Section 21 Questions

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    Section 21 Questions

    Dear All,

    I'd be very grateful for some advice.

    I have served a Section 21 (4)(a) to a tenant which has just expired. My tenant has been struggling with rent payments for a number of months and arrears have accumulated.

    My tenant has not vacated, and after seeking advice from the City Council, she is staying put until a possession order is granted.

    My tenant wants the tenancy to continue and assures me that she will pay rent and clear arrears by monthly supplements. I am skeptical rent payments will be sustained, so I don't want to allow the tenancy to continue.

    I have a signed AST that began 04/04/11. I did make a mistake and set the tenancy expiry date as 03/04/11 rather than 03/04/12. As the tenancy was periodic when I served the section 21, is it likely the tenancy date mistake will jeopardise my application for an accelerated possession order?

    As this process could take time, am I able to demand and collect rent from my tenant whilst they occupy my property?

    If I do not apply for a possession order now, and I give my tenant a last chance to pay rent and arrears. Could I apply for a possession order if rent is not paid?, or will I first have to issue another Section 21 (4)(a)?

    Thanks for reading.

    #2
    I have a signed AST that began 04/04/11. I did make a mistake and set the tenancy expiry date as 03/04/11 rather than 03/04/12. As the tenancy was periodic when I served the section 21, is it likely the tenancy date mistake will jeopardise my application for an accelerated possession order?
    An obvious typo like that will be ignored by the court.

    As this process could take time, am I able to demand and collect rent from my tenant whilst they occupy my property?
    Yes, the rent is still due right up until it ends, whether that be by the tenant leaving on their own accord or bailiff's putting them out


    If I do not apply for a possession order now, and I give my tenant a last chance to pay rent and arrears. Could I apply for a possession order if rent is not paid?, or will I first have to issue another Section 21 (4)(a)?
    If your S21(4)(a) has been served validly then it is valid for action at any time in the future, although I have read somewhere that it's only valid for a year, so check.
    It would cease to be valid if you gave the tenant a new contract or otherwise intimated you would not be acting on it.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

    Comment


      #3
      Just to check, did tenant provide a deposit and have you complied with all the requirements of deposit protection? Failure to do this means your S21 will be invalid.

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks jta,

        If I go down the route of holding off with the possession order, and state to my tenant I will hold off only whilst rent and arrears are being paid, could this be interpreted as not acting on the section 21 and cease to be valid?

        Jess

        Comment


          #5
          Yes I registered the deposit with the DPS and gave the tenant all necessary details.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jessrussell View Post
            Thanks jta,

            If I go down the route of holding off with the possession order, and state to my tenant I will hold off only whilst rent and arrears are being paid, could this be interpreted as not acting on the section 21 and cease to be valid?

            Jess
            Just don't put anything in writing.
            I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jessrussell View Post
              I have a signed AST that began 04/04/11. I did make a mistake and set the tenancy expiry date as 03/04/11 rather than 03/04/12. As the tenancy was periodic when I served the section 21, is it likely the tenancy date mistake will jeopardise my application for an accelerated possession order?
              No, it's an obvious error. What would jeoparize the application would be a defective s.21 notice* or failing to comply with deposit protection before serving the notice.

              As this process could take time, am I able to demand and collect rent from my tenant whilst they occupy my property?
              A s.21 notice does not end the tenancy at expiry, nor oblige the T to vacate; it merely entitles you to apply for a possession order. In other words, the tenancy remains in place (until you obtain and enforce a possession order), so T continues to be liable for rent meanwhile.

              If I do not apply for a possession order now, and I give my tenant a last chance to pay rent and arrears. Could I apply for a possession order if rent is not paid?, or will I first have to issue another Section 21 (4)(a)? ...

              If I go down the route of holding off with the possession order, and state to my tenant I will hold off only whilst rent and arrears are being paid, could this be interpreted as not acting on the section 21 and cease to be valid?
              Not applying for possession doesn't invalidate the notice. The s.21 notice remains actionable indefinitely, unless you grant a new tenancy to the T.

              But you say the T is struggling to pay the rent, and you're sceptical she will pay the unpaid rent as promised. Why would you hold off, in the circumstances? Apply for possession immediately after notice expiry.

              ===
              * If rent is payable monthly, did your notice expire "after 3rd [month/year]"?

              Comment

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