Section21 issued before March lockdown and latest developments

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    #16
    Helen, not heard anything from the court yet, but it’s only been a week so being patient. Regarding your question, the tenant receives housing support to pay the rent ( and has done for last six years). She approached the council to understand her options once I had served the S21 - and was told to stay put. I did discuss with the tenant the pros and cons of this approach but she is either unable to find a house she considers suitable or cannot afford the places she likes. I had not increased the rent for six years as I was happy with the status quo and continual income. This however did two things, I think; put her in a position where she couldn’t afford to find somewhere similar, also it affected my ability to sell the property to another LL as the value is based on income v cost. Happy to be getting out of renting after 13 years - only entered due to job moving around the country.

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      #17
      Thanks for the update.

      What I think you're describing is what I consider to be a really muddled and unhelpful part of the possession process (even before Covid). This is the way I understand it ... Local Authorities have a duty to offer advice and ultimately to rehouse people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. Applicants have to 'jump through a few hoops', and one of them is to prove they didn't cause their own homelessness. Because everyone is protected from eviction without the due process of law - only a court can grant possession - if your tenant leaves at the end of the notice period given on a S21 notice, the LA considers that the tenant has voluntarily surrendered her accommodation so has caused her own homelessness. The LA insist that the tenant goes through the court process, even if the tenant doesn't want to, has no grounds for challenging the possession order, and will still end up without accommodation at the end of it.

      I think I'm in a situation comparable to yours: I've served notice on a tenant because I want to carry out a refurbishment and I'm using the S21 route because I can. The family have been in there for 5 years, there have been hiccups with rent payment but they are paying. They'd lived in the house for about a month when we bought it. If they weren't in-situ we'd probably have done the refurbishment before we let it. So the house has never been brilliant but we've spent a fair amount of money doing work and they keep it nicely. But now it's time; it's a Victorian house and anyone who owns one of those will know they need looking after.

      The tenant has presented herself to the LA so has told me she won't be leaving at the end of the notice period. I've been quite naive; thinking about it they are exactly the sort of tenant who would do this but I really didn't see it coming. The notice ends in November so I thought they'd have a month before Xmas to get themselves settled - forget that! I'm in regular contact with the tenant, she's told me she's been through the process outlined above before. She described in in quite harrowing terms - I was shocked - I've come to the conclusion that the process is immoral not to mention unhelpful!

      I haven't put the rent up in the 5 years they've been there partly because of the condition of the house. But like you, I don't think it does a long term tenant like this any favours, because they don't have a good sense of what the market's doing. You could argue that they'd have the same amount of money whatever but somehow finding a bit more extra money every year is easier than finding a lot more extra money after 5 years.

      I'm coming to the end of a 5 year fixed term mortgage in February. Our business model is refurbish, increase the capital and rental values, then take money out with a remortgage. So I now may not be able to do the refurbishment for the remortgage. But I may find the remortgage difficult because the rent hasn't gone up. With all the talk of mortgage holidays, I haven't heard any talk of a freeze on a rise in mortgage rates at the end of fixed terms. I'm sure this will begin to affect owner occupiers soon too. Certainly I'd appreciate it for my circumstance!

      Anyway, my financial circumstances aside, to me, the real problem here is that the tenants' cannot afford a market rent. That's a problem neither you nor I can solve. In the mean-time we have completely valid reasons for repossession - let's see if the courts think so!

      Hope you can let us know when you have any further updates. Thanks again.

      Comment


        #18
        Oh, turns out asking tenants to go to court to be considered 'homeless' isn't allowed any more:
        https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk...fings/sn06856/
        I bet that's news to a few landlords.

        Comment


          #19
          To be fair, that has been the case for several years.
          The policy predates the 2017 Act.

          The loophole that the councils use is that they claim the s21 notice isn't valid, and that they expect the court hearing to agree with them.
          So there's no valid s21 notice until a court says that there is.

          That's not what the government want, but, as they have until very recently forced councils to sell social housing under right to buy and not allowed councils to build or buy new housing, the council is stuck.
          They're compelled to house people in homes they don't have.
          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


            #20
            I have been advised that my letting agent has been advised by the insurer to reserve my acc rep application as they did not supply my tenant with a how to rent and and provide an EPC when the AST turned into a periodic ( tenant moved in late 2014, all paperwork in order, and went periodic after first six months) . They have said they are reissuing a s21 - I am livid!! I therefore assume that a) I will have to wait six months for s21 to elapse before acc rep. b) I have no form of recourse against letting agent - I will now lose sale of house, purchase of new property and renovation mortgage charges already accrued. If I am wrong, very happy to be corrected. Currently very grumpy.
            Last edited by Alistersmith; 12-10-2020, 16:27 PM. Reason: Correcting info

            Comment


              #21
              The insurer (oddly) is wrong, both generally and specifically.

              The requirement for the How to Rent booklet explicitly says that it doesn't need to happen for a "replacement tenancy" which the periodic tenancy would be.

              The requirement for an EPC similarly doesn't require it to be given to the tenant when a new tenancy begins. It requires that an EPC be given to the person who becomes a tenant, so you only have to have done it once, then, unless the EPC expires and a new tenancy created, the requirement has already been met.

              Much more to the point for you, both requirements only apply to tenancies created after 1st October 2015, which your periodic tenancy doesn't seem to have done.

              Someone else should check my work!
              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


                #22
                Thank you for such a quick reply it is much appreciated, I had my suspicions but wanted to ensure my understanding. I will now be having a more civil conversation with letting agent, and will report back on progress.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Good Luck!
                  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


                    #24
                    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                    Someone else should check my work!
                    Given that tenancy was granted 2014 and became SPT, I agree that "The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015" do not apply in this case:

                    (3) Subject to paragraph (4), these Regulations apply in relation to an assured shorthold tenancy of a dwelling-house in England granted on or after 1st October 2015.

                    (4) These Regulations do not apply to an assured shorthold tenancy that came into being under section 5(2) of the Housing Act 1988 on or after 1st October 2015 on the coming to an end of an assured shorthold tenancy that was granted before that date.
                    Also, I think that no EPC ever does not invalidate the S21.

                    Comment

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