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Barch
09-11-2009, 08:41 AM
Hi All.

I wonder if anyone can explain the procedure for when a tenant is on breach of contract?

my "lovely" tenant has done the following without any permission.
1. Moved a second person into the property, from Day 1.
2. Mounted a 40" LCD screen on the fireplace wall.
3. Have a pet cat, AST states, NO Pets.
4. Smoke in the property, AST states No Smoking.

They are also parking across the front of a set of communal steps which is causing issues with the neighbours.

What do I do? Do I have to ask them to cease smoking, get rid of the cat, park elsewhere or can I serve notice as tenant is in breach? Do I have to give them an opportunity to rectify?

The flat mate moved in on Day 1 of the tenancy according to the neighbours. I'm not sure why this has been kept a secret, I assume she is on the electoral register. But I'm concerned that is I take steps to remove tenant that the "other one" stay there and I have to evict.

thanks

dominic
09-11-2009, 08:55 AM
What does your TA say about guests? most state that immediate family and temporary guests are ok.

Who is responsible for the bills (gas, elec etc). If T, the extra person will only have an adverse impact on the level of wear and tear and may be something you have to live with.

Also, did the T fill out a "questionnaire" on application on which he stated (i) he did not smoke (ii) was asked whether any other person was to live at the property, (iii) pets (such questionnaires are advisable for this reason)? If so, this may open up grounds to evict (having obtained the tenancy on false pretences).

tom999
09-11-2009, 09:02 AM
What do I do? Do I have to ask them to cease smoking, get rid of the cat, park elsewhere or can I serve notice as tenant is in breach? Do I have to give them an opportunity to rectify?Write a firm letter before action to T, giving them 28 days to rectify the breaches. If you are not happy with the response you get, then serve notice (s.21) for T to leave.
Does T owe any rent?


The flat mate moved in on Day 1 of the tenancy according to the neighbours. I'm not sure why this has been kept a secret, I assume she is on the electoral register. But I'm concerned that is I take steps to remove tenant that the "other one" stay there and I have to evict.
Does it say that T can sub-let on AST?

islandgirl
09-11-2009, 09:05 AM
But S21 only operable at end of fixed term. In my opinion s8 for these "breaches" would not have a cat in hells chance of success!

tom999
09-11-2009, 09:12 AM
But S21 only operable at end of fixed term.A valid s.21 notice can be served at any time after tenancy starts; whilst its true that LL cannot apply for a court order until after the fixed term, it does give LL mandatory possession on a no-fault basis. Presumably you have a better solution to help the OP resolve the situation?

Barch,

When did the tenancy start?
What is the fixed term of the AST?
Is the property in England or Wales & annual rent less than £25k?

Barch
09-11-2009, 09:34 AM
A valid s.21 notice can be served at any time after tenancy starts; whilst its true that LL cannot apply for a court order until after the fixed term, it does give LL mandatory possession on a no-fault basis. Presumably you have a better solution to help the OP resolve the situation?

Barch,

When did the tenancy start?
What is the fixed term of the AST?
Is the property in England or Wales & annual rent less than £25k?


1. Tenancy started 1st August. AST does for guests, but the other occupier is permanent and, according to the people upstairs, moved in on the same day.
2. Fixed term of 6 months.
3. Yes.

Thanks for the responses so far. Still not sure what to do, but formulating a response. Might get the agent to do a spot check and see if they come clean

tom999
09-11-2009, 09:49 AM
s.21 advice in post #3 still applies (as long as any protectable deposit is protected) if you require the property back. Valid s.21 served now would expire Feb 2010; then apply for a court order, if the tenants do not wish to surrender the property.

islandgirl
09-11-2009, 09:51 AM
Presumably you have a better solution to help the OP resolve the situation?
Tom, think before you write! A S21 will not remove them until end Jan 2010 (if they actually go). I told the OP that a S8 in my opinion will not work. Those are the 2 solutions. I would be very interested to hear your alternatives! Perhaps you think a S8 for the "breaches" would work? Let me know!

tom999
09-11-2009, 09:54 AM
A S21 will not remove them until end Jan 2010 (if they actually go). Please explain?


Perhaps you think a S8 for the "breaches" would work? Let me know!Have not mentioned S8.

islandgirl
09-11-2009, 09:55 AM
it may surprise you that tenants don't always leave a property when they should. Sometimes they stay put and you have to go to court to remove them - thought you knew this given posts above...

P.Pilcher
09-11-2009, 09:55 AM
I must admit I prefer a tenant (like mine) who says "Im sorry, I have just lost my job and got another which does not pay so much, thus I can't afford to pay all the rent, do you mind if my boyfriend moves in to help me with this?"
Really, provided such an arrangement isn't costing you anything more in utilities because your tenant is paying them the additional wear and tear is insignificant. I don't think a court would think much of your other reasons for wanting to remove this tenant either. However this tenant has clearly breached the conditions of your tenancy - probably by never bothering to read them - thus your only solution is to use the section 21 no fault process as stated above.

P.P.

islandgirl
09-11-2009, 09:56 AM
totally agree PP

islandgirl
09-11-2009, 09:59 AM
Tom you asked a rather sarcastic question and got a rather sarcastic reply - nothing more! Have a good day

Barch
09-11-2009, 10:00 AM
What does your TA say about guests? most state that immediate family and temporary guests are ok.

Who is responsible for the bills (gas, elec etc). If T, the extra person will only have an adverse impact on the level of wear and tear and may be something you have to live with.

Also, did the T fill out a "questionnaire" on application on which he stated (i) he did not smoke (ii) was asked whether any other person was to live at the property, (iii) pets (such questionnaires are advisable for this reason)? If so, this may open up grounds to evict (having obtained the tenancy on false pretences).

Dominic, I'm not concerned by wear and tear of one additional occupant. They are not a "guest", they are living there full time. The fact that they have been living there since day 1 surely also points to obtaining by false pretences?

The smoking is an issue. And it appears its the rogue person who smokes in the flat. Unfortunately, the small travels up the stairs to the flat above and whilst the neighbours are aware they cant stop people smoking in their own ome, I thought I'd done this by including a no smoking clause in the AST.

thanks

islandgirl
09-11-2009, 10:02 AM
smoking and pets are the usual problems but you could not use these as a reason to remove tenants no matter what it says in the AST - as advised I believe S21 is the only way forward...plus a letter asking them to stop which may just have an effect

tom999
09-11-2009, 10:04 AM
A S21 will not remove them until end Jan 2010* (if they actually go).


it may surprise you that tenants don't always leave a property when they should. Sometimes they stay put and you have to go to court to remove them - thought you knew this given posts above...

The reason why I asked is that the tenant cannot be 'removed' on the date* above. Please let me explain:

AST started: Aug 2009
s.21 earliest expiry: Feb 2010 (if valid s.21 served now)
Application for court order: 2-6 weeks.
Bailiffs: 2-4 weeks
Earliest possession: Mar 2010 or April 2010 (not end Jan 2010*)

islandgirl
09-11-2009, 10:12 AM
Hi Tom - sorry for the confusion. I meant if they actually go it would be Feb 1st 2010 - in theory that is when the owner would get possession having issued a valid S21. The "if they actually go" caveat was meant to encompass the timescales you helpfully give above. Some tenants will take notice of the S21 and move out as requested - others will of course not.

tom999
09-11-2009, 12:01 PM
Hi islandgirl, no need to apologise.

Barch:
(1) If you cannot come to an agreement with the tenant to your satisfaction, s.21 will be best option to give you possession.
(2) Next best is s.8 g8, if tenant owes more than 2 months rent (if rent paid monthly)
(3) First 2 options are mandatory grounds for possession. Non-mandatory (s.8) grounds include g12 & g13:

Ground 12
"Any obligation of the tenancy (other than one related to the payment of rent) has been broken or not performed."

Ground 13
"The condition of the dwelling-house or any of the common parts has deteriorated owing to acts of waste by, or the neglect or default of, the tenant or any other person residing in the dwelling-house and, in the case of an act of waste by, or the neglect or default of, a person lodging with the tenant or a sub-tenant of his, the tenant has not taken such steps as he ought reasonably to have taken for the removal of the lodger or sub-tenant.

For the purposes of this ground, “common parts” means any part of a building comprising the dwelling-house and any other premises which the tenant is entitled under the terms of the tenancy to use in common with the occupiers of other dwelling-houses in which the landlord has an estate or interest."