Social Housing during the Coronavirus outbreak
If my tenant is causing problems what should I do?
You still need to address any issues that your tenant(s) and their families are causing and there are ways of doing this.
First of all you need evidence of what is happening. Most people can provide a noise recording if it’s a noise complaint or many of our client’s use the Noise App which date and time stamps the recording and allocates it a GPS location. Its important that the complainant gives you all the information you need to weigh up what has been reported to you. If its noise are they hearing it when their windows are open or is the complainant being unusually quiet themselves to give a ‘false positive’ recording?
Pictures can also be sent to you and diary sheets completed. Ideally these would be sent electronically to you, but if that is not possible then paper (you may want to consider wiping over any paper to minimise the risk that any infection has managed to live on it at least until we have more defined parameters from the Government on how the infection could be spread).
If there is an issue that is more than just normal living, then you should write to and/or telephone the tenant and have a word with them. This conversation should put the allegations to them and you should make an accurate note of it.
Where appropriate you can still use an Acceptable Behaviour Contract – just post it. If the tenant has limited understanding or ability to read and write, then talk it through with them by phone and encourage them to ring you again so you can go through it again at any time if they are unsure about it.
If that is not successful you can still serve a Notice, though the Government is about to pass legislation stating that all Notices for Possession are to be at least 3 months in length. In terms of Notices that require grounds, it does not matter what ground you are relying on.
You can still apply to the Court for an Injunction Order. Any Application should be e-filed and you should provide the contact details, including current phone number, for the Defendant so that the hearing can take place by way of telephone hearing.
If a Torts Notice expires what should I do?
It would not be an essential journey to go and clear a property after the expiry of a Torts Notice, and your clearance company may very well not be in work. A house clearance is not a priority in these 3 weeks.
You should leave this and get it scheduled in for the end of next month and keep under review the current lockdown situation.
Given the new restrictions on evictions and that many Bailiff Offices are cancelling all evictions for the next 3 months you should not have a growing stock of empty properties at this time.
If your tenant wants access to collect belongings, then again, this is unlikely to be a matter of urgency and they will have to wait. Though this could be dependant on what they are after collecting.
How Tozers can help?
For further help and support around social housing during the curent situation then our experienced Housing Management team are available to help and support you.