Can you serve a section 21 at the start of a tenancy

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    #16
    Mark, I think many people on here will feel for you.

    I think one has to regard this as a business decision. When you get your next lot of tenants, you need to assess them carefully - credit referencing, appropriate deposit, guarantors if necessary. You might want to take out insurance to protect your rent - these policies usually include cover for legal fees to evict tenants too.

    If this involves extra cost, you factor this into the rent - in the same way as you need to factor a certain amount of empty periods into any income business plan.

    None of this would guarantee a trouble free future - no business is guaranteed trouble-free - but it can minimise the risks and effects.

    As an aside, my 1st ever tenants left owing 2 months rent and having caused at least as much damage - benefits claimants, no guarantor, tiny deposit. I was stuffed! So, I'm not saying I'd have handled things any different or better than you - just I have learned, and these are some of the lessons. My current tenants don't have an s21 hanging over them though

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      #17
      Mars Mug those are my sentiments exactly.
      I did a search of Sword Of Damocles and found lots of interesting info but has still left me a bit confused I wonder what your take would be on situation...
      if you handed deposit and first months rent etc over at same time as signed tenancy and got keys and was given section 21 they registered online same day deposit, but surely if they stapled the receipt for deposit to section 21 this is obivous that the deposit could not have been protected at the time it was served?

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by rebecca.483 View Post
        I wonder what your take would be on situation...
        if you handed deposit and first months rent etc over at same time as signed tenancy and got keys and was given section 21 they registered online same day deposit, but surely if they stapled the receipt for deposit to section 21 this is obivous that the deposit could not have been protected at the time it was served?
        I refer to the reply I gave earlier:

        Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
        ...you cannot give notice until the tenancy has started and it will not start until the tenant goes into occupation. So, handing the tenant a section 21 notice when he signs up will mean the notice is invalid.

        Comment


          #19
          I’m not really qualified to answer that, there are a lot of others on this forum who are much sharper on the details of serving the S21 than I am. Excellent timing Lawcruncher
          I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

          Comment


            #20
            so tenancy started that same day does that mean occupancy has started? or will it not start until I enter the house and "go into occupation"?
            I couldn't work out what was what in my case from reading views in http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ection+invalid
            Many Thanks

            Comment


              #21
              Thanks everyone for all your comments. It has been very interesting chatting about this. I think a section 21 with a well worded explanation 4 months into a 6 month AST might be the way to do it and also insurance cover is a way to go, so if anyone uses any who is good I would like to know. I use simple landlords and they dont cover this situation. typical

              Comment


                #22
                Originally posted by Mark1564 View Post
                Thanks everyone for all your comments. It has been very interesting chatting about this. I think a section 21 with a well worded explanation 4 months into a 6 month AST might be the way to do it
                Have to say I think that would be much, much worse than issuing it at the start of the tenancy.

                I think maybe at the start of your relationship, a new tenant might just about find it acceptable to be given a 'precautionary' S21 at the outset of the tenancy, but after they've been in residence for 4 months as good tenants paying their rent on time, how do you think they are going to feel when served a document saying they need to leave in 2 months time ('but don't worry I don't really mean it')?

                Incidentally there has been discussion here in the past about the possibility of invalidating an S21 by serving it without 'meaning' it - ie, telling the tenant that you have no intention of acting upon it; don't worry, you'll be able to stay as long a you want, etc

                Comment


                  #23
                  Mark,

                  I started a thread similar to this a month ago, and had similar replies,

                  And came to the following conclusion.

                  That what every your long term plans for your P, when you sign a 6 month contract in law you are entering an agreement for 6 months, so why not cover yourself by serving an early s21. As explained earlier the court process would still give them over a month to find a place. But it doesn't stop you and the T coming to an agreement, which is always nicer than going to court.

                  The trouble about serving it when trouble occur is that the situation must be pretty bad, but not bad enough for s8, but as soon as you do, they could stop paying rent, trashing the place, and start becoming a pain, not letting viewings, so why wouldn't you want to go to court as soon as possible.

                  The procedure I use.

                  Do a draft inventory on day 1(Signed and dated as normal), protect the deposit online (As funds should have cleared prior to tenant moving in), leave it with the T for a week, to pick up any minor points (Lights, Locks ets)
                  Then go back a week later to do the final inventory (Signed and as normal)

                  This allows you the opportunity to see, what kind of tenants they are as they should have unpacked by then and give them the deposit details and also to legally serve them with the S21 and out any minor problems or put them on the inventory.

                  And by the time the fixed term is up, they have forgotten about it, or if they are still worried about it, sign another fixed term after 6 months and start over again.

                  In Summary

                  Also if they are good tenants why would you follow though with the s21, as would cost you money and time, and if they are a pain why wouldn't you want to get the P back as soon.

                  So only bad T have anything to fear!!!!
                  Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by mjbfire View Post
                    Also if they are good tenants why would you follow though with the s21, as would cost you money and time, and if they are a pain why wouldn't you want to get the P back as soon.

                    So only bad T have anything to fear!!!!


                    If I was a tenant I would be a good tenant, but would have a pretty good understanding of how the S21 could work in the landlords favour to shrink the normal 2 months notice that a tenant might expect.

                    I also know that other than bad tenants there are also bad landlords and letting agents, plenty of examples on this forum lately, so I would know that as a good tenant I would be in a poor position with a landlord who holds an S21 over my head.

                    Other threads have suggested that a tenant may have as little as two weeks after receiving the notification that the landlord intends to regain possession before court action starts with possible costs placed on the tenant. That notification could arrive as soon as the fixed term ends. What protection is there for a good tenant in that situation? Why should I as a good tenant not be concerned on the day I see an S21 handed to me with the words (not written down) “don’t worry, if you’re a good tenant it won’t be used – trust me”?
                    I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

                    Comment


                      #25
                      I comes down to a few reasons.

                      1) If you are a good T, why would the LL go though the hassle in getting a new T.

                      2) The timing is actually better, as a LL you are in no rush, and that you can prove you served the s21.

                      3) When you rent out the P, even if you do all the checks, you are still trusting the T, to be a good T as is the T trusting you to be a good LL.

                      4) As per most of the questions on this forum, is about s8, s21 and deposits.
                      If you issue an early s21, most of the questions are illrellavant, as you mite not need a s8 as it be as quick as a s21 route, and the deposit has to be protected.

                      5) As with my one problem tennant, he/she? only came a problem, because i didn't want to put him/her? out on the street. But in hindsight I wish I had the option, but doubt would have excised it, as he/she? wasn't a bad tennant until he/she didn't want to pay the last 8 weeks rent, due to having no money after buying a house and his/her? lawyer told him we could go for more under "Distress Of Rent", as he had gave notice 12 weeks ealier, but his house purchase got delayed. So trumped up bearch or QE, haressment, Illegal eviction and unlawfull rent increase charges, even through everything we did was in writting, and I guess his lawyer was going say in court(Paid by Legal Aid or pressure groups) we did all of the above due to his/her? outlook in life.

                      But in my view it comes done to the old phrase.

                      Hope for the best, plan for the worst, as LL once the T has moved in you have very few rights other than S8/S13/S21 all which can be challanged by a third party(Court, RAC), and the T has many. So tipping the scales a very little bit back, is not a bad thing.
                      Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

                      Comment


                        #26
                        I can understand why many landlords do this, and when reading about the plights of good landlords who have been stung by bad tenants I am sympathetic, but there are two sides to this. I don’t believe the S21 was ever intended to be used in this way to reduce a tenants notice rights and because of the way it can be abused there will be changes ahead, take a look at the Rugg Review which mentions problems with the S21 process;

                        http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/chp/Projects/PRSreview.htm
                        I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Originally posted by mjbfire View Post
                          1) If you are a good T, why would the LL go though the hassle in getting a new T.
                          Plenty of good Ts have been on this forum complaining about being moved on through absolutely no wrong-doing of their own; normally because the LL has decided to sell up. It's a pretty common situation, especially with so-called 'accidental' landlords - ie those who end up letting out their own home as the circumstances are temporarily not right for them to sell.

                          The idea of an LL, having served an S21 at the start of the tenancy, being effectively able skip the 2 months notice and immediately apply to the courts for a possession order, is pretty rubbish in my view.

                          Comment


                            #28
                            I can see what eric is saying,

                            How many LL are out there not doing inventories, contracts, not protecting deposits, not doing gas electrial and gas checks or EPCs. Maybe not bad people but maybe not being as professional and business like as they should be.

                            All I am trying to say is, us as LL should be professional and business like to protect our investments, which could be at least £100,000 and the days of leases on the back of fag packets are gone.

                            But in the case of accidental LL, hopefully the LL be honest enough to let the incoming tennant know and I think buyers coming to view mite give the game away. And also I guess you would serve them with a S8(G1 i think) before the Tennacy starts and S21 after to ensure you get the properity back quickly.

                            But T nowdays think a T Home is their castle, and not afraid to use the law or the threat of the law to get their way, so I can't see what wrong about being careful.
                            Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by mjbfire View Post
                              But T nowdays think a T Home is their castle, and not afraid to use the law or the threat of the law to get their way, so I can't see what wrong about being careful.
                              Why should it be any other way?

                              The issue with an early s21 is that although it falls within the wording of the law - and is therefore perfectly legal - its use in this manner circumvents the tenants rights, and this is why it's days in it's current form are surely numbered.

                              Comment


                                #30
                                The Rugg Review (I gave a link above) discusses the S21 in a number of places and in particular it’s ‘retaliatory’ use by some landlords. It’s actually referring to the way some landlords will issue an S21 in response to a tenant simply complaining about issues with the property. The Rugg Review does not even mention the use of the ‘early’ S21 which in my opinion can be far worse for the tenant.

                                Here’s a few quotes from the review (that really should be read in context). My view is that those landlords who use the S21 in the way discussed here will eventually pay the price when the law is changed to prevent those methods, and they will be here on this forum when that happens complaining that the law is biased towards the tenant.

                                "Discussion is currently underway as to whether change should take place to the current legislation on tenure. For example, lobbyists have highlighted the instance of what is termed ‘retaliatory eviction’ which entails landlords giving tenants notice to quit if they complain about property condition. Changes are sought to s21 of the Housing Act 1988 so that landlords could be challenged if retaliatory eviction is suspected."

                                "Tenants right groups argue that there are two ways to deal with the incidence of retaliatory eviction. First, it should be possible for tenants to take the eviction notice to a property tribunal, so that a judgement could be made about whether the eviction notice has been served in response to the tenant trying to exercise their statutory rights. Second, it should be the case that s21 notices could only be available to landlords who pass some sort of management quality test, perhaps by being a member of an accreditation scheme. Crew (2007) indicates that measures are in place in other countries to deal with the incidence of eviction where a tenant has complained,"

                                "To this end, it could be argued that changing s21 constitutes a response to a symptom rather than a cause of problems. It might be more appropriate to aim to remove from the PRS those landlords who would rather evict a tenant than deal with necessary repair."
                                I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

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