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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6313
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am a landlord and my tenant has not paid her rent in full

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I am a landlord and my tenant has not paid her rent in full for the last 4 months. She has only paid the rent on time once since her tenancy began 13 months ago, I spoke with her informally about this on two occasions. I sent her a notice of termination of tenancy on 10 July 2012 advising her that her tenancy would be terminated on 31 August 2012. I have heard via an aquaintance that she intends to remain in the property as she feels I cannot evict her as she is in receipt of housing benefit. She has not answered my telephone calls since receiving the termination notice (sent by special delivery and receipt confirmed)

Is there anything I should be doing in preparation for 31 August 2012? Do I have to wait until then to send her notice seeking possession of the property?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thanks for your question/n .

For clarity and the avoidance of doubt, could you please respond to the following USING THE SAME NUMBERING:-
1. What is the fixed term of the tenancy agreement please
2. How months of arrears has she clocked up
3. What form of notice did you serve on her? S21 notice, s8 notice?
Kind regards.

Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1. 12 months (start date 01/07/2011)
2. Her rent is GBP2000 per month, she paid GBP 1500 in June and GBP 1000 in July
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thanks.

What notice did you serve on her? S21 notice, or s8 notice?

Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Extract from termination letter sent 10 July 2012:


I telephoned you this morning but was unable to speak with you or leave a message. I am writing to give you notice of termination of the tenancy atXXXXXon Friday 31st August 2012. The tenancy agreement states that I should give you one month’s notice but I am giving you over seven weeks.


 


The property must be vacated by 6pm on Friday 31st August, if you find a new property to live in before then and wish to move out sooner, I will accept rental payment until you move out rather than until the end of August. (for example if you move out on 16th of August you will only ned to pay half of August’s rent.) I will contact you again to arrange a time to inspect the property and handover keys.


Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Okay, so you were exercising a break clause then.

Can I have the wording of the break clause please?

From when in the tenancy were you permitted to terminate the tenancy using the break clause?

Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, I was not intending to exercise a break clause. The tenancy was for 12 months (01.07.2012 - 30.06.2012) the rent was consistently late and was not paid in full for the last two months so I sent a letter on 10.07.2012 terminating the tenancy. I think that I should have included in the termination letter some information about sending a notice seeking possession if she does not leave by the end of the notice period.
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Ok.

That notice is not sufficient to get possession I'm afraid. I can tell you how to get possession though.

Is she two months in arrears at the present time?

Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is two months in arrears at the present time
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Drafting you answer. 5 mins.

Tom
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

Because the fixed term of the tenancy agreement has expired it has now become a statutory periodic tenancy. This means that you must give the tenancy two months notice in the correct form. Theynotice you have served is not valid.

You will have to download from an internet provider a Section 21(4)(a) Housing Act 1988 notice. The notice period is two months with such notice to expire at the end of a rent period. Serve by registered post and allow three working days for postage. The template you download will probably have notes on serving it appropriately, but there are some here just in case:-
http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/pdf/servingS21.pdf

Once served and the notice period has expired you will have to apply to court for a possession order. You cannot evict her without a Court Order. The easiest way is online:-
https://www.possessionclaim.gov.uk/pcol/

If the tenant does not leave when the notice expires then you will have to apply to Court for a warrant for execution so that the Court bailiffs effect eviction.

If the tenant pays their rent monthly and is two months in arrears with the rent then you can serve a s8 Ground 8 Housing Act 1988 under ground 8 notice giving only two weeks notice. Again, the notice has to be in the correct form and served properly so you should use one of the online providers.

I would serve both notices, using the s21 notice as a failsafe.

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Kind regards,


Tom
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6313
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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