A Section 21 is heading my way

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    A Section 21 is heading my way

    I apologise profusely in advance for this somewhat lengthy post but I really need some advice here on what I have or haven’t done right/wrong, and where I stand (specific questions at the end). Writing it all down now before I forget.

    I am on an AST which I’ve held since Feb 2010 – the original six month term has expired so it’s now on a month to month basis.

    I received a text message from my landlord on the 31st Jan to say the rent had not been received. I responded to say it wasn’t due until the start of the month, not the end. The following day (yesterday) I was informed it still hadn’t arrived. I phoned my bank and they said it was going out and would be received today. I checked my bank statements for previous months, which said the rent had always cleared from my account on either the 2nd or the 3rd of the month. I phoned the landlord and told him that, and he said his system said the rent was due at the end of the month (untrue, I had changed it by letter from the 19th of the month to the 1st of the month in Jan 2011). I asked him why, then, if it had been received on the 2nd or 3rd for at least the past 6 months, was he only prompting me now? He said, “Maybe I’m just getting more efficient at these things, and you should be lucky I didn’t prompt you until now!” I said to him ok, I’ll change the date to a couple of days later to allow it to clear. He said I would therefore owe him a couple of days difference in rent to make up for the shortfall. I said I was absolutely fine with that. He accused me of chopping and changing with the date, and said, “I tell you what, why don’t you just pay the rent whenever you want!?” And he put the phone down. I phoned him back immediately, said, “Hi, it’s xxx,” and he said “Good!” I reiterated to him again that I didn’t understand why there’d been no prompt so far, that I would like to change the date to 2 days later in the month from March, and I was happy to pay any shortfall. He told me how much it would be (accurately), and we finished our phone conversation.

    After the conversation, I acknowledged that it might be about time to start looking for accommodation elsewhere, and starting thinking about whether he would screw me on the deposit. That got me thinking about how, come to think of it, I’d never received confirmation of which tenancy deposit scheme it was registered against. I checked all three deposit schemes, and my details came up on none of them. So I phoned the letting agency, who thought it was mydeposits.co.uk but weren’t entirely sure. I checked that site a second time (nothing) then texted the landlord to ask. He didn’t respond for 6 hours, and when he did he confirmed it was mydeposits. So I checked it for a third time, and surprise surprise, up it came - registered. I texted him to ask him to send me the deposit confirmation certificate, in that case.

    Today, he texted me at 9.30am to say the rent had been received, he would send me the deposit certificate, and that ‘as he said on the phone’ the rent date was changed to the 30th and that was when he expected it to be paid. If I was unhappy with that, they would be happy to accept my notice to vacate. I responded to say I had a copy of a letter I sent on 5 Jan 2011 changing the date to 1st of the month, and if he had evidence that I had agreed on the 30th of the month, please could he send it. Not being able to prove that, he responded to say that I should therefore ensure that the rent was received on the 1st, not the 2nd or the 3rd. I said I would phone my bank and bring the date of payment forward 2 days, and pay the rent for March on the 29th February, less 1 days rent as my rent for February is paid from 2nd Feb (today) to 1st Mar (incl.). He phoned me immediately to say that it would not be less any money, as the rent was xxx per month, regardless of the date on which it was paid. I disagreed with that, he disagreed with me, and he didn’t understand how he could get it through to me that it wouldn’t be any less. He reiterated that he would be happy to accept my notice. He has to give me 2 months whereas I have to give him 1 month. I declined his offer, and he said he would therefore issue a possession order. I told him he couldn’t do that, as I wasn’t in rent arrears and have paid my rent every single month (including this one now!). He said he would send me a notice to vacate instead. As my tenancy started on the 19th Feb 2010, the notice to vacate would be dated for 19th April 2012. He said that I was a bad tenant and he would be glad to see the back of me. I responded by telling him he was a bad landlord and a bully and I would be glad to see the back of him. And I hung up.

    So. A long story with a bad ending.

    My questions:

    1. I know he’ll try to screw me on the deposit. He didn’t do an inventory at the start of the tenancy and I didn’t think to ask (yes, I’m an idiot, I know). Now I know the deposit is protected I feel *slightly* more secure, but do I have any recourse to not paying the last month’s rent to ensure I’m not screwed? I haven’t caused any damage to the house. Something of note – there is a hole in the back of the bedroom door which was there when I moved in. I told him about it by phone at the beginning of the tenancy, and he said he knew. But it’s not in writing and he could accuse me of causing it. Suggestions?

    2. I strongly suspect he didn’t register the deposit until I asked him about it yesterday. My neighbour’s deposit isn’t registered with mydeposits either, just like mine wasn’t until I asked him. Is what he did illegal? Can it be proved, and does it mean anything as far as my legal standing goes now it’s registered?

    3. What have I done right/wrong, and what’s going to bite me in the a***?

    4. What’s he done right/wrong, and what’s going to bite him in the a***?

    All advice appreciated. And yeah, I know I’ve done things wrong too. Just want to know where I stand with it all. I do intend to find somewhere else.

    #2
    Originally posted by papillon View Post
    I apologise profusely in advance for this somewhat lengthy post
    If you feel you need to apologise, it means you should have written a shorter post... There's a lot of idle chatter in it.

    Originally posted by papillon View Post
    untrue, I had changed it by letter from the 19th of the month to the 1st of the month in Jan 2011
    You cannot change the rent due date: It is part of your contractual obligations. What you can do is ask your landlord and wait for his approval (in writing).


    Bottom line:
    Your landlord can serve you with a s.21 notice seeking possession at any time for no reason.
    If, at the time of service the deposit is protected and related information were given to you the notice will be valid.
    It does not matter whether the deposit was protected late.

    If your original term started in the 19th Feb. for 6 months, a s.21 notice must give you at least 2 month notice and seek possession "after the 18th <whatever month>".

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
      If you feel you need to apologise, it means you should have written a shorter post... There's a lot of idle chatter in it.
      I was looking for advice on my situation, not a commentary on my trying to avoid an accusatory tl;dr and hopefully forestalling other questions.

      Thank you for your other comments, though.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
        If you feel you need to apologise, it means you should have written a shorter post... There's a lot of idle chatter in it.

        .
        Wow.........

        Comment


          #5
          Papillion - take jjlandlords comments as a learning curve - if you want people to read and help, then you have to make that process as easy as possible - or people won't bother.

          1) If you withold rent it will give you you security, but you will be in breach of contract - not a good thing to have on a reference, especially if it is true. The deposit company / court would require considerable proof of damage from the landlord - he is unlikely to be able to give that with no inventory.

          2) What he did was unlawful, but it is protected now. You have no legal recourse.

          3 & 4 - can't really comment, eviction is a legal process, not a moralistic one, it's his property, if he wants it back then he has a legal route to follow,

          When you get your section 21, report back here and we can check for you if it is valid.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
            Papillion - take jjlandlords comments as a learning curve - if you want people to read and help, then you have to make that process as easy as possible - or people won't bother.
            Surely a post written in clear, legible and accurate English, making the situation perfectly clear, and preceded with an apology warning that it was long, is better than an incomplete and muddled post where responses ask a number of clarifying questions? jjlandlord's comment was entirely unnecessary. If he thought reading it was onerous, he shouldn't have bothered responding at all. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the advice on my situation, but additional comments like that are not needed.

            Comment


              #7
              Papillon: Welcome to LLZ, sorry to read your story


              My own viewpoint is that anyone expecting 100% respectful posts giving them only the answers they want in the manner they wish from a free, open-to-all, forum is likely to be disappointed..

              If you find such a forum, please let us know!

              Cheers!

              Artful
              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

              Comment


                #8
                I agree with papillon. A bit unnecessary accusing a poster of idle chatter; this group should encourage people having problems not the opposite.
                FWIW I think your landlord is being very foolish - to evict a perfectly good tenant who's been paying rent regularly and risk the costs of a dispute, having to find another tenant and all the trouble involved is pretty odd. As you don't have an inventory this will work in your favour as the burden of proof is on him not you.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by papillon View Post
                  My questions:

                  1. I know he’ll try to screw me on the deposit. He didn’t do an inventory at the start of the tenancy and I didn’t think to ask (yes, I’m an idiot, I know). Now I know the deposit is protected I feel *slightly* more secure, but do I have any recourse to not paying the last month’s rent to ensure I’m not screwed?
                  An inventory protects the LL; without one he will seriously struggle to prove you are liable for damage at the end of the tenancy, because he needs to prove original good/undamaged condition in order to prove subsequent damage.

                  You are contractually obliged to pay the rent on the rent due date. There is no entitlement to withholding rent to ensure you're not 'screwed'.
                  2. I strongly suspect he didn’t register the deposit until I asked him about it yesterday. My neighbour’s deposit isn’t registered with mydeposits either, just like mine wasn’t until I asked him. Is what he did illegal? Can it be proved, and does it mean anything as far as my legal standing goes now it’s registered?
                  MyDeposits do not accept deposits for protection if more than 14 days have passed since the LL received it. However, this doesn't necessarily mean it's not legally protected. Either way, a deposit non-compliance claim against a LL is a very risky business and I'd advise forgetting about it.

                  3. What have I done right/wrong, and what’s going to bite me in the a***?
                  If you withhold rent, you've no right to, and could get a bad reference because of it. You're also wrong about rent due dates. The rent due date is what's written in the contract - you can't just send a letter changing the date. It's why your LL said, in frustration, "I tell you what, why don’t you just pay the rent whenever you want!?". The LL is also not responsible for 'prompting' you to pay the rent on the due date, or prompting you full stop.

                  4. What’s he done right/wrong, and what’s going to bite him in the a***?
                  He should have protected the deposit sooner, but it's unlikely to have any consequences for him. He was also an idiot, from his POV, for failing to get an inventory check-in carried out.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by papillon View Post
                    Surely a post written in clear, legible and accurate English, making the situation perfectly clear.
                    You don't want to hear this, and this isn't 'teach yourself English forum' but I disagree that it is either clear or in accurate English. It is only legible because the forum uses a default font.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by papillon View Post
                      I said I would phone my bank and bring the date of payment forward 2 days, and pay the rent for March on the 29th February, less 1 days rent as my rent for February is paid from 2nd Feb (today) to 1st Mar (incl.). He phoned me immediately to say that it would not be less any money, as the rent was xxx per month, regardless of the date on which it was paid.
                      Your LL is correct. You are wrong.

                      I disagreed with that, he disagreed with me, and he didn’t understand how he could get it through to me that it wouldn’t be any less.
                      I can feel his pain.

                      He reiterated that he would be happy to accept my notice.
                      Yes, I'd say the same.

                      He has to give me 2 months whereas I have to give him 1 month. I declined his offer, and he said he would therefore issue a possession order. I told him he couldn’t do that, as I wasn’t in rent arrears and have paid my rent every single month (including this one now!). He said he would send me a notice to vacate instead.
                      Wrong again. The LL *can* apply for a possession order if he serves a valid s.21 notice. It's called a 'no fault' notice because it can be served even if T has done nothing 'wrong' such as not paying rent. So you're wrong.

                      As my tenancy started on the 19th Feb 2010, the notice to vacate would be dated for 19th April 2012.
                      A s.21 notice is, firstly, not a notice to quit (or to vacate). It does not end the tenancy nor oblige the T to vacate; it merely entitles the LL to apply for a possession order after notice expiry. A s.21 notice served during a periodic tenancy must comply with various requirements: it must give at least two months, it must expire 'after' the end of a tenancy period, and it must say it's a s.21 notice. Unless you tell us further details, we cannot guess when the notice would have to expire - but there is a reasonable chance you've guessed the expiry date wrong.

                      Tell us:

                      1. Did the contract say that the fixed term commenced on 19th Feb 2010?
                      2. How long was the term? and was an 'end' date specified?
                      3. Is rent payable monthly/weekly/other?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Ah, it seems that I was too direct for some used to have it sugar coated. Nonetheless my comment was accurate, and actually meant as advice.

                        That'll teach me. Stay away from such posts, JJ.

                        Zen teachers get asked a lot, "What is idle chatter?" It is talking about what does not matter in life, including gossip. This means you are not gaining anything from this conversation, in fact you are adding to the person of whom you are chatting with their suffering when you could be teaching them the truth of life and the Dhamma.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by westminster View Post
                          Tell us:

                          1. Did the contract say that the fixed term commenced on 19th Feb 2010?
                          2. How long was the term? and was an 'end' date specified?
                          3. Is rent payable monthly/weekly/other?
                          1. Yes.
                          2. Six months, with an expiry date of 18 Aug 2010, and a mutual break clause of 2 month's notice (landlord) / 1 month's notice (tenant) thereafter.
                          3. Monthly.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            In which case a notice under section 21(4)(a) of the 1988 Housing Act must have an expiry date of "After 18th XXX 2012". The word 'after' is required by statute.

                            19th XXX 2012 would be invalid.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I guess the terms he's using (which I've just used above, cos heck, I don't know ) show he's not entirely up to speed on the process either, who knows. Shall wait and see if/when the S.21 shows up and see what it says then.

                              Comment

                              Latest Activity

                              Collapse

                              • Section 8 on tenants without deposit
                                by dereham
                                Hello all

                                Is it difficult to evict a tenant (section 8 rent arrears) if they didn't pay a deposit when they moved in?
                                It might be a silly question - I know it's a massive issue not to have protected a deposit when it comes to eviction but I can't find any info about cases where there...
                                02-12-2021, 11:30 AM
                              • Reply to End of tenancy questions
                                by leasee123
                                So is it best to serve section 21 together with a section 13? As that is the only way to ensure I can get the rent increase?...
                                02-12-2021, 09:56 AM
                              • End of tenancy questions
                                by leasee123
                                Hi,

                                I am a landlord and the current tenancy is coming close to the end of the AST fixed period. I am unsure what the process is when it comes to things like increasing rent and section 21 etc. I am using an agent for tenant find and they do the negotiating with the tenants (and of course...
                                01-12-2021, 21:08 PM
                              • Reply to Alternative ways to enforce a Peaceable Eviction
                                by bob369
                                I wish to gain a court order for eviction, can that be sought in advance of the approaching Notices end date, or does he need to become a 'hold over' tresspasser before I can apply.
                                Apologies that is a typo, if it wasn't for the infernal 'Moderator Approval' system being so pedantic I would have...
                                02-12-2021, 09:54 AM
                              • Alternative ways to enforce a Peaceable Eviction
                                by bob369
                                Hi,

                                A Lodger (Excluded Occupier) needs to be excluded as his Notice Period has expired (one calendar month), and he refuses to leave

                                I understand Police will not get involved to remove him, even though he is tresspassing, understand they view this as Civil not criminal....
                                24-11-2021, 23:16 PM
                              • Reply to End of tenancy questions
                                by jpkeates
                                You can charge them any rent that they agree to pay, otherwise, your only option to unilaterally increase the rent is a s13 notice.

                                The s13 notice includes an appeals process, so you can't simply "evict" someone by charging a ludicrous rent....
                                02-12-2021, 09:50 AM
                              • Reply to Granting a very long AST (to a family member)
                                by Section20z
                                The flat's lease will likely prohibit lettings of more than a year (or class it as an assignment)
                                02-12-2021, 09:44 AM
                              • Granting a very long AST (to a family member)
                                by meehr
                                For a variety of reasons a family member is considering renting out their leasehold flat to a cousin for a long period of time - to provide security they want to grant a very long AST, like 8 years (till kids have left home basically). They both want to do this for security and avoidance of argument...
                                01-12-2021, 23:27 PM
                              • Reply to End of tenancy questions
                                by leasee123
                                But what happens if tenants don't leave (when it was originally agreed they would), can I charge them the higher rent? Because a section 13 would not have been served (given it was agreed they would leave at the end of the fixed term) would I still be allowed to charge them a higher rent?
                                02-12-2021, 09:43 AM
                              • Reply to who's repsponsibility
                                by jpucng62
                                Tenants often don't have the tools to manage large foliage or dispose of it. If I could do it without too much effort I probably would or offer to arrange for it to be done & pass on the cost. It is definitely their responsibility.
                                02-12-2021, 09:20 AM
                              Working...
                              X