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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70403
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hi. I have a 1 bed ex-Council flat, let (by now post AST)

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I have a 1 bed ex-Council flat, let (by now post AST) via the Council. The tenant's housing benefit used to cover the rent exactly, but now on reduced benefit he can't pay the difference and, over 5 months, owes about �500. I must tell him to quit. The flat will then be refurbished, ideally by August ready for potential tenants from the local university.
Q Should I use a Section 8 or 21a Notice ? 8 looks more immediate, but only 2 weeks notice might produce problems ? 21 gives more time, but ... Really, I just don't know what the common problems are, and which ones most often result in time-consuming extra work. The tenant doesn't appear like someone who'd argue the toss, but who can tell ? If possible, I'd take the less harsh way, but can't afford to let too much time be lost.
I'd appreciate your opinion, Thanks, Margaret

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

In order to give you answer tailored to your circumstances I will need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

What is the monthly rent please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
for Jomo1972
Rent 553.84 per month
Thank you for the information. I just need ten minutes to dictate an answer is thats Ok?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the information.

The truth is that it doesn't much matter which you use from the point of view of getting the tenant out.

This is now a periodic tenancy agreement because the AST has ended. You can bring it to an end at any time by serving a S21 notice giving no less than 2 months notice.

You can also serve a S8 notice citing grounds 10 and 11. Unfortunately she is not two months in arrears so you cannot rely on ground 8. If this had been an AST I would have told you to wait until she was two months in arrears and then you would be guaranteed a possession order but since this is a periodic there is no point.

From the point of view of getting back into your property, S21 and S8 are pretty much a similar speed. You have to give longer notice under S21 but then you can go for accelerated possession when the notice expires so there isnt much difference.

The only real point in serving a S8 notice here would be to recover at least judgment upon the arrears. A S21 notice will not lead to money compensation. You will need a S8 notice for that and to complain of grounds 10 and 11.

The only thing I should mention though is that if this is a person living on benefits then its one thing to get judgment and another thing to get the money generally speaking. There are those who take the view that seeking money judgment is throwing good money after bad. I have to say though that I have found thats not quite true. If the tenant is dependant upon the Council for housing and he gets evicted for a S8 reason reason then they will not rehouse him because they will say he has made himself intentionally homeless. The only way he can escape that is to pay off the arrears. Of course, sometimes these people can behave in a self defeating way and refuse to pay and face the consequences but often its worth getting judgment for this reason.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks. 1 more question - using S21, I understand from internet info that the 2 month notice period must be accurately presented. The most recent rent payment, headed May, covers the 4 weeks of 8 April to 5 May. So I guess the 2 months are june+july. Exactly which dates does that period start and finish, ?
Well, it runs from end term to end term which is normally the rent date.

So if the end term date is the 5th May and you serve notice tomorrow then unfortunately it would take affect upon the 5th June and run until the 5th August.

Jo C. and 2 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Sorry, didn't make this clear - the rent payments are for 4 week periods, not calendar months. So would the notice period be 8 weeks or 2 calendar months ?
8 weeks then.

A S21 notice runs from end term to end term.