Tenant left in rent arrears after section 21 notice

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  • Tenant left in rent arrears after section 21 notice

    My tenant moved in on 15th Feb 2012, we have an 12 months assured shorthold tenancy. I was recieving the rent directly from the council. I issued a section 21 notice on 24th January 2013. Possession required on 26th March.

    But the tenant has now requested they pay her directly.The council wrote to me asking me to confirm she is not in rent arrears, and have suspended the payments until I reply. The tenant is now in 5 weeks rent arrears.

    My questions are:

    If the tenant leave and returns the keys before the rent is 8 weeks in arrears, can I still issue a section 8?

    Can I tell the council about the rent arrears if she does leave before 8 weeks?

    have not discussed her one months rent deposit, do I have to return it to her?

    Thanks !

  • #2
    You dont need a section 8 since you issued section 21. Dont forget that you can use the accelerated posession route with section 21 whereas with section 8 you cant. Also there is a big chance you will have to face the tenant under non mandatory grounds which can prevent your possession.

    My advice is to tell the council that the tenant is in arrears and DO NOT accept the payment to go to the tenant. Its bizzarre that the tenant suddenly requests for housing benefit to be given to her directly since she is supposed to use it for her rent. Clearly she is 'cooking' something here.

    For any rent arrears do you have any guarantors? You need to go down the small claim route via the court, your first aim is to get your property back as this will be more cost effective longer term.

    Small claims can be done online and is easy and doesnt cost much. You dont need a solicitor to
    Do this.


    • #3
      In terms of your other questions if she leaves you need to have solid evidence (i.e all her things missing , keys surrendered) otherwise you could ne facing illegal eviction if you try to relet the property. Deposit should NOT be returned until she moves out, she doesnt owe you any money and there are no damages to
      your property.

      If she goes, again small claims court
      is perhaps your best route for arrears. you can trace the ex-tenant with specialist trace companies.


      • #4
        What date did the council write to you, and did they give you a time limit to reply?
        Obviously, the longer you can leave it the better. If you do get another letter stating that the payments are going to be redirected to the tenant, call and say that you are appealing the decision, and follow it up in writing.

        Why are you getting direct payment?
        Was the tenant getting direct payment, and then got in arrears, or have the arrears come about because they have failed to make top up payments?

        Does the tenant pay the rent in arrears, or did they make a rent payment in advance on move in?

        You do not do anything about the deposit until the tenant has left. For all you know, the tenant may be there for another year. You have not applied for possession, and the tenant has time left on their fixed term of the tenancy, so they cannot give a notice to quit.
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong


        • #5
          I have applied for possession. I issued a notice that landlord requires possession by virtue of section 21 (b) housing act 1988


          • #6
            The tenant is now claiming that they did not recieve my notice, which I sent recorded delivery. The royal mail track and trace is unclear and just says "accepted at pol". My fear is one of the neighbours signed for it as its a shared entrance. What do I do?


            • #7
              Originally posted by femalelandlord1 View Post
              What do I do?
              Answering my questions would be a good start.
              Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong


              • #8
                I am getting direct payments because the tenant requested it. We discussed it and my last tenant was HB and the council paid me directly for them.


                • #9
                  I hope another member can take over.
                  It's like extracting teeth.
                  Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong


                  • #10
                    It seems to me that you agreed on direct payments by using some 'safeguarding' criteria for the tenancy? Direct payments upfront are quite unusual these days especially when a tenant is not at least 8 weeks in arrears. What were the reasons for directing the payments to you?

                    If the direct payments had some safeguarding to begin with do mention to the council that the payments have to continue and the tenant is in more than 5 weeks arrears. Appeal to their decision to delay the process as another member mentioned above if required.

                    In terms of the tenant not receiving the notice, who prepared the notice on your behalf, is this yourself , an agent or a solicitor? My advice is to seek legal guidance asap as the more your delay this process the worse your possession order will get delayed. Unless you have solid evidence to suggest that the tenant has received the section 21 (e.g. have 2 proofs of separate postage) then do this properly and serve this in person to the tenant or get a specialist courrier to do this though it could cost you. At least though will not start your proceedings and have a judge throwing this to the bin with the excuse 'tenant didnt receive the notice' and wait for another appointment! Use the accelerated posession also if required.
                    A link to specialist eviciton firms can be found on this site too though an estate agents should know the process if you use one.


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