Urgent Advice - Section 8 or 21?

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    Urgent Advice - Section 8 or 21?

    My tenant is on a 12 month AST which commenced in Nov 2009. He was frequently late in paying rent in the early months of the tenancy, and then stopped paying! He is now 4 months rent in arrears. I have found out from his partner (verbally) that he lost his job a couple of months ago.

    I have already issued a Section 8 notice, under grounds 8, 10 and 11, which has now expired. I have read a lot of online discussion regarding Section 8 disputes, and the underlying theme seems to be that the results can be unpredictable, and the judge often takes the side of the tenant.

    I understand it would take around 8 weeks to get a court hearing for a section 8. After this amount of time, we would be at the end of October, and the tenancy agreement expires in mid November.

    My question is, would I be better issuing a Section 21 and going down that route, or continuing with the Section 8. Assuming the tenant does not pay any more rent, the amount owed would be substantial. My understanding is I would have a better chance of recouping some or all of this money via the Section 8 route rather than Section 21 followed by a small claims route?

    Also, if I continued with the Section 8 route, is this something I could do myself or do you need legal representation? Personally, I would see this as a straight forward case but am a bit nervous of proceeding given what I have read before.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated - thank you in advance.

    #2
    Serve both, in case the s8 fails because T brings the amount owing below two months' worth before the hearing.

    If correctly served (and assuming the rent owing has not been reduced as described above) either s21 or s8 should result in a mandatory possession order and T will have only limited power to persuade the judge to delay possession, if at all. You could instruct a solicitor to act for you but the process is not complicated and you could do it yourself. davidjohnbutton has written some really helpful posts about what to do, how to conduct yourself and what to expect, for example #2 in this thread:

    http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ad.php?t=30652
    '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

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      #3
      Urgent Advice - Section 8 or 21?

      Thanks for the quick response.

      Definitely makes sense to issue both s8 and s21, in terms of getting back possession of my property. What about recouping some of the outstanding rent money though? Is s8 a better option for that, or s21 with small claims? I suspect I've got limited chance of getting money in any case, if the tenant is now unemployed?!

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        #4
        They may be claiming what used to be known as housing benefit. They do not need to tell you this and could be taking the money for themselves - that is what happened to me! You are entitled to have any HB paid directly to you if they are over 8 weeks in arrears. Contact your council and explain the situation. They will be reluctant to tell you that they are on HB (DPA etc) but you must insist. I did and got the money paid to me until I was able to evict....
        Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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