T wants to retract Notice to Quit- what can L do?

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  • T wants to retract Notice to Quit- what can L do?

    Hi there, you have helped me before with dodgy tenants & I'm hoping your pearls will get me through again... here's the deal.

    We have tenants of 3 years & they have defaulted about 5 times. Last time we caught him lying to us so we don't trust his word. 1 month into their new contract they default again. (He is a bad communicator, he is seriously ill & off work & he is a mysogynist btw!)

    Despite numerous promises to pay, we have had £500 but they still owe £360. On 23rd that will be £960 & 2 months in arrears so I know we can serve a S8 followed by an N5 & N119 in 2 weeks BUT.. in a fit of anger a month ago he gave me notice by e-mail which I accepted also via email. He then realised he had done a stupid thing & his wife was horrified. They asked to retract it & I said we would agree IF they paid... which they did not. So I put an acceptance in writing & gave them their leaving date.

    My dilemma is this- Do I still need to serve a S8 if they have given notice? It worries me that they will read the course of action on it & realise they can stay put until they get called to court, rather than have to leave on their notice date. We have not heard from them since we accepted their notice in writing & we have no idea if they are making plans to move or stay put. Negotiations at this stage will be hostile!!!

  • #2
    Don't forget that you can do a s8 with ground 8 (a mandatory ground) once there is two months unpaid rent. Do this the very next day that they fall foul of this ground (which by my reckoning will be 24th May, a Saturday on the Bank Holiday weekend. If you serve then by hand (with an independent witness) service will be deemed on Tuesday 27th. Thus the earliest date for court proceedings will be Wednesday 11 June.

    Sadly, the tenants notice is not worth the ether it took to send it to you. Even if they didn't retract it, if they didn't leave when their notice was up you would still need to go to court to enforce any notice you have given.
    On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

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    • #3
      If a tenants notice has expired and the landlord hasn't accepted any rent from the tenant after the notice has expired could a landlord try and get possession based on the former tenant now being a trespasser? I usually advise that the LL still needs to give normal notice etc but i was just wondering.
      ****************************************

      If you are unsure about what to do seek professional Legal advice.

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      • #4
        Dream on! You'll have to go the 2 months in arrears route or an appropriately served s.21. If they are that bad, never, ever give tenants a new contract.

        Still, I bet you won't do that again. It's a lesson learned.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by attilathelandlord View Post
          Dream on! You'll have to go the 2 months in arrears route or an appropriately served s.21. If they are that bad, never, ever give tenants a new contract.

          Still, I bet you won't do that again. It's a lesson learned.
          I know I know. Although they had lied, we did eventually get our rent before. I guess it was better the devil you know when we stupidly renewed.

          Thanks Esio for laying it out in dates for me. Yes I have the S8 ready to serve. I am hesitant because right now I don't think they understand their rights & we have played on the fact that they have given notice. I'm pretty sure they think it is binding so the S8 risks opening their eyes to the fact that we have to go to court to shift them!

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          • #6
            Well they weren't so horrified that they coughed up. Don't leave this one in your tenant's hands. Every move they've made has told you they are unreliable so serve notices when appropriate.

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            • #7
              Have been here and the notice given by the tenants is worth nothing. I had a signed letter giving notice and relinquishing tenancy - tenant then changed his mind saying "we are not going now you will have to throw us out". Needless to say we did (via a section 8)!
              Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Esio Trot View Post
                If you serve then by hand (with an independent witness) service will be deemed on Tuesday 27th.
                Dumb novice question here, but if someone else served notice would they need an independent witness or is one person enough? I'm asking because a) I live an hour away from where our property is & would struggle to camp out for a weekend on their doorstep & b) I don't think they would answer the door to me so was planning to send someone else to serve them.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by attilathelandlord View Post
                  Well they weren't so horrified that they coughed up. Don't leave this one in your tenant's hands. Every move they've made has told you they are unreliable so serve notices when appropriate.
                  You are so right. My Husband & I have ummed & arred about whether to do this on 23rd because they have promised to pay on 28th which is his payday. Hubby wants to wait to see if they pay but I just think they will take us for fools again.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Denebob View Post
                    Dumb novice question here, but if someone else served notice would they need an independent witness or is one person enough? I'm asking because a) I live an hour away from where our property is & would struggle to camp out for a weekend on their doorstep & b) I don't think they would answer the door to me so was planning to send someone else to serve them.
                    Download form N215 from HM Court Service website.

                    You do not have to prove they have received it, just that it was served. The "someone else" simply fills in the N215 with details and time and date and attaches it to a copy of the s8 they have just delivered.

                    It's not necessary to do this, but covers you in case the tenants say that they didn't receive it. The law simply says that it must be served, and you will have evidence of this.

                    You can do it by first class post, but in this case the dates I gave will be wrong (you can work out the service date from the notes on the back of the N215). It does not need to be sent recorded, but you should hand it in to a post office and get a certificate of posting. Still fill in N215, and ideally have someone else post it.
                    On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Denebob View Post
                      You are so right. My Husband & I have ummed & arred about whether to do this on 23rd because they have promised to pay on 28th which is his payday. Hubby wants to wait to see if they pay but I just think they will take us for fools again.
                      You can always do a covering letter saying how sorry you are to serve this as you are sure that they will make their payment as promised on the 28th, but your legal advisor has given you the dates and insisted that it is done.

                      Just to be sure of the dates, and amounts, can you confirm that their rent day is the 23rd and also what is the rental figure and does the tenancy agreement say that it is to be paid monthly?
                      On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Esio Trot View Post
                        You can always do a covering letter saying how sorry you are to serve this as you are sure that they will make their payment as promised on the 28th, but your legal advisor has given you the dates and insisted that it is done.

                        Just to be sure of the dates, and amounts, can you confirm that their rent day is the 23rd and also what is the rental figure and does the tenancy agreement say that it is to be paid monthly?
                        Thank you so so much for the N215, I had no idea! Yes I was thinking of a covering note to take the edge off.

                        Rent day is 23rd officially but on "normal" months that is the day the cash leaves their account by S/O so we usually get it around 28th. We know that Mrs Tenant gets paid on 23rd but Mr Tenant now gets paid on 28th. They owe £360 arrears (£300 rent & £60 bank charges) then come 23rd May will owe a further £600. Tenancy agreement does say monthly.

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                        • #13
                          If a tenant gives a valid notice to quit and they dont there is a legal arguement that states you can charge them double the rent for before the notice date expired.
                          I think it is section 18 The Distress for Rent Act 1737

                          I dont know much about it but I'm sure Jeffrey would.

                          If that is the case it may be more of a incentive for the tenant to leave when you inform them.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by johnboy View Post
                            If a tenant gives a valid notice to quit and they dont there is a legal arguement that states you can charge them double the rent for before the notice date expired.
                            I think it is section 18 The Distress for Rent Act 1737

                            I dont know much about it but I'm sure Jeffrey would.

                            If that is the case it may be more of a incentive for the tenant to leave when you inform them.
                            Go on, then. Flattery will get you everywhere!
                            Yes: s.18 of 1737 Act (which will NOT be repealed when Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 abolishes common-law distraint)- in 18th. century English, at v. great length- applies if T gives Notice to Quit but fails to leave on intended date. Thenceforth, T has to pay double the existing rent until he does leave. Correspondingly, L can sue for the doubled rent.
                            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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                            • #15
                              That is very interesting! I will save that little gem for if things get difficult, thanks.

                              I am just filling in the section 8 now & Ground 8. b) says "If rent is payable monthly, at least 2 months rent is unpaid"

                              On the date of serving, they will have been in arrears for 2 months but won't owe us a full 2 months rent as they part paid. Can I still serve them as they are 2 months in arrears or am I going to have to wait until they owe a full 2 months rent?

                              History goes like this:

                              23rd March £600 due
                              1st April £60 bank charges added- £660 owed
                              23rd April £600 due. £200 paid- £1060 owed
                              28th April £200 paid- £860 owed
                              29th April £500 paid-£360 owed
                              23rd May £600 due- Total £960 owed

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