View Full Version : Invalid lease agreement?/eviction
11-01-2011, 18:37 PM
I am a private landlord in Scotland. Two tenants signed a joint short assured tenancy agreement in August. A month later I discovered that one of the tenants hadn't moved in and that only one tenant remained. I explained to the remaining tenant that she was still liable for the full rent but as an act of goodwill I would only charge her half rent on the understanding she would find a new flatmate. Five months on, she has not only failed to find a new flatmate but made excuses about potential flatmates I have sourced. I told her last week that she either needs to start paying full rent or she has a month's notice to leave. Her rent was late last month and is now late again this month, without any word of explanation. I feel she has abused my goodwill. She is basically not taking the situation seriously and takes 3-4 days to replay to any of my texts and e-mails. I want to give her 24 hours to pay her rent, and if she fails to meet this deadline I want to give her 48 hours to leave. Am I within my rights to do this? I am assuming that the tenancy agreement is no longer valid since it was signed as a joint agreement - is this correct?
11-01-2011, 19:45 PM
Nope: Tenancy still exists in full as far as I understand it with at least one of the tenants residing there..
Threatening tenant with 48hrs to leave would be considered harassment under Section 22 of the Rent (Scotland) Act 1984 - up to 2 years in Barlinnie & a fine if the Judge feels like it...
You have agreed to a rent reduction so presumably no (significant) rent is owed so you can't use the faster rent-owing route.. although you mention rent late for 2 months...
You need to serve appropriate notices to get them out legally. Others ways may end up being very expensive & painful for you. If you are a SaL member they can advise you but my understanding is you need to serve (by recorded mail or Sheriff Officer) a "Notice to Quite", a S33 notice & an AT6. This all supposes you can prove At5 was seen & signed before the tenancy agreement was signed.
Then as the end date approaches don't forget to serve the local council with a S11 notice..
Not sure what to suggest about your having agreed to reduce the rent. I fear writing confirming it has gone back up to the full amount may simply muddy the evict waters. Ask SaL or a solicitor who specialises in LL/Tenant law...
11-01-2011, 20:46 PM
PS Notice effectively needs to be of 2 months, ending on "ish" (end of fixed term or period ...)
12-01-2011, 12:01 PM
Thank you for all your helpful information. It seems that I don't have a leg to stand on whichever way I look at it.....
The tenant's rent is now 4 days late and she's ignoring my texts and e-mails asking about her rent. She hasn't contacted me at all so I'm starting to wonder if she's even at the flat. Freezing pipes and the general security of the flat are now on my mind. If I don't hear from her can I legally enter the flat to check that the property is okay?
12-01-2011, 12:31 PM
Re. entering flat - tricky, I've always been extremely cautious of doing this but in the current inclement weather I understand your concerns (which I share, 3 properties in the highlands rented out..) see advice from Mssrs Shelter here..
Can my landlord come into my home without warning?Your landlord can only come into your home at times that have been agreed on your tenancy agreement, or by giving reasonable notice.
There are special rules if your landlord needs to come in to do repairs or to inspect the condition of the property. They or someone acting on their behalf must give you at least 24 hours notice in writing that they intend to come round.
If you do not agree to having work done in the property, your landlord can go to court to ask the sheriff to grant a court order telling you to let them in.
If your landlord comes into your home without permission, this may constitute harassment.
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