Tenant overstay after giving notice - how can I reclaim arrears, damage and evict?

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    Tenant overstay after giving notice - how can I reclaim arrears, damage and evict?

    I have a tenant who was renting my house on a 12 month AST via a LetWise Scheme under Manchester Council (which places vulnerable tenants in private accommodation and helps with the setting up of the arrangement). Under the LetWise scheme, they also provide a £1000 bond as a deposit that can be claimed from if there are issues. The tenant gave me notice to move out as they were approved for a Council property and were due to vacate on 1st May 2019 but still hasn't moved out although she has moved some of her stuff from the house. She actually emailed me on 24th April after I set a move out inspection date, saying that as her new house wasn't ready and that the notice she had given wasn't formal notice. It clearly was and the LetWise contact agrees that it was clearly notice that she was to leave.

    As this was a Universal Credit funded tenancy, the rent is paid in arrears and on the 9th of June, she will be 2 months in arrears (which just exceeds the bond)... I assume that the payments are now going to the Council house she will be renting.

    I have made repeated attempts to contact her via phone and email and have received no response since 24th April. I've also spoken to the LetWise contact and they state that there is very little I can do here. I have contacted her to state that I will be seeking amounts owed for the time she has overstayed and that any such amounts paid will be accepted as 'mesne profits' to avoid the creation of a new tenancy.

    There has been damage beyond wear and tear to the house:
    1. Damage to the alarm system
    2. Damage to plug sockets (I'm not even sure how she managed this)
    3. Internal walls have been drawn on by her child and left in a state
    4. The front door lock has been broken off
    5. She still has the keys

    Options I'm aware of:

    1. Section 21 - this has an 8 week timescale as far as I can see online.
    2. Section 8 - having a 2 week timescale but being open to legal redress from the Tenant

    I've believe that it's possible to instigate both of these at the same time.

    What is the best course of action here?

    Regards

    Hova

    #2
    When did the 12 month tenancy start?
    Is the council named as the tenant or the person occupying the property?
    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
      The tenancy started on 10th January 2018. The person occupying the property is named as the tenant.

      Comment


        #4
        As I understand it, if the tenant gives notice, the tenancy really ends. From that point, you can charge mesne profits, rather than rent, and those are at twice the rate of the rent.

        Comment


          #5
          If tenant notice was valid, or you accepted it, then the tenancy ended at the end of notice period.
          Therefore S8 and S21 are not applicable.

          You need to apply to the court for possession and payment of arrears and mesne profit, and damages.
          Point the judge at the Distress for Rent Act, S18, which says tenant must pay an amount (mesne profit) equivalent to double rent if they hold over after their notice to quit has expired.

          Be aware that mesne profit must be taken in arrears, otherwise it may be (is?) considered to be rent.

          Comment


            #6
            If the tenancy ended at the end of the notice period which I agree it does, why do you need a Possession Order? There is now no tenancy in existence. Clearly the tenant has moved into her new property and has left her goods for which a Tort notice is appropriate, and the landlord can take possession.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
              If the tenancy ended at the end of the notice period which I agree it does, why do you need a Possession Order? There is now no tenancy in existence.
              because T has not given possession to LL. LL re-entering could be an illegal eviction.

              Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
              Clearly the tenant has moved into her new property and has left her goods for which a Tort notice is appropriate, and the landlord can take possession.
              original post says "still hasn't moved out "

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for all of this. It sounds like to be on the safe side, which I'd prefer, I'll need to do the Court application. I've heard about the double rent thing but wasn't sure how likely that would be paid out.

                Is the correct form to be completed this one: https://assets.publishing.service.go..._0718_save.pdf? I'm aware that I might be able to complete that online at https://www.possessionclaim.gov.uk/pcol/ too.

                I'm going to start looking at this now but if you have any further advice or tips, please do let me know.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by hova View Post
                  I've heard about the double rent thing but wasn't sure how likely that would be paid out.
                  The law says it is a mandatory award, but that does not mean a judge who is unaware would award it.

                  Take a copy of the section of the Act (include in bundle?) with you, show the Judge and tell the Judge that you are relying on that Act for your claim to double rent.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks. Do we know how successful others have been in obtaining this? I'd have been happy with just the rent that would normally be expected in this period of overstay but taking the damage into account, if I were paid double rent, this would likely cover any damage too (as the Council bond if limited to £1000) so might be the best course of action anyway.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have filled in the PCOL forms and got through to the paying court fees stage (£325). I could do with some advice on what to enter for the rent. The form asks for what rent I should have received and when and I originally entered the dates and values as if the tenant overstay were an extension of the contract, which I assume is incorrect (see attached). Should I, instead, be entering the dates as monthly values, starting from a month after the day after the move out date and using double-rent figures (which would make sense to me)?

                      Do I then go to the Council to claim the amount owed for arrears and damage by the tenant up until their tenancy came to an agreed end on 1st May? The claim double rent for the time after that until whenever they do vacate/I gain possession?

                      Do both of these go onto the form or should I approach the Council separately for the first part (that is valid under the tenancy)?

                      One other point is that I'm in conversation with the Council and they are under the impression that rent is owed for the period after the tenancy ended but only believe it to be at the normal rate.
                      Attached Files
                      Last edited by hova; 10-06-2019, 12:52 PM. Reason: querying how to enter the amounts being claimed on the PCOL form

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by hova View Post
                        Do we know how successful others have been in obtaining this?
                        I have heard of LLs getting it; I have heard of judges refusing.
                        I read one report (by a LL) of a judge saying he had learned something when pointed at the Act.

                        Originally posted by hova View Post
                        One other point is that I'm in conversation with the Council and they are under the impression that rent is owed for the period after the tenancy ended but only believe it to be at the normal rate.
                        "Double rent" is not payable until awarded by a court.

                        ​​​​​​​But you could point them at the Distress for Rent Act.

                        Comment

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