Tenant in arrears; s.21 served, MCOL lodged; what next?

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    Tenant in arrears; s.21 served, MCOL lodged; what next?

    Looking for assistance. Please help.

    Here is the short of it:

    Got a tenant. They owe over £2000. They have not paid for months. So had enough.

    - sent section 21 to end 21 dec 08
    - put small claims in for about £1600.

    they ignored the letter from the court. You then choose one of 3 options - ask they pay
    - immediately in full
    - in installments
    - or in full by a certain date

    i now worry they will ignore this. i then have to look to baliffs or attachment of earnings

    am i going in the right direction? any advice on what to do next concerning baliffs or attachment of earnings.

    It really is not OK. aswell as struggling to pay the 2 mortagages because they are not paying, everytime you go to the courts it's more money everytime.

    They are just not paying anything.

    They were great tenants to start paying in full, on time for the first 4 months but now i am getting nothing and I'm struggling.

    any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    can anybody assist?

    really need the help


      Originally posted by robbietheram View Post
      can anybody assist?

      really need the help
      Yes, but it's only two hours since you first posted! Many LZ members tend to post overnight, although a few are online during the day too, so keep calm- someone able to answer will probably be along in due course.
      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).



        Your predicament echoes mine exactly. Had a rogue tenant who paid rent for his first two months and then decided to be clever and ceased paying. In an ideal world (and certainly in parts of the world where such nonsense isn't tolerated), he'd be dragged out of the property and given a good flogging before being thrown out. Sadly, the law in the UK means idiots like these can simply take the mickey and you as Landlord simply have to rely on the long, pedantic, legal route for resolution. Meanwhile, you're struggling to even pay your own mortgage, let alone pay to house some fool in your own property too!

        In the current economic climate when thousands are suffering, tenants who're so evil and dishonest as to pull off such stunts deserve every bad luck in life and I mean every word of that. How they can live with themselves is beyond me!

        Still my friend, despair not. I was myself awarded possession of my property a few weeks ago, but now have to submit another application to the court for the bailiffs to evict the vermin from my property. Yes, it's all part of the rogue tenant's way of infruriating you further, as he/she will refuse to vacate your property by the date ordered by the court, just so you spend more money in court fees, or snap and end up in trouble with the law. Don't stoop to their level by getting into any confrontation with them. Just stick to the legal route, as painful and lengthy as it may be. You will have the last laugh at the end of it all, don't you worry.

        Now, this is what you need to do:

        1) Issue a Section 8 immediately, making sure you have the wording, etc, right. Get expert help if necessary. It should have been first on your list of actions. Section 8 will guarantee you an accelerated possession, which is far quicker than the Section 21 Notice. Whatever you do, do not withdraw the Section 21 Notice though; that is your back-up, should the tenant get too clever and decide to settle all or part of the arrears to invalidate the Section 8 Notice. You need the arrears to be over a certain threshold to enforce Section 8 and that is why you maintain the Section 21 as back-up to guarantee eviction.

        Now, from my personal experience, this would be the logical path to take:

        1) Issue S8 and S21 Notices

        2) At the expiry of the S8 Notice (S8 expires earlier), submit forms N5 and N119 to your local county court. State that you are also making a claim for money.

        3) The court will notify all parties of a court date.

        4) At the hearing, if the tenant is still in rent arrears by at least 8 weeks, 3 months, etc, you will be granted possession and your money claim granted. If they're not in arrears by the minimum required duration, then go through the S21 route.

        5) If S8 is however still valid by the court date, the tenant being as stupid as ever, will typically refuse to vacate the property. You must then apply for a warrant of possession through the court. You will be notified of the bailiff visit date.

        6) If the tenant failed to vacate the property, it's even more likely they will refuse to settle the payment awarded to you. Again, you have to apply to the court for this to be enforced. You can use the HM Moneyclaim online service. They will serve the tenant notice of the claim and he/she will be given a deadline to respond to the claim.

        7) If the tenant fails to respond to the claim, usually because they've moved, you can request for a Judgment in Default. A Judgment in Default means a CCJ can eventually be entered against the tenant's name, unless they can provide valid reasons for the Judgment in Default to be set aside. Now, to apply for Judgement to be set aside by the court, the vermin must pop out of whatever hole he/she is hiding and hey presto, you and the court now have his new address details. If he/she fails to dispute the Judgement in Default, who cares? Press on for the CCJ to be entered against their name regardless and let them deal with that problem for the next 6 years.

        Should they also respond to the online claim and the case is ruled in your favour, then they have to stick to the judgement ruling, i.e. full payment made to you by a specific date, payments made in installments, etc.

        8) If they fail to abide by the ruling, then and only then can you apply for a Warrant of Execution, Attachment of Earnings, etc. If that also fails to get them to act responsibly, then it's CCJ Register time, Bankruptcy Order,..... you take your pick. This is where you hit 'em hard, the rogue tenants!

        Yes, it's a long-winded system that can drive you mad, but just persevere. At the end of the day, if it's a crumb of comfort, whatever you spend in application fees etc, you make the tenant liable for that additional expense.

        Good Luck and hope this helps. I am myself at Number 6 in dealing with my tenant and I can certainly see the end of the road in sight.


          Hitman - your comprehensive action list is very helpful and appreciated.

          I have been through the Section 8 route with my tenant. I obtained an order for possession, rent arrears + costs. Thankfully the tenant moved out (even if she did leave the place in a mess and steal some furniture...)

          My question is, what should I do next to make sure that her credit record is truly blemished ? Do I understand correctly that I need to go through MCOL in order to obtain a CCJ (in default)?

          Based on my own investigation I believe I know where she now lives but do not have official proof, but I do not where she works. Should I have further proceedings served on her at the property she rented from me on the assumption that mail can be redirected?

          Grateful for any advice from users of the Forum.


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