Rent arrears. Section 8 or Break clause?

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    Rent arrears. Section 8 or Break clause?

    I am landlord just entering the fourth month of a 12 month AST with a 4 month break clause. My tenants (a couple and their toddler) have stopped paying rent and are not responding to my text messages, phonecalls or emails. I am losing hope that this is just an oversight and am now thinking about having to regain possession of my property. Should I do this by using the break clause in the tenancy agreement or should I issue a section 8 notice as soon as the rent is 2 months in arrears? Any advice would be very much appreciated.

    #2
    A break notice (if valid) ends the fixed term early, but it doesn't give you rights to go to court for possession. If the tenant continued to live in the property when fixed term tenancy is ended (whether by break notice or by effluxion of time), then a statutory periodic tenancy arise as a matter of law.

    The only legal way to evict someone that doesn't voluntarily leave is through court for an order for possession, then execution of that order by a county court bailiff or High Court enforcement officer. Either s8 notice, or break notice+s21 notice provide that option.

    s8 (assuming g8): non-accelerated possession, you have to prove the ground is met, 2 weeks notice.
    Break notice+s21: break clause must be valid, compliance with deposit protection, EPC, GSC, How to Rent etc. required.
    I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

    I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

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      #3
      Thanks KTC for your prompt reply. They seemed a really nice family and had a great reference from their previous (high street) agent- I can't believe that I am considering eviction options
      Once the end of the 4 month period is reached I will be fully compliant with all the requirements for a s21 notice and will also have 2 months of arrears so ground 8 of s8 will also apply. Is there any reason to choose one notice over the other?

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        #4
        You can issue both.

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          #5
          Would issuing both notices result in two sets of court fees?

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            #6
            You can serve both notices, but you only escalate one 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).

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              #7
              Simply issuing notices doesn't result in any court fees.

              I'll let others answer as to whether actually seeking possession on multiple grounds does, but I suspect no t.

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