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Bludnok
22-02-2008, 13:38 PM
I have a difficult tenant who gave a months notice on his AST by text message (before the year period expired but I'd be delighted to see the back of him anyhow)

I then confirmed the notice in writing to him.

He hasn't found anywhere else to go, won't now budge and I now have plans for the flat.

What are my options please guys?

David

graham08
22-02-2008, 14:13 PM
If you have given him the appropriate amount of time and you have given him this in writing stating how much longer he had to stay, then I don't see too much of a problem. He saw the AST and he knows what implications it provides if you brake the agreement.

I'd be fair to start with and tell him that he had to move out within the time given. But on the other hand if he decides that he will stay put and you don't have a problem with that arrangement then its a win-win situation really. But so far it seems as though the ball is firmly in your court :)

Bludnok
22-02-2008, 14:20 PM
Thanks for the reply.

I (foolishly) took him at his word, that he would leave at the end of Feb and have made arrangements for someone else to come in, but I can't just chuck his stuff out if he refuses to vacate can I?

(I do want to see the back of him)

In these unusual circumstances what rights do I have, and what are my obligations to the persons who expect to be coming in?

Thanks again

David

swinefever
22-02-2008, 15:36 PM
I'm not 100% sure of this, so i'll be looking for someone to confirm this.

Even if the tenant gave you notice that he was leaving, you still have to issue the correct notice to the tenant. This will usually be be a Section 21 notice (which allows you to give 2 months notice with providing any reason for possession).

However, if the AST is for a fixed term, this notice cannot be used to gain possession before the end of the fixed term. So if the AST was for 12 months, you cannot evict using a Section 21 until after this period (that is assuming you had served the Section 21 at least 2 months before the end of the tenancy).

The other route is a Section 8 Notice. A Section 8 notice can be used at any time during the tenancy to give notice of possession of the property. However, you can only serve a Section 8 if certain grounds apply (rent arrears, consistent delayed payment of rent etc) The notice period is either 2 weeks or a month; this is dependant on which ground(s) you are using to gain possession.

Even if you have correctly served either notice, you still have to apply for an eviction notice through the courts. Entering the property by yourself and booting the tenant out is illegal.

For more info, check out this government guide for landlords: http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/pdf/138286

Paul_f
22-02-2008, 17:26 PM
Even if the tenant gave you notice that he was leaving, you still have to issue the correct notice to the tenant. No you don't! This will usually be be a Section 21 notice (which allows you to give 2 months notice with providing any reason for possession). However consider whether there was anything in your tenancy agreement to state it was okay for the tenant to serve notice on you by text, otherwise it would have to be in writing, so I suggest the Notice might be invalid
I suggest you DO serve a S.21 Notice but not for the reason above.

Bel
22-02-2008, 18:02 PM
Paul, perhaps you could also clarify what the LL should do if the tenanct had served a valid notice and then decided to change his mind.

Advice I have been given in the past after the tenant refused to leave, said to serve a s21 and wait the 2 months. Was that wrong?

Surrey
22-02-2008, 20:34 PM
Any time I have had a tenant give me notice, I have responded immediately by issuing a Section 21 notice, whichever one is appropriate. It doesn't have to be done in an aggressive manner, it is possible to hand over the notice to the tenant and explain that the notice is just formalising the fact that the tenancy is ending and that despite the wording you will not be taking the tenant to court, unless of course they don't move out when they say they're going to.

I am led to believe that unless the notice HAS been correctly issued, whether the tenant gave notice or not, the landlord cannot resort to the court if the tenant changes his mind.

Bel
23-02-2008, 07:55 AM
Surrey; the problem is if you serve a s21 after in a periodic tenancy, they could then leave the next day and not owe you rent ; leaving you with up to a months less money.

Ericthelobster
23-02-2008, 09:35 AM
Any time I have had a tenant give me notice, I have responded immediately by issuing a Section 21 notice
Unless this is for a tenant which you definitely want to see the back of for whatever reason, I'm not sure I see the point of doing this as a general strategy? Given that the tenant will give a months' notice to quit, and the S21 is for two months, then if the tenant doesn't leave on the appointed day then if the LL has organised for a new tenant moving in immediately, it doesn't help that situation that you have an S21 expiring a month later.

Depending on many factors, including the reason for the change of heart, I'd certainly consider issuing the S21 when the tenant doesn't leave when he says, sure.

P.Pilcher
23-02-2008, 09:42 AM
Always be aware that this can happen. When it happened to me - tenant gave notice, agent instructed to find new tenant and then original tenant changed mind, agent was advised, agreed that he could not charge as new tenant had not been put in place and I agreed to pay his advertising costs. Tenant was advised that this would be deducted from his deposit, to which he agreed.

P.P.

Bludnok
23-02-2008, 10:06 AM
So what is the majority verdict?

The agreement runs out end May, so I can't issue a section 21 until March, with two months until it takes effect. The section 8 can't contain anything as they haven't broken the terms, just given a duff notice

Are text messages legal in this area?

What do I do about the incoming people?

Yet again it seems the landlord loses out because of @##hole tenants

I've done nothing wrong!

David

Bel
23-02-2008, 12:06 PM
So what is the majority verdict?

The agreement runs out end May, so I can't issue a section 21 until March, with two months until it takes effect. The section 8 can't contain anything as they haven't broken the terms, just given a duff notice

Are text messages legal in this area?

What do I do about the incoming people?

Yet again it seems the landlord loses out because of @##hole tenants

I've done nothing wrong!

David

As long as the tenant agrees to pay costs for time wasting/advertising, the LL should not lose out aslong as T pays rent whilst there.

If you want him out then issue a s21 now. You dont have to wait, but it must expire after the fixed term and be a minimum of 2 months etc etc

It's the new tenants who miss out as far as I can see.

swinefever
23-02-2008, 12:14 PM
So in the scenario where you have a written notice from the tenant, saying he wants to leave, how would you go about getting rid of the tenant, should he change his mind (and you want him to go)?

Would a court give the landlord possession on the written notice alone?

Bel
23-02-2008, 20:09 PM
So in the scenario where you have a written notice from the tenant, saying he wants to leave, how would you go about getting rid of the tenant, should he change his mind (and you want him to go)?

Would a court give the landlord possession on the written notice alone?

Please see one of my earlier posts. This is what I have asked Paul F to confirm; like I said in previous post; I was advised that s21 procedure would need to run its course before court will entertain eviciton .

Watch this space.

Colincbayley
23-02-2008, 20:15 PM
Would a court give the landlord possession on the written notice alone?

NO.
The LL would still have to issue a S.8 or S.21 notice. You could not go to court and ask for a P.O on the fact that the tenant said they would leave.

islandgirl
23-02-2008, 21:42 PM
written notice from the tenant ending an AST is not worth the paper it is written on if the tenant then changes his mind. You have to go down the section 8/21 route as if the notice had never been given. It is wrong but there is no alternative....sorry to be the bearer of bad news!

Bludnok
24-02-2008, 09:45 AM
So can someone just clarify this point:

If the tenant gives notice (in whatever form) before the tenancy agreement expires I cannot issue a section 21 anyway (except if it's two months before the expiry date and I give two months' notice) ?

So, in effect, for a 1 year agreement the tenant can muck me about as much as he likes for 10 months and there is nothing I can do if he changes his mind.

How typical

David

Bel
24-02-2008, 09:56 AM
So can someone just clarify this point:

If the tenant gives notice (in whatever form) before the tenancy agreement expires I cannot issue a section 21 anyway (except if it's two months before the expiry date and I give two months' notice) ?

So, in effect, for a 1 year agreement the tenant can muck me about as much as he likes for 10 months and there is nothing I can do if he changes his mind.

How typical

David

As said before, you CAN issue a s21 notice at anytime, but it can only expire at the end of the fixed term or after. As you suggest, the tenant is secure for the fixed term.

You can issue a section 8 notice at any time if the tenant has breached the agreement in any way or other special grounds. Rent arrears is the usual one, but there are many others too.

Bludnok
24-02-2008, 10:49 AM
If the tenants change their mind - that's their hard cheese!

Apparently not

David