MCOL - how soon?

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    MCOL - how soon?

    Hi,
    I have some tenants who are in the final month of a 12 month fixed tenancy, and have failed to pay the rent.

    I have emailed them, but they have not responded, and they are not answering their phone.

    As I have no idea about the current condition of the property, I don't wish to simply wait and deduct the arrears from their deposit.

    How soon can I start an MCOL and do I need to send a letter before action first?


    #2
    You can't do a MCOL until your tenants have left, in order for them to leave you need to serve either a Section 8 or Section 21 notice on them.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks Ash.

      I have seen it said that the correct process is to serve an s8 or s12 at the same time as a MCOL, but hadn't realised that a MCOL couldn't be done with the tenants still in the property.

      Does this mean that it is impossible to chase rent arrears without evicting the tenant?

      As the rent is now overdue and so owed, what would actually happen if I just issued a MCOL?

      Comment


        #4
        You can use MCOL before the tenants leave but its usually pointless as you dont know the full extent of the costs until theyve left. They may be in the last month of the fixed term but that doesnt mean they are leaving. A periodic tenancy on the same terms will arise automatically if they stay on. If you dont think they plan to leave but you want them to then serve a s21 notice.

        Comment


          #5
          You can combine a claim for rent arrears with s8 or s21 (using the non-accelerated route).

          As above, you can make a claim anytime, but you can't change the amount claimed (without asking the judge to do that at a hearing - and they may say no). The expected process is that you make a final demand for everything someone owes you and then, as a last resort, go to court.
          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


            #6
            Thanks for all of the advice.

            The tenants have told me that they intend to move out at the end of the fixed term and have organised new accommodation, so I am fairly confident that they will be moving out.

            If I ended up issuing a MCOL for the "final month", but they then didn't move out, could I simply proceed with that MCOL and then take further action for any further rent arrears?

            I don't want to complicate matters more than I have to but, I also don't want this money outstanding any longer than I need to.

            In terms of process, do I need to adhere to a specific pre-action protocol? Would a letter before action, giving 7 days, and then proceeding to a MCOL be reasonable?

            Comment


              #7
              Serve s8g10 TODAY. Yes, valid if only 1p underpaid only for 1 day. No LBA needed. If possible verbally explain you'd only give full & honest reference (ie rent not paid) and council do not rehouse "intentionally homeless" people who don't pay rent.

              Hopefully tenants will take the hint.

              Don't take (just..) s8g10 to court.
              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


                #8
                Originally posted by OnTheToon View Post
                If I ended up issuing a MCOL for the "final month", but they then didn't move out, could I simply proceed with that MCOL and then take further action for any further rent arrears?
                That will cause the judge to be unhappy with you.
                Issue one claim when the total amount owed is known and certain.

                I don't want to complicate matters more than I have to but, I also don't want this money outstanding any longer than I need to.

                In terms of process, do I need to adhere to a specific pre-action protocol? Would a letter before action, giving 7 days, and then proceeding to a MCOL be reasonable?
                There's an expectation that court is a last resort once any other resolution has failed (you'll almost certainly be asked to attend a mediation session before getting to court). You will probably need to exhaust any deposit process before you issue a letter before action at all and (in my personal opinion 7 days is too short, even then).

                A claim will take a number of months to process and reach a resolution.

                I think your expectation of timescale is slightly unrealistic.
                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


                  #9
                  Ask T for address of their new property.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks for the advice. I will have to give this more thought.

                    I had hoped to avoid having to get the rent from the deposit, but it seems that is not possible.

                    Originally posted by mariner View Post
                    Ask T for address of their new property.
                    I do intend to do this, but strongly believe that they will decline to tell me.

                    They provided a forwarding address when they moved in (a property they own in another part of the country).

                    What is the reason that I would ask for this information?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Otherwise, you'll have to write to them at the address of the property they're no longer going to be living in, and the court will send notices to the same place.
                      If they don't arrange mail forwarding, they won't see the notices and, although you'll win the court case by default if they don't defend it, you won't get any money.
                      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


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                        If they don't arrange mail forwarding, they won't see the notices and, although you'll win the court case by default if they don't defend it, you won't get any money.
                        Thanks. As I say, I very much doubt that they will tell me, but I will ask.

                        If they don't, and they don't get the notices, and I win by default, can I at least ask the judge to order the deposit scheme to release that proportion of the deposit to me?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by OnTheToon View Post
                          If they don't, and they don't get the notices, and I win by default, can I at least ask the judge to order the deposit scheme to release that proportion of the deposit to me?
                          Yes, you can (assuming they've disputed your proposal and have declined arbitration).

                          As they've provided a contact address, you have to use that address.
                          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


                            #14
                            why cant a subsequent MCoL be issued - is there anything that says only one MCoL can be issued against a particular tenant?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by MisterB View Post
                              why cant a subsequent MCoL be issued - is there anything that says only one MCoL can be issued against a particular tenant?
                              I was wondering that too.

                              Comment

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