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lazuli
14-03-2009, 15:39 PM
Hi there, I am asking a question on behalf of my boyrfriend. He has been living in his rented accomodation for nearly 3 years on a AST. Last month he was late with payment by two weeks. With no other written communication, the letting agency served him a notice to quit, due to the late payment in rent. He paid the rent immedietly, and got told the notice would stay on his file should he be late again, when it would be enforced. Am I right in thinking that you have to be two months late on rent in order to be asked to vacate? If so is this a breach of contract from the letting agency?

Many thanks.

mind the gap
14-03-2009, 15:49 PM
Hi there, I am asking a question on behalf of my boyrfriend. He has been living in his rented accomodation for nearly 3 years on a AST. Last month he was late with payment by two weeks. With no other written communication, the letting agency served him a notice to quit, due to the late payment in rent. He paid the rent immedietly, and got told the notice would stay on his file should he be late again, when it would be enforced. Am I right in thinking that you have to be two months late on rent in order to be asked to vacate? If so is this a breach of contract from the letting agency?

Many thanks.

You are correct; he would have to owe two full months' rent before the LL could begin action to gain mandatory possession. LL could have served a section 8, ground 10 (some rent owing) with a view to obtaining a discretionary order, but on ground 10 alone, this is extremely unlikely to succeed. Besides which, he has now paid the outstanding rent, so it would fail. The letting agent seem to be behaving very inappropriately in his case, but since your boyfriend's contract is with his LL, not with the agent, if there is any breach of contract, it would be with LL.

Perhaps your boyfriend could write to the LL, expressing his unhappiness at the way he has been treated. If it happens again, it can be classed as harassment and possibly illegal eviction, so I'm sure the LL will want to be aware of what his agent is doing/threatening to do.

Good luck - it will have been a worry, but I would say he has honestly got nothing to fear, especially as he is now up to date with the payments.

lazuli
14-03-2009, 16:18 PM
I have looked, and I think they have got around it by serving a notice requiring possession under s21(4)(a) which I'm assuming they are allowed to do. Very upsetting for him however, as he has paid his rent in full, on time for 3 years! I think the landlord is wanting to sell the flat so perhaps this is why they have done it.

Ericthelobster
14-03-2009, 16:22 PM
I have looked, and I think they have got around it by serving a notice requiring possession under s21(4)(a) which I'm assuming they are allowed to do. Very upsetting for him however, as he has paid his rent in full, on time for 3 years! I think the landlord is wanting to sell the flat so perhaps this is why they have done it.Most agents serve an s21 notice routinely at the start of the tenancy anyway; I'm quite surprised this one didn't.

lazuli
14-03-2009, 16:27 PM
I'm a bit confused....why would they serve a s21 at the start of tenancy?

mind the gap
14-03-2009, 16:46 PM
I'm a bit confused....why would they serve a s21 at the start of tenancy?


Don't ask! This question has been debated loud and long (and often) on this forum...just trawl 'sword of Damocles' and you'll see what I mean! Basically, I agree with you; it's a strange kind of 'Welcome to your new home' present, isn't it, and doesn't suggest much goodwill on the part of the LL.

The LL may serve it with two months' notice ending either on the last day of the fixed term, or on the last day of a rent period, if the tenancy has become periodic. Unfortunately they don't have to give a reason and possession is mandatory provided it is correctly served.

If LL is looking for an excuse to repossess his property, then perhaps your boyfriend would be advised to begin looking elsewhere - he only has to give one month's notice, incidentally, if tenancy is periodic (or if fixed term of AST, he can walk away on last day without giving notice).

lazuli
14-03-2009, 16:50 PM
Ah I see! It was fixed term for the first 6 months then just done month by month after that. I think he will be looking for somewhere else if this is how it's going to be done!

mind the gap
14-03-2009, 16:56 PM
Ah I see! It was fixed term for the first 6 months then just done month by month after that. I think he will be looking for somewhere else if this is how it's going to be done!

I can't say I blame him - in fact I would be very reluctant to give this LL and his snotty agent any more of my money than I had to, given the way they have behaved!

I appreciate that he will not want to 'cut off his nose to spite his face', but there is a lot of rental property on the market at present - good luck to him in his search.

Beeber
14-03-2009, 17:19 PM
Ah I see! It was fixed term for the first 6 months then just done month by month after that. I think he will be looking for somewhere else if this is how it's going to be done!

That's known as a periodic tenancy. A landlord can serve notice without giving a reason providing the right notice is served correctly. If the rent is paid monthly, the landlord is required to give 2 months' notice in writing and the notice given must expire on the last day of a rent period (S21). It is often known as a 'no fault' notice - no justification is required for it to be served.

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/notice_to_quit.htm
http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/pdf/servingS21.pdf

The OP asked "Am I right in thinking that you have to be two months late on rent in order to be asked to vacate?". I wonder whether they are confusing this with S8, breach of contract, which is often served when tenants owe 2 months rent and where the court must award possession to the landlord if the tenant owes 2 months rent at the time of serving and the court case.

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/pdf/servingS8.pdf

agent46
14-03-2009, 17:28 PM
Hi there, I am asking a question on behalf of my boyrfriend. He has been living in his rented accomodation for nearly 3 years on a AST. Last month he was late with payment by two weeks. With no other written communication, the letting agency served him a notice to quit, due to the late payment in rent. .

It's probably just a bluff designed to deter him from paying his rent late in future. The letting market is bombing in many areas, so few letting agents or landlords will actively try to bring about a vacancy if they can possibly avoid it.

mind the gap
14-03-2009, 17:36 PM
It's probably just a bluff designed to deter him from paying his rent late in future. The letting market is bombing in many areas, so few letting agents or landlords will actively try to bring about a vacancy if they can possibly avoid it.

Possibly - although you would think this would make them all the more keen to hang onto the tenants they've got - and this is a strange way of persuading them to stay, wouldn't you agree?!

agent46
14-03-2009, 18:01 PM
Possibly - although you would think this would make them all the more keen to hang onto the tenants they've got - and this is a strange way of persuading them to stay, wouldn't you agree?!

Do you really think that most letting agents actually think in a sophisticated tactical fashion about their actions? They probably just thought "this is what we've always done, so this is what we'll do now"

A LA did exactly the same to me when the market was suffering in 2002 and I was so incensed by his aggressive, insensitive tactics and, frankly, his rank stupidity and downright lack of commercial awareness that I served a retaliatory NTQ. In the end we settled on an £80pcm rent reduction and a new strimmer. :D

jta
14-03-2009, 18:03 PM
The letting market is bombing in many areas, .

^^^^^^ Absolutely agree with that, I've just had two very frustrating weeks letting a couple of places, the agents were desperately trying to get maximum historic rents when nobody's biting. The answer? Sack the agent (in one case), drop the asking price 10% and start getting applicants. Problem sorted!
(The other agent did what they were told. :D)

Ericthelobster
14-03-2009, 18:07 PM
In the end we settled on an £80pcm rent reduction and a new strimmer.I wonder if the OP's boyfriend would like a new strimmer?

mind the gap
14-03-2009, 18:26 PM
I wonder if the OP's boyfriend would like a new strimmer?

I'm just wondering what agent found to do with one... perhaps a sideline, during aforementioned economic downturn, offering mass haircuts in Penge (or wherever he lives)? :)

agent46
14-03-2009, 18:58 PM
OP - I'm not suggesting your boyfriend tries to negotiate a rent reduction or the provision of a strimmer (or any other electronic gardening equipment). I was in a position of strength at the time because, if push came to shove, I didn't mind giving up the flat.

mind the gap
14-03-2009, 19:06 PM
OP - I'm not suggesting your boyfriend tries to negotiate a rent reduction or the provision of a strimmer (or any other electronic gardening equipment). I was in a position of strength at the time because, if push came to shove, I didn't mind giving up the flat.

So the strimmer is a metaphor?

thevaliant
14-03-2009, 19:08 PM
I have looked, and I think they have got around it by serving a notice requiring possession under s21(4)(a) which I'm assuming they are allowed to do. Very upsetting for him however, as he has paid his rent in full, on time for 3 years! I think the landlord is wanting to sell the flat so perhaps this is why they have done it.

So, if a Section 21 notice has been validly served (I assume), have the clarified whether they want possession?

Your boyfriend *could* be nasty here and leave exactly when required. *They've* given notice, not him. LL will get a shock I suspect.

agent46
14-03-2009, 19:09 PM
So the strimmer is a metaphor?

No. It was metaphor cutting the grass.

mind the gap
14-03-2009, 19:23 PM
No. It was metaphor cutting the grass.

Un coup de grâce, alors :D

lazuli
15-03-2009, 11:16 AM
I think that they have used the s21 as a tool to get him to pay his rent on time (which he did anyway). The letter about the late payment of rent was attached to the s21. I'm about to buy a flat around the corner from him so I think he will just move in with me!

I understand that at the end of the day, LA and LL are in it to make money, and quite rightly so should pursue people when they don't pay the rent, but surely there should be some level of 'customer service' when you have a loyal tenant?!

He already has a strimmer but he could do with a leaf blower ;)

mind the gap
15-03-2009, 11:23 AM
I think that they have used the s21 as a tool to get him to pay his rent on time (which he did anyway). The letter about the late payment of rent was attached to the s21. I'm about to buy a flat around the corner from him so I think he will just move in with me!

I understand that at the end of the day, LA and LL are in it to make money, and quite rightly so should pursue people when they don't pay the rent, but surely there should be some level of 'customer service' when you have a loyal tenant?!

He already has a strimmer but he could do with a leaf blower ;)

I agree with you absolutely. Yes they should behave professionally; sadly, they don't, always.

One day, evolution, or market forces, or something, will kick in and letting agents/landlords who behave like this will die out, or (metaphorically of course) be hunted down and killed off, like pteradactyls, or dodos.

PS What's the point of a machine which blows leaves around? The wind does that. Wouldn't it be better to suck them up?

Ericthelobster
15-03-2009, 12:15 PM
What's the point of a machine which blows leaves around? The wind does that. Wouldn't it be better to suck them up?Having watched council employees in the road blowing leaves around aimlessly I always wondered that too, until I got given one of these things for Xmas by a well-meaning parent.

The fact is that for sucking, they are utterly useless; they pick up leaves way too slowly, and fill the bag almost instantly. However, when used in place of a broom or rake to sweep up leaves for collection, it turns out they are actually quite effective. They are particularly good at instantly blasting leaves away from around obstructions eg shrubs where it's awkward to get a brush or rake to - the trick is to steer the leaves into a corner where they are trapped. I can clear my drive and garden far quicker than with a hand tool. But unless the leaves are actually removed, then they are total waste of time.

Hope this helps...

mind the gap
15-03-2009, 12:58 PM
Having watched council employees in the road blowing leaves around aimlessly I always wondered that too, until I got given one of these things for Xmas by a well-meaning parent.

The fact is that for sucking, they are utterly useless; they pick up leaves way too slowly, and fill the bag almost instantly. However, when used in place of a broom or rake to sweep up leaves for collection, it turns out they are actually quite effective. They are particularly good at instantly blasting leaves away from around obstructions eg shrubs where it's awkward to get a brush or rake to - the trick is to steer the leaves into a corner where they are trapped. I can clear my drive and garden far quicker than with a hand tool. But unless the leaves are actually removed, then they are total waste of time.

Hope this helps...


Eric, you are a star. I want one of those things. (Wonder whether it'll work on teenagers...?)

Thank you, O Fount of Wisdom:)

Ericthelobster
15-03-2009, 21:30 PM
Wonder whether it'll work on teenagers...?Sadly not, in my experience.

mind the gap
15-03-2009, 21:40 PM
Sadly not, in my experience.

That's a pity. Just have to go back to the high power water hose, I suppose.

Rodent1
15-03-2009, 22:07 PM
Leaf blowers are also very good at converting a std bath into a jacuzzi.

jeffrey
15-03-2009, 22:10 PM
Leaf blowers are also very good at converting a std bath into a jacuzzi.
Not quite- if you put a leaf blower into the bath with you, you'll rapidly:
a. have frizzy hair; and
b. be dead.

Don't try this at home, kids.

Rodent1
15-03-2009, 22:15 PM
Not quite- if you put a leaf blower into the bath with you, you'll rapidly:
a. have frizzy hair; and
b. be dead.

Don't try this at home, kids.


Jeffrey - not the whole thing !

Just the "biz" end, which is usually plastic (good insulator) and approx 3' from any wiring. Also, having repaired mine several times: they are extremely well insulated inside casing - on the basis that they will be sucking up wet leaves a lot of the time.



Just dont switch to suck whilst the biz end is in the bath !