S8 Ground 8 - Calculating arrears on PCM agreement with weekly 2nd-person addition

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    S8 Ground 8 - Calculating arrears on PCM agreement with weekly 2nd-person addition

    Hi,

    I'm new here, and found this site while researching about Section 8 notices. We are wanting to gain possession of our property for a variety of reasons. The most solid reason though is rent arrears, for which we're hoping to issue a Section 8 with Ground 8.

    First, some info:

    Q1 – Where is the rented property located (England / Wales / Scotland / N Ireland)?
    England

    Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this e.g. sole tenant / multiple tenant / room only?
    Sole tenant

    Q3 – What date did current TA start dd/mm/yy?
    14/08/17

    Q4 – How long was initial fixed term (6/12/24 months / other)?
    12 months

    Q5 – Does the TA state that rent is due weekly? / 4-weekly? / per calendar month (if so, on what same date each month)?
    PCM, on the 8th

    Q6 – Did the TA require a tenant damage deposit to be paid? If so, on what date was this paid (dd/mm/yy)?
    Yes - it was promised in September, but has not yet been paid

    Q7 – If your query relates to a notice for repossession from the landlord (a Section 8 or Section 21 notice) or a tenants's notice to quit to the landlord, please provide the exact date the notice was sent/received (dd/mm/yy).
    Issued original Section 8 on 19/11/17 (via email), with court proceedings due to start after 17/12/17.

    Q8 – Does the landlord live in the same property as the tenant?
    No


    We've already issued a Section 8 notice (Grounds 10, 11, and 12) on 19/11/17, and allowed longer than the required 2 weeks in order to give the tenant time to find the money for the rent, or to find alternative accommodation. We've still not seen any money, and now want to issue a new Section 8, but with Ground 8.

    The original tenancy agreement is for sole occupancy, paying monthly. Shortly after moving in, the tenant asked to temporarily sublet the living room to a friend, as the contract only allows a visitor to stay at the property for up to a week. We agreed on the condition that our tenant would pay £50 extra rent per week.

    This weekly rent has only been paid twice, and now 12 weeks worth are due. Additionally, the tenant is one month in arrears of the monthly amount.

    I'm now trying to figure out whether this situation qualifies for Ground 8 or not. I see it from two angles:
    1. The weekly addition could be considered as being part of the monthly rent. At £50 per week, on average, that's an additional £217.26 (365/7/12 * £50) per month. If calculated this way, the tenant isn't yet in 2 months arrears as required, so Ground 8 would not be applicable.
    2. The weekly additional rent could be considered separately from the monthly rent. As the tenant is in arrears by more than 8 weeks, Ground 8 is applicable.
    There is no mention of weekly rent in the contract - this was agreed after it had been created. This was agreed in a mix of emails and phone calls.


    Could anyone offer any insight into whether we can or cannot use Ground 8 in this situation?

    #2
    There aren't two different rents, there's only one rent.
    If the tenant paid the new rent, that probably supports the existence of a new figure.

    I would wait until two month's of the "old" rent is due and serve notice then.
    Judges don't like making people homeless and will err on the side of being really picky about the grounds if the tenant defends your claim.

    And, obviously, never make informal arrangements with tenants, etc etc.
    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
      I'd wait until 2 months of "new" rent is owing.

      Don't agree to changes like that in future. Permit your tenant to have a lodger, separately agree a rent change from your tenant.
      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


        #4
        Do you have a signed agreement with the tenant that documents and notices can be served by email? If not then I think the original s8 notice is invalid too. If your agreement for the extra rent is by email and phone calls I am not sure how this would be viewed by a court and might be seen as a separate contract not related to the tenancy, in which case s8g8 would not apply.

        I think you should take a pragmatic approach here. I think you're never going to see any more of the £50 per week, but hey, it was a bonus anyway. As others have said, wait until the main rent is more than 2 months in arrears and serve a s8g8 notice (on paper is probably safest).

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you all for your input.

          We expect that the tenant will be 2 months in arrears (for both original rate and additional rate) very soon, so will wait for now before issuing S8G8. There'll be a total of 5 grounds then (3 current discretionary, 1 mandatory, and one more discretionary we think will apply).

          The tenant has confirmed they've accepted the original S8 via email, but we'll try and get something in writing sorted.

          Comment

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