Section 21 advice please

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  • Section 21 advice please

    Hello all,

    I would like to server a section 21 notice on one of my tenants. We have a 3 bed appartrment, one of the tenants has already moved out after a months notice and another is thinking of handing in their notice.

    The reason they give is the third tenant is very dictatorial about what goes on in the appartment and they can't stand it now the 6 month agreement is up.
    The 3rd tenant is trying to put conditions on who moves into the vacent room in the appartment and is keen for a friend of theirs to have the room although I have said they are unsuitable.

    This tenant has been in the appartment for about 18 months but we signed a new agreeement when someone moved in last October - the latest 6 month contract is just up.

    Rent is paid monthly on 1st Month

    Can someone please advice on how I should serve the notice. I understand that I need to give two months notice - is this correct. Does this mean that I will need to now give 3 months notice or if I send the letter on say the 5th April that they will need to move out on 5th June?

    Also is there a format I should use for the letter?

    Any advice gratefully received

    A

  • #2
    I presume each tenant has their own tenancy agreement and that you do not share the house with the tenants.

    There is a very simple form provided by this website for the s21 (see 'agreements' above).

    From your post, I assume the last tenancy agreement ran from 1st October to 31st March? The following is based on that info - the dates are critical.

    Your section 21 notice should state that you are seeking possession "after 30th June 2010" and should be issued to the tenant no later than 30th April. Before it is issued, you must make sure that you have protected his deposit and given him the 'prescribed information' if a deposit was paid. If your property is a licensable HMO, it must be licensed.

    For future reference, it is best to keep an eye on dates as if you had done this any day in the last 2 months, the expiry date would have been exactly 2 months after issue.

    Also worth noting that T doesn't have to leave on 3oth June, it is just that you can apply to the court for possession after that date.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sounds like you have just one AST for all the tenants rather than a separate agreement with each. Is that right?

      If so, and if they are 'jointly and severally liable' then one person giving notice and moving out after the initial fixed term, ends the lease for everyone. So really they should all have moved on. You might want to point this out.

      Also, if I'm right, you have a few options open to you.
      a) you can allow the two (or one) remaining tenant to stay on but they should pay the full rent for the apartment on their own (this alone may encourage them not to stay)
      b) you can allow them to find replacements for those that have moved on, but they still need to meet with your approval
      c) You can issue the S21 as discussed (it's 2 full rental period months notice. You've missed the one that ended on the 31st March, so you must issue it anytime before 30th April, to expire at the end of June)

      Good luck

      Grrr
      IANAL (I am not a lawyer). Anything I say here is just an opinion, so should not be relied upon! Always check your facts with a professional who really knows their onions.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree. L cannot terminate 33.33% of an AST; it's all or nothing.
        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
          Thanks for the advice.

          I have now found someone for the third (vacent) room.

          The tenant I want to evict is away until Thursday, as I have until the end of April to serve the section 21 (I believe) I haven't served it yet but will meet on Thursday / Friday to talk and serve notice.

          I believe that the contract used in the last 6 months is now void as one tenant has moved out (gave me a months notice) - is this correct? I believe a new contract must be signed for the new tenancies.

          I have always used a single contract so they all sign the same contract but I think that this time I need to get each to sign a seperate contract each. I don't think the lad who is staying on (already lived in flat for 6 months) doesn't need to be tied in for 6 months, the new girl needs to be tied in for 6 months but what do I do about the person I want to serve the notice on?

          Also are there any disadvantages to having an individual contract for each tenant?

          Many thanks

          A

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by AMB1 View Post
            Thanks for the advice.

            I have now found someone for the third (vacent) room.

            The tenant I want to evict is away until Thursday, as I have until the end of April to serve the section 21 (I believe) I haven't served it yet but will meet on Thursday / Friday to talk and serve notice.

            I believe that the contract used in the last 6 months is now void as one tenant has moved out (gave me a months notice) - is this correct? I believe a new contract must be signed for the new tenancies.

            I have always used a single contract so they all sign the same contract but I think that this time I need to get each to sign a seperate contract each. I don't think the lad who is staying on (already lived in flat for 6 months) doesn't need to be tied in for 6 months, the new girl needs to be tied in for 6 months but what do I do about the person I want to serve the notice on?

            Also are there any disadvantages to having an individual contract for each tenant?

            Many thanks

            A
            New can of worms.

            You need to issue a section 21 (or find some other way to agree) to end the current tenancy - only problem is, a s21 can not take effect within the first 6 months of a tenancy - so I am not sure where you stand with 'the new girl'. Also, when your last tenant gave notice, it is right, he technically gave notice for everybody. As such a new tenancy was formed which may also be affected by the 6 month rule. Are any of the current tenants on the current tenancy agreement?

            How do you handle deposits - this could be vital with the s21 issue.

            Separate agreements means people can arrive and leave as they want to (within the rules) whereas a joint tenancy agreement means in practical terms, they all arrive and leave at the same time.

            With a joint agreement, everytime a new tenancy agreement is started with new names (I believe) the 6 month rule kicks in again - even if the agreement is a periodic or short-term one.

            With a joint tenancy, tenants are responsible for the whole house (cleaning, damage etc) and are usually jointly responsible for rent non-payment etc.

            With individual agreements, the tenants are only responsible for what happens to their space - ie communal areas are the landlords responsibility.

            You may not be able to individually meter heat and light in your place, which is usually vital (though not compulsory). You may have to include the fuel in an increased 'inclusive' rent - but that is far from an ideal situation.

            Comment


            • #7
              This sounds like I have done everything wrong here ....

              Deposit went into DPS 6 months ago all into individually accounts so if a tenant left I didn't need to remove it all then add the money for those who are re-newing their contracts again. The deposit for the girl who handed her notice has been returned.

              Two of the 'current tenants' are on the agreement lets call them 'Tenant A' and 'Tenant B' - both want to stay, but 'Tenant B' has said they will leave if 'Tenant A' stays. 'Tenant C' has just left as they couldn't live with 'Tenant A' any longer. All signed a single contract last October. I would like 'Tenant A' to move out. I have a new person 'Tenant D' who wants to move in.

              I suppose all I can do now at the moment is speak to 'Tenant A' and ask them nicely to leave. I don't know if I can use the fact she has been having someone to stay over alot and who is now having post delivered to the address to help in this (this is one reason why the others don't want to stay in flat with her).

              When I eventuall get this sorted what is the best way to prevent getting in the same situation again - from what you say I can't serve a section 21 for 6 months but if 'Tenant A' isn't evicted 'Tenant B' will leave I then find someone else, new agreement and 'Tenant A' gets another 6 months.

              Many thanks

              A

              Comment


              • #8
                My brain hurts.
                '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


                • #9
                  You need to
                  a) Return all deposits to all parties - then there will be no issues
                  b) Serve notice on A&B jointly.
                  c) Upon termination of tenancy (may take months) issue B with a tenancy for their room only, and take deposit.
                  d) Find 2 new tenants - issue them each with a tenancy for their room only, and take deposits.
                  e) As each person comes and goes, a new tenancy agreement and deposit is taken for that room only.

                  OR

                  c1) Upon termination of tenancy issue B and a group of friends with a tenancy for the entire house, and take deposit.
                  d1) If & when an individual of the group wants to leave in the fixed term - whole group (1, 2 & 3) need to assign the full tenancy to the new group (pos 1, 2 & 4) - it would be up to them to find a replacement you are happy with.
                  e1) At the end of the fixed term, if one wants to leave, their notice terminates the whole agreement and a new one has to be drawn up with a new set of tenants (which may, or may not, include members of the original group).

                  Whatever you do, be very careful about A - any attempts to pressurise her into leaving could be illegal eviction.

                  Wrong as it may seem, you might be best letting B leave because she doesn't like A, Evicting A legally and starting with a blank slate.

                  QUESTION FOR LEGAL BODS - presuming A & B now have a shared periodic tenancy, will Bs departure terminate As tenancy agreement and speed things up. Could "Distress for Rent Act" be used if A stays beyond Bs notice date? (thinking - might encourage A to find somewhere cheaper).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Do tenants A & B know that if the other doesn't pay their 'share' of the rent then they may be liable for the missing rent?

                    If B leaves anyway, A may want to voluntarily leave to avoid this situation.

                    I say 'may' because it would normally be clear-cut 'joint and several liability' but I think the waters have been muddied by the unusual arrangement you have adopted regarding tenancy agreements.

                    http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...50&postcount=5

                    Comment

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