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Nic
04-04-2008, 11:12 AM
I have just had one of my tenants in, his contract runs out in May and I asked if he was renewing. He said no and that he is going to get a council property but the council have asked for a notice to quit. I thought that since he has said that he is not renewing that I can't give him a notice to quit? Any ideas?

jeffrey
04-04-2008, 11:14 AM
Forget "Notice to Quit". What T needs is a s.21 Notice, under the Housing Act 1988.

Bel
04-04-2008, 18:12 PM
It is unlikely that council would ask you to give notice to quit, as then they are responsible for finding him accomodation once you say you want him out. Your tenant is being devious, methinks.

Ask him why he won't give notice to quit to you....answer: because the council will not rehouse him if he leaves of his own free will.

Basically, he wants you to make him "homeless". But will you collude?

The tenancy does not have to be renewed, it will become a periodic tenancy running from month to month until either of you gives notice.

The tenant is free to leave at the end of fixed term without notice if he wants too, but this is unlikely in circumstances.

Beeber
05-04-2008, 11:00 AM
This forum gets lots of posts from landlords that are baffled why their tenants are keen to be evicted and will stay in place until the landlord seeks a court order for possession.

As Bel indicates, tenants that want social housing often know, or are informed by the local authority, that they will not be assisted if they leave the property of their own volition as they will have made themselves intentionally homeless.

The following information is written to advise tenants but it's helpful for landlords to understand the process that tenants go through when they present themselves as homeless to the local authority

http://england.shelter.org.uk/advice/advice-145.cfm

"Councils only have to accept applications from people who are actually homeless, or who are threatened with homelessness within 28 days. You should be considered to be threatened with homelessness if, for instance:you have been given a valid notice by your landlord which expires within 28 days."

Sounds like your tenant is engineering himself towards a situation where the local council has statutory obligations to house him. Check out his reaction when you tell him that you'll not be issuing the notice, that it will run on as a periodic tenancy if he does not move out, and that the only paperwork you will issue will be an S8 if he hits 2 months arrears with the rent and that you'll inform the council of the reason for the eviction. He'll know that the council will class him as making himself intentionally homeless if he has been evicted for arrears for not paying rent when he could have and that if he does owe 2 months rent at the time of the court hearing, the judge has no discretion - possession is granted to the landlord automatically.

Local authorities that inform a tenant to stay put until a court order is gained is a common occurance but is actually against the advice they are issued with. They are not supposed to insist a tenant remains in the property if it is likely that the landlord will get the court order, for example, because the fixed term expires. landlords should contest this through the local ombudsman and get court costs refunded.

Perhaps someone on the forum can point to a thread that has this advice to councils that instruct them not to carry on with this practice?

Beeber
05-04-2008, 11:10 AM
Here's the local authority info - quote it back to your tenant and take action with the local authority if necessary

Homeless legislation states that local authorities have a duty to house certain categories of people. Local authorities are provided with guidance about coming to a decision of eligibility for re-housing homeless people. In particular, they should have regard to section 9.29 of the Code of Guidance on Parts VI and VII of the Housing Act 1996, which states: "A local authority should not require tenants to fight a possession action where the landlord has a certain prospect of success, such as an action for recovery of property which is let on an assured shorthold tenancy where the fixed term of the tenancy has ended." If, as it appears to be in this case, the local authority disregards this guidance, the landlord can refer the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman, claiming the landlord's costs of having to pursue a possession action.

Here's a thread on a similar topic which will give you an idea how common this scenario is

http://www.landlord-forum.co.uk/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1883

Nic
05-04-2008, 17:01 PM
No sorry must have worded it wrong. The tenant has told me that they will be moving out and that the council want a notice to quit. I have told them that it is them that is ending the contract and not me.

Beeber
05-04-2008, 17:59 PM
Mmm. Not sure we are on the same wavelength, either.

To re-iterative, it's a very common ploy for tenants who desire social housing to manipulate their situation so they come under the statutory obligations for a council to house them. They aim to persuade the council that their landlord isn't going to renew the fixed term when it expires, even if it is actually the case that the tenants that don't want it to be renewed.

This is why Bel and I think your tenant wants you to supply him with paperwork that gives the impression that you are ending the tenancy, not them.

Some do it with the collusion of their landlord, who are often glad to see the back of them. Other landlords are frustrated because they cooperate with the request to supply their tenants with notice because they will move straight into a council property. Unfortunately, this gesture usually back-fires -the tenants will then follow it up by saying that the council housing department has ordered them to remain in the property until the landlord gets a court order or they'll blow their chances of getting allocated a council house.

So yes, your tenants may have given you the impression (like many others) that they are in line for a council place and are intending to move out.

But my guess is that they planned for you to give the impression to the council that you are making them homeless instead of them. I reckon your tenants will be kicking themselves at your response - they wanted you to kick off eviction (possession) proceedings because that is the only way that they are get into social housing. Merely turning up at a council office with a contract that is about to expire is not enough to show they are in peril of homelessness.

Paul_f
06-04-2008, 10:35 AM
Nic. Follow what Jeffery has said - there's not a NTQ to serve, it's a "Notice Seeking Possession" - otherwise known as a S.21 Notice.

Sometimes those who reply try and help but then the original poster doesn't understand the advice!