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Jacala73
10-06-2011, 19:39 PM
Hi,

I'm still a newbie landlord and use an LA on a fully managed service but we have lost all contact with the tenant.

She is on a 6 month AST finishing on 21st June, the LA contacted both of us in writing to ask if we wanted to renew the contract. I said yes as there had been no bother (and the tenant paid 6 months up front initially) but the tenant didn't respond. Eventually just before when she would need to give her one months notice, she texted the LA and said 'please call me to discuss the lease'.

LA has tried on numerous occasions and texted her but the mobile seems to be out of service. Eventually the LA contacted the tenants next of kin and again no reply.

The LA is doing a routine check on Monday and wrote to the tenant infoming her of this, again no reply. The LA is going anyway.

Can I go round and knock on the door? I'm fine with going onto a monthly basis but I'm not fine with not being able to contact her and her not responding.

Any ideas?

Thanks

mind the gap
10-06-2011, 19:46 PM
It would not be inappropriate to call and request a discussion about whether the tenancy will continue or not, or to request payment of rent when it falls due. However the T is under no obligation to respond.

She may even be ill, in hospital or in the throes of some other crisis.

If you cannot get any response in the end, and she fails to pay the rent, you will probably have to serve a section 8 when she owes 2 months' rent, and apply for a court order for possession.

westminster
11-06-2011, 10:48 AM
Hi,

I'm still a newbie landlord and use an LA on a fully managed service but we have lost all contact with the tenant.

She is on a 6 month AST finishing on 21st June, the LA contacted both of us in writing to ask if we wanted to renew the contract. I said yes as there had been no bother (and the tenant paid 6 months up front initially) but the tenant didn't respond. Eventually just before when she would need to give her one months notice, she texted the LA and said 'please call me to discuss the lease'.
T does not have to give notice to vacate at expiry of the fixed term.

T has paid rent up to 21st June, and has been 'no bother', so there's no immediate need for concern - she may be away on holiday.

However, what does the tenancy agreement say regarding frequency of rent payable? Does it say rent is due monthly in advance? If not, and it says it is due six monthly in advance then you need to serve a s.21(1)(b) notice immediately, before the fixed term expires, because the tenancy periods will be six months long as from 22nd June (assuming T remains in occupation) - and that would mean that a s.21 notice served after the tenancy has become periodic would have to expire at the end of a six month long tenancy period, i.e. the earliest expiry date would be "after 21st December 2011". Worse still, you could not use the mandatory ground 8 in a s.8 notice, as it doesn't say anything about when rent payable six monthly.

Jacala73
11-06-2011, 18:36 PM
Thank you for your replies.

The contract does say rent monthly in advance. She just chose to pay 6 months up front for this first time which was fine with me.

I didn't realise she could just leave at the end of the fixed period, as the AST says the whole 2 months for me to give her notice and 1 month for her to give notice and the LA seemed to reinforce that.

I guess I'll wait until the LA has done her inspection on Monday and hopefully the tenant will be there or at least we can get a feel for what's going on.

Snorkerz
11-06-2011, 18:48 PM
The contract is for a fixed term - 6 months in this case, the fact it is a fixed term tells you (contractually) that it will end after 6 months. So when she signed it, she gave you 6 months notice. Your requirement for 1 months notice is unenforceable and your agent should know better.

That's the legal side of it with regard to contracts.

However, there is the legal side with regard to housing/tenancies which states that if your tenant stays in situ beyond their fixed term, they may do so (section 5, 1988 Housing Act).

So, if they want to go, they don't need to do anything because the contract says fixed term; but
if they want to stay they also don't have to do anything because the law says they can stay.

There are many examples of contradictory laws in this country. This is one of the minor ones!