Hi thereWe have a tenant with an annual tenancy agreement who has not paid rent since oct 2011. In December we served him with 2 months notice to leave the premises, which expired 14th Feb 2012. He did not leave and we went to the county court to pursue legal action to regain possession and to gain repayment arrangement for his arrears. We now have a hearing date for June 2012. Additionally, his tenancy agreement expired mid April 2012, have we taken the right course of action is there anything else we could now do given that his tenancy agreement has expired?ThanksRebecca
System of Law: England-and-Wales
served 2 months notice - section something but I have forgotten.
Wrote numerous times to try to reach resolution
Visited the property
Approached county court and have a date for the first hearing - june 2012
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1. Mid April 2012 - file is in the office I can get it if you need it2. 14th December 20113. Should be paid on 9th of each month4. I think standard possession including including repayment of arrears?5. We were advised to take him to court to get possession by our Management Company. Not sure that this was correct5B. We have the tenancy agreement and it is signed by him
What notice did you serve - s8 or s21?
I think it was S21
Thanks. Finally how much rent is owed very roughly and why is the tenant not paying to your knowledge? Is he DSS? Does he have a job? DO you have a guarantor for him?
OkHe does have a job but earns min wage (we think)as he works shifts in a local symbol store. We are not sure if he works full time or part time hours but is a single man and the rent is £550 per month. His situation has changed since he began his tenancy with us in 2009 (agreement renewed every 12 months). He is not DSS and we do not have a guarantor. He owes us £4k approx with May due in a few days..
Thanks. I am afraid based on what you have told me the notice you have served is invalid. They will likely throw out the notice and you will have to start again. On that basis better to serve a correct notice now. You can serve either or both a s8 and / or s21 notice. A s8 notice would be served on grounds of rent arrears and need give two weeks notice. A s21 notice requires two months notice and the notice can only end the day before rent is supposed to be paid. Here is an example of a partially completed s8 notice. http://www.youngandpearce.co.uk/Landlord%20forms/Section%208%20notice%20(rent).docHere is the s21 notice you need:http://www.youngandpearce.co.uk/Landlord%20forms/Section%2021(4)%20notice.docYou can ask the courts permission to submit a copy of the new s8 notice you have correctly served on the tenant as part of your claim. If they grant permission this will at least mean that your application will stand a decent chance of being granted. If they refuse or if you prefer you can withdraw proceedings and reissue under the accelerated procedure once your correct s21 notice has expired as above. The advantage of a s21 accelerate procedure is that it doe not normally require a hearing and there is no defence the tenant can raise. In terms of collecting rent you can claim for rent arrears against the tenant. You could also send him a statutory demand which is the first step towards bankruptcy. It doesn't cost anything and you can consider using it as a bluff to scare him into paying what he can afford if he can. It doesn't always work but it is would considering. http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/insolvency/docs/forms/ew/form6-01.docIs there anything else I can help you with?If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly remember to click ACCEPT in order that I am credited for my time. Kind regardsJoshua41031.9677137731
JoshuaDo we have to serve s8 and s21 then or can we serve one or the other? What are the differences between the two?
Its up to you. You can serve one or both. But you can only issue proceedings under one at any one time. i.e. you could not issue proceedings under s21 for accelerate possession without discontinuing existing possession proceedings you have issued. If you don't want to make the decision in time for tomorrow (assuming you plan to serve new notices asap) you can serve both notices and make a decision on what to do re proceedings a little later. Incidentally I didn't say why your notice is invalid. Whilst in one sense it doesn't matter in that it does not change anything if I were you I would want to know. It is invalid because a s21 notice cannot be served to expire earlier than the fixed term of the tenancy which based on what you say it did. I am sorry the above is not entirely positive but it is not necessarily a disaster as you have caught the issue before you find out the above in court and hopefully you can either salvage existing proceedings by the service of a new s8 notice and amend your existing application accordingly as above or withdraw these proceedings and use the accelerated possession procedure so it is by no means all bad.
LL.B (Hons), Prof Dip Law & Practice. 9 years experience in private practice in England
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