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StRicardo
16-03-2010, 23:55 PM
Hello. Any advice gratefully received. Briefly i have a tenant who has been in propertyfor 5 years. 14 months ago he lost his job and rent payments became sporadic. I met with him on 4 occassions and he promised to try to make good arrears - each time the meeting and agreed action confirmed by me in recorded letter. It never happened.
He is now 4 1/2 month behind with rent. Over last two weeks he has been seen gradually moving belongings out. Today I visited development to see a friend and saw he was moving large items out. I approached him and asked if he was moving out. No he said but his wife is!
I asked what he was going to do but he was unsure. He then accussed me of harrassment and racism. He is african. At no time was I ever racist- I've been too understanding if anything.
He is on "held over" tenancy from a six month assured shorthold. Any ideas most welcome.

mind the gap
16-03-2010, 23:58 PM
Hello. Any advice gratefully received. Briefly i have a tenant who has been in propertyfor 5 years. 14 months ago he lost his job and rent payments became sporadic. I met with him on 4 occassions and he promised to try to make good arrears - each time the meeting and agreed action confirmed by me in recorded letter. It never happened.
He is now 4 1/2 month behind with rent. Over last two weeks he has been seen gradually moving belongings out. Today I visited development to see a friend and saw he was moving large items out. I approached him and asked if he was moving out. No he said but his wife is!
I asked what he was going to do but he was unsure. He then accussed me of harrassment and racism. He is african. At no time was I ever racist- I've been too understanding if anything.
He is on "held over" tenancy from a six month assured shorthold. Any ideas most welcome.

Are he and his wife both named on the tenancy agreement, or just him?

What exactly do you want ideas about - how to repossess your property, or how to get the money he owes you, or both?

StRicardo
17-03-2010, 00:05 AM
His name only on tenancy. I thing getting any money is out of the question given value of previous promises. A swift repossession is my objective.

mind the gap
17-03-2010, 00:08 AM
His name only on tenancy. I thing getting any money is out of the question given value of previous promises. A swift repossession is my objective.

I am assuming this is an AST in England or Wales.

In that case, serve a section 8, grounds 8, 10 and 11 notice and seek a court order for possession if he fails to pay up or move out by the expiry of the notice. You can download one from the Agreements section of this site.

This site might also be useful:http://www.letlink.co.uk/letting-factsheets/factsheets/factsheet-8-claims-for-possession-the-section-8-notice.html

If there is a tenancy deposit, is it protected, by the way?

StRicardo
17-03-2010, 00:12 AM
Yes it is an AST in England. There is a deposit - approx 30% of outstanding rent. Thanks for your help. When I do follow the suggested route - tomorrow - any idea how long it will take for him to leave?

mind the gap
17-03-2010, 00:17 AM
Yes it is an AST in England. There is a deposit - approx 30% of outstanding rent. Thanks for your help. When I do follow the suggested route - tomorrow - any idea how long it will take for him to leave?
Yes, serve it tomorrow - it gives him 14 days. If he doesn't leave after the 14 days, apply for a court order. That will take a few weeks. If he still doesn't move out you have to instruct bailiffs - another couple of weeks.

I have personally never had to evict anyone so I am not very familiar with the exact time scale. I understand that to some extent it depends on how busy/efficient your local courts are. I'm sure others will post more help on this in the morning.

Be aware that if he does bring the rent owing down to less than two months' worth by the time of the court hearing, you will not be granted a possession order mandatorily - it would be discretionary.

StRicardo
17-03-2010, 00:24 AM
Many thanks. I will study the paperwork over the cornflakes tomorrow and prepare documents accordingly. As a complete amateur this is a very challenging experience. What I have learnt is to do it "by the book" and not to be taken in again.

jeffrey
17-03-2010, 00:26 AM
If there is a tenancy deposit, is it protected, by the way?
It may not need to be. Is the current letting one that began pre- 6 April 2007?

StRicardo
17-03-2010, 00:29 AM
Letting began in 2005. It is not "protected".

jeffrey
17-03-2010, 00:33 AM
Letting began in 2005. It is not "protected".
Right; so the same Letting Agreement is still running. On expiry of its original six-month fixed term, T acquired and still holds a Statutory Periodic Tenancy. Deposit protection is inapplicable to a pre-6 April 2007 AST. As a result, you (L) can use s.21 without having the need to protect the deposit. Serve T under s.21(4)(a) as well as under s.8.

StRicardo
17-03-2010, 00:39 AM
The tenant signed 6 month AST in 2005. I never got another signed as was told that after six months tenancy was "held over". I understood this to mean 2 months notice on both sides. I'll do s full read through at breakfast. Thanks for help.

jeffrey
17-03-2010, 00:44 AM
No. It's:
a. one month's Notice To Quit, if served by T; or
b. two months' s.21(4)(a) Notice Seeking Possession, if served by you (L).
In each case, the Notice period must run-on to expire when an SPT month expires (i.e. not part-way through a tenancy month).

StRicardo
17-03-2010, 00:47 AM
That's clearer. As a secondary question I suspect my tenant hasn't been paying his council tax/utility bills. Am I liable in anyway and if so is there anything I can do about this?

mind the gap
17-03-2010, 00:58 AM
That's clearer. As a secondary question I suspect my tenant hasn't been paying his council tax/utility bills. Am I liable in anyway and if so is there anything I can do about this?
As long as the T's name is on the bills then no, you cannot be held liable for them. You may like to give the T's forwarding address to the council/utility companies, however.

StRicardo
17-03-2010, 01:00 AM
If there's anyway I can get a forwarding address I'll be delighted to circulate it to all interested parties.

Ericthelobster
17-03-2010, 07:58 AM
If there's anyway I can get a forwarding address I'll be delighted to circulate it to all interested parties.From a selfish point of view you might want to consider that that means more parties will be competing with you to have their debts paid from whatever resources the former tenant might have... I'm afraid I tend to take the view that other creditors can do their own homework to track down their debtors - at least until my debts have been paid!

seafossil
17-03-2010, 08:01 AM
No. It's:
a. one month's Notice To Quit, if served by T; or
b. two months' s.21(4)(a) Notice Seeking Possession, if served by you (L).
In each case, the Notice period must run-on to expire when an SPT month expires (i.e. not part-way through a tenancy month).

@Geoffrey,

Where's the bit that says that the Notice must run to expire upon expiry of an SPT month?

SF

jeffrey
17-03-2010, 13:07 PM
Who's "Geoffrey"?

StRicardo
18-03-2010, 21:05 PM
At meeting, instigated by tenant, yesterday T said that they would be leaving on Friday - 2 days notice. He promised to post keys through letter box. Flat is now clear of all possessions. There having been numerous vans etc removing belongings this week. There are many witnesses of this activity.
The same day I confirmed, in writing this arrangement. It includes promise, by T to pay via bank transfer outstanding rent at a later date. This letter was handed by myself to T.
I have no forwarding address for T.
Does this mean I can take possession on Saturday based on T's verbal notice?

Paul Gibbs
19-03-2010, 09:30 AM
@Geoffrey,

Where's the bit that says that the Notice must run to expire upon expiry of an SPT month?

SF

Section 21(4)(2) of the Housing Act 1988

jeffrey
19-03-2010, 10:47 AM
Section 21(4)(2) of the Housing Act 1988
Read that as s.21(4)(a).

Paul Gibbs
19-03-2010, 14:28 PM
Read that as s.21(4)(a).

Yep thats what I meant!