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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I have a property let on a 6 month Tenancy Agreement. The

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I have a property let on a 6 month Tenancy Agreement. The tenant paid the first 2 months then nothing since. A Section 21 notice was issued to vacate the property on 7th Jan, which is also the final day of the 6 month term. The tenant has not vacated.
Our problem is that the tenant is a young mother with three children and is receiving benefit which she failed to pay to us and any contact or attempt at conversation is met with an implied threat that we are harassing her. She says she does not have to move until she finds alternative accommodation to her liking.

The amount of money owing is substantial and in the last month we have managed to get rent paid direct to us by the benefits office.

She still owes 3 month rent that we are unlikely to get, but we can, at least, be sure of getting future rent direct from the benefits office.

As the Tenancy Agreement has now expired, what risks are involved in a situation where she may decide to stay put for ever?

Are you satisfied that the s21 notice was in the correct form and served validly?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Thomas

Yes. We did have a meeting with the Local Benefits Housing Solutions office who accepted the situation and assured us that the tenant would be rehoused by the final date. There are various problems relating to this lady: The most difficult one is believing what she says as she seamlessly changes her story in response to even the most basic question.

She made various promises to the Housing Officer with regard to rent payment, but failed to honour the promises, yet told the officer that she had actually paid.

There is also a case of Domestic Violence where her partner has come under a restriction order.

We are split between the fact that she owes so much money and that she has lied consistently, and the knowledge that we can be certain of getting all future rent without risk. We shall probably have to balance the pros and cons at some point.

My main concern relates to the absence of a current Tenancy Agreement and what action, if any, we need to take.








Thanks for your patience.

If the fixed term of the assurted shorthold hold tenancy agreement has expired and you have correctly served the s21 housing act 1988 notice in the correct form then you can forget about her personal difficulties – you have a right to possession of the property.

This is because no reason is required to evict a tenant under s21 Housing Act once the fixed term of the tenancy has expired. You just need to show that the fixed term has expired and that you have correctly served the required notice. If the tenant does not leave once the expiry date of the notice has passed then you have to apply to Court for an order for possession. The Court then HAS to make an order for possession in these circumstances.

Once the expiry date of the notice has passed you can apply for an order for possession here:-

She is liable for the rent until she physically leaves. Once she has physically left then you can sue her for the rent she owes here:-

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Kind regards,

Thomas and other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I completed the on-line Court application for possession.

The Court hearing date is set for 5th March. That's another 2 months in addition to the 2 months non payment of rent period before issuing the Section LT20B giving 2 months notice. 6 months total and then how long will it take following the hearing to get actual possession?

Is this right?


The scheduling of the hearing date (ie. two month from when you issue) is a bit long I agree.

If you have served the notice validly and the Court accepts this then they should make the order for possesion at the hearing. They usually give the tenants 28 days from the order to physically move out. If they don't then you can apply for a warrant for execution so that they are physically evicted by bailiffs.

You may encourage the tenant to contact the local authority. If they see that you are evicting her then they are more likely to assist in rehousing her.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you again Thomas. This tenant plays the harassment card in any attempt for discussion. She is receiving advice and support from the local authority (claims domestic violence) and they are telling her to sit tight until she finds alternative housing that she likes. Unfortunately, our property is of very high standard and she has no incentive to agree to any alternative.

Benefit office are now paying future rent direct to us, but at a lower amount than the agreed rent. In the meantime she is still in occupancy and my concern is that Tenancy Agreement has lapsed. Does she retain any rights, or are we at risk from absence of a current document.

There is absolutely no possibility of our recovering either the outstanding rent or the accumulating shortfall in current rent from her..

Regards Colin



Hi Colin,

No, if the tenancy has expired and you have given her the corrent notice then the Court will make the order. It's that simple in the case of expired fixed term assured shorthold tenancies.

Kind regards