T refused to sign Agreement and underpaid the rent

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    T refused to sign Agreement and underpaid the rent

    I have two tenants that have moved into my rental property but have not signed or returned to me their AST agreements. I couldn't be there to meet them personally when they moved in as I was working away from home. The first months rent was paid ok but I have not received anything since and they are now two months in arrears. Their excuses include financial hardship, partner splits etc. Can someone tell me what my legal position is as I believe that although there is no written agreement it is by default an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (indeed every tenancy agreement appears to be that after February 1997 when there was a tenancy law update).

    If it is an AST by default then can I evict them on the grounds of non payment of rent under Section 8. I also believe that to use Section 8 will allow me to make a claim for the arrears by Attachment of Earnings, as both these tenants are in full employment and neither of them replies to emails, texts etc or shows any inclination in paying the outstanding rent.

    However it may be the case that I have to pursue eviction through using Section 21 which means I will have to give them at least two months notice and even then they don't have to leave, and then I have to go back to the Court.

    In conclusion, where do I stand as I have always used AST 6 month agreements as the other two tenants in the house have happily signed them. Certainly these non paying tenants have agreed verbally with me for a set amount of rent per month and letting the room for a set period. Is this then classed as an AST contract and therefore can I use Section 8 to evict them, as that would be by far the quicker method than pursuing Section 21.

    All input from members would be greatly appreciated.

    #2
    You do have an assured shorthold tenancy, although it seems to be oral.

    When two months’ rent is unpaid, issue a section 8 notice citing grounds 8,10,11.

    Have you taken a deposit and placed it in a scheme? If so, or you have not taken a deposit at all, Issue a section 21(1)(b) notice – because the tenancy is less than four months’ old. (Correct me if I am wrong.)

    I think it will be in your interests to issue both a section 8 notice and a section 21 notice. Both notices can run concurrently.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks Poppy

      It's good to know that the tenancies would be classed as AST's even though no contracts were signed but a verbal agreement was made, ie they knew the rent ammount & what that price included etc.

      No deposit was taken. I changed my terms of business & dropped the deposit so to be more competative in a difficult market.

      I have read recently of a similar case where no contract was issued but although it was classed as an AST it was only possible to issue a section 21 and not a section 8 - any comments on that ?

      Yes both tenancies are now 2 months overdue. The first months rent was due but unpaid on the 19th & 25th of November respectively and the second month on the 19th & 25th of December. My tenants pay one month in advance so technically they have both paid rent up to the 19th & 25th of November. I pressume that does make them 2 months overdue ?

      Comment


        #4
        Hi Poppy,

        I'm currently out of the country & will be for a couple of months. Will there be any difficulties issuing eviction notices from outside the UK ?

        Also is it worth pursuing the tenants in the County Court for the rent I've lost as they are both in full time employment.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Richarddavid View Post
          Hi Poppy,

          I'm currently out of the country & will be for a couple of months. Will there be any difficulties issuing eviction notices from outside the UK ?

          Also is it worth pursuing the tenants in the County Court for the rent I've lost as they are both in full time employment.
          You will need to attend court for the section 8 hearing.

          At the section 8 hearing, the judge should issue an order for the missing rent.

          You can then pursue whatever enforcement action you feel appropriate - including an attachment of earnings.

          BTW and slightly off topic - you need to give tenants an address in E&W for the landlord - if you haven't done this it is grounds to temporarily withold rent - could this be what is happening as it could scupper your eviction process if they have a legit reason!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post

            BTW and slightly off topic - you need to give tenants an address in E&W for the landlord - if you haven't done this it is grounds to temporarily withold rent - could this be what is happening as it could scupper your eviction process if they have a legit reason!
            There is a reasonable chance that the AST provided to T (albeit not signed and returned) contained an address for serving notices, in which case LL has provided this address in writing, as required.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
              You will need to attend court for the section 8 hearing.
              I don't believe that is strictly true, you can appoint an agent to act on your behalf.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by chappers2341 View Post
                I don't believe that is strictly true, you can appoint an agent to act on your behalf.
                Fair comment, that could well be true - a phone call to the court nearest your property would elicit an answer.

                Comment


                  #9
                  please note you can serve S8 G8 when 2 months rent is DUE not unpaid.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Poppy35 View Post
                    please note you can serve S8 G8 when 2 months rent is DUE not unpaid.
                    No. -If you take Housing law below literally.

                    Housing Act 1988 (c. 50), Schedule 2, Part I, Ground 8:

                    "Both at the date of the service of the notice under section 8 of this Act relating to the proceedings for possession and at the date of the hearing—
                    ...
                    (b) if rent is payable monthly, at least two months rent is unpaid;
                    ..."

                    The reality is that there is very little or no practical difference between rent 'unpaid', rent 'due', or rent 'owed'.
                    The information in my posts is provided 'as is'. This is not intended to be legal advice. Legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on this information or any part of it. I will not be held responsible for loss or damage arising from errors in the information or the way in which a person uses the information on this . For more information on your query use the '' link at the top of this page. Agreements, Forms & Notices can be found .

                    Comment


                      #11
                      yes but some people think they can only serve the notice when 2 months is unpaid (i.e. the day before the 3rd month is due), I was clarifying that they can apply for possession when 2 months is due.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Poppy35 View Post
                        yes but some people think they can only serve the notice when 2 months is unpaid (i.e. the day before the 3rd month is due), I was clarifying that they can apply for possession when 2 months is due.
                        Yes. So your earlier post
                        Originally posted by Poppy35 View Post
                        you can serve S8 G8 when 2 months rent is DUE not unpaid.
                        meant merely that OP can serve a s.8 Notice (g8) when two months' rent is unpaid, rather than that there must be two full months' arrears.
                        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.
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                        Comment


                          #13
                          Section 8 or 21 for Tenants with no contract

                          I have a couple of tenants who haven't signed an AST tenancy agreement and have stopped paying the rent. They have paid some rent though, the first month, so our agreement is a verbal one.

                          Can I get them out on the grounds of a Section 8 or would it be a Section 21. They are now over 2 months in arrears. Can anyone please advise me? A section 8 would be more preferable as it includes an attachment of earnings clause, which I can pursue in the County Court, but section 21 does not .

                          Both tenants are in employment but it appears that serving a section 8 & getting an eviction is faster than serving a section 21. Is this right ?

                          Thanks.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            There will be an AST, albeit an oral one. You can follow the S21 or S8 procedures. Make sure you have adequate evidence of dates of starting the tenancies. (Such as the date the first rent hit your account) You can only use S21 if you have protected the deposit, have you? If not then it is important that you do as soon as possible before starting your actions.
                            There are hundreds of threads dealing with this on this site, get searching.

                            Try 'sword of damocles' 'eviction'
                            I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                            Comment


                              #15
                              A section 21 also can not have a possession date within the first 6 months of the tenancy.

                              I agree that s8 is likely to be quicker - but can fail if T brings rent owing to less than 2 months before court date. You would be advised to serve s21 so you don't have to wait an extra 2 months should s8 fail.

                              Section 8 does give you a CCJ for the missing rent - but the attachment of earnings isn't part and parcel of the order. It is one or a number of ways to enforce the judgement and you will have to apply for it afterwards.

                              Comment

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