s21 Issued, What Can or Cannot Say?

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    s21 Issued, What Can or Cannot Say?

    Hi Guys

    Hoping someone could offer some advice.

    Got a tenant who started her tenancy on 12/1/2011. She paid rent on time to start with. However since November 2011, she started delaying in paying her rent. In the end I requested that housing benefit be paid directly to me, which it now is. Since then, I repeatedly have to chase her for her top up. Over the past 6 months she has started paying later and later, and now has a few months arrears.

    I have tried calling her, texting her and sending her letters informing her of the arrears. I have said repeatedly I understand if she is having difficulties paying ( though in the past she has told me she can more than afford the house given the benefits she receives), and not to worry that I would be more than happy to come to some arrangements about paying by instalments.....but I never get a response.

    Given no alternative, I issued her with a s21 (just the s21, no covering letter). This is due to expire after 11 December. In response to the s21 she hand delivered a letter to me asking could she stay and that she will transfer £x every Monday from now on until the arrears are cleared. She said I had been a very patient landlord and helped her in the past so much so she couldn't have coped without me, and could I respond by text (?). She said she would understand if I still wanted her to leave.

    I responded, by text, that I would be happy for her to stay but needed her to pay the arrears, and start paying on time, or at least talk to me and we could come to some sort of arrangement about payment terms that would suit. Never had a response, and only one small contribution has been made towards the arrears since.

    Of course, having issued the s21(and it being irrelevant of arrears) I am concerned with what I can or cannot say. I have texted her since, reminding her of the arrears....still nothing.

    I was going to text her one more time to say the deadline was looming, and did she intend to pay off arrears, or at least talk to me about it, - but as I say not sure I can mention the 2 together?

    Can anyone advise?

    Many thanks


    Tricky: A judge, particularly one with input from a cunning lawyer, may conclude that by
    that I would be happy for her to stay
    you have granted another tenancy from that date..

    You did have an alternative, issue S8 as well..

    I would go ahead with S21 action but also issue S8 as well. Hopefully she won't have a cunning legal adviser (she is probably entitled to legal aid paid for by you 'n me..) but the amount of £££ for that is dropping fast so x fingers..., And I would keep all communication, where possible, to calm, polite, letters, keep a copies...

    I would avoid txt'ing & 'phoning too often - might be argued as harassment, although unlikely to succeed.

    Frankly she sounds like bad news & even if she paid the lot off I personally would still evict ..

    Hope it works out, best wishes..

    I am entirely legally unqualified!!
    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...


      Thanks for your reply theartfullodger - really helpful!


        You have not offered another fixed term.
        Get the possession order. She is unlikely to turn up at court.

        If she then contacts you, asking to stay, set up a payment plan. You can action the Sec 21(get the bailiffs in) at a later date if necessary.
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong


          Thanks thesaint, its a relief to hear that nothing has been offered!

          Will start filling in my n5b form for court in readiness!

          Thank you once again - really appreciated!


            i think the time for discussing and offering deadlines and plans has passed and she should be aware of that by now. You have issued the S21 section and you can action it ANYTIME after its expiry. you dont have to do it straight away. You can wait and see if she pays something that you are happy with and if not, decide to action it next month, next year, or whenever.

            Dont tell her anything that suggests you are happy for her to stay if X or Y. If she pays, its because she in arrears and she should pay.
            All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.


              Send a letter(not text)telling her the date you will be applying for a possession order. Tell her that she will be liable for the £175.00 fee once this is issued. Keep a copy of the letter.

              If she gets in touch with you before then, set up a mutually agreeable payment plan with her and tell her that as long as she sticks to it, you won't act on the Sec 21 notice that you have issued. This does not prevent you from actioning the Sec 21 even if she does keep to the payment plan.
              Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong


                Not sure what a judge would do.

                I don't think there can be an argument that a new tenancy was granted. However as OP said to tenant that she could stay it muddles things for the court, which could e.g. grant possession but not costs.

                Certainly I would not have replied in writing but orally said that I would hold on starting court proceedings _if_ payments are made.


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