EPC and S21

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    EPC and S21

    Hi, I’ve been trying to move tenants on from one property, without success, for around four months (two S21 notices because the first, issued by my letting agent, was due to expire between Christmas and new year, and I’m basically soft). The 2 month term of the second s21 expired on 22/2/20. They show every sign of being in for the long haul so are likely to still be there in April. Will the fact that the EPC will not then be up to standard hamper me in evicting them?

    As a supplementary question, are the tenants shooting themselves in the foot by not moving; can the fact that they have overstayed a S21 notice (and whatever follows) be disclosed in a reference when they do look for somewhere else to rent?

    I should also say that one of the main reasons for wishing them to move on is that I can see EPCs, (and also tenant’s rights) are heading and I wish to evaluate and likely extensively renovate the property such that it will perform much better on the EPC; I’d rather not be putting insulation in now just to be ripping it all out again along with the ceiling in a few months time!

    Here are the particulars:
    I’m in England
    The house is jointly let to a (retired) couple
    AST started on 19/4/14
    Initial 6 month term
    Rent due monthly

    Thanks!

    #2
    Originally posted by Slackjawedyokel View Post
    Will the fact that the EPC will not then be up to standard hamper me in evicting them?
    It shouldn't

    As a supplementary question, are the tenants shooting themselves in the foot by not moving; can the fact that they have overstayed a S21 notice (and whatever follows) be disclosed in a reference when they do look for somewhere else to rent?
    Yes.

    Why haven't you escalated the first s21 to court? There is/was no need of a second one, but there will be in a month or so.
    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
      jpkeates
      I suppose because I’m a naive landlord and I was hoping it wouldn’t be necessary.
      I don’t understand; why would/will I need another s21 in a month or so?

      Comment


        #4
        Because s21 notices expire six month's after they're served.
        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


          #5
          Check your s21 against....
          https://nearlylegal.co.uk/section-21-flowchart/
          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


            #6
            theartfullodger Thanks- I had a look at that before starting down the s21 route and I *think* all is in order. Also it’s been let (and the s21 issued) through an agent so it *should* all be hunky dory, although of course if anything is wrong it’ll come back to bite me, not the agent.

            Comment


              #7
              Sadly this & other landlord related sites have rather too many postings of agents letting landlords down to create much confidence in any particular agent being reliable in these matters.

              But there are good agents, I use two!
              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 Slackjawedyokel View Post
                Hi, I’ve been trying to move tenants on from one property, without success, for around four months (two S21 notices because the first, issued by my letting agent, was due to expire between Christmas and new year, and I’m basically soft).
                A S21 notice does not require tenant to leave.
                It is notice that you may take action to remove them after the notice period has expired.

                Therefore you could (and should) have started court action some time in January, probably after discussing your and their positions, so they understood why you were doing it and you understood what their plans were for moving on.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I did have one of the tenants on my doorstep a few days before Christmas pleading that they just needed a little while longer (waiting to hear back about a couple of places, Christmas gumming things up etc, hence another S21- yes, I’m green!) I did explain my reasons why I want possession of the house and that large scale renovation is not appropriate with tenants in situ. Spool forwards a couple of months and same story- still looking at a couple of places etc.

                  I assume that my next step will be to fill in an N5B form to start the accelerated possession process?

                  As I’m not a professional landlord (I already have a 7 day a week job), would it be best to engage a solicitor (with experience in the area) to carry the process forward and ensure all t’s are crossed etc? (My letting agent doesn’t do anything further than issuing S21s)

                  I assume that, as we’ve served two S21s, it will be the later one that we’ll be taking forward?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    There are specialist eviction companies (some of whom advertise on this site in the directory section) as an alternative to solicitors.

                    If you don't know what you're doing or are not confident in your knowledge, repossession can be stressful.
                    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


                      #11
                      Originally posted by MdeB View Post
                      .............

                      A S21 notice does not require tenant to leave.
                      It is notice that you may take action to remove them after the notice period has expired..................
                      I know what you mean but actually Form 6a does require tenant to leave: See....
                      https://assets.publishing.service.go...ACTIVE__1_.pdf

                      2.You are required to leave the below address after [ ...............................]1.
                      - - which is why I describe s21 as not compelling tenant to leave.

                      Perhaps a landlord-friendly form drafter had a hand in the wording...
                      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


                        #12
                        Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                        Perhaps a landlord-friendly form drafter had a hand in the wording...
                        I think its just reflecting the language used in the legislation. S21(1(b)) and 21(4(a)) of HA88 use the term "require possession" in relation to the notice

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Slackjawedyokel View Post
                          I did have one of the tenants on my doorstep a few days before Christmas pleading that they just needed a little while longer (waiting to hear back about a couple of places, Christmas gumming things up etc, hence another S21- yes, I’m green!)
                          I think its likely that no other landlord wants them either, so be prepared for have to go to court and get bailiffs to get them out.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            DPT57 That’s the daft thing; until now we’d have no reason to give them anything but an excellent reference- in many ways they’ve been model tenants, always paying their rent, not damaging the place and so on. Many landlords would find them excellent tenants. Our problem is that we live very nearby and so we get a lot of ‘direct hassle’ from them. If that direct hassle is part of our responsibility as landlords, then that’s generally fine (although their understanding of a reasonable timeframe to get something fixed or replaced is somewhat shorter than mine- on one occasion they reported the boiler as faulty at lunchtime on a Friday and with the next breath demanded that it should be fixed by the weekend (??))
                            The stuff that’s not our responsibility gets a bit more wearing. Eg. they asked my mum to give them a lift to the station (~15 miles away) and pick them up on their return. I think my mum was a little blindsided by the request so agreed. Being asked another time, my mum suggested using a taxi firm, and so relations soured! Another example is that the electric went off a few weeks ago on a Saturday early evening. Sure enough, the chap was on the phone a few minutes later more or less demanding to know when the supply would be restored. It hadn’t occurred to him to report the fault to the distributor, so I recommended he try that (I was still working at the time).

                            In their manner and dealings with us, it’s clear that they see themselves as the customer - always right- and we are the folks that have to sort out any problems to their timeframe. I don’t think it had ever occurred to them that we had the power to ask them to leave. I think the S21s came as a big shock to them, so they’ve decided to be as flipping awkward as possible. To them, we are now the evil landlords trying to move them out of THEIR home, and to us they are no longer telling the truth. I will not be getting wound up about it though. They will leave eventually and it may cost me some money, but it may cost them more!

                            Hopefully their future landlord will not live nearby, or will run things fully through an agent, who won’t stand for any nonsense!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              SPC will require a rating higher than F after Apr 1.
                              Explain to Ts that if they do not vacate by expiry date of the 2nd s21, they will be liable for hearing costs and Bailiff fees.

                              Comment

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