Will wrong notice to leave interfere with court action

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  • Will wrong notice to leave interfere with court action

    My tenants left without paying a penny in rent over a very long period of time. The tenants agreed to leave on the notice date I gave them as well as pay off the back rent.

    When I turned up on the date we both consented to, my tenants had already cleared the flat of their belongings and taken off without leaving any money and forwarding address. I then discovered that the contact details they gave me on the contract were false. But after carrying out extensive investigations, I have managed to locate where they are now living.

    I want to take court action, but I'm worried because I've since become aware that the original notice which I served them to leave the property did not offer them the full 2 months which is a statutory requirement.


    These are the questions I need answering:

    Will this invalid notice be a problem in light of the fact that my tenants took off without paying before the date we both agreed in writing?

    Can I use this notice in court to prove that I gave my tenants a date by which to leave?

    Can I use as evidence in court a letter they sent me agreeing to that date?

  • #2
    What form of Notice did you use: under s.8 of the Housing Act 1988 [which grounds?], s.21(1)(b), s.21(4)(a), or something else?
    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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    • #3
      Originally posted by bluesky View Post
      These are the questions I need answering:

      Will this invalid notice be a problem in light of the fact that my tenants took off without paying before the date we both agreed in writing?

      Can I use this notice in court to prove that I gave my tenants a date by which to leave?

      Can I use as evidence in court a letter they sent me agreeing to that date?
      Assuming we are talking about an assured shorthold tenancy, all the above is irrelevant since there is no notice you could have served to bring the tenancy to an end. All that is relevant is the date the tenancy ended and that has to be the date the tenants left - the tenants are hardly likely to argue that it is still continuing nor can they argue that it ended before they left.

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      • #4
        Jeffrey: I issued a section 21 notice against the tenants who owed me more than 2 calendar months rent but my notice didn't make a distinction between being inside or outside the originally agreed term which had another two months before expiry. But the tenants weren't there to meet me at the property at the agreed time and date of the section 21 notice and I later discovered they were seen sneaking off two days earlier.

        Lawcruncher: I see your point. It would seem they shot themselves in the foot by ending the tenancy themselves by leaving early. I wonder if Jeffrey agrees with this?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bluesky View Post
          Jeffrey: I issued a section 21 notice against the tenants who owed me more than 2 calendar months rent
          Eh? 'Rent unpaid' is nothing to do with s.21. It strikes me that, as you're so unsure of the legalities, you need proper legal advice.
          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


          • #6
            I issued a section 21 notice to regain possession of the property which was still in contract, but I also included within the notice a section 8 on the grounds that they had seriously breached the contract by not paying rent for more than two months. I hope this clarifies the matter.

            I understand now the the section 21 was pointless in this particular instance.

            But does my tenants' unexpected departure make all this irrelevant as Lawcruncher has indicated?

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            • #7
              Well, provided you are sure that they won't attempt to move back in and then use legal aid to prosecute you (successfully) for illegal eviction as yoiu have changed the locks, then with your AST, a statement of rents paid and unpaid, ending on the date at which they left, you should be able to get a CCJ by using MCOL I would think.

              P.P.
              Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

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