Help with Section 21 or 8

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    Help with Section 21 or 8


    We have tenants in what was previously our family home. They have been in for 2.5 years, first 2 tenancies were 12 month fixed terms. The most recent tenancy agreement was requested to be another 12 month fixed by the tenants, however we are intending to move back into the family home this summer and they did not sign the agreement in time for another full 12 months to be granted by us. I therefore re-issued the agreement a total of 3 times before I was able to get them to sign before the commencement date, each time reducing the fixed term by a month so that the tenancy would end in the summer holidays as we had all agreed (it ended up being 10 months fixed). I required the signatures to be witnessed so that was apparently the problem the tenants had with getting it signed before or on the commencement date each time, and I wouldn't accept it dated after commencement.

    When I finally got the signed agreement back after the third issuing, the dates by the tenant and witness signatures had been altered without initials so I'm not sure it would be valid anyway. We also never signed it as the landlord this time, so technically, the last properly signed agreement for a fixed term has expired.

    The tenants have been fine with rent until Christmas, when they started to pay late and in dribs and drabs. Now they are more than 1 month behind. I have tried to be reasonable and give them time to catch up but they are coming close to 2 months of arrears so I want to make things more formal in the hope they will get the payments up to date, as this is starting to cause us financial problems.

    Question is, can I serve a Section 21 on the basis that the latest fixed term was never implemented properly (not signed by landlord, they don't have a copy, they amended the dates of their signatures) therefore the previous fixed term assured shorthold still stands and has now become periodic? EPC, Gas Safety, Government Guide and Prior Notice of Landlord's Grounds for Possession (due to being former family home) have all be provided and deposit protected from the start.

    Hoping this won't be an issue as they say they will catch up this month but I want to know if I need to wait for a full 2 month's arrears and serve Section 8, or if I can go ahead with Section 21?

    Thanks in advance for any assistance.

    While it may be a practical issue that the tenant doesn't have a copy of the contract document, that contract is valid without your signature.
    So s8 is the only route - I'd wait until the tenant owes two month's rent and go for ground 8.

    You don't have to wait, but the grounds you do have are discretionary for the judge while ground 8 isn't.
    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).


      Maybe they'd like to voluntarily leave early? This would be a vastly better option than having to evict...


        If you knew you were moving back in the Summer, why didn't you just let the agreement become periodic?


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