PDA

View Full Version : Tenant Leaving after I have served S21



Claymore
10-12-2011, 13:39 PM
Hello

I have a tenant who moved into my rental property a 3 years ago - the tenant was a friend of the previous tenant who had been a really good tenant and recommended this person. The tenant was out of work and was entitled to housing benefit.

A contract was needed to obtain housing benefit, and the tenant didn't have any money for a deposit so I verbally agreed to take a small deposit of £300 at a later date. Although, I stated on the contract the deposit was £300. There was a hic-cup with the moving in date (it was postponed a few days) so I agreed to waive the £300 deposit.

I've kept the tenant on a rolling contract - basically I never renewed the contract as there have always been problems with rent arrears. Sometimes the tenant has been 3 months in arrears. So obviously I've been reluctant to renew her agreement.

Arrears are mounting up again and the tenant is slowly trashing the place and through my own carelessness I have no deposit to cover damages etc.

Can I ask the tenant to vary the initial agreement confirming the £300 deposit was never paid? Or get her to sign a letter saying she never paid the deposit. Will this cover me if I have to take her to court?

I basically want her to leave in the new year and need to issue her with the S21. When she moved in the landlord deposit scheme wasn't applicable and I don't know where I stand on giving her notice?

Grateful for some advice please.

Claymore
10-12-2011, 13:45 PM
Just realised the scheme was in place - I just wasn't aware of it then!

Snorkerz
10-12-2011, 13:56 PM
Does the tenancy agreement say that the tenant has paid you £300 deposit or will do?

Claymore
10-12-2011, 14:10 PM
Unfortunately, 'has'. Sorry - I know I have been silly.

Snorkerz
10-12-2011, 14:17 PM
So, if the tenant has a receipt for £300 deposit, you are going to have to work on the basis she has paid £300 deposit. You won't 'lose' the £300 but it is an inconvenience.

The first thing you need to do is to protect a £300 deposit. You can either send the £300 to www.depositprotection.com (http://www.depositprotection.com) or, if you don't have the cash available, you can 'protect' the deposit with mydeposits - but they may refuse it as it has been more than the legal 14 days since it was received. In both cases, resuming the tenant leaves owing rent, you can reclaim the £300 at the end of the tenancy.

You can not issue a valid s21 until the deposit has been protected and the prescribed information given to the tenant - get proof of the latter.

Once done, you are in a position to serve an s21 but be aware that the s21 does NOT oblige the tenant to leave at the expiry of the notice - once the notice expires you may then apply to the court for possession.

Claymore
10-12-2011, 14:24 PM
OK - thanks, that makes sense.

Just another quicky. I'm uptodat with landlord gas safety certs. Do I need to have energy performance certificates in place?

Thank you.

Snorkerz
10-12-2011, 14:29 PM
NO, unless you let the place after April 2008, in which case you had to have one before marketing the property. EPCs are vaild for 10 years so if you had one then, it will still be valid. Either way, it won't affect your s21 claim.

Claymore
10-12-2011, 14:56 PM
Thank you. Appreciate your replies/help.

mariner
10-12-2011, 16:19 PM
If T is likely to owe more than 2 months rent by early Jan 12. consider issuing a s8 on grounds 8,10,11 with payment order.
s8 only reqs 14 days before court application, doubt you will get a court date before mid Jan, doesn't require deposit protection to be valid, I believe, BUT will fail if T owes less than 2 months rent on date of hearing.
s21 requires 2 months before you can get a court date and you will have to claim seperately for rent owed. With s21, deposit must be protected AND 'required details' provided to T before valid s21 can be issued.
Your error with the deposit and nec to give T the deposit account 'reqd info' will mean T will then assume she can claim she paid a deposit.

My advice - Serve s8 now, put £300 of your money into DPS and provide T with reqd info, then serve s21.asap You will 'lose' £300, even if deposit is returned to you, as T will offset 'deposit' against any claim for damages/rent owed.

Claymore
16-12-2011, 18:09 PM
Hi

I intend to serve notice on my tenanat but want to make sure I'm filling out the form correctly. I've printed out the Notes on Serving a Valid Section 21 Notice.

My tenants AST started in 2010 - it was a 6 month contract, but I've just noticed I ticked the box for rent to be paid weekly in advance. I did not give the tenants a new contract as I became uncomfortable with them. As I did not renew contract, has it now become a 'periodic weekly AST?' I believe I should serve the S21 (4)a?

On the Notes it say's, 'when weekly rent' a rent book is legally required. I did not do this, but I have provided regular statements. Also, the tenant never ever paid weekly - it has always been very slap dash. At one point he was paying monthly, then he went to weekly, then fortnightly, and then back to monthly etc. Arrears always mounted up but then they would pay them up.

If I need to go to court after the correct notice on the S21 is served - will I need a weekly rent book? If so, can I buy when and then log all the payments?

Grateful for some advice please.

Snorkerz
16-12-2011, 19:02 PM
You can send the tenant a rent book now and you have complied with your responsibilities. WHSmith will sell you one for next to nothing.

You are correct tat you need a section 21(4)(a) - but you can only serve one providing any deposit paid has been protected - is it?

It is a weekly periodic tenancy, if you would like help ensuring the dates are right, please post back here with the commencement date of the last agreement and the end date if specified

Claymore
16-12-2011, 20:19 PM
Thank you. Would be great to have help on the dates too.

Yes deposit is lodged with DPS.

I've just double checked the dates and they are as follows:

6 month term started on 5th May 2009. This is the only document as I did not renew. Contract states rent per week and payable in advance on the Tuesday of each week.

Appreciate your help.

PaulF
16-12-2011, 20:39 PM
Just look at the hundreds of threads, FAQs and use the search facility concerning S.21 and it will take you hours and hours to read - and you will find the answer to all your questions. Start by scrolling to the bottom of this page for 'similar threads'

Claymore
16-12-2011, 20:57 PM
Thanks Paul. I had already worked out my dates but Snorkerz offered to help on dates. I'm inexperienced at this and don't want to get it wrong, would be nice to see if we've got the same dates.

Snorkerz
17-12-2011, 10:10 AM
Thank you. Would be great to have help on the dates too.

Yes deposit is lodged with DPS.

I've just double checked the dates and they are as follows:

6 month term started on 5th May 2009. This is the only document as I did not renew. Contract states rent per week and payable in advance on the Tuesday of each week.

Appreciate your help.A 6 month term starting 5/5/09 would have ended 4/11/09, meaning the first 'period' of the statutory periodic tenancy ran from Thursday 5/11/09 to Wednesday 12/11/09. Each 'tenancy period' will end on a Wednesday, and therefore your s21(4)(a) must expire on a Wednesday.

If you intend to serve by hand before 4:30 on Monday (19 Dec) then the expiry date will be "after Wednesday 22nd February 2012" (because 15 Feb will be less than 2 months). The word "after" is essential.

If you serve by mail, normally 2 days would be considered sufficient for service - but in view of the fact that the judge may realise Xmas post is dodgy, I would have an expiry date of "after 29th February 2012".

Claymore
17-12-2011, 11:46 AM
Thank you. I really appreciate your help. I did work out the dates and I had actually got it wrong by one day - thinking the tenancy must expire on a Tuesday.

In the Date of Expirey of this Notice (box), is this where I put the words 'after 29th February'.

Many thanks

Snorkerz
17-12-2011, 11:55 AM
In the Date of Expirey of this Notice (box), is this where I put the words 'after 29th February'Yes, but many templates include the word 'after'for you.

Claymore
17-12-2011, 12:32 PM
Thank you. I've downloaded the template from landlord zone. It doesn't say after in the box but it mentions a few notes underneath with one of them being:

8. Periodic Tenancy s21 (4)a - a notice can be served after the fixed-term has ended specifying a date after which possession is required being the last day of a period of the tenancy and not earlier than two months after the date the notice was given.

Should I include the word 'after' in the date of expeiry of this notice box, to be on the safe side or would this possibly cause confusion?

Many thanks

mariner
17-12-2011, 14:15 PM
"Yes deposit is lodged with DPS."

but have YOU provided Ts with 'required info'?
If not, do so before serving the s21

Claymore
17-12-2011, 15:52 PM
No, I havent provided the tenant with any detail regarding the deposit. My tenant didn't actually pay any deposit. Because a figure was quoted on the AST, I've deposited my own money to cover myself.

Seems strange to tell my tenant that I've deposited money that they have not even paid.

Should I send a letter prior to issuing S21 saying 'I have registered A deposit with DPS and the reference number is xxxxxxx. Please be advised this deposit has only been lodged for legal reasons as you did not actually pay any deposit'.

Judge is going to love me if it ends up in court :-(

Should definitely have gone on a landlords course!

Claymore
17-12-2011, 17:09 PM
Just found the info I'm to provide on the Government website.

Snorkerz
17-12-2011, 18:27 PM
Yes, include the word 'after' or use this (better imho) template: http://www.letlink.co.uk/GeneralInfo/General_possession/S21_4_A.pdf

So far as 'prescribed information' is concerned - is this the info you intend to send: http://www.depositprotection.com/documents/prescribed-information-template.pdf. Don't forget, you must have proof that you have done this before you may serve your s21(4)(a).

I see no harm in including a covering note with the PI to the effect of what you cite in #11

Claymore
17-12-2011, 18:49 PM
Thank you snorkerz. I really do appreciate your help.

I am going to send two copies of my letter advising deposit protection details - from two different post offices and obtain proof of postage. I'm only going to send one rent book (in a separate letter) The rent book cost £6.50 for a tiny little thing! I will obtain proof of postage for this as well.

I will wait about a week then serve the S21(4)A. Again - two copies from different post offices with proof of postage obtained.

Thank you so much for your help. You have been great. I do lots of reading on the site and I always find yours and a few other peoples post really interesting. I'm learning a lot :-) Thanks again.

Snorkerz
17-12-2011, 18:53 PM
You are very welcome and your plan seems fine. I was gobsmacked at the £6.50 - make sure it goes down on the accounts as it is allowable against profit! This site does a 'rent book' template for free, but I think it is better to go for the real thing.

Claymore
17-12-2011, 19:03 PM
Thank you. I will make sure I claim it. I'm certainly learning by my mistakes. From now on, monthly payments in advance and always take a deposit.

I'm pretty sure this tenant will be awkward about going and the arrears will also mount up. I will pursue the arrears in the county court if I have to. At least then, the tenant will have a bit of difficulty in getting another private rental and future landlords will be aware.

Incredible - rent paid by HB to over 2 years - always paid, bit erratic but I always got it, tenant gets a job and then doesn't want to part with his rent!

Claymore
09-01-2012, 18:00 PM
Hi

Grateful for answer to the above.

Many thanks
Claymore

PS - I am going to register myself on a landlords course. Should definitely have done this before becoming one! Grateful for recommendations on which course.

Snorkerz
09-01-2012, 18:07 PM
Is the tenancy in England/Wales?

When did the tenancy begin (ie is it an AST?

If it is an AST you can serve a section 21 notice at any time during a periodic tenancy.

You can serve a section 8 notice under ground 10 if any rent is unpaid

You can serve a section 8 notice under ground 8 if at least 8 weeks rent is unpaid

There is no such thing as a 'Notice To Quit' in an AST - the closest is a 'Possession Order' issued by the courts.

Claymore
09-01-2012, 20:33 PM
AST - England.

Thanks Snorkerz - all questions answered.

Claymore
12-01-2012, 17:09 PM
Hi

My tenant is ignoring letters from British Gas to arrange an appointment for gas safety inspection. 3 letters sent since September and copied to me. Landlords Cert expired in October.

How can this affect me legally?

I too have written and asked tenant and also offered to let BG in to do the inspection if he is having trouble taking time off of work. My letter has been ignored too. This is the same tenant who is not paying rent and I've served S21.

Grateful for advice.
Many thanks
Claymore

Snorkerz
12-01-2012, 18:04 PM
So long as you have a paper-chain showing that you have done everything within your ability to get the gas safety check done then you will not be prosecuted by HSE.

I would write one further letter to he tenant that includes an open invitation for him to contact you if he becomes willing to agre to the inspection, which you will arrange at the earliest opportunity.

Make sure you retain copies of all the letters you have sent, and any letters from BG.

Claymore
12-01-2012, 18:28 PM
Thanks Snorkerz, will relax a bit now.

Claymore
13-01-2012, 20:29 PM
Hi guys

I'm visiting a property tomorrow to have a leaking gutter seen to. Tenant has just sent me a text saying washing machine is broken. It's still under warranty as only 7 months old.

Obviously I can't get it fixed tomorrow - also need to find out what is wrong with it. I guess I will have to call the manufacturers out to fix it - what is a reasonable amount of time for tenants to be without a machine? I'm assuming we will have to wait several days for a repair engineer to be sent out.

Am I liable for laundry bills in the interim period?

Many thanks
Claymore

JK0
13-01-2012, 21:01 PM
I think you aren't liable providing you fix in a reasonable time. (If tenant was a home-owner they would still have to wait for repair man.) Being a tenant does not give them superior rights to home-owners.

Make sure it isn't pilot error, as that is not covered by the guarantee!

Claymore
13-01-2012, 21:05 PM
Thanks - that's my thinking.

I will take down the fault checklist and will get an engineer out if necessary. If the engineer says it 'pilots' error, I will ask tenants to pay or worse case, claim it back out of their deposit.

Many thanks :-)

mind the gap
13-01-2012, 21:36 PM
Thanks - that's my thinking.

I will take down the fault checklist and will get an engineer out if necessary. If the engineer says it 'pilots' error, I will ask tenants to pay or worse case, claim it back out of their deposit.

Many thanks :-)

If the engineer believes the repair was necessitated by misuse, get him/her to write it on the invoice.

mariner
14-01-2012, 01:51 AM
Note, a washing machine, faulty after 7 mo, is covered by Sale of Goods Act (as amended) and the purchaser's complaint is against the retailer. After 6 months the fault cannot be assumed to be an inherent fault at time of purchase, so retailer has right to inspecta ad attempt repair or replace with equiv machine. Failure to adeqautely repairs does not remove purchasers stat rights
Most manuf Warranties are for 12 month after purchase so I would pursue both options in tandem if poss

Claymore
20-01-2012, 11:16 AM
Hi

Have issued S21 to tenant giving correct dates. Tennant more than 8 weeks unpaid rent. Didn't go down the S8 Rounte in case Judge doesn't give the order. Tennant has tenange child living with him.

Part of the rent is paid by HB and although tenant has not been paying rent since November - the bit of money that comes direct to me from HB is a relief as it covers a fair portion of the mortgage. HB have now written to me saying they have suspended his HB as tenant is not communicating with them and that in the next two weeks they will cancel his claim altogether and I will not receive any of the money at all.

Was thinking of writing to tenant saying along the lines of:

I have been contacted by HB and they are about to cancel your claim altogether as you have not provided them with required documentation. It is extremely important that you co-operate with HB. As you are fully aware your rent is seriously overdue. The non payment of HB will further add to your arrears/unpaid rent.

You have not acknowledged any of my correspondence and if you fail to vacate the property by date specified in S21, I will have no choice but to apply to the court for bailiffs to evict you. Should this situation arise, I will be making a claim against you through the courts for all unpaid rent, court and bailiff fees.

I truly hope that it won't come to this and you really do need to make rent payments urgently.

Yours sincerely

Grateful for advice please.

Snorkerz
20-01-2012, 11:25 AM
For a start lets be realistic and accept that your chances of obtaining full settlement from this tenant are, limited at best. A court order is all well and good but if they have no assets then you are not going to get much in the way of repayment.

In your letter, you tell the tenant that you will get the bailiffs in. Whilst this is the ultimate action, before you can do so, you have to get the possession order so I would change that bit to apply to the court for possession and appoint bailiffs to evict you.

If you live close to the property, would it make any sense to offer some help if they are perhaps afraid of authority or find the Housing Benefit issue confusing?

As your chances of financial recovery are limited, it may be best to limit your costs - so an offer to help them find alternative affordable accommodation may be cheaper than the £285 that an s21 & bailiffs will cost you, as well as getting a non-paying tenant out more quickly.

Darth Wookie
20-01-2012, 11:48 AM
As I've discussed on other threads, I'm a great believer in providing support (within reason) to ensure HB is in payment. Without it, a tenant will have a tenfold arrear.
It's remarkable how many tenants are unwittingly neglegent about HB claims and don't fully appreciate the consequences of not getting it right.
If you have the resource, offer some friendly advice. Let the tenant know it helps both of you.
Don't become the first port of call for every benefit question though. Know when to delegate.

Claymore
20-01-2012, 12:04 PM
Hi Snorkerz

I know full well that my chances of getting full settlement are unlikely. The point of sending a letter is, if tenant knows I am likely to pursue these actions, it may prompt him into dealing with HB to reduce his liability. Tenant is also not cooperating with BGas - won't acknowledge letters to let them have access. I've offered to help - no response. I have been trying to gain access for a year to do a basic repair and an inspection - tenant chooses not to cooperate. I have always been on good terms with this tenant and it is such a shame it has come to this.

Tenant has no intention of paying - I can offer help with HB.

mariner
20-01-2012, 16:05 PM
"Tenant is also not cooperating with BGas - won't acknowledge letters to let them have access. I've offered to help - no response. I have been trying to gain access for a year to do a basic repair and an inspection - tenant chooses not to cooperate. I have always been on good terms with this tenant Really?

"Dear T, Your rent is payable in advance. I have accepted direct HB payments in arrears to assist you but I have been informed that your claim will be suspended within 14 days if YOU do not contact them immediately. If your direct HB payments cease & your T continues, I will have no option other than to issue a s8 Notice and request the Court to issue a mandatory repo order for unpaid rent. This may result in a CCJ order being registered against you. This would appear on your credit ref file for 6 years and limit your chance of finding alt accom.
I am willing to assist with your current difficulties if asked. I have no wish to evict you, provided your rent problems can be sorted asap

Claymore
03-02-2012, 21:29 PM
Hi

I served S21 and I really thought it would take more than this to make them go, but pleasantly surprised to receive a text message saying they are leaving on the last day.

is it best to send a letter confirming I've received the text and offer a time to go and do handover and collect keys?

I really suspect the property is going to need some works doing on it before I can re-let so I'm going to allow two weeks for any works. Is it best to wait until the tenants have actually gone before advertising the property or should I advertise with provisional dates?

Many thanks

westminster
03-02-2012, 22:09 PM
Serving a s.21 notice doesn't end the tenancy; it just entitles you to apply for possession after notice expiry. Tell us:

1) What date did the fixed term commence? (dd/mm/yy)
2) What was the length of term and was an end date specified?
3) If the fixed term is unexpired, is there a break clause?
4) Did T serve written notice? If so, date of service/expiry? (text message doesn't really count).
5) What date did you serve the s.21 notice?
6) What date did it expire?
7) Is rent payable monthly/weekly?
8) If T paid a deposit, was it protected and the prescribed information given to T before you served the s.21 notice?

Claymore
03-02-2012, 22:42 PM
Hi

Thanks Westminster, yes I do understand about the S21 is just confirming landlord wants possession etc - S21 all served correctly etc - Snorkerz helped dates etc etc and all was fine.

Tenant has contacted me to say they are leaving on 14 March (this is his choice and I'm happy). My S21 said 'after 14 March'.

Just appreciate advice on when to readvertise and if I should aknowledge the text and offer a time to go and collect keys etc. Thanks.

mariner
03-02-2012, 23:00 PM
If T vacates on last day of fixed term, that alone will lawfully end their T. Their email might also be sufficient to indicate they have given notice of intent (NTQ).
By all means, acknowledge eamil & offer Ts to do move-out inventory on their last day by you/agent. Ask if 12-1pm/earlier/later would be convenient.

It is acceptable to advertise property now, adding perhaps 'available end of March'. Don't arrange viewings until Ts have vacated and returned the keys. Don't promise T to anyone until you know the property will be ready.

Moderator2
04-02-2012, 09:00 AM
Several threads relating to the same tenancy have been merged.

westminster
04-02-2012, 11:11 AM
Hi

Thanks Westminster, yes I do understand about the S21 is just confirming landlord wants possession etc - S21 all served correctly etc - Snorkerz helped dates etc etc and all was fine.
This demonstrates why you should not start new threads on the same subject. Me posting those questions was a complete waste of my time.

westminster
04-02-2012, 11:23 AM
yes I do understand about the S21 is just confirming landlord wants possession etc - S21 all served correctly etc - Snorkerz helped dates etc etc and all was fine.

Tenant has contacted me to say they are leaving on 14 March (this is his choice and I'm happy). My S21 said 'after 14 March'.

Just appreciate advice on when to readvertise and if I should aknowledge the text and offer a time to go and collect keys etc.
If you understand that a s.21 notice is not a notice to quit and does not end the tenancy, then you should also understand that the tenancy must end in another way before you can relet the property. Either:

1) T must serve valid, written, notice to quit. I am not sure that a text would comprise a valid NTQ, not least because it will not have been sent to the address for serving notices, and I doubt the tenancy contract states that notices may be delivered by text message.

2) T/LL mutually agree a surrender in writing, executed as a Deed.

3) LL obtains/executes a possession order.

4) T makes an implied offer to surrender, by his actions, and LL accepts that offer, by his actions - but in the event of a dispute, only a court can determine whether or not the tenancy has ended by a surrender by operation of law.

Claymore
04-02-2012, 13:30 PM
Hi Westminster

Apologies if I have wasted your time. I simply started a new chat line as I didn't want someone having to read through pages and pages of messages for a simple answer.

Sorry - I thought I was helping.

Thanks for your advice.

westminster
04-02-2012, 13:40 PM
No worries.

But the answer to your question depended on knowing more about the background situation. If, for example, the last day of the s.21 notice had happened to be the last day of the fixed term, then the answer to your question would have been different.

If a forum member is new to a long thread, it doesn't take long to skim through previous posts to find any necessary detail, so don't worry about that.

Ask your T to give you a written notice to quit. That will be binding and end the tenancy on 14th March. But, even so, if T then fails to vacate, you'll still need to obtain a court order to evict him.

Claymore
04-02-2012, 13:59 PM
Thanks. If tenant changes mind and doesn't go when he says, I will apply for the court order.I am just so relieved the tenant is going. I'm guessing he 'thinks' his deadline is 14 March - he is going back to parents.

If I ask him to put it in writing it is very unlikely to happen - it may also alert him to the fact he 'doesn't actually need to leave' before I've been to court for an eviction order so I think I may let sleeping dogs lie.

Thanks again.

Claymore
06-03-2012, 20:14 PM
I just knew this would happen. I've just received a text saying he isn't going after all as the council won't help re-house him unless I evict him. Strangely, he wants to bring his rent arrears up to date. I'm guessing that's because he's been told they won't rehouse him if he has rent arrears.

I will start the ball rolling as soon as I can - do I have to go to the local county court or can it be done on-line?

Tenant is asking me what his arrears total is - can I include the costs of the court fee for the eviction or is that a cost I will have to write off?

Also, whilst I am waiting for the eviction to be processed - do I accept any more rent? Is he liable for rent right up to the date of eviction?

Many thanks
Claymore

thesaint
07-03-2012, 09:47 AM
Fill out the court forms relating to a Sec 21(N5b,N215) now.
On the 15th March, take your completed forms and £175 to the court and file your claim.

Hand a copy of the court forms to the housing department.

Give the tenant a statement of his CURRENT arrears. These do not include charges that have not been accrued.

Yes, he is liable for rent until he goes.

Snorkerz
07-03-2012, 10:21 AM
Pretty much as per thesaints reply. You can send the n5b etc by post - but you need to supply 3 copies - this isn't clear from the forms.

The tenant will only owe you the £175 for the court costs if the judge awards them to you. If rent arrears are brought up to date, your chances of seeing the £175 are limited unless you take enforcement action - which costs £100 a time.

Claymore
07-03-2012, 14:16 PM
Thanks for replies.

Have just received a large amount from HB as the tenant had been out of work for a while and the arrears now stand at about 500, less than one months' rent.

I think the tenant will have to pay all the arrears as I understand the council won't rehouse him if he has arrears and this is what he wants. Am I correct with this?

Many thanks

thesaint
07-03-2012, 15:07 PM
Who cares?
Evict him.

Claymore
07-03-2012, 15:24 PM
I have every intention of evicting him - but it would be a kind of nice thought to know if I am likely to see the rest of the arrears.