View Full Version : Tenant in arrears gave notice to leave, now won't .. best course of action?

26-02-2010, 11:47 AM
Hi, I have a T in arrears (on weekly rent, 11 weeks behind). He lost his job, has paid a little rent since and just under a month ago we discussed about him leaving the property early. He agreed, so rather than me give him notice, he gave me 1 months notice despite the original tenancy agreement having not expired.

Now the T is getting difficult, and says that he will not move out before this Tuesday (when his month is up).

His father (also a tenant of mine & now in arrears himself) is the guarantor. He's had problems with his work also & promises to pay off both lots of rent when he can ... He's currently managing to pay his own rent weekly at the moment.

What's my best course of action to get the T out for Tuesday?

We've been on reasonable speaking terms, I don't think they are really bad people but unlucky in this harsh down-turn. I don't want to alienate them completely, but need to protect my own interests.


26-02-2010, 12:04 PM
You can't, but why haven't you yet served any statutory Notices? Read up LZ's threads re s.8 (grounds 8/10/11) and s.21 of the Housing Act 1988.

26-02-2010, 12:11 PM
Thanks Jeffrey - I haven't served notices on the tenant, because it seemed more simple for him to give me notice that for me to go down the section 8 route.

I have looked up about these notices, I thought that a signed notice to quit from the tenant would be legally binding, are you saying that it is not & that I'll have to issue notices if he doesn't go?

26-02-2010, 12:53 PM
T never needs to serve NtQ if leaving at term expiry, you know. Even if it was legally binding, you've still to evict him.

26-02-2010, 20:31 PM
The tenant's 'notice' is meaningless, (especially if it 'expires' before the end of the fixed term and the tenant doesn't want to go), because such a notice cannot legally end the tenancy before the end of the fixed term.

If you want to regain possession, you must serve notice, as Jeffrey says. And if necessary, follow through with applying for a court order for possession. If you don't do this, the tenant is entitled to remain in occupation for as long as he likes, racking up further arrears.

While I understand that you wish to remain on harmonious terms, I think you need to place your own financial interests first. It would also be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the legal aspects of eviction, because asking what action you may be able to take to "get the T out for Tuesday" displays a worrying ignorance - illegal eviction is a criminal offence (carrying heavy fines and possibly a prison sentence).

BTW, it is more usual to insist that a guarantor is a home-owner as well as in gainful employment. As you're discovering, the guarantee may be difficult to enforce if the father's income vanishes. If the father owned a property, you could obtain a charge on the property in order to enforce the debt.