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jackboy
10-10-2011, 14:37 PM
I served a s21 on a bad tenant. They immediately stopped paying rent. The fixed period ended on 1st September. Of course they didn't move out and I expected them to remain for months. However, they left on the 15th sept without warning as the keys were posted back late at night on 15th. They are suing me for injuries sustained at my property, which are a pack of lies being defended by my insurance company, and I want to maximise my counter claim. As they left without 1 month notice can I claim for this or only for the days they were actually in possession of the property I.e. Until the 15th?

Thanks

Paul_f
10-10-2011, 15:53 PM
As you served the S.21 Notice they overstayed their welcome but by 15 days, so you can charge them for those 15 days. You would have had to start court proceedings to recover possession anyway had they failed to move out. You might consider first their ability to pay any arrears of rent and dilapidations as they might not have sufficient assets, but there is nothing to prevent you from trying to recover your losses through the county court if any deposit is insufficient to cover it.

Snorkerz
10-10-2011, 15:54 PM
IMHO you can claim for rent until 1st November - on the basis that tenant has to give one months notice and it must end on the last day of a tenancy period.

HOWEVER, if a new tenant moves in before 1/11, your ability to claim rent from her ends there.

Snorkerz
10-10-2011, 15:55 PM
As you served the S.21 Notice they overstayed their welcome but by 15 days, so you can charge them for those 15 days.I disagree as the section 21 does not absolve the tenant from their obligation to give due notice. It is NOT a notice to quit - such things do not apply to ASTs.

Paul_f
10-10-2011, 16:49 PM
I did think about this before posting an answer. In theory you're right but in practice you might not be able to enforce this as the tenant was a "tenant at suffrance". I didn't mention NTQs, but they DO exist in ASTs as the tenant indeed serves NTQ when they wish to leave.

westminster
10-10-2011, 17:22 PM
In theory you're right but in practice you might not be able to enforce this as the tenant was a "tenant at suffrance".


The only effect of a s.21 notice is that it entitles the LL to apply for possession after notice expiry. Meanwhile, until the LL obtains a possession order and gets a bailiff to execute it (see s.5(1)(a) HA1988), or until the tenancy ends by T's notice to quit etc, the tenancy continues exactly as before. And meanwhile, the occupier is not a 'tenant at sufferance' - he's an assured shorthold tenant.

Laine v Cadwallader (2000) 33 HLR 397; (2000) 80 P & CR D44; [2001] L & TR 8; [2000] EWCA Civ 5562; (2001) 33 HLR 36
"In the present case the judge...seems to have overlooked the tenant's obligation to serve notice to quit if he wishes unilaterally to determine a periodic tenancy, an obligation which is not ousted by any statutory provision in the Housing Act 1988."

westminster
10-10-2011, 17:29 PM
I served a s21 on a bad tenant. They immediately stopped paying rent. The fixed period ended on 1st September. Of course they didn't move out and I expected them to remain for months. However, they left on the 15th sept without warning as the keys were posted back late at night on 15th. They are suing me for injuries sustained at my property, which are a pack of lies being defended by my insurance company, and I want to maximise my counter claim. As they left without 1 month notice can I claim for this or only for the days they were actually in possession of the property I.e. Until the 15th?


You can claim rent in lieu of notice (i.e. beyond the 15th).

However, please tell us:

Date that the fixed term commenced? (dd/mm/yy)
Length of term, and whether an 'end' date was specified in the contract?
Rent payable monthly?
Date you re-let the property (if applicable)?

jackboy
10-10-2011, 18:34 PM
Hi, thanks for the replies. 12 month AST was 02/09/10-01/09/11. I wouldn't bother pursuing for the unpaid rent as net outstanding is about £2500. However, he is suing me and it's going to court so u can counterclaim and combine to two cases apparently. In the unlikely event he wins a payout I will also be awarded the unpaid rent. He also caused significant damage but as I repaired it myself I cannot claim for my labour and therefore wish to claim for as much unpaid rent as possible. I know I will never get any money out of him unless the court awards it out if his compensation claim. The property is presently unlet and will be few more weeks at least. Rent was payable monthly.

Thanks

jackboy
10-10-2011, 18:45 PM
Also, my understanding is that the tenant can leave on the last day of the fixed period without having to give notice. However, anytime after this requires 1 months notice. Does this mean the 1 months notice starts on 15th? Or if it has to tie in with a rental period does it mean notice is effectively served on 1st Oct?

Thanks

Snorkerz
10-10-2011, 18:56 PM
I would take the notice date as the 15th. The expiry date of the notice can't be the 1st October, as that is less than 1 month, so it must be 1st November.

When claiming for damage you are claiming for the value of the damage done - not the cost of reinstating the damaged item. Subtle difference, but important.

What kind of damage did the tenant do - and can you prove the condition of the same items at the start of the tenancy?

westminster
10-10-2011, 18:57 PM
Hi, thanks for the replies. 12 month AST was 02/09/10-01/09/11. I wouldn't bother pursuing for the unpaid rent as net outstanding is about £2500. However, he is suing me and it's going to court so u can counterclaim and combine to two cases apparently. In the unlikely event he wins a payout I will also be awarded the unpaid rent. He also caused significant damage but as I repaired it myself I cannot claim for my labour and therefore wish to claim for as much unpaid rent as possible. I know I will never get any money out of him unless the court awards it out if his compensation claim. The property is presently unlet and will be few more weeks at least. Rent was payable monthly.


So the statutory periodic tenancy began on 2nd September 2011, with tenancy periods running 2nd - 1st of the month. If you treat T's vacating on the 15th September as his 'notice', then the earliest this notice could expire would be 1st November 2011. So, assuming you don't re-let before that date, claim rent in lieu of notice up to 1st November. (There is no point in claiming less than you might be entitled to, because the court cannot award more than you claim).

If you counterclaim as part of your defence, then the two claims will be dealt with jointly at the one hearing.

You can certainly claim for your labour in carrying out repairs. If it was skilled labour (e.g. perhaps you are a qualified joiner?) then charge your professional rate; if it was unskilled then charge £9 per hour (which is the general hourly rate for a litigant-in-person's time). You can also claim for any materials used.

jjlandlord
10-10-2011, 18:58 PM
Notice period starts when notice is served. But as it must include a full tenancy period and expires at the end of such period, it should expire on 1st November (assuming periodic tenancy started on 2nd Sept.)

westminster
10-10-2011, 19:00 PM
Also, my understanding is that the tenant can leave on the last day of the fixed period without having to give notice.
Yes.

However, anytime after this requires 1 months notice. Does this mean the 1 months notice starts on 15th? Or if it has to tie in with a rental period does it mean notice is effectively served on 1st Oct?


The notice can start any time, but it has to give at least one month and expire at the end of a tenancy period. In this case, the tenancy periods run 2nd - 1st of the month, so the earliest expiry date is 1st November.