View Full Version : 2 payments in arrears with a non contactable tenant
27-03-2006, 20:29 PM
tenants agreement ended on 20th feb. sent her a renewal but she has not sent ot back. the rent due on the 21st feb and the rent due on 21st march have not been paid. i have served a section 8 and section 21. what is the best course of action to a) get her out and b) get my rent?
thanks in advance
27-03-2006, 20:51 PM
S8 if you want possession AND rent arrears up to date of leaving*
S21 if you want possession only - NO money claim other than for costs. - but see note below.
Ordinary default summons for rent arrears only*
* = when you get judgment, you still have to enforce it in the usual way - i.e. Bailiffs etc.
Section 8 is your best way forward even though it might take a little longer to get the court hearing - reason - cos if she returns the new tenancy agreement, any S21 notice you issue will be rendered void - she could produce that agreement to the accelerated possession court to counter the S21 notice even though she has not returned your copy.
27-03-2006, 20:53 PM
i have given both, but the problem being that she is not responding to calls, etc. what form do i fill in now to take her to court? can i give her notice to "inspect" the property in case she has done a runner?
27-03-2006, 21:59 PM
Go to www.courtservice.gov.uk and click on forms and guidance
You want forms N119 and N5 for Section 8 process
If, against my advice, you do it on Section 21, then its N5b only
For an ordinary default summons, its form N1
S8 and S21 fee is £150 - check the fees for that and for an ordinary summons within the forms and guidance section - put fees in the middle search box.
Do what you like about notices to inspect property - I wouldn't as it can only lead to claims of harassment and/or arguments about who said/did what.
When the S8 14 days are up, get on with issuing possession summons.
28-03-2006, 06:11 AM
in the real world how likely am i to get these monies back (rent and legals) back from the tenant. Also am i within my rights to go round the house for a face on face chat?
28-03-2006, 08:24 AM
Your priority is to get your house back so you can re-rent it to someone who does pay the rent. Getting the money/legal fees is secondary.
1. Is any HB being paid - has she applied - get them to send the money to you direct if any award.
2. Job - can sieze wages.
3. Siezable assets not on hp that belong to her - car/van - send bailiff in.
4. Bank account - is she not on HB/LHA - then she might have a healthy bank account - where and with whom - sieze funds via third party debt order.
5. Does she own any land or another house - charging order.
Any of the above increase your chances of getting your money and legal expenses - otherwise you write it off against tax - or wait a few years and then have a go at her new address.
You can go round for a face to face but personally, at this stage ask yourself if you are likely to achieve anything - if yes, then go, if not, then shove it into court pronto and follow a policy of doing everything through the court.
28-03-2006, 13:46 PM
David could you clarify please.....
We wanted possession of our property and the rent arrears and damages were a secondary consideration. Not sure whether or not Wayne feels the same way.
We therefore opted for a S21 Notice followed by a separate County Court Claim for the rent that was due and the damage done to the property.
If the tenant reduces the rent arrears just before the hearing might this affect the outcome of your suggestion that S8 is more appropriate?
28-03-2006, 13:56 PM
Yes that is true Worldlife - the only other option is to go through the S21 route - BUT the landlord concerned has sent the tenant a "renewal" which has not been returned and that prevents the landlord from proceeding through the S21 route because all the tenant has to do to frustrate the process is advise the court she has a new contract for x months.
I appreciate that the tenant might not think of this or might have mislaid the new agreement etc. but the danger is there and the only way to prevent that danger from happening is to recognize the new agreement and serve a new S21 notice to expire at the end of the new agreement or "renewal" as he calls it. I have a little doubt arising in my mind as to what would happen if she returned the "renewal" dated later than the S21 the landlord has served - a judge might well treat it as though the renewal overrides the S21 and that despite the serving of a S21 notice, the landlord has created a new tenancy agreement.
By proceeding through S8 you do run the danger that the tenant could appear at the court's door and pay the arrears off seconds even before the hearing and that then the judge could not make a mandatory possession order BUT could still make a possession order under ground 10 or 11 persistent rent arrears which could be a suspended order. In view of my comments above, S8 would appear to be the safest way.
In your case Worldlife, which is slightly different from this thread, you did it the right way.
28-03-2006, 16:14 PM
Do you agree this whole case shows the hazards of offering new tenancy agreements rather than letting the tenancy become a periodic one at the end of the initial period.
Hopefully the S21 notice mentioned by Wayne is one that has been issued since offering the new agreement and if the arrears are cleared will enable him to recover possession at the end of the new period.
28-03-2006, 16:23 PM
It does indeed - now what I do is diary write to offer a new tenancy on a fixed period contract about three months before the old fixed period expires - I sign and date the tenancy and send it to the tenant with a letter saying that if they do not wish to enter into a fresh contract, then the S21 notice will be served. As Paul F has said repeatedly, A s21 notice must be unconditional - mine is so because it imposes no conditional offer of a tenancy because it will be dated later than the offer - OK, it is open to the tenant to forge the date as a later one and produce it into court to delay the S21 process but they would be in serious trouble if the police were involved and I have never had anyone try it on yet.
The tenant in my method is given a clear choice - either they accept my new agreement or not - if they do, then no S21 notice is necessary. If not, then they can be removed if I wish using the S21 process because I would produce the last agreement they signed and affirm that they would continue on a periodic tenancy month to month beyond the fixed period.
If I then decide to accept they dont want a fresh contract for any reason and want to keep them on, as I said it becomes a statutory periodic AST and the rent can be increased by using the S13 procedure.
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