How to properly end Periodic Tenancy

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    How to properly end Periodic Tenancy

    Hi

    I'm a (singular) landlord and been reading various forums / gov advice about formally ending a tenancy agreement, but I'm now getting very confused.

    Been renting a house to tenant since 2013... initially on AST then on Periodic / Rolling tenancy, ... complete with Gas safety cert./ DPS

    (Through reading on here, I now realise should also have Energy Perfomance Cert ?? )

    Tenant has been struggling to meet monthly rent for some time... and after several months of late payments, we have finally decided to reclaim our property.

    There is no animosity, and we do want to do things fairly for them ....and legally...

    What is the safest way ?

    Declaration of Surrender / notice for repossession (a Section 8 or Section 21 notice) ?

    or is there an alternative notice - given that their tenancy is from 2013.

    Thanks in advance
    Peter

    #2
    If the tenant agrees to go, a deed of surrender it nice and tidy.

    If the tenant isn't so keen, you can serve a s21 notice or a s8 notice, but the s21 is simpler for you and the tenant can't easily defend against it.
    s21 probably suits the tenant as well.

    If you don't know what you're doing, you might want to find a professional repossession company or a solicitor to assist.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      If tenancy dates from 2013, I don't think you need to provide court with a gas certificate, do you?

      Comment


        #4
        No you dont. This might sound a bit counter-intuitive, and probably most landlords wouldn't do what I did but I'll share it with you. I offered to write off arrears and return deposit if the tenants simply vacated, left the house clear of all waste and presented themselves at my office with both sets of keys.
        The reason is that if you go down the possession route and the tenants have no money it will take at last a couple of months and possibly rather more and you'll never be paid what you are owed.
        However this won't work in many cases where the tenants are expectant of help for rehousing by the local authority because the local authority would regard them as having made themselves voluntarily homeless. The local authority will not take any action to accommodate any person until essentially they are literally being chucked out, due process having been followed at the usual snail's pace until the Court's bailiff attends to effect possession. In a nutshell you are better off if at all possible with some sort of negotiated surrender rather than going the classic litigation route to recover possession of the dwelling.

        How to avoid these situations? Be picky who you let in to your property and, because it takes so long to get possession take larger and larger depsoits. If they cannot come up with a two month deposit do you really want them. Time and again I have found its pays to charge a slightly lower rent and have the pick of desirable tenants. If you ask top dollar there is a risk you will get the people that other landlords wont take on.
        Anyhow I do things differently; if you are charging a slightly lower rent and people hold over for years and years the amount of time lost in voids between lettings is reduced massively as are the costs of refreshing between lets. Hence you tend to earn more, bottom line, and have less agg if you charge a slightly lower rent than everyone else!

        Comment


          #5
          I agree that it could sometimes be desirable to get possession and cut your losses. If you can get a tenant to agree to surrender their tenancy in lieu of you not chasing them for arrears then it should certainly be considered.

          There’s obviously the morality issue though. By not taking any action you are giving them free reign to do it to the next landlord.

          Originally posted by flyingfreehold
          it pays to charge a slightly lower rent and have the pick of desirable tenants.
          This seems counter-intuitive to me. I can see that you’ll potentially have a greater number of tenants looking at your property, but are you not just attracting people who otherwise can’t really afford it?

          It’s a generalisation, but there’s a clear link between household income and things like job security, level of debt, credit-worthiness, etc.

          I agree that having a tenant staying for several years can be excellent for your overall business model, but would prefer to find a tenant who can afford to meet my asking price and then I make the choice not to increase the rent over the subsequent years to keep them interested rather than slash the price and attracting the wrong kind of person.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by HantsAgent View Post
            This seems counter-intuitive to me.
            It's not. The first thing you want to attract tenants, particularly when a market is stable or slow as it is in many areas now, is for your property to stand out. Undercutting the market is an easy way to do this. Decent tenants are also the kind of people who manage money well, and are therefore attracted by value for money. They don't tend to look at the most they can afford, because they realise that saving i.e. having disposable income is a wiser long-term financial strategy.

            So, now with a price that attracts tenants both good and bad, you're in a position to say, "If you're happy to start referencing, pay the non-refundable referencing fee." This is a further hurdle which good tenants won't even hesitate with but bad tenants might. Either way, when the referencing docs return, it's easy to spot those who can handle the rent easily from those who are on the margin.

            We have in fact just let a property to a guy who can easily afford a higher rent. We undercut the market by 5% to attract him, but his referencing docs show that he could afford double the rent. He just wants a nice cosy place that meets his needs, rather than a place that says, "Look how much I'm earning." Obviously, time will tell, but we hope he'll be a long-term tenant (he was at his last two addresses) who will have no trouble with a small rent increase every couple of years which will eventually seeing us recoup our 5%... and more.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by tatemono View Post
              It's not.
              I don't think we can apply a one-size-fits-all statement to this. It may work well in mass-market highly saturated areas, but I doubt it would make a shred of difference to my properties.

              Comment


                #8
                My experience is the same as HantsAgent. Enquiries from the type of tenants I usually look for has increased in direct proportion to the rent.

                Originally posted by flyingfreehold View Post
                I offered to write off arrears and return deposit if the tenants simply vacated, left the house clear of all waste and presented themselves at my office with both sets of keys.
                Simply handing back the keys may be considered an implied surrender but its a bit risky. I would rather a signed and witnessed deed of surrender.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by HantsAgent View Post
                  I don't think we can apply a one-size-fits-all statement to this. It may work well in mass-market highly saturated areas, but I doubt it would make a shred of difference to my properties.
                  still, it's not counter-intuitive. I was just explaining the intuition as you'd asked about it.

                  Originally posted by flyingfreehold View Post
                  Time and again I have found its pays...
                  so that's two for and two against...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Fair enough. I can see the thinking behind it, but like any type of marketing strategy, it needs to work for your market and your circumstances.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thanks for the advice guys.

                      Tenant is now behind with rent. They failed to pay last month quite as I expected with it being Christmas etc.

                      Ive arranged to see them Monday and intend serving Sec 21 Notice.

                      Was also going to get them to sign Voluntary Surrender, but this appears to state there are no debts owed?

                      Bit concerned, as although I’ve used DPS, it was several months late, and they have deliberately not arranged annual gas safety check I’ve requested for past 2 months.

                      Am I worrying unnecessarily?

                      Just want to do the right thing.

                      Thanks in advance.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        If you protected the deposit late, your s21 isn't going to be valid.
                        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Don't reward someone who owes you rent arrears.

                          Serve (hopefully valid) s21 & s8 today
                          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Would it still not be valid even though signed for 6 months from 23/11/2013 ? (4 years ago)

                            & should 2 months notice therefore be dated to 22nd March ?

                            TIA

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Danlaur View Post
                              Would it still not be valid even though signed for 6 months from 23/11/2013 ? (4 years ago)
                              I don't know what that's meant to mean.
                              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                              Comment

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