Eviction advice

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    Eviction advice

    Hi, I have a tenant who is now several months in arrears. She has changed her phone number and does not answer the door. I've sent an informal letter asking her to get in touch, which has been ignored. She's been pretty flaky for a while and it seems like she's decided to stick her head in the sand and hope it all goes away. Obviously I'd like to speak with her and suggest she asks for council help to avoid the hassle of eviction and also my financial loss, but if she will not communicate, it seems I have few options. The lease was a 12 month assured shorthold that has been rolling since the 12 months were up. Which notice do I need to use with that being the case?

    #2
    s21 & s8 all valid grounds: How many month's arrears please? Then later decide which to go with.

    Check your s21 here to see if it's valid (many, many are not valid)
    https://nearlylegal.co.uk/section-21-flowchart/

    Any training in landlord/tenant law?
    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


      #3
      Thanks for the reply.

      The arrears are for the last 3 months plus another approx half a month owed on top.

      No training in law.

      Thanks for the link; I think it should be valid. In short;

      - she moved in in 2017
      - I provided an energy certificate. I have a gas test done anually. I provided the rental booklet and the deposit is in a protected scheme.

      I know the law seems to heavily favour tenants and if a landlord does a single thing wrong, we are screwed, but just for example, she has never paid the rent by standing order as the rental agreement states. Nobody cares I'm sure but it's a breach of contract on her part.

      Comment


        #4
        Its probably an unfair contract term

        Comment


          #5
          Probably. Everything is unfair to tenants as far as the government is concerned.

          Landlords not getting paid rent on time though, no worries there.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by ba_baracuss View Post
            Probably. Everything is unfair to tenants as far as the government is concerned.

            Landlords not getting paid rent on time though, no worries there.
            Nail...... on the head.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by ba_baracuss View Post
              ...

              No training in law.

              Thanks for the link; I think it should be valid. In short;

              ....
              Think I understand. Please , have you checked an s21 against the flowchart??

              Power has swing betwixt & between landlord and tenant for many hundreds of years, always has, always will. Part of the job.
              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
                theartfullodger,

                Excuse the delay in replying, and thanks for your reply.

                I haven't checked an actual S21 against it no, I just used the chart and followed it with regard to my circumstances.

                So you're saying I need to get an S21 and fill it in?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Until you serve a valid s21 and/or s8 nothing is going to happen. Serve them TODAY having checked they are valid.

                  No offence, but why the delay, please?
                  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


                    #10
                    The delay because I don't know what's going on. The tenant has been all over the place for a while due to family issues etc, and so it's possible that she has had some kind of breakdown or something and may not even be at the address. I'd imagine she could get council help for the rent. If I go the eviction route, I am concreteing guaranteed losses of a lot of money for myself, and also a load of aggravation and a damaged property in a right state when she eventually leaves. It's now at the point when I don't have any options though.

                    Which of the above do I need? Also I assume this ludicrous delay is still in force which allows her to stay for free for another 6 months or something?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      How are the requirements here confirmed either way? I don't have proof I provided the energy certificate or how to rent book.

                      As regards the gas test, it was due late last year, but the tenant refused to have it done until after christmas making it overdue. I assume this will have screwed me here?

                      Also, I understand there is a new electrical safety check you have to do now. I imagine not having that would also invalidate trying to get her out?

                      Given that she is refusing to communicate, how would I even get that done?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        If you don't have proof you gave the tenant the EPC or the How to Rent booklet, you can do it now before you serve notice as a fall back. You would confirm that you gave them to the tenant at the start of the tenancy, but if the tenant persuades the judge that you didn't you have the fall back.
                        My advice would be to give the tenant everything you need again as a bundle of documents (including deposit protection PI etc).
                        There's a slight risk that doing this gives the impression that you didn't do it originally, but it's probably less of a risk than the judge electing to believe the tenant.

                        The gas safety certificate is a problem.
                        There's a theory that if you can show that you have made at least three attempts to get it done and the tenant has refused, you might be OK, but that's anecdotal, and not what the legislation actually says.
                        But it's not something that should stop you trying.

                        The electrical certificate isn't a problem for notice.

                        Note that all of the above only applies to a section 21 notice, none of these issues invalidate notice under section 8.

                        Why not start by giving written notice of your intention to inspect the property (at a convenient time, maybe mid afternoon on a weekday), no need for the tenant to be there if they don't want to be, you can use your own key.
                        And turn up and see what happens - it sounds like they won't actually say no before you go, and, even if they refuse to let you in, you know they're actually still living there.
                        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


                          #13
                          Thanks for the reply. I will do that with regard to the documents.

                          So with regard to the gas test, would it being late, even though it was due to the tenant, not invalidate an S21?

                          I drove up to it a few weeks ago on an evening and there were lights on. She won't have gone anywhere when she can live there for free.

                          If she doesn't reply to a letter, then what? If they don't reply can you enter anyway? She has what looks like a Staffy that would make actually entering if she is out impossible.

                          What else would your suggestion achieve?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by ba_baracuss View Post
                            So with regard to the gas test, would it being late, even though it was due to the tenant, not invalidate an S21?
                            Not having one at all when the tenancy began is fatal to a section 21 notice.
                            Being late doesn't (although it might in future).

                            I drove up to it a few weeks ago on an evening and there were lights on. She won't have gone anywhere when she can live there for free.
                            If she owes two month's rent, use section 8 not section 21.
                            If she owes six month's rent, the notice period is much reduced.

                            If she doesn't reply to a letter, then what? If they don't reply can you enter anyway? She has what looks like a Staffy that would make actually entering if she is out impossible.
                            If the tenant doesn't refuse you access, you have a right to enter.
                            She can stop you at the front door though.

                            What else would your suggestion achieve?
                            Not much -it's an opportunity to communicate.

                            Your point should be that if you evict her using section 8 for arrears the council won't help her at all (deliberately making yourself homeless is an issue).

                            But if she lives on her own, the council are going to give her a room, not a property to live in anyway.
                            She needs to find herself somewhere else to live or start paying rent plus the arrears.
                            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


                              #15
                              Thanks again for the reply.

                              She has 2 kids if that helps with which notice is applicable.

                              I will look into the section 8, thanks. She owes 3 months + rent now.

                              She gets/got universal credit so presumably she's pocketing that herself and giving me 0 for whatever that's worth. I read elsewhere that it can be paid direct to landlords which I thought was no longer allowed.

                              Comment

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