View Full Version : Tenant in rent arrears: should I serve s.21 or s.8?

Dirty Stop Out
08-12-2005, 14:31 PM
I have a tenant living in a flat who signed a 6 month AST 3rd October 2005. He actually moved in on 11th Sept 2005. This guy has cashed his first 2 rent cheques and spent them on himself. I have waited untill he became 8 weeks in arrears and applied to have his rent cheques paid directly to me,which I now get, but these payments don't cover all the rent because he is under 25 and only gets a single room allowance of £37 a week. He hasmade one payment of £50 cash to me since he has been there. He then told me that he had applied for a "Crisis Loan" from the local council, of which he said that he would pay off his arrears with. I have since been onto the council and they tell me that he does not qualify for one of these loans. My question is...can I serve him with a Section21 before the end of his AST, or is there another road I can go down to evict this guy? May I add that the area that I live in, tenants rent payments are under this new Pathfinder scheme.

08-12-2005, 16:18 PM
How much total arrears is he currently in? Yes you can serve a S21 prior to the end of the tenancy, but not to EXPIRE prior to the end of the fixed term. However, depending how much arrears he is in, you may be able to serve a Section 8. In fact, even if not you may be able to serve S8 on discretionary grounds.

08-12-2005, 18:45 PM
Mr Shed you're doing it again! Please engage brain before letting out clutch!

If the tenant moved in on 11 September then that's when the tenancy began and a monthly periodic tenancy has therefore been established from day one; you can't have a tenant signing the document (retrospectively) in October when he has been there for nearly a month!

Also the landlord will be somewhat restricted as to the terms of the tenancy as the AST is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle as far as documentary proof is concerned.

AND, you can't serve a S.8 Ground 8 Notice without proof of a valid written tenancy agreement.

You give far too much advice on this forum (which is incorrect)! Lawstudent would have a fit! Where is he anyway?

08-12-2005, 19:39 PM
Take a chill pill paul. Seems to me you are the one taking the fit. Yes, some of my advice is occassionally wrong, but these are corrected, and it is not malicious, I have best of intentions in giving advice, sometimes it is wrong and corrected. But most of the time I am correct, and genuinely help people. Please don't jump on your bloody high horse every time someone else isnt perfect.

08-12-2005, 22:40 PM
I'm not asking you to be perfect, it's just that you troll out advice without any thought of accuracy, and as it's happening a lot recently! You post much, much more than anybody else, and whilst you say you're trying to be helpful, more often than not you are making matters worse; in other words not giving the advice in the first place would be better. Good advice is fine!

Have you noticed that the knowledgable people on this site, lawstudent, david button, tony booth, are hardly posting any threads these days (or not at all), because they must be completely exasperated sometimes at some of the dross. Might I suggest you dwell for a few minutes about what you are going to say and think it through before tapping on the keyboard to be "first" with an answer. I'm not getting on my high horse but you really need to take a step back! I don't wish you any ill will but you are a bit too "keen" for you own good! I don't post nearly as often as I used to because there is so much trivia.

08-12-2005, 23:27 PM
OK Paul fair point, and duly noted. I only wish to disagree with the word "troll". A troll posts purely not to contribute to the discussion. I always genuinely believe I am bringing valid information to a thread. However, you are right, I should not post unless I am more certain about the answer - I have had a particularly "bad week" :p

Oh and I only post a lot coz I have no life :D when I'm in the house I am always online!!!

09-12-2005, 00:51 AM
MrShed, on the proviso that you make it clear that you are simply providing your thoughts on a matter, I think that you are doing a fine job.

I would suggest that you avoid presenting any response as a fact and a good disclaimer should do this.

Since joining this site it has become clear that everyone has been wrong at some point. I have been contradicted on several occassions and yet in twelve years as an agent I have never had a landlord lose a case and have ensured that none of the many agents i worked in taken to court.

Dirty Stop Out
09-12-2005, 10:30 AM
Ok, just to answer a few questions....the tenant owes me about £450 and the reason why he didn't sign the tenancy straight away was because I was renewing alot of my AST's at the beginning of October, so I waited until then for him to sign. If this was a mistake please tell me so. All I need to know is, how to I get rid of this tenant ASAP.

09-12-2005, 15:53 PM
Dirty Stop out, sorry to jump on this thread but I have to say something.

MrShed, you go on making your posts, you have helped a great many people here and on the odd occasions when you are wrong you are corrected. I applaud you on your efforts.

Paul, we have had this before. You are the most knowledgeable person here, without a doubt, but I wonder how many threads will go unanswered if it were left solely to you. Once again you have forgot what a forum is. This is not a white paper on lettings, it is a place for discussion. Now I have been wrong many times here, but the board has corrected me and I have learnt so much, so please don’t try and stifle those who come here to learn and try to help. YOU have been corrected before, including by me, so don’t throw stones. As far as assuming that some of the knowledgeable regulars have not posted for a while because of people like MrShed and myself is complete tripe, people come and people go. IF you want to run your own insular forum, put one on your own website and control it yourself, otherwise leave it to Tom.

Ill climb off my soapbox now.

Dirty stop Out, Paul_F has said that a AST signed in retrospect is invalid, so yes what you have done was a mistake.

09-12-2005, 16:56 PM
Please Pleaseall senior members continue to post on this forum.

I have benfited from the advice given by several senior members, in answer to my own queries, and also in the responses given to other posters.

Paul_f in particular, gave me some advice that was invaluable, and contrary to that given by a solicitor, a supposed expert in Landlord/tenant law. I am very grateful to him. On the strength of information gleaned from all landlord/tenant sites that I could find, and in particular this one, I have been able to deal with a tenant/landlord problem myself, and have not yet had to resort to expensive legal means.

Mr Shed, you may sometimes get it wrong, I only know this because others correct you, but you are unfailingly helpful and always ready to offer a viewpoint. Don't stop posting, I have learned much from you and the discussion you prompt by your postings.

Some of the postings may well appear to be trivial to those who are better informed. However, when you are a tenant in trouble, or a LL who is trying to make a living while walking through a minefield of legal procedure, the voice of reason is the better informed.

09-12-2005, 17:31 PM
Even under the LHA Pathfinder scheme, you may be able to get the LHA (Housing Benefit) paid directly to you if you let the benefit office know that your tenant is in arrears. Have a look here (http://www.dwp.gov.uk/housingbenefit/lha/guidance-manual-inc-amdt4.pdf)

See para. 4.10
At least that might help for now.

09-12-2005, 18:04 PM
If the tenant moved in on 11 September then that's when the tenancy began and a monthly periodic tenancy has therefore been established from day one; you can't have a tenant signing the document (retrospectively) in October when he has been there for nearly a month!

It seems to me there isn't enough information to establish this, if the agreement is dated 11 September fair enough but if the agreement signed on the 3rd of October is dated 3rd of October then surely this would be a "surrender and re-grant", or have I misunderstood something?

Dirty Stop Out
10-12-2005, 09:00 AM
Ok, it seems that I have made a mistake by allowing the tenant to sign his AST late, but can someone please tell me what I can do to get rid of this tenant.

10-12-2005, 16:55 PM
DSO what is the date of the AST and what are the dates next to your and the tenants signatures?

Dirty Stop Out
10-12-2005, 18:07 PM
The dates of the AST is Oct '05 to April '06 and he signed it on the 3rd of Oct '05