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View Full Version : Urgent help needed: Section 8 or accept surrender



speedysloth
19-04-2008, 23:32 PM
Any help would be very very gratefully received, not been in this situation before

I have a family (2 adults and 1 child) on a 6 month AST. It is now into month 3, The end of the 6 months being mid July. There have been multiple problems, rent has been late and now it is 2 months in arrears. I had agreed some redecoration/improvements to be done in detail in writing, but these have not been done and much more unauthorised work has been done (wall stripping, carpets removed). Prior to the date of the 2 months arrears being due, one of the tenants (they are a couple) emailed (essentially in my interpretation) a request for surrender. They stated they were giving 2 months notice to leave and demanded their deposit back at the end (deposit in the deposit scheme). Their date to leave would not be the first or last day or the normal rent period stated in the AST.

So, I have 2 months rent in arrears, I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt that they will pay the unpaid and future rent, but I have severe doubts from our past dealings, I have a house that needs alot of work to get it ready to rent out again, and they are threatening legal action towards me, for not answering their first email, (as I have been obtaining advice).

From my point of view it is damage limitation, I want them to vacate as soon as possible so I can put the house right and rent it out again. I have already lost a significant amount. I am not a bigtime landlord.

So my 3 questions are:
1. I am happy to accept a surrender, but their 2 months date is not convenient with me, how do I know they will leave when they say they will, and can I state I accept it as long as the rent arreas are paid (and give a date?) I want them out ASAP

2. Or, fearful that they may not leave, should I issue a section 8, with them being 2 months in arrears now, and with possibly some other discrecionary grounds? It is now 3 days post when the rent was due

3. Can I recoup any costs - would this be through the small claims courts? Is it worth it?

Many Thanks for any help to a stressed out LL!

justaboutsane
20-04-2008, 07:54 AM
I would do both! Say you will accept the surrender and then issue section 8 as a back up. There is no guarantee that they will leave as surrendered! Good job you have the deposit in a scheme cos these guys sound like Pro tenants to me. You should answer the email stating you are getting legal advise which takes time. The ball is in your court, they cannot sue you for not replying to an email!

Did you have an inventory at the start of the tenancy as you may struggle with the deposit, although if they have rent arrears you could possibly withhold it on that basis.

speedysloth
20-04-2008, 09:14 AM
Thanks for the reply, I do have an inventory from the beginning of the tenancy that was given to the tenant, requesting any amendments to be put on and returned to me. I never got it back though. Would it be worth sending another one with proof of postage?

Ericthelobster
20-04-2008, 11:00 AM
Would it be worth sending another one with proof of postage?Certainly not; although it doesn't leave you in a good position not having a signed inventory, if you send a new one now and they do return it, they'll probably add stuff like 'carpets missing', 'walls stripped' etc, and where will that leave you?

speedysloth
20-04-2008, 15:00 PM
thanks, so issue a section 8 now giving the 14 days to vacate? and agree to the tenants date? which is in 6 weeks time, or state a new date? and issue both? sorry if i'm being a numpty, want to get this absolutely right

justaboutsane
20-04-2008, 15:13 PM
issue the section 8 giving two weeks, accept the 6 week notice and then in 3 weeks apply to court, it will take much longer to get to court than the 6 weeks you have given, plus if the money is not forthcoming you will be able to put a ccj in place. might not see your money but will help other landlords in the future xx