructed. However, I have now taken out Rental Insurance on the next tenant, so hope not to have to go through all this ever again.
Summary: Highly recommended if you don't have rental insurance (I didn't!)
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