Who has the power to serve s.8 notice on tenant?

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    Who has the power to serve s.8 notice on tenant?

    We have an AST and are in the 3rd month. We found a property through a letting agent - they do not manage the property. We signed our AST's with a so-called Managing agency - however - the registered, legal owner is a lady to whom we are supposed to pay rent. We have had several problems since moving in (the managing agency breached contract by entering our property on several occasions without our consent or even informing us, they've made death threats and we've stopped paying rent). We informed them (the managing agency) in writing we will be leaving the property on the 1 May 2009 (they gave us the option to leave earlier - we accepted). My question now is: Despite giving them notice of when we are moving out, the letting agent has served us with a Sec. 8 notice. Are they allowed to serve us with it on their letter head - or is it supposed to come from the managing agency (whom we signed the contract with) or possibly rather from the legal, registered owner herself? Thanks in advance.

    #2
    L is owner; owner is L. Only the owner can let the property. So:
    a. any letting is granted by L; and
    b. any Notice (s.8 or otherwise) is served by L;
    no matter whether signed by her or by her agents.
    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).

    Comment


      #3
      Jeffrey - I have been informed by a solicitor that if someone grants you the right to let their property on their behalf, then you legally may. Ie. my house is in my husband's name - however - I am the one seeing to all the letting / collecting rent / seeing to things that need fixing / paying of the mortgage etc. Are you saying that i am actually not allowed to be doing this?

      Also - if the owner / L is the only one who can serve me a Section 8 - does it mean that the Sec. 8 sent to us by the agency is invalid?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by homelessgirl View Post
        Jeffrey - I have been informed by a solicitor that if someone grants you the right to let their property on their behalf, then you legally may. Ie. my house is in my husband's name - however - I am the one seeing to all the letting / collecting rent / seeing to things that need fixing / paying of the mortgage etc. Are you saying that i am actually not allowed to be doing this?
        No. Whoever is acting on O's behalf is merely O's agent, in any event, and the lawful landlord is O.

        Originally posted by homelessgirl View Post
        Also - if the owner / L is the only one who can serve me a Section 8 - does it mean that the Sec. 8 sent to us by the agency is invalid?
        No. An agent, if authorised, can act for O in signing Notices- as I thought I'd explained.
        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).

        Comment


          #5
          Homelessgirl - in your case you are your husband's agent and you can act as his agent in all matters in which he lawfully authorises you.

          What Jeffrey is saying is that your principal (i.e. the landlord) allows you (the agent) to let the principals property. Any notice served by you as an agent on a tenant, on behalf of your principal is lawful (provided it complies with legislation of course).

          You would sign as "Agent for the landlord"

          The notice would be served in the name of the landlord,but signed by the agent on his behalf.

          Comment


            #6
            Has a section 8 notice been issued because you owe rent?

            Make sure you receive written acknowledgement of the last day of the tenancy, otherwise the landlord/owner may attempt to sue for unpaid rent until the expiry of the fixed term or when a new letting commences, whichever is sooner.

            Comment


              #7
              Jeffrey - sorry - i misunderstood your first response.

              Poppy - yes, we were served a Sec 8 for rent owing. We have given written notice to the managing company of the day we will be vacating the property. The representative of the managing company gave us this option verbally when he visited our property. They have not responded to our letter at all. Any other suggestion of getting it from them in writing? On the Sec 8notice itself it says : "If you are willing to give up possession without a court order, you should tell the person who signed this notice as soon as possible and say when you are prepared to leave." We have done so in an email to the agent who served us the notice. Where to from here?

              DavidJohnButton - The sec 8 does not mention the landlords name/details anywhere. It just says "your landlord" and it is signed by the letting agency. We have NEVER been given our landlords details - the letting agents lied to us about who the Landlord/Owner is, so did the Managing agency lie to us too.

              Just as a matter of interest - we also have not to date received our gas certificate for the property. Is this not also a breach of contract? I was under the impression this is legally required? So many things have gone wrong with these people since day one that we just really want to move out and move on.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by homelessgirl View Post
                yes, we were served a Sec 8 for rent owing. We have given written notice to the managing company of the day we will be vacating the property. The representative of the managing company gave us this option verbally when he visited our property. They have not responded to our letter at all. Any other suggestion of getting it from them in writing? On the Sec 8notice itself it says : "If you are willing to give up possession without a court order, you should tell the person who signed this notice as soon as possible and say when you are prepared to leave." We have done so in an email to the agent who served us the notice. Where to from here?
                homelessgirl, It seems to come down to that you need to be totally clear when your obligation to pay rent will end.

                You have served your own notice which is fine so long as you are complying with the rules for serving that. That is if you are in the fixed term you are complying with a break clause or leaving at the end of the fixed term. If on a periodic tenancy you have served your notice to the correct date. If you have done that then ignore the rest of this post as you are fine to go but it sounds like you may be leaving early as you are in the 3rd month and wanting to leave in the 4th?

                If you are leaving early you cannot just assume the S8 is asking you to leave, you'd need to agree the early surrender with the landlord or the landlord's agent. Otherwise as Poppy says you may be liable to pay rent till the end of the fixed term. I would not rely on what the managing agency said about your being free to leave early unless they are prepared to confirm in writing.

                The other option is to stay put and wait for the for the claim form for possession.

                I know the bit of your post I hilighted in bold makes the S8 read as if you can just leave but that isn't necessarily the case as I found out when I was asking about this the other day. The discussion was in the few posts prior to here:

                http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...193#post127193
                ~~~~~

                Comment


                  #9
                  Ruth Less - thanks very much for the response. Yes - we are leaving in the 4th month. The Sec 8 is very confusing then. We gave notice to both managing and letting agency. I think that they want us to leave as much as we want to leave. What are we to do if no response is being received from either? I am now going to write another letter to the registered owner of the property and explain the whole situation as i don't know what she knows and what she doesn't. I will be sending it by registered post. What if they now go back on their word and decide we cant leave earlier - as we have already put a deposit down on a new property and are moving in there on the 9th May. :-( This managing agency has made death threats against us two weeks ago as well as entering our property without our knowledge on more than once occasion. We laid charges against them at the local police station re the death threats and they did not deny to the police that they made the threats. They actually admitted. Our relationship with them has broken down irretrievably, so i don't think they will respond to us as i insisted that all contact be in writing to us and no more abusive phone calls will be answered by us from them.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Let me understand. You have stopped paying the landlord's rent because of the agent's actions? Why?

                    Two wrongs don't make a right.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Poppy - thanks for the comment - you have told me this in an earlier post though. :-) And no - we did not stop paying the rent out of our choice - the letting agent screwed up whatever they did with the forms we signed in order for the stop orders to go off our accounts! After proving this to the managing agency's representative he said that he would sort it out with the letting agents. This obviously didn't happen and the second month's rent also did not go off. We were then going to draw the money and just pay it over to them ourselves in order to sort it out, but the managing agency made the death threats against us the day after the 2nd months' rent didn't go of and we started getting legal advice about a few things.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        A managing agency making death threats - thats a first!!!!!!!

                        Do tell us more!!!!!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by davidjohnbutton View Post
                          A managing agency making death threats - thats a first!!!!!!!

                          Do tell us more!!!!!
                          Have a look at her previous posts!
                          I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Notice

                            A managing agent will normally have specific or at least presumed authority to serve the notice. Clearly it can be served by an agent as the form indicates as much by the signatures.

                            With the agent engaged to let the property but not manage it it is more doubtful that they will have authority unless it is expressed in their terms of engagement.

                            Since you want to go and they want you to go thing should work out well! If they simply wanted to recover the moeny they had the option to go for a small claim in the county court. The section 8 is a notice for possession not money (though money may be claimed if appropriate.)

                            You should tell them you will be vacating as if they then take court action for possession you may have some defence against costs.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by homelessgirl View Post
                              Ruth Less - thanks very much for the response. Yes - we are leaving in the 4th month. The Sec 8 is very confusing then. We gave notice to both managing and letting agency. I think that they want us to leave as much as we want to leave. What are we to do if no response is being received from either? I am now going to write another letter to the registered owner of the property and explain the whole situation as i don't know what she knows and what she doesn't. I will be sending it by registered post. What if they now go back on their word and decide we cant leave earlier - as we have already put a deposit down on a new property and are moving in there on the 9th May. :-( This managing agency has made death threats against us two weeks ago as well as entering our property without our knowledge on more than once occasion. We laid charges against them at the local police station re the death threats and they did not deny to the police that they made the threats. They actually admitted. Our relationship with them has broken down irretrievably, so i don't think they will respond to us as i insisted that all contact be in writing to us and no more abusive phone calls will be answered by us from them.
                              Hi homelessgirl, In theory you could be liable for rent up to the time your notice would normally be allowed (which is I think the six months break). I see the problem if they aren't responding or confirming their offer for you to leave in writing. I'd write a letter to them that you are leaving as per their verbal agreement (say who agreed to it and when). Then at least if they complain you will be able to produce a copy of your letter to back up your claim that you left with their agreement and therefore are only liable for rent up to the day you left.
                              ~~~~~

                              Comment

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