improvement notice served on tenants - wondering on timeline of events to follow

Donn14

New Member
Messages
9
I have damp issues in a flat - tenants are there 5 years - 3 years ago I pit an air filltration system that helped a bit tenants went on HAP just over a year ago - had an inspection by HAP back in july - I did not do any repairs - had a re-inspection couple months later - HAP condemned flat because of some issues mould etc. I am currently serving an improvement notice for tenants to move out in May, 2020 as only way to fix this is get builders in etc.

Had a recent inspection with guy who fitted air filtration system and he said there is still some penetrative damp from flat roof and some rising damp coming up walls and floor. HAP said they will cease payments in January, 2020 so my question to viewers is if the tenants fail to move out next May because they cant find another flat etc and dig their heels in how long does it take to get them out?

I have done my best over past few years spending thousands on the flat but builders are needed to do a proper job so would be interested to hear other peoples stories
 

cremeegg

Frequent Poster
Messages
3,215
Why have HAP said that they will cease payments in Jan when you have given tenants notice to move out in May. I would challenge this with HAP, you are seeking to remedy the defects, the tenants are entitled to a certain notice period, HAP should meet this.

If HAP stop paying while the tenants are still in the property, wether that be in Jan or May, issue notice to quit for non payment of rent.

If the tenants become homeless because of failure to pay rent, they may have trouble getting HAP again, that is the one leverage I can see you have with them.

The bottom line is that if the tenants refuse to move out you are obliged to house them forever.
 

Feemar5

Frequent Poster
Messages
375
Work with the tenants and get them to clarify their situation with HAP. I assume if they move to another property they will still get their HAP payment. I presume the reason you have given May as the deadline is because of notice periods. If they cannot find another property by January they should ask HAP to continue your payment until they find a property. If you have followed the notice period correctly you can go to the RTB if you have problems getting them out , or you can go to court.
 

cremeegg

Frequent Poster
Messages
3,215
If you have followed the notice period correctly you can go to the RTB if you have problems getting them out , or you can go to court.
You can go to the RTB. You cannot go to court.

What will the RTB do ? Many things, but not including evict the tenants nor permit you to evict the tenants.
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
11,088
What will the RTB do ? Many things, but not including evict the tenants nor permit you to evict the tenants.
Yep, it would appear they generally side with the tenant.

and some rising damp
A lot of experts suggest that rising damp doesn't really exist, and certainly not to the extent that it is diagnosed by specialists selling very expensive remedies. A council in the UK went so far as offering a reward to anyone who could prove it.
 

Donn14

New Member
Messages
9
sorry for delayed response - had have damp problems for 3-4 years with this flat - air filtration system put in 3 years ago which helped some - tenants went on HAP about a year ago but only had an inspection about last july or so - main issues flagged were mould and damp issues - I did nothing had a re-inspection about 2 months later condemning flat citing damp issues etc- got guy who fitted air filtration system to look at in september - he reported back to me that while his system helped there were still issues with rising damp and penetrative damp from flat roof -I think some of the plywood is rotten as you can nearly walk throu it - I cant fix any of these problems until flat is empty but tenants will probably say I cant find another flat blah blah blah so come next january tenants will probably say we cant get rent from HAP sorry - I would nearly let them stay to may if they would definitely move out but my main question is if they are still there because they cant find other place and are not paying rent how long to get them out if I go back to prtb
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
11,088
and penetrative damp from flat roof -I think some of the plywood is rotten as you can nearly walk throu it
If the roof is in that bad a shape it's likely a significant cause of much of the damp problems. Most people manage to replace flat roofs on their own homes without having to move out. Why do your tenants need to move out? How much of the property is covered by flat roof?

Are you aware that if your tenants do move out, you must offer them first choice when the property is let again? Also, increases in rent charged must be in line with the 4%pa limit if you are in a RPZ.
 

Donn14

New Member
Messages
9
All of flat has flat roof and damp issues for 3-4 years-it’s an old one bed flat probably from 80’s with single glazed windows etc floors might need to be dug up and walls probably just have 2x1 batons with white aero board so flat has to be vacated for works -if they stop paying rent using excuse HAP stopped payments because they condemned flat because of damp issues and prtb are notified how long to get them out
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
11,088
-if they stop paying rent using excuse HAP stopped payments because they condemned flat because of damp issues and prtb are notified how long to get them out
Months, a year, perhaps more, it's hard to say. Have the tenants acknowledged the notice yet? They can appeal its validity to the RTB, which could take 6 months or longer to adjudicate, and even where they find your notice was valid, they can still give the tenant 6 months to move on. If they refuse to move out after that time, you then need to go to court to get an order to have the Sheriff execute an eviction.
 

Donn14

New Member
Messages
9
Improvement notice was served last week -there's no question of them challenging validity of it as they are the very ones that complained many times in the past and even to prtb about 2 years ago - I think they have accepted it but I got a letter from their representative that in light of the prohibition notice they want no further rent charged until all the renovation works have been completed and the tenancy resumed ! hard to believe but true. Prohibition notice was sent to me after the inspection with damp and mould flagged as the main issues and flat was condemned
 

Donn14

New Member
Messages
9
Folks,

I want to give an update on what's happening over past few months. As soon as an improvement notice was sent to tenants they complained to RTB that I didn't maintain flat and the rent was too high.

The HAP payments stopped on January 20th this year and no rent has been paid since then.

There was an RTB meeting about 20th February about their complaint I did not attend but should of but submitted few documents. Damages in the amount of €3,150 were awarded against me. I have appealed this on grounds of few months rent owed to me from 2018 before the HAP payments started.

I also said I would reduce the rent to €400/month as an act of goodwill up till May 6th their supposed move out date.

The appeal cost €100 and I submitted few more documents. RTB offices are closed at moment so further delays will happen. No rent has been paid as people think they should get the award against me in reality the arrears cancel this out.

There are now arrears of €1,200 for past 3 months so a warning letter has been sent to them and we will have to go back to RTB again.

Last week I phoned RTB they said 90 days has to be added on because of Covid crisis so who knows when these people will leave they can easily drag it out more.
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
11,088
There was an RTB meeting about 20th February about their complaint I did not attend but should of but submitted few documents. Damages in the amount of €3,150 were awarded against me.
My experience with the RTB is limited to helping a friend with a case, but that experience suggests the RTB don't factor in any counter claims from the landlord in cases raised by a tenant, and they limit their review of evidence or submissions only to that directly relating to the issue raised by the tenant. I'm not sure, but it may be worthwhile initiating a complaint yourself for the unpaid rent so that a hearing of that will focus solely on that issue.
 

Donn14

New Member
Messages
9
In my appeal I outlined how about 2700 euro was short before HAP started in november 2018 - I dont expect to get anything from these people and few thousand more in rent will be owed if RTB meeting in june etc.

I also included a receipt for a new bathroom door which cost 480 the male got stuck in bathroom and then smashed the door n frame to pieces. Agent rang me and said she could get someone to fix it - I thought it would cost 50 euro or so but was shocked with the bill

I guess I should be glad that the damages against are only 3k and could be higher 4-5 years ago I reduced rent from 750 to 650 if they put the bins out but the rent was still late coming piecemeal etc It just shows how careful you got to be of who you let in to your place. Its going be some time before I have any updates but hope other people can share their experiences here
 

Sconeandjam

Registered User
Messages
56
rtb do like issuing damages against landlords. You need to build a picture of what your tenants are like and what you have tried to do.
As you are appealing so I suggest you attend the meeting and bring a solicitor. Do not leave it to rtb to decide.
Add more information you can to your appeal. They could accept this information .Write a log of all the calls and conversations you have had with this tenant. Also logs of receipt of piece meal rent payments to show what the tenants are like. They should be paying something to the council so you get your rent. They could have stopped paying their share in January as they know they are moving out. This will back fire as they will loose the option to have Hap. Ask your agent to attend also.
follow the procedures on rtb site for non payment of rent and use the rtb templates. Do it by the book and the submit a case against them.
Can you speak to the person that installed the ventilation system? Would they say some of the damp could be due to lifestyle and not just lack of maintenance? We had a house rented out and we lived in it and never had damp. Tenant lived there and black mold on walls and ceilings. No heating put on in the house, vents closed, windows never opened.
 
Last edited:

Donn14

New Member
Messages
9
There was a HAP inspection on flat about a year ago I did nothing as was busy doing up another flat in building- I had planned to try and start it at end of summer female tenant told me there were still some damp n humidity issues so I got guy from damp company that had fitted the system to check if it was still working he reported back to me that there were still some underlying issues with rising and penetrative damp .I knew then it was too big a job to try and do on my own and I would have to get tenants out and builders in. within a month or 2 an improvement notice was served.HAP also contacted me and told me their payments would stop in about 3 months time as in january 20th and that tenants should start looking for alternative lodging.The RTB might reduce the damages by 1k or so when they learn about arrears before HAP started but my worry is if they drag this out for a year or so and I have to go to court to get a judge to order an eviction with sheriffs involved.My mistake was in june2016 when they stopped paying the rent for a few months until I started doing some work I should of started process then -on RTB website it says if there is a problem with house a complaint should be made in writing to RTB but rent should continue to be paid
 

Sconeandjam

Registered User
Messages
56
You might not have to pay the damages if you can prove you tried to fix it and are working on it. If you have a builder lined up to do the work then that will help. See if you can get a letter from the builder. anything to back up your situation. The council could continue paying the rent as they are still in the property and you have asked them to leave so you can do the work. complete the templates for non payment and post by swift post. You have an agent working for you so they will organise transfering the 20% to Revenue. Just out if interest check with the agent how many times the tenants complained if they even did? This could be their way of trying to get a council house.
Yes they should continue paying rent but if they stop paying their small amount to the council then Hap payment will stop for the full rent.
 

Donn14

New Member
Messages
9
Did you misunderstand previous reply sconesandjam ??No rent has been paid since january20th HAP issued a notice 6 months ago condemning flat because I had not done improvements on flat main reason because I am unable to do the work unless flat empty as need to rip up floors strip back walls etc.No rent allowance is going be paid on it in its current condition because damages of about 3k are against me these people are trying use them as rent now their tenancy is supposed to end this week after an improvement notice was served about 6 months ago.Its a big hassle to get builders in but I was left with no choice here when HAP told me they were going stop rent so my main concern is how long it will take to get them out as I can't see them paying another penny in rent, mistake I made was when damp was flagged 4 years ago I should of got builders in asap
 

Sconeandjam

Registered User
Messages
56
I did read it. Contact the council again and let them know you gave the tenant correct notice and they are still there and you are trying to get the work done. The council may pay as they know you are trying to fix the problem and know the tenant has not left.

Follow rtb procedure for non payment of rent. Get legal representation for the appeal. Get a solicitor that deals with Rtb. You can contact rtb and they have a list of solicitors that work on cases.. The council may still pay as they know you cannot do the work until the tenant leaves. As I said make The log and see how many times the tenant contacted you. You have proof you got some work done but have not completed it as yet.
The tenants must be pushing to get a council house as they are still there 5years and the problem has been there all along.
 

Donn14

New Member
Messages
9
A prohibition notice was issued by HAP last year so theres no question of them restarting the rent until the works have been carried out and I am unable to do the works with people in the flat plain and simple period.I need to rip up the floors strip back the walls to bare brick etc etc.I would be surprised if I get any more rent from these people as I don't want to sound mean but they are knackers absolute knackers very needy and playing this damp card on me for 4 years the guy blocked the vents in the bedroom stopping circulation of air making the damp worse what a dumb ass thing to do and last year after the improvement notice was served they wrote to me asking in light of the prohibition notice could they stay there rent free up until may 6th and until the flat was done up would rent re-start !! I was kind of stuck with them as he brought a case against me with workplace relations committee for not accepting HAP allowance 2 years ago and I could of had to pay maybe 15k so I decided to accept HAP about a year and half ago.I think I will do well if they move by end of summer these people seem to think current market rent for the flat should be zero as Hap wont support it
 
Top