I have a tenant who signed a 6 month AST on 7th August 2007, so the tenancy is now periodic. He agreed to pay the monthly rent directly into my bank account and this happened for the first two months. Every month since, he has never paid the rent by the due date and each month, I have to contact him, go to the property, get the rent and take it to my bank. Don’t get me wrong, this is no great problem but this month once again the rent was late. I tried to contact him several times but he wouldn’t answer his phone to me. I texted him and put a couple of notes through the door and finally managed to catch him at the property. He said he didn’t have the rent but asked for a few more days and said he would have the rent on Wednesday 19th. I (reluctantly) said ok and tried to contact him on the Wednesday and the Thursday but couldn’t get hold of him. I eventually got to see him on Friday 21st but again, he said he didn’t have the rent and asked for more time. He wanted until Wednesday 26th and I said that if he did not pay the rent due in full by Tuesday 25th, that I would be giving him notice.
He did admit that he is now finding the rent a bit of a struggle but particularly this month as he has had a couple of bills in and he asked if his friend could move in, so they could split the cost of the future rent paments down the middle. The current tenant works full time but his friend doesn’t work, so he would be claiming HB, which I am not too sure about, as I have never dealt with this before.
I have a number of options as I see them:-
If he doesn’t pay the rent in full on Tuesday then I issue him notice.
How do I do this correctly. Is it by S21 or some other means? I think my AST refers to Section 8 for rent arrears?
I assume that I still need to give 2 months notice even if the tenant is not up to date with the rental payments?
If he does pay the rent in full on Tuesday, then I see what happens next month but in the meantime maybe think about asking for a Guarantor (I have posted about this specifically on a separate post). As I said earlier, the AST is now periodic. If I requested that the existing tenant provide a Guarantor, would that mean that a new AST would need to be signed or could the existing AST be altered and resigned? I am mindful that if a new tenancy is signed, the tenant has already made late payments but having a Guarantor in place would at least give me some confidence in finally receiving payment if the tenant defaulted.
In addition to this, could I issue the tenant notice on Tuesday (by whatever means I need to S21,S8 See above)? and then, assuming I have to provide 2 months notice, if he doesn’t pay next month, at least I am partly into the notice period? If he subsequently pays on time, then the notice could be rescinded.
Again, if he comes up with the rent on Tuesday, I have a decision to make regarding his friend who wants to move in also. I sent him a tenant application form, downloaded from this site and I am awaiting its return. If he is moving in, he wants his name on the tenancy for his HB.
Assuming that the existing tenant is also remaining, would I be better putting the tenancy in both names or just the one name ie the new tenant who is not working? If I have it in both names do I need to write a clause into the tenancy that each tenant is jointly and severally responsible/liable for all aspects of the tenancy?
Am I putting myself at any greater risk, if I just have the new tenants name only on the AST given that he is not currently employed, rather than both names?
Sorry it’s a ‘bit’ long winded but hope you can take the time to respond.