Confused about timings of Section 21

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    Confused about timings of Section 21

    I have just been reading Lollyhouses' message about correct serving of Section 21 and am totally confused about correct timing of dates.
    My situation is:
    10/1/07 Tenants(on periodic tenancy)served notice on us to leave on13/3/07
    Letting agent served Section 21 on 9/2/07 because rent in arrears
    Their rent is due on the 14th of each month but was last paid on 14/12/06.

    Am I in a position to go ahead with court proceedings after the 14th Feb? My understanding is that I have to wait until 2months/8 weeks of rent has not been paid.
    In these circumstances are Forms N5 and N119 the correct forms?

    I have been trying to trawl through all the information available but I am finding it difficult to find a clear course of action. This is the first time this has happened to me and would welcome any suggestions.

    Rent arrears eviction is Section 8 not Section 21.
    Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.


      Dear Lewis

      If agents served s21 ('no fault') notice on 9th Feb and rent period is 14th monthly then that notice would not expire until 13th April. You would therefore have to wait until 13th April to see if tenants will vacate as per the notice. If they don't vacate on that date you will be able to instigate a claim for possession through the court.

      If you were to serve a s8 on the grounds of 2mths rent arrears you would have to wait til they missed 14th Feb's rent payment before such a notice could be issued. You would then have to wait a further 2wks before you can start court proceedings. Then you would have to wait for a court hearing date (which can take anything from 6wks to 3mths depending on court backlogs).

      You say that the tenant has given you notice to vacate on 13th March. Do you think they will leave on that date?




        Dear Joanne,

        I have no idea if they are going to leave before or after that date.
        If I go with the section 21 I will presumably get possession but no rent arrears. Whereas if I go for Section 8 and have to wait for court date, the tenants will in the meantime have done a vanishing act.
        Is that a correct summary?




          Looking at one of your replies to another posting, would it be possible to go for an ' Accelerated Possession Procedure' with the s21? Is that another procedure or can it be in addition to s21? I have read about it somewhere and the phrase 'Mandatory Grounds' springs into my mind but can't remember what it is.



            Dear Lewis

            With s21 you can ask for an award for costs etc if you go via the court hearing route (N5 & N119). If you use the Accelerated route then you would have to chase for outstanding monies seperately (via small claims court - they have an online service too!).

            You can also go for award for costs/arrears etc via the section 8 route but again you are waiting for a court date. However, as you tenant will be 2mths in arrears tomorrow you could serve the section 8 and start court proceedings in a couple of weeks, whereas if you want a court hearing under the s21 you are going to have to wait until 14th April before you can start proceedings.

            Just remember that if you go for the s8 route and the tenant pays rent to bring arrears below the 2mths then the judge might throw your claim for possession out.

            Given the timing of your situation your section 21 can't start proceeding until after 14th April whereas if you issue s8 in the next couple of days then you could start proceedings in early March.

            The s21 possession order could be granted (via APP) by end of May / June. However, as stated you would have to chase arrears via small claims court.

            If using s21 (not by APP) it might be end of May to June before you get an hearing date but you would at least be guaranteed an order for possession and possibly an award for costs.

            The section 8 if submitted early March - you could have a hearing date anywhere between mid April and June and you could also get an award for costs but if the judge throws it out of court because the tenant has made a payment of rent to bring below the 2mths arrears then you would have to start all over again!

            In your position, I would go via the s8 route but also issue a s21. That way, if you get to court in Mid April or after and the s8 fails because of payment of rent at least you will also have an expired s21 to show the judge.

            Hope all that makes sense to you?

            Kind Regards



              Our posts crossed Lewis.

              I think my last post may answer your query re the APP.

              Mandoratory grounds are where the judge HAS TO award possession (so long as the notices served correctly with correct dating etc). Ground 8 is a mandatory ground (2mths rent arrears) but like I have said, if the tenant makes a payment to reduce the arrears below 2mths (& it does happen even on the day of the court hearing) then the judge may not award possession. It is best if you can use grounds 10 and 11 as well (these are discretionary grounds but at least add some weight to your claim).

              If you can think of any other breaches of contract as well then you can state ground 12 (though again this is a discretionary ground so the judge does not have to award possession).

              Last edited by Joannepowell; 13-02-2007, 15:37 PM. Reason: typo


                Thanks for taking the time to reply so comprehensively. Think I will go and lie down in a darkened room and think about my choices.

                Seriously though it sounds to me as if I can wave good bye to the money owing and just hope tenants leave soon and leave apartment in not too bad a state.
                I will probably take up your suggestion of using s21 and s8 with the APP and hope for the best.

                Thanks again


                  Lewis - you can only use APP with s21. I would issue both notices and then decide which court path to follow after your time in the darkened room (you could be in for a long stay in there though....). It is a very stressful situation to be in but your NUMBER ONE PRIORITY IS TO GET TENANTS OUT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. This is such a priority because once you start issuing notices it can go one of two ways - they either make rent payment (to avoid potential additional costs incurred through court case) or they just don't pay rent at all!

                  You might be very lucky and they may well leave as they have indicated on the 13th March in which case your problem of regaining possession has been solved but you are still likely to be chasing outstanding rent!



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