Landlord advice needed with claim for possesion, poor letting agent and bad tennant

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    Landlord advice needed with claim for possesion, poor letting agent and bad tennant


    I am having troubles gaining possesion of my property, which is currently let via an agent.

    Back on the 1/7/11 i instructed my agent that i wanted repossesion of my property for my daughter, (her partner was under going heart surgery and the property is closer to mine so i can help with there little one.) So we waited for the two months notice to pass, then gave the tennant a further month to move out...... Still no response, so we had a meeting with the agent only to find after a lot of nonsense that he had "forgot" to send a "section 21" and only wrote a letter asking for possession.

    Back to square one! a section 21 has now been sent and expires at the begining of December, two weeks ago i asked the agent to get all relevant paperwork ready so when the time comes we can act fast, (as my daughter and partner are now sleeping on family members floor!) Only to find that he has "lost" most of the tenancy agreement, blaming a previous employee!

    I now really dont know what action to take as this was our only copy, and now all i can provide for the courts is a section 21 and one page of a tenancy agreement, from researching the matter i belive that the court wont issue a repossesion order without all the relevant paperwork.

    needless to say i was rather shocked at this discovery, and dont really know what action to take next, the agent keeps reassuring me he will obtain a copy of the tennants agreement, but i very much dout this.

    Also i have found out the property has been modified, with new locks and water meter installation. As well as beening sublet to another of the tennants family members and the garden is in a horrific state all without my prior knowledge,

    Many Thanks for having a read of my tale of woe, im not sure what my next options are any advice is really appreciated

    Putting the legal processes to one side, the easiest way to deal with issues like this is by negotiation. Have you been to see your tenants and explained your personal circumstances? I am not sure why the tenants didn't move out - have you found out the reason?

    The process of going to Court is very time consuming even if you have the correct documents and it would be good to try and avoid this is at all possible. If you can negotiate your way out - eg by offering them money even then this would in my opinion be the quickest route. It may be the case that they have been advised to stay in - eg by the Council who may have a duty to re-house. If they are saying that they won't go without the Court Order at least then you will know what you have to do.

    Moving back to the Agent, it is clear here that there is a case for negligence. Many things can be said about many agents but like most industries there are good and bad. One of the issues with Property Agencies is there are no requirements for any qualifications before setting up in business. By the sound of it your agent doesn't know what they are doing so doubt they have any professional qualifications.

    There are probably two options for you - you either say to the agent I have instructed you to get possession and have (a) not served the correct paperwork and (b) not kept documents properly so it is up to you to resolve this and bear the associated costs. You could also ask them to provide accommodation for your daughter as it is due to their negligence that she now has to sleep on the floor.

    If you are not confident that the Agent is capable of resolving this then you might want to go and see a solicitor to (a) get possession and (b) recover your losses from the Agent.

    Clearly the Agent is at fault. I would see if you can try and resolve this by friendly means if needs be. Don't tell the tenant you don't have a copy of the lease by the way!

    Hope this helps.


      Section 21 is still available to you, but it will require a court hearing so you can't use the accelerated proceedure (form n5b) you will have to use the regular process (form n5). As a hearing will need to be scheduled, and the courts are extremely busy in most areas, this is likely to add at least a month onto the possession process.

      It is possible that the initial letter was sufficient to act as a s21 notice, but with only a few days til the expiry of the new one that's probably irrelevant now.

      Your agent has not proven remarkable - it might be wise to check if the s21 they have issued is actually valid.

      What date did the last tenancy begin?
      Was it for a fixed term / was there an end date specified?
      If a deposit was paid, what date as it protected?
      What date was the deposit schemes "prescribed information" given to tenant, and can that be proven?
      What date was the s21 served on the tenant, and can that be proven?
      What was the expiry date, and was it "after xx/12/2011" or "on xx/12/2022"

      With regard to your second to last paragraph, it is all a matter of what the financial value of these breaches are and whether you have proof of the condition of the relevant items at the start of the tenancy.



        Thanks for your comments,

        iv been trying the nicey nicey approach since july now and its starting to become quite frustrating as i keep hitting a dead end, or just more mistakes by the agent...

        with regards to the tenancy it started on 18th may 2009 and was only for 6 months and carried on month by month basis. i imagine this was meant to have been reviewed by the agent, but yet more negligence to add to the ever growing list.

        the deposit scheme etc was also handled by the agent and i cant find any corresponding paperwork, i will have to track it down

        The s21 states date of expiry is "from" xx/12/11 hope this is worded correctly fingers crossed

        with regards to the form n5 can this be used with a section 21 or will i have to issue a section 8 as after a brief look on the net i can find no use of the n5 with a s21 only the n5b?

        many thanks for the help


          Can you be a bit more specific with your answers?

          A section 21 is not valid if it is served before the deposit is protected AND the prescribed information given to the tenant. Check ith the 3 schemes to see if the deposit is protected, if not the quickest thing will be to use your own funds to protect the deposit because YOU are breaking the law (2004 Housing Act) if it isn't protected. You can check here:

          Your s21 should have an expiry of "after 17th December 2011". 17th of any month is fine (so long as it's at least 2 months from service), but any other day of the month will be invalid.

          N5 is for possession claims. N5b is almost always used for the accelerated process, because that is naturally what most people use. However, you can use n5 for s21 - if you were doing s8 you'd need n5 & n119.

          I am getting the feeling that you need to issue yet another s21 - this time with our help - if that is the case, you may as well use s8 if any of the grounds 1-8 here apply



            The s21 i have was issued by the agent, dated and signed by the agent on the 27th september 2011, with date of expiry from 3rd december 2011,

            From the only page i have of the tenancy agreement which is dated 18th may 2009, it mentions the deposit "a deposit of £xxx is payable on signing this agreement and is lodged with the Deposit Protection Scheme details of which are provided to you under separte cover" so from this i like to hope the deposit is with a goverment scheme but i will have to check with the agent which specific one and obtain the details.

            with the s21 there appears to be 2 month period from 27/9/11 to 3/12/11 with enough time to allow for recorded postal delivery

            i really do hope that the s21 is valid, is there any third party that can check ie citizens advice bureau, before i employ a solictor

            many thanks for your knowledge once again


              It isn't valid.

              Section 21(4)(a) applies to notices served outside of the fixed term (your fixed term ran 18/5/09 - 17/11/09.

              Section 21(4)(a) requires that the expiry date is the last day of a tenancy period.

              Each of your tenancy periods (presuming rent due monthly) runs from the 18th of the month to the 17th of the following month.

              You can check the deposit protection from the link I gave. It would be wise (presuming the deposit is protected) to re-serve the 'prescribed information' before you serve the s21 so that you have proof of service (no prescribed information, no possession order).


                i see, however i have noticed on the tenancy agreement it states " this agreement is made on the date below" which relates to the 18th may 09,

                but at the bottom of the page it is signed and dated by the tenant and agent on the 3rd july 09

                could this be why he has used the 3rd rather than the 18th if so does the signature date over ride the date at the top of the agreement?

                i know im clutching at straws here but it seems your right and i will have to start again

                please advise


                  The question is - when did the tenancy begin, or perhaps more pertinently, when did the fixed term end?

                  Do you have any recollection (emails, diary etc) of when the tenant moved in? Maybe a rent statement from the agent saying 'rent from 3/7/09 to 2/8/09'?

                  Also, does the section 21 have any additional wording that says something like 'or at the end of the next tenancy period following a period of 2 months'.


                    I sent our section 21 to a third party to inspect, and it is invalid, back to square one...

                    Many thanks for the help


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