Repossession due to Landlord Mortgage Arrears

Can the tenants be evicted?

Sadly it is not uncommon for tenants to find that, although they have been paying the rent, the landlord has not been using the money to pay the mortgage…

Even if a tenant has been regularly paying rent to his landlord he can still be evicted if his landlord has not been paying the mortgage.  This affects over 2000 households annually.  The government sees this as a problem and it is attempting to give tenants in such situations more rights.  For example, an increase in the time period before the property has to be vacated. 

Buy-to-Let Mortgages

A mortgage on a property that is rented out would normally be a buy-to-let mortgage.  With some buy-to-let mortgages the landlord is required to get written authority from their lender for each tenant. 

If a landlord misses mortgage repayments and falls into arrears then their lender may begin repossession proceedings in the usual way.  The lender has no duty to notify the tenants of the property that repossession proceedings are about to commence.  In practice the lender is prohibited in law by the Data Protection Act from discussing the landlord’s mortgage with a tenant.     

At least two weeks before a repossession hearing is held the occupier of the property concerned must be notified.  A ‘Notice to Occupier’ will be sent to the property.  The problem with these notices is that the tenant will often not open a letter addressed to the ‘Occupier’ assuming it to be either junk mail or for their landlord. 

The Repossession Hearing

As the tenant is not party to the mortgage, the lender will normally refuse to discuss the mortgage with the tenant even if they come to court.  And if attending court, there is little they can do to influence the outcome of the case.  The outcome will depend solely on the proposals made to clear the mortgage arrears.