View Full Version : Mesne Profits or Period Tenancy?

28-09-2006, 15:38 PM
Hi All,

Two months to the end of the tenancy, I instructed my Letting Agent to issue a Section 21Notice and advise the tenant to seek alternative accommodation when the tenancy expired. The S21 Notice had been originally signed and issued at the start of the tenancy and as such, she was sent a copy of this and a covering letter. On the advise of her Local Authority Housing Officer however, the tenant disputed the S21 Notice as being invalid, claiming the one sent with the covering letter had dates that reflected a previously expired tenancy agreement.

I have however now instructed my solicitor to apply for a repossession through the courts and that application is in progress. The rent is however due in a couple of weeks and on the subject of how this will be claimed, I have received some contrasting advise on which I would appreciate your input please.

One school of thought is that following the expiry of a tenancy, it automatically lapses into a Periodic Tenancy and stays so until where applicable, a court issues a repossession order or the tenant vacates the property. The Periodic Tenancy I am told, is legally binding to both parties and its terms and conditions will be based on the last tenancy agreement just expired. For the tenant therefore, this means they will for instance continue to honour rent payments for the duration of the Periodic Tenancy. I have therefore been advised to continue claiming rent on that basis and in the event of the tenant defaulting, apply for a claim through the Court Service, i.e. www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.

Another school of thought however suggests that rather than go down the route of a Periodic Tenancy, I ought to make a claim for Mesne Profits, defined as damages for trespass payable by a tenant who illegally (whether wilfully or not) remains in occupation after the end of their lease and are payable to the landlord even where he has suffered no loss.

Herein lies my dilemma and therefore the following question:

1/ Considering my circumstance, which of the two would be advisable to opt for?

2/ What is the procedure for enforcing either action and when can I initiate it?


28-09-2006, 15:49 PM

28-09-2006, 18:43 PM
I think the mesne profits thing over complicates ,matters. When I worked for a HA we used to continue to collect rent as normal during a periodic tenancy, and also whilst waiting for court hearings or eviction by bailiffs. Never had any problems with it.

As for the matter of recovering arrears, if you reques a court hearing, you can ask for a money judgment at the same time. However, the wait for a hearing is much longer than the (supposed) accelerated possession route.

You can't ask for a money judgment through AP, you need to go through small claims.