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Oct, 2014

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  1. #1

    Default Tenants not paid rent for 2 months, have been served with S21

    Hi newbie here, be gentle please!!
    Summary - tenants in situ since Dec 2010, rent paid on time until October this year. I am letting via an agency.
    Tenants claim back bedroom is unusable due to damp
    I dispute this as I have had a survey carried out which states that there is no damp in the property (checked with a damp meter) - suspect any 'damp' is caused by condensation and I have provided a dehumifier to help with this as it is a first floor flat with no outside space to dry clothes)
    Property is on the market and I have a buyer - purchase is proceeding
    S21 notice has been served (hand delivered through letterbox (not shared with any other party) with witness) on the tenants in order to obtain possession before exchange of contracts - no response received
    Last rent received was October 2012
    Tenants are not returning emails or calls from either agent or myself.

    What should be my next steps? have emailed and phoned requesting a meeting to discuss any issues they may have - no response. Am considering hand delivering a letter reminding them that they are breaking the terms of the tenancy agreement by not paying their rent, and even possibly offering a reduced rent for the outstanding amount if paid by a certain date (eg one week from letter). Should I go down the S8 route? although I am worried this may entrench them further and they don't leave on the date that the S21 states.

    Grateful for the advice of the experts out there!

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    7,345

    Default

    It's January, there has been no October this year yet.

    I would not advise you to go for a Sec 8 possession due to them claiming disrepair.
    I think they know that not paying rent breached the terms of the tenancy. I see no point in wasting your time posting the letter.

    Use the Sec 21, get possession, and then in a few months time, use a "people finder" to find their new address and file a momey claim in the County Court for the missing rent.
    Stalkers, please go over this comment with a fine tooth comb.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    UK
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    2,273

    Default

    The S21 does not state a date they should leave. The date of expiry is the date from which you can apply to court for possession of the property.

    Did you take a deposit, secure it in a scheme and give the tenant the prescribed information from the scheme you used? If not, any S21 you issue will be invalid.

    Wait until the S21 issued expires, and assuming you have complied with deposit protection, served the notice correctly and everything is in order, apply to court to evict them.

    Do not send any further letters, reminders, offer reduced rent etc, as you may compromise your S21 notice and delay reposession.

    I hope your buyers are patient, as if your tenants are being difficult already, I doubt they are going to leave without forcing you into the full court eviction process, followed by baillifs to enforce the order, and you may be looking at a delay before you can offer the property with vacant possession.

  4. #4

    Default

    I have the deposit secured in a scheme and the tenants have the certificate details of the deposit.

    I am going to try to inspect the flat this week to investigate their claims - I don't see why this should compromise an S21?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    7,345

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wan_lass View Post
    I don't see why this should compromise an S21?
    It wouldn't.
    Stalkers, please go over this comment with a fine tooth comb.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by wan_lass View Post
    I have the deposit secured in a scheme and the tenants have the certificate details of the deposit.
    Worrying - the prescribed information the landlord must supply to the tenant is normally more than just the certificate - depending on which scheme you used it can be 12 or more pages! If you have not given the tenants the full information and terms and conditions, prior to issuing the S21, it will invalidate the notice. Check the scheme website and find out what you should have sent. If you have not complied, you must send it again, then re-issue your notice, as the tenant must be in receipt of the information BEFORE a valid notice served.

  7. #7

    Default

    Can't I serve a Section 8 notice on the basis that they're 2 months behind with their rent? Appreciate that they're claiming disrepair, but I had a survey carried out which says there's no damp in the flat, so what else am I supposed to do?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    7,345

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    Yes you can.
    If they don't appear in court, or don't bring up a disrepair, then you're fine.
    If they do, it will be months of going back and forth to court costing you surveys as well as additional lost rent.
    Stalkers, please go over this comment with a fine tooth comb.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    UK
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    Default

    Also, tenant only need cough up enough rent to bring the arrears total to less than 2 months owing before the court date, and your grounds for S8 are lost!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    14,115

    Default

    wan_lass, take note of LesleyAnne's advice:

    Quote Originally Posted by LesleyAnne View Post
    Worrying - the prescribed information the landlord must supply to the tenant is normally more than just the certificate - depending on which scheme you used it can be 12 or more pages! If you have not given the tenants the full information and terms and conditions, prior to issuing the S21, it will invalidate the notice. Check the scheme website and find out what you should have sent. If you have not complied, you must send it again, then re-issue your notice, as the tenant must be in receipt of the information BEFORE a valid notice served.
    I would not attempt to evict via s.8 route when the T is alleging disrepair. You could end up with a lengthy court battle and numerous hearings.

    But equally, don't proceed via s.21 route without making 100% sure that the notice served is valid.

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