How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Thomas Your Own Question
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7569
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Type Your UK Property Law Question Here...
Thomas is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Type Your UK Property Law Question Here.. Hello My wife and

Customer Question

Type Your UK Property Law Question Here..
My wife and I are currently having a problem with our tenant. His current contract runs out at the end of October ... and we are offering him a nine month contract. He is currently claiming housing benefit for the rent and is refusing to sign a new contract with us. He rambles quite a lot, but amidst some of the things he is saying is that he has spoken to his solicitor and saying that we cant make him leave etc ... I gather that he is refusing to sign a new contract so that his tenancy is an undetermined time. Where do we stand if he refuses to sign a new contract ? (he pays rent still but often very late... but we will want to move back in to the flat ourselves next year after the nine month contract)

UPDATE: At the moment, we feel that he is going to be a pain, and use the law to his advantage when it comes to moving out ... so we are just trying to do what we can to prevent the worst happening. What are his rights if he refuses to sign a new contract, or should we not sign a new contract?

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.



If the tenant is occupying the property under an assured shorthold tenancy which expires then the tenancy will become a statutory periodic tenancy, this means that the tenancy continues on the same terms but from one rent period until the next (eg. month to month if paid monthly).


If you wish to take possession in these circumstances then you would have to serve a 21 Housing Act 1988 notice giving him two months notice with such notice to expire on the last day of a rent. It is very important that the notice is in the correct form and a simple google search for "s21 notice statutory periodic tenancy will generate a list of document providers.


If the tenant does not leave by the expiry date on the notice then you will need to apply to the court for a possession order. Provided the correct procedure has been followed in issuing the Section 21 notice, the court will have no choice but to grant the possession order so that the tenant vacates. If he does not after such an order you can apply for warrant for execution from the Court so that the bailiffs evict him.


If he has persistently paid rent late then you could serve a s8 Ground 11 HOusing Act 1988 for which the notice period is only two weeks and you could do this now. If the tenant does not leave after the notice period and the Court accepts that they have persistently paid rent late then they will make an order for possession.


If you sign a new tenancy agreement with the tenant then they will have a right to possession of the property during the term of that tenancy agreement.


If this is useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.

Kind regards,



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thank you... I am trying to work out whether it is best to sign a new agreement or not.

i am not in a position right now to ask him to leave, as i am not available to find a new tenant.

If we can just give him the Section 21 notice next year, then that should be sufficient? Am i right to assume there is no value to a new contract then?

Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

If you execute a new tenancy agreement then he will have a right to stay there until the term expires, he becomes in arrears with his rent or continues to pay rent late.


If you just allow him to stay there beyond the fixed term of the current tenant then it does at lease give you some flexibility in that you will still be able to serve a s21 notice (two months notice) at any time to require him to vacate. If you sign a new tenancy agreement you will lose this flexibility so I should think that if he is not minded to sign a new agreement anyway then I would avail yourself of this flexibility.


If he wishes to leave the tenancy once it becomes a statutory periodic tenancy then he is only required to serve one months notice on you. Right not he could leave at the end of the fixed term without serving any notice upon you.


Hope this clarifies, if so please click accept.


Kind regards,


Thomas and 2 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sorry to ask again, but how long after the two month section 21 notice does the court order and then bailiff notification take? (on average)
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for your kind accept.


If you have a written tenancy agreement then you can use the accelerated possession procedure so that a Court hearing will no be necessary. THis would take around 2 weeks, perhaps a bit more.


If you do not have a written agreement then you will have to wait for a hearing and this could take 3-5 weeks.


INstructing bailiff thereafter can be done quicker but it depends how otherwise engaged they are at the actual court you make the application to.


Kind regards,



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
hi Tom
Thanks for that .... we will have an assured tenancy agreement that will expire soon.... I have a feeling that the tenant is waiting for the Bailiff letter so he can use that to show the council and secure Housing Benefit accommodation afterwards ... thats my feeling on it.

Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

Okay, good luck.


Kind regards,


Related UK Property Law Questions