S21 with missing tenant signature on PI

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    S21 with missing tenant signature on PI

    Hi all, I’ve been following the threads on this site and must say I am greatly relieved that there is help out there for us all. Renting in this day and age really does feel like a minefield, both for Landlords and Tenants alike.
    My query is that I am about to send a to “notice to leave section 21” to my tenant. She’s been in the property for 4 years but she’s getting later & later with paying her rent, as well as being quite arrogant when challenged. There don’t appear to be any reasons for this as she appears to maintain a steady income, and has always paid eventually, so I’ve tried be accommodating where I can. This month she told me she couldn’t afford the rent and would be late paying but then my wife saw her in the queue at a clothes shop last week spending quite the sum of money!! This really was the last straw for me so I decided after much thought that it’s time to move the tenant on so that I can sell the house. I’m approaching retirement anyway and feel I’m getting too old for all this.
    Anyway, I’ve gone through the flow-chart to make sure I’ve done everything by the book and the only query I have is that I don’t have copy of the “prescribed information” signed by my tenant. I am sure I issued it at the beginning of the tenancy but I definitely don’t have a copy with her signature, which I assume to mean she never signed and sent it back - same with the Inventory photos. My wife reminded at the time about the inventory but it just didn’t register with me that it was important l, thinking she seemed like a nice lady that would take good care of the house so the inventory wouldn’t be a problem. Little did I realise the real issue.
    I initially thought it wouldn’t be a problem when told her of my intentions and I assumed she would take the notice and start looking for somewhere else to live. However I mentioned a few days ago during a phone call to ask when I might expect this month’s rent, that I was looking to issue notice. I told her that it would be 6 months starting beginning of June, thinking that would give her ample time to look for an alternative. Unfortunately her response was not what I was expecting. She made it quite clear that she absolutely wouldn’t move on willingly as she can’t get anything else as nice in the area. The house is in a small village & not many rental options, granted, which would possibly mean her looking for something quite far away.
    Well I’m sure she’s quite an astute woman so I assume she will now be investigating ways to invalidate my notice, and I fear this might be her way out.
    Sadly I’m at a loss as to how to proceed with this. Should I issue her the “Prescribed Information” and ask her to sign it when I issue the section 21? What if she refuses to do so? I’d really rather get this right first time, and would be terribly disappointed if I go through all this to have her challenge me in court.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read, much appreciated.

    #2
    Paragraphs.

    Presumably you mean a Form 6a s21 notice?

    Since in England (bonkers!) a tenancy does not even need to be written I'd simply proceed as though everything signed.

    You'll appreciate s21 does not end a tenancy nor compel s tenant to leave. Probably 12-18months if she digs heels in for eviction.

    For rent arrears ALSO serve s8 - sounds like g10 &11 at least. I'd copy to council to ensure scarce housing advice and property is not wasted on this contract cheater.

    Presumably either no reference or only a full, honest one?
    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
      Did you actually give the PI? And if so, can you evidence it, beyond a witness statement from you saying you gave it?

      The requirement isn't that the tenant have signed it, you merely need to have "given the tenant the opportunity to sign" the PI. If you had send it to them and ask them to sign it and send it back, that is technically sufficient.
      I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

      I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

      Comment


        #4
        How did you give/ send the Prescribed Information to the tenant?

        You can give the Prescribed Information to the tenant at any time prior to serving notice in order to make the notice valid.
        The only issue might be if the tenant then uses this as evidence that you didn't do this originally and tries to make a claim for non-compliance with the deposit prescription regulations.

        Some landlords send copies of everything that they're required to give prior to notice again, just as a belt and braces in case of any issues. Two copies, first class from two different post offices with a proof of postage certificate.
        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
          Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
          Paragraphs.

          Presumably you mean a Form 6a s21 notice?

          Since in England (bonkers!) a tenancy does not even need to be written I'd simply proceed as though everything signed.

          You'll appreciate s21 does not end a tenancy nor compel s tenant to leave. Probably 12-18months if she digs heels in for eviction.

          For rent arrears ALSO serve s8 - sounds like g10 &11 at least. I'd copy to council to ensure scarce housing advice and property is not wasted on this contract cheater.

          Presumably either no reference or only a full, honest one?
          Hello there, and thank you for responding.

          yes, sadly I’m aware that there are lots of delays at the moment and I’m afraid I’ll just have to “sit it out”. But I’m really quite determined now that I do go ahead and at least start the ball rolling. My wife has told me to mind the blood-pressure as it could be a long wait.

          You mention rent arrears but thankfully we are only 12 days late at the moment, so I’m not sure that I could justify sending a section 8 note as well? She does always pay eventually but seems to be of the opinion that it can be at any point in the first two weeks of the month! It wasn’t always like this, just maybe in the last 4 or 5 months that it’s got worse. Is it really worth perusing a section 8 in addition?

          You are correct in thinking I will be loathe to provide any kind of a positive reference. I would feel ashamed to vouch for her and inflict this frustration on another landlord. Though the worry is then what does she do?

          Thank you again.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
            How did you give/ send the Prescribed Information to the tenant?

            You can give the Prescribed Information to the tenant at any time prior to serving notice in order to make the notice valid.
            The only issue might be if the tenant then uses this as evidence that you didn't do this originally and tries to make a claim for non-compliance with the deposit prescription regulations.

            Some landlords send copies of everything that they're required to give prior to notice again, just as a belt and braces in case of any issues. Two copies, first class from two different post offices with a proof of postage certificate.

            Hello and thank you for taking the time to answer.

            I live quite close so if I did pass it on I would have popped it through the letter-box.

            I have my copy of the prescribed information form in a folder which is signed by myself and dated a week after she signed the tenancy agreement. However there is an empty space where it asks for the tenant signature. I am quite certain that she just did not return it, along with my list of inventory items. I’m so cross with myself that I didn’t follow this up, as I took it that I had followed the correct procedure by simply giving her a copy.

            Does this mean that she could stay in the property until she sees fit to leave? I notice on my tenancy agreement that she did sign (thankfully I have this copy locked in the safe) I do make reference to the deposit scheme and phone number. But presumably this isn’t enough?

            Thank you again.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by KTC View Post
              Did you actually give the PI? And if so, can you evidence it, beyond a witness statement from you saying you gave it?

              The requirement isn't that the tenant have signed it, you merely need to have "given the tenant the opportunity to sign" the PI. If you had send it to them and ask them to sign it and send it back, that is technically sufficient.
              I popped it through the letter-box as it seems a waste of a stamp to post when it’s so close my my own home. But my wife had been furiously investigating and is telling me that as my tenant didn’t send the form back with her signature within 30 days then she will most probably pretend she didn’t receive it. Is it enough to resend my own copy with the blank tenant signature to her when I send her the section 21?

              Indeed I shall be posting this recorded delivery to absolutely make sure there are no ifs or buts about it being received.

              Thank you again, you are all very kind.

              Comment


                #8
                You need to have served the PI before serving the s21, so wait a day and send it seperately. But forewarned, your tenant may well then refuse to sign for the s21 recorded delivery which mean you haven't served it.
                I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Agreed.
                  Never send documents you are going to rely on by a method that needs to be signed for.

                  The intended recipient can simply decline to sign for it.

                  If they're not there when to postman calls the first time, the intended recipient will get a card through the door, and if they don't collect it, it will be returned to the sender after a month or so.

                  In both cases there is proof it wasn't delivered.

                  Send it first class post and delivery is presumed to take place 2 working days after posting (before 4:30PM). Doing it at a post office means you can get proof of posting.

                  Post not being delivered by the royal mail is considered so unlikely that this is the best method.
                  If you want to be 100%, send two copies from two different post offices.

                  Half of my tenants don't return the PI signed (despite my posting it to them with a covering letter and providing a stamped self addressed envelope).
                  Don't worry about it.

                  If this is going to be a one off, why not pay a professional eviction service to set this out?
                  Much less 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


                    #10
                    Ah you both made valid points about the postage so thank for both for that. I will make a second copy of all my documents now and pop to the post office in the village, as well as the post office in town. I think that really is the best option. I shall be sure to ask for the required “proof of postage” at both.

                    I suppose the reason I didn’t want to engage with a specialist is that I am a bit of an old fool that likes to get the job done oneself.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Inneedofadrino View Post
                      I suppose the reason I didn’t want to engage with a specialist is that I am a bit of an old fool that likes to get the job done oneself.
                      I know the feeling.

                      I've made a mental note not to get carried away and pay a professional "next time".
                      It's too easy to mess up and I don't need the stress.

                      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

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