How do I resolve issues with my tenants?

Kylee Greacen asks:
(updated on Wednesday, November 21st 2007)

We rented our home to friends, no written agreement, no bond, no rent in advance, just a week to week tenancy. We are living on our boat with our 3 children, our youngest has Cystic Fibrosis, so we were never in a position to give them fixed term tenancy, due to our circumstances with our son. We told our friends we would give them ample notice when we required our house back. Tenants have been in the house for 2 and a half years, we have given them 3 mths notice, they are now claiming a verbal fixed term , which never happened and they are saying they won't go until Jan 08. Our family situations now requires us to be back in our home. Any ideas what we can do? We have applied to tenancy, had mediation date but they are unavailable for it, we think they will just keep being 'unavailable' for mediation. Our family is under a huge amount of stress having a son with an uncureable medical condition, in this weather, his condition requires endless attention. Any help would be fantastic.

Our Experts Answer:

If you and your tenants are unable to resolve the dispute, it will need to be addressed at mediation or at a Tenancy Tribunal hearing. Mediation offers a faster, less formal way of settling disputes, and can be done by phone or in one of our offices. You may want to call us on 0800 TENANCY (0800 83 62 62) to discuss your concerns about the tenants’ availability for mediation. If a suitable date for mediation cannot be agreed to, your application may be scheduled for a Tribunal hearing without a mediation having taken place. If you’re unable to resolve the issue in mediation, a Tribunal adjudicator will hear your case and determine if the tenancy is fixed-term or periodic. If you go to a hearing, make sure you bring all documentation relating to the tenancy, including copies of letters or records of other correspondence you have had with your tenants. For more information about sorting out problems, visit or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 83 62 62).

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.


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