Section 21 backfired!

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Richard Manor
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When I took over management from my letting agent this January my DSS tenant applied for the HB to be paid directly to him. He already had arrears of £970 (HB had been withheld for 3 months last year) and had agreed twice to set up a Standing Order for top-ups but he didn't follow through. Therefore I delivered a Section 21 to him, explaining that it would only be acted upon if I didnít receive the rent. There had been no dispute between us, just some discussions about the rent, and I had quickly carried out a repair heíd requested when I took over. He has now left the property without notice and trashed it throughout.

The letting agent hadnít taken a deposit claiming that DSS tenants canít afford to pay them. Iíve now discovered though that they charge tenants a large non-refundable admin fee on top of the tenant-finding fee I paid them.

Will I be completely wasting my time and money by taking the tenant to court? I don't think I can apply for an Attachment of Earnings Order as he is on Benefits. The Council however deducted £9 per week from his HB for five months last year, I presume he owed them Council Tax. If the Council can apply Attachment of Earnings to people on Benefits why canít landlords?

10/06/2008 00:00

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