Should I take my tenant to court

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  • Should I take my tenant to court

    Hello please help. My tenant has now not paid the rent for four months, since I told her I wanted to move back as I was being made homeless. I said I could be flexible as to when she moved out but needed to discuss it. She then went to the council and said that I was evicting her because there were works to be done and the council came round and made a list of 29 things that needed to be done to the house to make it legally liveable. I negotiated with the council and came up with a plan to sort out the house and bring it up to standard but the tenant would then not allow me access to the house to do the work. Furthermore she has been to a no win no fee company who have demanded six times the rent as I did not secure the deposit as required. She is withholding rent in lieu of this. I have issued her with a Section 8 notice that has now expired on the grounds of non-payment of rent and not giving me access to the house, as well as working from the house. I returned the deposit two months ago and have received acknowledgment of this from her. She says she wants two month's notice and she will leave but refuses to pay any rent because she says I owe her six times the rent for not protecting the deposit, three times for whilst it was an assured six month tenancy and three times again for when it became periodic. I have now issued her with a Section 21 notice too. She is refusing to pay the rent for the rest of her stay there but I have no way of knowing that she will leave when she says she will. It will cost me £800 to take her to court and she currently owes me £2,000 in rent. I don't know if the judge will automatically favour her because of the deposit situation.

  • #2
    I think the section 21 route is your best option now. As long as you have proof of deposit return, it should not be an issue.

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    • #3
      A Comedy of Errors.
      Why did you repay deposit and then not imm require payment of any rent owing?
      6 months rent may equate to 3x deposit. Only a Judge can award a Penalty for deposit non-protection, currently the max Penalty is 3x deposit for each breach. Rent remains payable and cannot be withheld without prior consent of LL.
      Did you serve full valid s21 after returning deposit?

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      • #4
        Yes if the Section 21 is valid (deposit returned, expires at right time) go to court and get an eviction notice. She wants 6x deposit from you and the judge may award less than that.

        You need to be sure the Section 21 has been issued correctly. Get some legal advice and charge that to the tenant.

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        • #5
          She can still take you to court for a 6x penalty and leave you to chase her for the rent. May only be a 3x penalty anyway depending on whether the deposit needed to be re-protected at end of AST.

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          • #6
            I did send notices demanding the rent after I repayed the deposit but she sent me letters via that Tenant Protect company saying she would not pay until I have paid her £3000 to compensate for not protecting her deposit. The rent is £500. I served the Section 8 first because I thought I could not serve the Section 21 as I did not have the Energy Performance Certificate and she would not give me access to the house to get one. It was only when I realised that because the contract started in 2012, i.e. after the EPS requirement, I could apply on the old Section 21 notice so have served the Section 21 last week - it was served by a solicitor. There is a ruling by a judge in the Superstrike case (http://www.hardwicke.co.uk/insights/...nancy-deposits) that after a year it is like a new tenancy and they are scaring people into believing it. She has said that she will counterclaim so my fear is that it will turn into a long drawn out case and she still doesn't leave. The Section 21 does not expire until 2nd December but I can go to court now because of the expiry of the Section 8.

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            • #7
              Yes that is what I cannot work out Kape65. I think she is unlikely to take me to court because of the cost of law proceedings.

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              • #8
                also how do i charge her for the solicitors' costs as you mentioned?

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                • #9
                  The reason the ambulance chaser is involved is that they think that the costs will fall on you. The reason they are probably going for three times is that that they reckon that if you go to court, their costs will cost even more that that, even if you only get fined 1 times.

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