Tenant owing rent but contract not signed

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  • Tenant owing rent but contract not signed

    Hi everyone,

    I've a tenant who owes 2 months rent but, stupidly, I didn't get round to renewing the tenancy agreement which expired in November 07. My worry is that the tenant is going to move out and just send me the keys back, with no forwarding address or anything. He is ignoring all my calls at the moment. I do have his deposit so would keep this if he did go, however I'd be one month down on rent.

    As the contract isn't renewed, do I have a leg to stand on?

  • #2
    It doesnt matter that it has run out cos it is now running on what is called a periodic tenancy which means it is running month to month on the same terms as the original contract. If you have to serve a section 21 make sure it is a section 21(4)(a).

    As he is 2 months in arrears serve a section 8, grounds 8,10,11. Send 1 by hand and another copy by registed post. Do it correctly + you will get granted possesion and a court order for the arrears. (Collecting it is a differant matter)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by kbj View Post
      As the contract isn't renewed, do I have a leg to stand on?
      There is no need whatsoever to 'renew' a tenancy agreement; it's typically done by agents so they can extract fees for so doing. What you have now following the end of the fixed period is a 'periodic' tenancy, which is what many landlords do all the time.

      Basically the original tenancy remains fully in force, and you need to give the tenant 2 months' notice if you want them out, and he needs to give you 1 month (with a few complications to that which you can check up on). So you still have an agreement and can sue for loss of rent/notice etc via small claim court; your complication is just that of tracking the tenant down and then getting the csah out of them.

      Don't lump the deposit in with the arrears (yet); hold it back until you have possession again and deduct anything necessary to cover damage. THEN carry forward what's left to deduct from the outstanding arrears. Much better/easier that way as you are just claiming arrears through the courts, not a mixture of arrears and damage (the latter being much harder to prove).

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      • #4
        A periodic tenancy automatically follows the fixed-term if the parties do nothing (i.e. they do not sign another agreement) and the tenancy will be on the same basis as the original agreement, with all the same clauses and conditions being operative.

        A tenant must give the landlord notice if he wants to leave:

        The notice must be in writing
        It must be delivered at least 4 weeks before the notice period ends or 1 month if rent is paid monthly
        It must bring the tenancy to an end at the end of a full rent period.

        Notice by Landlord

        To end a shorthold tenancy the landlord must give at least two months' notice under Section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act


        http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/notice_to_quit.htm

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Beeber View Post
          Notice by Landlord

          To end a shorthold tenancy the landlord must give at least two months' notice under Section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act.
          Depends whether it's:
          a. a Protected Shorthold (Housing Act 1980); or
          b. an Assured Shorthold (Housing Act 1988).
          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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          • #6
            Thanks everyone.

            If he leaves, without telling me (which I feel is going to happen) - how do I go about tracing his whereabouts?

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