The letting agent that sent pre-emptive eviction notices out to all its tenants has defended his actions and said that “we had no other choice, my business could go bust” and that his business is between a “rock and hard place”.
Guy Piggott, who runs GAP Properties in Grimsby and is also Chairman of the Humber Landlords Association, has sent out the notices to his tenants informing them that ahead of the roll out of Universal Credit in the area on December 13th, he has no choice but to serve them with a two-month eviction notice and that if they fall behind on their rent they will be asked to leave the property.
Guy’s actions prompted Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to ask a question at Prime Minister’s Question Time yesterday, to which Theresa May said she would look at the letter.
GAP properties, which has been run by several members of the Piggott family since 2001, has sent the letter out to “hundreds” of tenants many of whom, says Guy, have “no idea what Universal Credit is or how it works”.
Eviction notice letter
The letter says GAP Property “cannot sustain arrears at the potential levels Universal Credit could create” and that “therefore we find it necessary to issue your Notice Seeking Possession (Section 21 ‘Notice to Quit’) that has been enclosed, to be exercised only in the event that you fail to pay your rent in accordance with the terms of your tenancy (in full and on the due date).
“If you do not pay your rent we will have no option but to ask you to leave and recover losses from your guarantor.
“This letter is not intended to cause you alarm, rather to inform you of the problems that could very well occur during the roll-out of universal credit,” the letter concludes.
Guy told the Grimsby Telegraph that he was critical of the Department of Work and Pension for not warning both businesses and claimants about the changes being brought in by Universal Credit.
“We have been in contact with the DWP who have told us about the six week payment delay for people moving on to the system, but we are aware of cases where this has taken much longer, and as a business we are not in a position to sustain going without rental payments for six weeks or longer,” he told the paper.