Tenants not paying - section 8 or 21?

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  • Tenants not paying - section 8 or 21?

    I'm a first-time landlord with tenants on a 6 month contract who have not paid a deposit, or any rent for over 2 months ( both of which are required in the signed contract). I want to get rid of them asap, but I would like to recover the rent and any legal and court costs.

    I’ve been reading about the 2 main ways to get rid of a tenant – as I understand it I can use ‘Accelerated possession procedure’ ( section 8 ) which requires giving 2 weeks notice and then the court will usually ask them to leave, but I won’t be able to claim the due rent or my court costs. I also don’t know how long I’d have to wait for a court hearing after the 2 weeks and how likely they are to be ‘allowed to stay because they have nowhere else to go’, or some other loophole? Are there other ways of recovering the rent and court costs if I do this?

    Or there is a section 21 notice, which means I have to write them a properly worded letter asking them to leave, but I'm not sure how much notice I have to give for that? My contract seems to say 'at least 2 weeks' in one place, but there's another bit I don't completely understand ( at the bottom of this email) which might say that I have to give them until the end of the 6 month contract? But section 21 seems to say at least 2 months notice is required if they have failed to pay the rent? So it is 2 weeks, 2 months or another 4 months until the contract is up? If I go down this route does it then take a long time to go to court after the notice period is up? How likely am I to get my house back and the money owed if I follow this procedure?

    It seems crazy that non-paying tenants can stay in your house for another 2 months or more and there is nothing you can do about it if you want the rent that is owed to you?

    Any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks,
    Justine

    --------
    FROM THE CONTRACT
    Ground 8: The tenant owed at least two months' rent if the tenancy is on a monthly basis or 8 weeks' rent if it is on a weekly basis, both when the landlord gave notice seeking possession and at the date of the court hearing.

    Ground 11: Even if the tenant was not behind with his or her rent when the landlord started possession proceedings, the tenant has been persistently late in paying the rent.


    Notice periods
    The landlord must serve notice seeking possession of the property on the tenant before starting court proceedings. He or she must give the following amount of notice:
    (a) for grounds 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15 or 17 – at least two weeks;
    (b) for grounds 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 16 – at least two months.
    If the tenancy is on a contractual periodic or statutory periodic basis, the notice period must end on the last day of a tenancy period. The notice period must also be a least as long as the period of the tenancy, so that three months' notice must be given if it is a quarterly tenancy.
    For ground 14 from 28 February 1997 - the landlord can start proceedings as soon as he or she has served notice.

    --------

  • #2
    You haven't said the start date of the tenancy, and is it a 6 month tenancy?

    If you go for Section 8, you still need to serve a proper notice, which notifies them of your intend to pursue court action if they don't pay within 2 weeks.

    You can issue a Section 21 at any time, but it needs to be a minimum of 2 months notice, depending on when the tenancy ends.

    Comment


    • #3
      Section 8 or 21

      Thanks Richie,

      It is a 6 month contract, and it started on 11th March. Does that mean if I give them notice under section 21 then the earliest I can ask them to leave is by 11th August, or if I serve notice today can it be before 19th July?

      If I do this and then they pay me what is due before that date, can I then give them 2 weeks notice under section 8 becasue they have broken ground 11?

      Ground 11: Even if the tenant was not behind with his or her rent when the landlord started possession proceedings, the tenant has been persistently late in paying the rent.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by justinec View Post
        Thanks Richie,

        It is a 6 month contract, and it started on 11th March. Does that mean if I give them notice under section 21 then the earliest I can ask them to leave is by 11th August, or if I serve notice today can it be before 19th July?

        If I do this and then they pay me what is due before that date, can I then give them 2 weeks notice under section 8 becasue they have broken ground 11?

        Ground 11: Even if the tenant was not behind with his or her rent when the landlord started possession proceedings, the tenant has been persistently late in paying the rent.
        Section 21 Notice can be served at any time once tenancy has begun.
        BUT
        It cannot take effect during fixed term.
        If you serve it before 11 July, it will take effect after 11 September (term ending).

        Section 8 Notice can be served at any time once tenancy has begun, provided that there are good grounds within Schedule 2 to Act.

        These procedures are entirely independent of each other.
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


        • #5
          Solicitors specialising in bad tenants - north Wales?

          I'd like legal advice and help with preparing the forms to try to get these tenants out. I don't believe they have any intention of paying me. Can someone please recomend someone in the North Wales area, preferably who can help me today.
          Thanks,
          Justine

          Comment


          • #6
            Sorry - don't know of anybody in N.Wales, but PaineSmith, who do know what they are talking about are happy to take the necessary action anywhere in the country. They advertise to the right of this post.

            P.P.
            Last edited by P.Pilcher; 22-05-2007, 15:15 PM. Reason: typo
            Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

            Comment

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