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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7600
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am letting my property through a letting agency. The property

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I am letting my property through a letting agency. The property was let without a breakout clause for 24months, it has been more than 6months into the tenancy now and the tenant has never paid on time and was in arrears by 2months until recently where it is 1month. I have been pushing the letting agents to serve the tenant with a notice to vacate on the grounds of section 11 (discretionary) however they seem reluctant (almost stubbornly) to do so. I want to regain possession of my property and appreciate it may take longer to reach that point. The agents are arguing that in their experience upon issuing of that type of notice to vacate, in all cases the court rules in favour of the tenant. I need to move back into my property. Can you please advise me on how to ensure I can regain possession of the property at the earliest possible opportunity?

Thanks for your patience.

They are correct to say that it is more difficult to obtain possession on the basis of persistent late payment of rent, but that is very much an irrelevance if you wish to instruct them to do this.

You are the principal and they are the agent. If you instruct them to issue the notice and acknowledge that this is against their best advice then they should issue the notice. It would probably be a breach of their agreement with you if they did not carry out the instruction.

Ground 11 is generally used in conjunction with other grounds (eg. Two months rent arrears) and so it essentially buttresses a claim for possession under one of the other grounds.

You can obtain a possession order (usually suspended pending timely payment of future rents) using ground 11 on it’s own but the delays have to be persistent and egregious. If, for example, the tenant is frustrated from paying the rent on time because of late receipt of housing benefit then it’s less likely an order will be obtained.

If the delays are great and many and there is no good reasons for it then you stand a better chance of getting a suspended possession order. The one months rent outstanding will not help either.

I would have a look at the terms of the tenancy to see if the tenant has breach any others. Also have a look at the state of repair to check for any deterioration to see if either grounds 12, 13 and 15 can be used as well.

Ultimately, if you instruct the agent to issue the notice aganst their advice they should still do it.

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Kind regards,

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