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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 22591
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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I have a tenant on a 2 year lease, he has recently become ill

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I have a tenant on a 2 year lease, he has recently become ill and is on various supports. His wife (a co-signatory) has left him.
He is now paying �581.00 monthly and not the �850.00 actually due.

The lease ends on the 28th November and I have sent him a section 21 notice to advise that the lease will not be renewed.

Can I chase his wife to make up the difference?

When can I start eviction procedings? As it will actually take 6 months before he is 2 months in arrears in total.


Neil Rutherford. [email protected]
00 33 974 76 15 88

Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High
Street practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008.
During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousand's of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in
minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case.

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully.

What is the start and end dates on the lease?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Start 25 November 2009.

End 24 November 2013

Be careful with section 8 notices for two months arrears. If he pays an extra month’s rent, to bring the arrears down to 2 months, I thwarts section 8 proceedings on the grounds of two months arrears. Two months arrears is mandatory whereas habitual arrears is discretionary at the discretion of the court.
Of course, you can serve a section 8 in respect of arrears, at any time during the term.
Of course, whilst a regular arrears can be an issue, I appreciate that it will not be two months arrears until the end of the term in any event.
You can serve a section 21 notice at any time to end the tenancy at the end of the term on two months prior notice. Indeed, it is possible to serve the notice on the day that the tenancy is entered into! I know many landlords who do just that which saves them serving another notice at the end of the term and the tenant doesn’t want to move out, they simply let the thing roll along. It doesn’t mean that at the end of the term, if they do let the tenancy rollover and become periodic, the original notice expires and they will have to serve another section 21 notice. The beauty of that, of course, is that they have then had the benefit of knowing whether the tenant is good and wholesome or not.
There is no reason why therefore you cannot service section 21 notice to expire on 24 November.
You could also serve a section 8 notice in respect of habitual/regular arrears.
Unless you have a tenant to go into the property, do bear in mind (and this is your decision, not mine) but sometimes it is better to have a tenant in at a lower rent and have the property completely empty. Whether that is an option or not really depends on how quickly you will get another tenant. I just mention for completeness because really, it is an obvious point.
The burning question seems to be whether you can chase his wife for the shortfall in the mortgage. You can do that provided she signed the tenancy agreement which makes her jointly and severally liable for the rent along with the husband.
Assuming that you are relying on a section 21 notice, you cannot commence legal proceedings for possession until that notice has expired. Even if you get an order for possession, if the tenant does not move out, you are then faced with making a further application for a warrant of possession (an order for eviction).
Everything you need to know about section 8 notices and section 21 notices is here and here
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