Court case?

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    Court case?

    Hello,

    I'm trying to determine whether there's a court case or a claim I can log in connection with my tenant.

    The tenancy agreement has a term certain for 12 months without a '6 months break clause'. The rent is guaranteed by the tenant's employer and is paid by quarterly instalments every 3 months.

    After 4 months in the property, the tenant sent me a termination of the tenancy letter. I pointed her out that there was no a break clause in the agreement.

    She paid her rent for 6 months but is now in arrears and is not letting any other estate agents to enter the property apart from the agent that signed her initial tenancy agreement.

    Can I sue for prevention to market the property, rent non-payment and breach of the tenancy agreement?

    Please let me know what you think.

    Thanks

    #2
    Originally posted by levelONE View Post
    Can I sue for prevention to market the property, rent non-payment and breach of the tenancy agreement?

    Please let me know what you think.
    The following comments assume this is a tenancy in England/Wales.

    The contract makes the tenant (or the guarantor) liable for rent for the duration of the whole of the fixed term, (and, if the tenant remains in occupation after 12 months, then obviously further rent after that).

    The only way this liability can end within the fixed term is either by you both signing a Deed of Surrender, or a surrender by 'operation of law' (i.e. if you both perform actions which imply that you both accept a surrender, for example, if T had moved out, returned keys, and you then relet the property - though it's not as straightforward as that).

    If there is no surrender, the tenant owes you the rent.

    You are not entitled to gain access for viewings without the tenant's consent (and it's not clear the T is planning to move out anymore?) Though there may be a provision in the contract saying something like you are entitled to conduct viewings, say, in the last two months of the tenancy, you'd have to get a court order to enforce it.

    You have two options:

    1. If the contract states that the rent is due quarterly, serve a s.8 notice on the grounds of unpaid rent on the day after three months' rent is owing and unpaid, then after 14 days have passed, apply via the court for possession and unpaid rent. See this link.

    2. Serve a s.21 notice to expire and seek possession after the last day of the tenancy, then apply for possession, and make a county court claim against T and guarantor for any rent still owing. See this link and this link.

    You don't need to use a solicitor for either of the above, but if you are not familiar with the procedure it would be advisable to do some research first, read through this forum about possession procedure, and seek advice at a Citizen's Advice Bureau or Community Law Centre about this as well as county court small claims track procedure (if the rent owed is less than £5,000).

    A couple of things to bear in mind. Firstly, if this is an AST in England/Wales, with rent less than £2,083.33 pcm, and a deposit was paid, then a s.21 notice will not be valid unless the deposit is protected in a scheme.

    Secondly, was the rent guarantee executed as a deed? Because if not, it may not be enforceable.

    At the end of the day, if the tenant is in gainful employment, it's very likely you will ultimately get your rent, as CCJs can be enforced via an Attachment of Earnings, i.e. money deducted from wages at source. But the whole thing takes time.

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