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View Full Version : Eviction of tenants---dos and do nots



duckpond
07-10-2011, 15:14 PM
Dear readers
I am sure this has been asked many times but here goes.
My tenants are over 2 months behind with the rent.
The tenants have been on a periodic tenancy for a few years.
A section 21 has been issued and they should vacate the property by the 11/10/2011.
I hold the deposit as it was leased before the ruling came in.
If the tenants are still in occupation of my property on the 12/10/2011.
a)How can I legally find out if they are still occupying the property.

b)Is it in order to do a checkout with the tenants (if they are still there) on the 11/10/2011?If I deliver by hand a letter, giving them 48 hours notice of checkout.

c)What do I do if they do not answer the door? Can I let myself in using my key?

d)If there is no damage, can I use the deposit to offset some of the arrears.If this can not be done, how long can elapse before I have to return the deposit?
Many Thanks for you patience.

theartfullodger
07-10-2011, 15:33 PM
S21 does no mean "they should vacate" - simply says you may (may..) start legal proceedings after that date. Tenant does not have to leave..

Any reason why you not going Section8 ground 8 route also?? (Appreciate S21 probably quicker now..)

When was S21 served & how?? What EXACTLY does S21 state about expiry date (hopefully not "by 11/10/2011"). Does tenancy start/end (of period) end 10th of month??

By all means give T notice of inspection/checkout: However if delivering by hand have a witness to observe stuffing envelope in letter-box. Tenant does not effectively have to allow checkout whilst in residence (or indeed any other sort of visit) if they don't want to, unless you get court order. Personally I can't see point of checkout until T has gone (they may clean the place furiously for 2 days..after you checkout), but if you want to inspect you're entitled to ask. In such circumstances if T does not a answer door and there is no response to 'phone calls even then I'd not go in until after expiry date & having received keys back from tenant. You don't want to find you've (litterally) walked into a "Landlord harassment" trap on opening the door & tenant claiming disruption to his "quiet enjoyment"

Nothing to stop you enquiring politely a day or so before expiry date if you can arrange to pick up keys etc..

Re using deposit for rent arrears: Does tenancy stating that it can be used for this ?? If not my understanding is you can't use it.

Cheers!

Snorkerz
07-10-2011, 18:32 PM
Can you clarify what date the last tenancy agreement commenced and how long was it for? Was there an 'end date' specified?

As Artful says, what date did you serve the s21, and do you have proof?
What was the exact wording of the s21 expiry date?

Is there a reason you are not using section 8?

duckpond
07-10-2011, 19:42 PM
Can you clarify what date the last tenancy agreement commenced and how long was it for? Was there an 'end date' specified?

As Artful says, what date did you serve the s21, and do you have proof?
What was the exact wording of the s21 expiry date?

Is there a reason you are not using section 8?

1)Its periodic after the initial 6 month period of assured shorthold--some years ago.
2)date of serving of S21 = 20/7/2011
3)Enter date of expiry = After 11 october 2011
4)I was informed a S21 may be quicker.
Note:= Rent is due on the 12th of each month

duckpond
07-10-2011, 19:46 PM
Note for above:- I was also informed that a s8 is for assured shorthold during the fixed term and s21 is for periodic tenancies

Snorkerz
07-10-2011, 20:01 PM
Can you please provide the detail about the original /last agreement - its start and end dates are inextricably linked to the validity of your s21.

s8 can be used at any time - whoever told you it could not be used in a periodic tenancy was wrong with a capital W. A section 8 comes with a court order for the tenant to repay rent and if done online, it is cheaper. Overall, from notice to bailiffs, it takes about the same time, but the s8 requires only 14 days notice.

theartfullodger
07-10-2011, 20:03 PM
S8 is valid in fixed & periodic, both..

HOW was S21 served (eg stuffed through letterbox with no witness, by email...

When does rental period run (eg From 11th to 10th of month??) This may be different from dates rent is due.. If rental period runs 12th to 11th then S21 should say "after 11th of xxxx"

Please state exact wording of S21.. currently it's sounding like it may well be invalid..

duckpond
07-10-2011, 20:25 PM
Can you please provide the detail about the original /last agreement - its start and end dates are inextricably linked to the validity of your s21.

s8 can be used at any time - whoever told you it could not be used in a periodic tenancy was wrong with a capital W. A section 8 comes with a court order for the tenant to repay rent and if done online, it is cheaper. Overall, from notice to bailiffs, it takes about the same time, but the s8 requires only 14 days notice.
The commencement date of the original tenancy agreement was the 12 Feb 2007 the expiry was the 11 aug 2007.

duckpond
07-10-2011, 20:30 PM
S8 is valid in fixed & periodic, both..

HOW was S21 served (eg stuffed through letterbox with no witness, by email...

When does rental period run (eg From 11th to 10th of month??) This may be different from dates rent is due.. If rental period runs 12th to 11th then S21 should say "after 11th of xxxx"

Please state exact wording of S21.. currently it's sounding like it may well be invalid..

The S21 was served by hand with a witness.
Rental period runs from the 12 to the 11th of the following month.As I have already said "Enter date of expiry = After 11 october 2011"

midlandslandlord
07-10-2011, 23:29 PM
Interesting that misunderstandings about S21s are not just with Ls and Ts.

The latest Shelter "rogue landlords" campaign carries the claim:

http://england.shelter.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/378873/Shelter_-_Asserting_authority_-_calling_time_on_rogue_landlords.pdf

"Private tenants also lack housing security: most
have short contracts of six or twelve months, after
which landlords can easily evict a tenant with just
two months’ notice."

(page 4)

... which is nonsense, as we all know.

ML

45002
08-10-2011, 00:02 AM
Interesting that misunderstandings about S21s are not just with Ls and Ts.

The latest Shelter "rogue landlords" campaign carries the claim:

http://england.shelter.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/378873/Shelter_-_Asserting_authority_-_calling_time_on_rogue_landlords.pdf

"Private tenants also lack housing security: most
have short contracts of six or twelve months, after
which landlords can easily evict a tenant with just
two months’ notice."

(page 4)

... which is nonsense, as we all know.

ML

Why is it nonsense then ! as we All know !

midlandslandlord
08-10-2011, 09:02 AM
Why is it nonsense then ! as we All know !

Because Landlords cannot evict Tenants in UK Law, without risking facing criminal charges, as repeated regularly on LLZ.

All landlords can do is give 2 months notice of intention to seek repossession, which then requires a Court process if T does not agree, during which T has full opportunity to make representions.

The '2 month notice to seek repossession' equates to a process closer to 4 or 5 months, as I hope you are aware :-).

Shelter are playing games with language to make their case sound more scary imo. Shame on them.

ML

duckpond
08-10-2011, 10:25 AM
Can somebody please answer the questions that I orginally posted?
Thank you

Snorkerz
08-10-2011, 11:53 AM
A section 21 has been issued and they should vacate the property by the 11/10/2011.Why?


I hold the deposit as it was leased before the ruling came in.
If the tenants are still in occupation of my property on the 12/10/2011.
a)How can I legally find out if they are still occupying the property.There is no set way. Phone them? Perhaps turn up and knock on the door? Look through widows - if furniture is in situ, they are still in occupation. Ask neighbours if they have seen removals happening. If you think they are gone, but are not 100% sure, get a witness and enter the property, but only after doing all the above. The moment you see any signs of habitation, turn and leave.


b)Is it in order to do a checkout with the tenants (if they are still there) on the 11/10/2011?If I deliver by hand a letter, giving them 48 hours notice of checkout.No access without he tenants express pemission. So you can phone or visit them and enquire if they are leaving on the 11th. If they are, then the checkout is fine, if they are not, such an inspection may verge on harassment.


c)What do I do if they do not answer the door? Can I let myself in using my key?When? For inspection purposes, you must not enter without their permission.


d)If there is no damage, can I use the deposit to offset some of the arrears.If this can not be done, how long can elapse before I have to return the deposit?What does the tenancy agreement say the deposit can be used for?

midlandslandlord
08-10-2011, 12:11 PM
Dear readers
I am sure this has been asked many times but here goes.
My tenants are over 2 months behind with the rent.
The tenants have been on a periodic tenancy for a few years.
A section 21 has been issued and they should vacate the property by the 11/10/2011.
I hold the deposit as it was leased before the ruling came in.
If the tenants are still in occupation of my property on the 12/10/2011.

The one thing on your side is that T will continue to be liable for rent until the Tenancy is over; so if you go through any Court process rent will be payable while that proceeds, and if the Tenancy goes beyond the expiry of the S21 you are entitled to another month's rent.

>a)How can I legally find out if they are still occupying the property.

Essentially you can't find out definitively until you have it in writing that the tenancy is over, and they have surrendered the keys, and gone after check out.

Or until you have possession as a result of the court process.

In practice you have to be sure enough for you to be happy to make the assumption that the tenancy is over - keys returned, tenant gone, no furniture etc.

That they appear to have gone does not prove that they are not in occupation, or can't come back and claim to have been unlawfully evicted.

b)Is it in order to do a checkout with the tenants (if they are still there) on the 11/10/2011?If I deliver by hand a letter, giving them 48 hours notice of checkout.

Sure, if they have agreed that the tenancy is over and agree to the date. But they could change their mind and refuse to leave.

In your case I'd want to be sure that T has accepted that it is over, otherwise an attempted checkout on a T who later claims that it was not over could be called harassment.

c)>What do I do if they do not answer the door?

Go away again and usually tackle it through the Courts.

>Can I let myself in using my key?

Physically you can of course (assuming locks not changed); legally you would be making yourself vulnerable to allegations of harassment.

d)If there is no damage, can I use the deposit to offset some of the arrears.If this can not be done, how long can elapse before I have to return the deposit?

I believe you can claim deposit against arrears, but I prefer to leave rent for the Court to deal with. If you end up in a dispute situation, you may find it easier to recover rent rather than dilapidations through the Court (more clear cut), so it may be better tactics to use the deposit for dilapidations.

There are lots of judgement calls you have to make, and umpteen ways it can go wrong, and that can only be judged in the circumstances by the one who knows the T.

If the property is in good order, the practical way may be to agree that you keep entire deposit and will not pursue T for anything as long as they go and sign doc confirming that the Tenancy is over.

Hope it works out.

ML

duckpond
08-10-2011, 14:43 PM
Many Thanks to Midlandslandlord & Snorkerz

1 final question

Originally Posted by duckpond
A section 21 has been issued and they should vacate the property by the 11/10/2011.
Why?

Why not?

Snorkerz
08-10-2011, 15:18 PM
A section 21 has been issued and they should vacate the property by the 11/10/2011.
Why?

Why not?The section 21 notice is simply a notification to your tenant that after the expiry date you will be able to apply to the court for possession.
It is not a 'notice to quit', such a thing does not exist with ASTs.

duckpond
08-10-2011, 16:09 PM
Sorry Snorkerz
Your point raises another question.
Are you saying an AST is the same as a periodic.

Snorkerz
08-10-2011, 16:20 PM
Yes, once a fixed term AST comes to an end, it is replaced by a statutory periodic tenancy (s HA1988). The law is the same for both except for some minor variations - they are both assured tenancies covered by the 1988 Act.

45002
08-10-2011, 17:29 PM
Because Landlords cannot evict Tenants in UK Law, without risking facing criminal charges, as repeated regularly on LLZ.

All landlords can do is give 2 months notice of intention to seek repossession, which then requires a Court process if T does not agree, during which T has full opportunity to make representions.

The '2 month notice to seek repossession' equates to a process closer to 4 or 5 months, as I hope you are aware :-).

Shelter are playing games with language to make their case sound more scary imo. Shame on them.

ML



Good,Im very happy that LL cannot evict Tenants in UK Law,if you dont like the law you shouldn't become a LL in the 1st place and im fully aware how long it takes to legal evict a T.

You may not Shelter,but they are bring to the Public and Government attention rouge landlords,which law abiding landlords and Tenants will welcome....

My apologies to the OP for going off topic