Keep original tenant, or issue S21?

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  • Keep original tenant, or issue S21?

    Hello, I'm new here and would like your more experienced views on what direction to take.

    My situation is:

    T has a AST contract that runs until 1st April, they emailed me to say they would be moving out, but not until mid April after the tenancy becomes periodic and so would be paying that months rent. T1 has always paid rent and bills on time and kept house in a good condition, no problems from that angle. I did not issue S21 2 months before because I was led to believe T1 wished to stay significantly longer, not the short period I was eventually told days after it was too late to issue one in time for end of AST.

    I duly advertised the room and have found a very keen and financially sound potential T. This person is able to be more flexible about when they move, ie could move between now and probably mid May, however this person only wishes to pay up to £20 less than T1.

    Now T1 has told me they have been unable to find new accommodation and therefore will not be giving us notice.

    My options are (I think!):
    1. Issue S21 and hope that T1 co-operates and moves before 1st June, allowing potential tenant to move in.
    2. Tell potential T that T1 is not moving any time soon (that we know of), and to find alternative accommodation, then wait for T1 to give 1 months notice. The worry with this option is a void period, if I cannot find a replacement who can move in asap after T1 leaves, leaving the other occupants with bigger shares of bills and council tax.

    How would you proceed? Are there any other options that I haven't considered?

    I'm looking forward to hearing your advice and experience in situations like this.

    Thanks for reading, Ama

  • #2
    There is really no way round your problem. You cannot really sign up a new tenant until the old one has moved out after the tenancy has ended, however it may be ended.

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    • #3
      It seems unfair on both the Ts to mess them around.

      Given that T1 has been a good tenant generally, I would be inclined to let her stay until she wants to move out. She could be there for months yet (paying you the higher rent, too). Even if you served her a s21 there is no guarantee she would vacate to suit T2 and it seems a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

      Most LLs accept they will only have one month to find another T when one gives notice.
      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

      Comment


      • #4
        Just to be pedantic - could Amaretto charge double rent under the "Distress for Rent Act 1737" as he has received notice (by email) from the current tenant.

        This might focus the current tenants mind on finding alternative accommodation and give Amaretto the security of a new fixed term with prospective tenant.

        Presuming DfR applies, Amaretto could also use it as encouragement for current tenant to sign a new fixed term - thus giving him the security he wants, the rent level he currently gets, and a 'known' tenant.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the replies, I do think I might just have to accept the void period, it doesn't seem fair on the remaining tenants though. Right now I'm feeling more than a little annoyed that tenants only need to give 1 month notice and landlord's 2.
          Snorkerz, I've not heard of the Distress for Rent Act. Can anyone shed any light on this? Can I ask T1 to sign a new AST, giving me longer to find a new tenant and the ability to serve a s21 2 months before the end of the fixed term? At least I'd have a more realistic idea of when T1 will be moving.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Amaretto View Post
            Thanks for the replies, I do think I might just have to accept the void period, it doesn't seem fair on the remaining tenants though. Right now I'm feeling more than a little annoyed that tenants only need to give 1 month notice and landlord's 2.
            Snorkerz, I've not heard of the Distress for Rent Act**. Can anyone shed any light on this? Can I ask T1 to sign a new AST, giving me longer to find a new tenant and the ability to serve a s21 2 months before the end of the fixed term? At least I'd have a more realistic idea of when T1 will be moving.
            **: Re this Act (1737), see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ess#post182374
            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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            • #7
              Thanks for the link Jeffrey, I don't think I would be able to use this. The tenant only sent an email saying they would be leaving 'mid April', so I don't think this counts as true notice if there was no specific date mentioned. Her decision to remain until further notice was communicated by text message.

              Ho hum, I think we'll have to ask her to sign an AST for a further 6 months, if she declines then she clearly does not intend to stay very long and we'd be better off organising a new tenant, so we'll issue a s21.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Amaretto View Post
                Right now I'm feeling more than a little annoyed that tenants only need to give 1 month notice and landlord's 2.
                Did you not know this was the case before you decided to let out your property?
                'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                • #9
                  I was aware, I just didn't realise it would irritate me so much when it came down to it. I've never had a tenant to date, who did not make an effort to keep me informed about when they intended to leave (with the exception of a lodger who did a midnight flit), so it hasn't been a problem.

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                  • #10
                    Hi all, there has been a development. Potential tenant wishes to take one of the rooms (it's a 2 room suite)at reduced rent, until T1 moves out (hopefully!) when s21 expires, and has agreed to the full rent when T1 does go. T1 would only pay reduced rent too.
                    I think this is a great idea, however, for such a potentially short period what sort of contract should be used?

                    Thanks

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Amaretto View Post
                      Hi all, there has been a development. Potential tenant wishes to take one of the rooms (it's a 2 room suite)at reduced rent, until T1 moves out (hopefully!) when s21 expires, and has agreed to the full rent when T1 does go. T1 would only pay reduced rent too.
                      I think this is a great idea, however, for such a potentially short period what sort of contract should be used?

                      Thanks
                      Be very careful. If current T has a tenancy which covers the room you're planning on putting the new tenant in, then you can not issue a second tenancy for the same room.

                      However. Along the same lines - your current tenant might be interested in having the new person as a 'lodger' for the time being - that way the rent is paid to them and the existing tenancy is not affected.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                        Be very careful. If current T has a tenancy which covers the room you're planning on putting the new tenant in, then you can not issue a second tenancy for the same room.

                        However. Along the same lines - your current tenant might be interested in having the new person as a 'lodger' for the time being - that way the rent is paid to them and the existing tenancy is not affected.
                        Does this still pose a problem if original AST has expired? Can I issue a new contract for the single room for 2 months and serve s21 immediately?

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                        • #13
                          Still applies - original tenant has a tenancy on the entire property (if that's what it said on the original AST) until they either surrender the tenancy or are removed as a result of a court order.

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                          • #14
                            It's such a minefield! Well it's pretty academic anyway, T1 isn't replying to my messages about the proposal made by the potential tenant. I gave her the option of a new 6 month contract or a s21 if she didn't like the idea of giving up half her living space (but only half rent) until she finds new accommodation. Somehow I think I'm going to get ignored until I have to issue a s21 anyway.

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