serving section 21 'just in case'

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    serving section 21 'just in case'

    Hi all. This is my first post so I hope I comply with any rules (the FAQ link for newbies doesn't appear to be working).
    Given the 6 month notice required for S21 I was wondering if any landlords ever serve S21 to their tenants at the end of the 4th month 'just in case' a problem might arise in the future. If so how is this done without causing any offence to the tenants? Fortunately, I've never had to serve one and have always managed to reach an agreement but I've recently come close and the thought just occurred to me that in future I could serve it in advance. I assume I don't need to act on it if all goes well with the tenants then it will simply expire. Be interested to know other landlords views?

    #2
    In today's environment I don't think it's a good idea. It's going to piss off your tenants, cause them to fear eviction and destroy any goodwill that currently exists between the parties. The result of which could be no rent for the duration.

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      #3
      Yes that is my fear and I definitely don't want to upset tenants. I was just curious in case it was actually more common these days ? Many years ago I do remember once buying a tenancy agreement and it came with a notice document designed to be served at the same time as entering a tenancy agreement on a 'just in case' basis....

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        #4
        Originally posted by coolcat View Post
        Many years ago I do remember once buying a tenancy agreement and it came with a notice document designed to be served at the same time as entering a tenancy agreement on a 'just in case' basis....
        It was called a 'precautionary section 21' or 'the sword of Damocles'.

        Can't do it nowadays.

        But I've got some tenants still living in good quality homes 20 years on who wouldn't have got a tenancy without it.

        The current day equivalent is don't give them a chance in the first place.

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          #5
          I would serve it after 4 months and explain to the tenant your reasons. If something goes wrong you will regret they you did not do it. Why would the tenants be upset ? It is business.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Perce View Post
            I would serve it after 4 months and explain to the tenant your reasons. If something goes wrong you will regret they you did not do it. Why would the tenants be upset ? It is business.
            Because it's their home, it shows a lack of trust, might destroy the relationship, they may get pissed off and stop paying, it may frighten them, they could worry they will be thrown out in the middle of a pandemic, they think they'll have to leave so stop caring for the property, they misunderstand and abandon . . . etc etc

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              #7
              Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
              ...it shows a lack of trust, ...
              Just that;

              Everytime you give a 'precautionary' S21 to the tenant you are actually telling them "I don't trust you".

              You can no longer do it at the start of a new fixed term, but TBH just moving it 4 months down the line hasn't change the basic unfairness, or rudeness, of doing it.

              That practice is one of the contributing reasons that 'No Fault' S21's are being abolished and landlords will have to show a reasonable reason for wanting to evict.

              PS. I wouldn't mind my landlord giving me one of these S21's:
              https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/news/m...y-s21-3794941/

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                #8
                Originally posted by nukecad View Post
                Just that;

                Everytime you give a 'precautionary' S21 to the tenant you are actually telling them "I don't trust you".

                You can no longer do it at the start of a new fixed term, but TBH just moving it 4 months down the line hasn't change the basic unfairness, or rudeness, of doing it.

                That practice is one of the contributing reasons that 'No Fault' S21's are being abolished and landlords will have to show a reasonable reason for wanting to evict.

                PS. I wouldn't mind my landlord giving me one of these S21's:
                https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/news/m...y-s21-3794941/
                Agree with all of the above, my counterargument would be; people do it because they feel they have to.

                6-18 months is a completely unreasonable amount of time to expect landlords to "lump it" if the tenant stops paying rent, in the current climate I can't blame people for hedging.

                Personally, I'd issue it if I had any doubts as to the tenant's ability to pay or continue payment - if they had shown no such problems I would not.

                If nothing else, you're almost guaranteed to make them move at the end of the term - turnover is bad and costly, when the tenants are good.

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                  #9
                  Back when I was renting the Pre-emptive Section 21 pissed me off no end.

                  When the fixed term ended, that's when you would get another offer of a fixed term through the post with considerably inflated rent along with the confirmation that the Section 21 was now in effect and that they could apply for us to be evicted if we didn't accept the new fixed term.

                  It was kind of prevalent back then and I wonder if a lot of the sentiment from tenants now stems from that, as at no time could a tenant then feel like they could ever settle down.

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                    #10
                    There are two issues with giving the tenant a s21 notice after 4 months.
                    It makes them less secure and marks you as a crap landlord in their minds.
                    And s21 notices expire (normally after 6 months, currently after 10), so it's completely pointless, anyway.

                    The law was changed specifically to stop landlords making tenants feel less secure.
                    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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                      #11
                      I do not think renting has anything to do with trust. For me it is business. I have learned my lesson how to trust. Now pay for it.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Perce View Post
                        I do not think renting has anything to do with trust. For me it is business. I have learned my lesson how to trust. Now pay for it.
                        I disagree. I do business every time I employ a plumber or electrician, every time I buy anything. If I didn't trust them I wouldn't do business with them. Which is exactly why perfectly respectable tenants move out of properties that are otherwise suitable for them, because they don't trust their landlord not to enter without permission or to fix things when they break or to treat them with respect.

                        I cannot see how you can do business successfully without trust and respect. Look at what happened to Philip Green - his customers voted with their feet because of his behaviour.

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