Tenant in arrears and changed locks; how can I proceed?

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    Tenant in arrears and changed locks; how can I proceed?

    Hello All,

    You might be able to help me. I have a nightmare tenant I have bent over backwards for, but it's time to cut it loose. Let me know what you think?

    In short, my predicament is as follows.

    Aug 2006 - tenant moves in, with new born child, Tenant pays just part of the deposit (550 of 1275). This is before the need to protect deposits I believe (?)

    Tenant pays rent monthly, within reasonable time (give or take 2 weeks) for around one year.

    Aug 2007. Tenant begins to pay rent at least 3 weeks behind. Tenant is prompted to pay rent on time, tenant does is not responsive.

    November 2007 - tenant is served section 21 notice, more specifically on grounds that owner on return from abroad will be occupying the property. Tenant denies receipt of notice. Tenant changes locks precluding landlord from entering property for maintenancem checks etc. British Gas is not given access to property for yearly Corgi check.

    January 2008 - tenant is served with second section 21, confirmation of postage, rather than recorded delivery, is sought. Tenant does not vacate property despite regular, but far from harrassing, correspondence (email very occasional calls) with landlord. Tenant pleads on grounds of child etc. Landlord does not acquiesce from this point on. Tenant is rude and abusive in email ('you can't evict me for rent arrears, stupid, etc'). Tenant is on average one month behind on rent.

    June 2008 - court order is sought on original s21 grounds, (landlord wishing to reoccupy property).

    In the meantime, tenant has stopped paying rent (last rent paid in May). There is of course no real deposit to speak of. Tenant has not vacated property. There is also strong suspicion tenant is housing non-registered immigrants. For sense of fairness this has not been mentioned in court orders etc.

    Is there anyway reimbursement can be sought for what is now rent arrears without complicated the s21? Rent was not in arrears when s21 was first submitted.

    What can be done to weight likelihood that tenant will be evicted sooner rather than later?

    The injustice of this all sickens me, absolutely. Evicting a child feels immoral, but this is ludicrous. Being walked over and charitably paying for them to abuse me over email and live in my property is just not on, especially when I am trying to refunance the property in these times of rising mortage rates. Please help.

    In addition

    Aug 2006 - yearly AST was signed and agreed. This expired in Aug 2007.


      S21 is no grounds notice merely requiring possession. No reasons need to be given.

      If tenant does not vacate then you will need to start court proceedings for possession. This will take around 4 months from start to finish.

      The tenant will sit tight and wait for the bailiffs to come so she can be rehoused by the council.

      You could start a separate action for rent arrears, but lets face it, the tenant probably doesn't have any money.

      The fact the tenant couldn't pay the full deposit told you everything you needed to know. You NEVER NEVER NEVER let a tenant in without full rent and deposit up front.

      You'll just have to follow the legal route and be much more careful next time who you let in.


        Why was a section 8 Notice not served, as soon as the rent was one month + one day unpaid?
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).


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