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View Full Version : Can I/should I act on section 8 notice



maxine
04-11-2009, 11:53 AM
I served my tenant with a section 8 notice October 2nd on grounds 8, 10 and 11. She then paid almost the 2 months arrears on 8th October leaving just £100 arrears. Since the beginning of the tenancy on Feb 1st 2009 (it is a 12 month AST) she only paid the rent on time twice and has been 2-3 weeks late almost every month . Apart from this she has been a good tenant compared to many I've read about on this site - the property was well maintained when I visited after 6 months. I spoke to her after I served the section 8 explaining for the umpteenth time that if she was going to be unable to pay on time in future she should let me know and advise the date she could pay. Come November 1st no rent. I dropped in a letter asking her to advise when the arrears would be cleared on 2nd November and have sent her a text this morning regarding it and so far nothing. I have finally come to the end of my tether as I have responded to every call from her immediately (from someone trying to get into the flat through a window she left open at 4am, to the more usual stuff of her losing the code to the burglar alarm). She has said she wants to stay "forever" as the property is immaculate, and cheap compared to similar properties in the area. I certainly don't want this. Can I still act on the section 8 served in October depsite her only being in arrears for the month of November and £100 from October or will I have to wait until December 1st? Or would more experienced members suggest I just wait until the end of the tenancy is up on Jan 31st? (I served her a section 21 a week before the section 8). Another complication is she texted me at the end of October asking if I could provide her with a copy of her tenancy agreement as she had lost hers. She had been signed off sick for 2 weeks and needed it "for the council". I took this to mean she was going to apply for housing benefit and let her know I was available to help her fill in any forms should she need me. However she has not confirmed this is actually the case. I doubt if I took her to court I would get anything back - she works but is low waged and has nothing of any value for bailiffs ie a car. I don't want to throw good money after bad as without the rent I am struggling to pay the mortgage on the flat along with the mortgage on my current home.

westminster
04-11-2009, 12:22 PM
Or would more experienced members suggest I just wait until the end of the tenancy is up on Jan 31st? (I served her a section 21 a week before the section 8).
I don't know the answer re the s.8. But personally I'd wait till the tenancy expires; firstly, if you did get her out before Christmas, it's a bad time to try to find a new tenant, secondly, a s.21 isn't debatable. I'd also write to T advising her that you plan to evict after Jan 31st if she continues to be late with the rent.


I doubt if I took her to court I would get anything back - she works but is low waged and has nothing of any value for bailiffs ie a car. I don't want to throw good money after bad as without the rent I am struggling to pay the mortgage on the flat along with the mortgage on my current home.
If she does eventually leave with arrears I would definitely pursue it and enforce the CCJ with an attachment of earnings. Even if it takes 2-3 years to get your money back it's better than losing money.

johnjw
04-11-2009, 12:27 PM
So far, you haven't actually lost anything significant but you've had a lot of hassle. January 31st isn't far away so I'd be inclined to make that the deadline.
The tenant seems to be OK in some respects but she doesn't seem to understand the importance of paying on time. She must be pretty insensitive if a section 8 notice hasn't got the message over. If you do have any inclination to stay with this tenant I'd tell her that the only way forward is for her to pay the rent by standing order. This can be a surprisingly effective discipline. Obviously no default would be accepted.

maxine
04-11-2009, 13:25 PM
Thanks for that. My gut instinct was just to leave it until the end of tenancy but wasn't sure if she decided not to leave then, if not acting on a section 8 would be seen by a judge as me being remiss and a sign of not being that bothered about her arrears. The rent was set up as a standing order - and was paid for the first 2 months that way and then every month since it has been returned as unpaid (clearly she doesn't have the money in her bank account). I don't think for one minute she will pay her rent in December as from past experience shopping sprees and South African holidays seem to take precedence over actually keeping a decent roof over her head. I have tried to explain to her if I decide not to allow the tenancy to continue in February some landlords may ask for a guarantor or a larger desposit than 1 months rent (she has an incredibly bad credit rating and 2 ccj's against her) Obviously if the letting agent I had used had given me this information before the day she was moving in and then not vanished off the face of the earth I would not have touched her with a very long pole but you live and learn.

johnjw
04-11-2009, 16:26 PM
With this additional information, it's quite clear that you must end the tenancy. As you say, if you had known before what you know now, you wouldn't have accepted her as a tenant.
It's almost certain that she will stop paying rent altogether as soon as you confirm notice to end the tenancy on the 31st of January. She will be 2 months in arrears on the 2nd of December, so you should then seek possession via section 8. If she again frustrates this action by paying up, then at least the arrears on the 31st of January, will be less than they would have been if you had not used section 8.