What happens if T doesn't move out on possession date?

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  • What happens if T doesn't move out on possession date?

    We issued a s21 to expire on the last day of the tenancy on 21 April 10. We have had no contact with the T since this was issued on 21/2/10, the contact we had was an abusive phone call.
    The T also stopped paying their rent on that day so we have arrange for Direct payment from the Council as the were on housing benefit. Their benefit expires on today (11/4/10) which will mean they will owe us 10 days rent when the tenancy expires.
    We will be going round on 21/4/10 to retain possession of the house, what happens if:
    a) the tenants have gone already and we therefore have no forwarding address, or
    b) the house is empty but they haven't actually moved out, are we able to enter the property?? Could we go in and change the locks to prevent them re-entering?

    We have a deposit which is protected, but the AST says the deposit can't be used for arrears. Can someone please advise where we stand? and what if anything else we need to do?

    We have decided to sell the property as a result of these nightmare (first) tenants so want them out as soon as possible so we can get the house in order to put on the market.

    Many thanks

  • #2
    Once the s21 has expired, you are free to commence court proceedings against your tenant (cost £150).

    Using the s21 process there is no opportunity for recovery of missing rent - so you will have to do that separately through www.moneyclaim.gov.uk (extra expense I'm afraid).

    Alternatively, if at least 2 months rent is unpaid, you can issue a section 8 notice (grounds 8,10 & 11) and then apply for possession once that expires (14 days). Section 8 is cheaper because you can do it online (£100) and it gives you the opportunity to get a court order for the missing rent.

    Getting a court order, via s8 or MCOL is one thing, only you can judge if you would be able to get the actual money from the tenant.

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    • #3
      With regard to rent owed, you could try to raise a dispute, insist on a court hearing and try and persuade the judge to permit you access to the tenant's deosit money in lieu of rent. You might not be lucky, so will need to use money claim on line (MCOL) to get a CCJ and hopefully your rent back.
      You CANNOT enter the property unless the tenant has signed a deed of surrender and returned the keys to you - even if the place is empty. You might be justified in doing so if the property is empty and the keys have been put through the letterbox, but without the certificate, entering the property is still illegal. You must apply to the county court on form N5A for the accelerated procedure where the S21 paperwork is considered by a judge in chambers. If he is happy, or after a court hearing if this is necessary to satisfy him, he will issue a possesson order. Once you have that and the notice period it contains has expired, you may attempt to re-enter your property if it is unnoccupied and you can change the locks. If it isn't, then you need to get a court bailiff to evict your tenants.

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

      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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      • #4
        Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
        Alternatively, if at least 2 months rent is unpaid, you can issue a section 8 notice (grounds 8,10 & 11) and then apply for possession once that expires (14 days). Section 8 is cheaper because you can do it online (£100) and it gives you the opportunity to get a court order for the missing rent.
        You won't be able to use the Accelerated Possession Procedure if claming rent arrears with your S.8 Notice.
        The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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