Unable to contact tenant at all

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  • Unable to contact tenant at all

    Hi all/

    I have a 2 bed house rented out to a woman who has a small child. The house is in Hull and I am based up in Glasgow.


    Her current shorthold tenancy lapsed at the end of the year and she did not sign an extension. I (stupidly) let this pass as we had had a good relationship up to this point. She continued to pay rent until about 3 months ago when she claimed she was in financial difficulty. I let her know at that time that I would need her to leave as she could not pay rent. She agreed to leave within a month, but 6 weeks later nothing had changed and I still had no rent. I then issued her with a Notice to Quit (under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988) at that time (on 6/6/05).
    Since that time I have been unable to contact her by phone or letter. I even travelled down to Hull and tried unsuccessfully to enter the property but she has changed the locks.

    I know I have now to follow up the Notice to Quit with a court order, but am unsure how to go about this? Can I issue it in a Scottish court ? And assuming that the order is given, how can I enforce it ? Do I need a bailiff ?

    Any advice much appreciated. This is my first (and maybe last) attempt at buy-to-let (can you tell?).

    Andrew

  • #2
    Don't be dismayed!

    Originally posted by Jdean
    Hi all/

    I even travelled down to Hull and tried unsuccessfully to enter the property but she has changed the locks. Aaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhh! Don't try to do that again as it could cost you £0,000's

    I know I have now to follow up the Notice to Quit with a court order, but am unsure how to go about this? Can I issue it in a Scottish court ? And assuming that the order is given, how can I enforce it ? Do I need a bailiff ? No! - it would have to be a court in England or Wales and is usually the one nearest to the property i.e. Hull in this case. Go to www.courtservice.gov.uk and search for the accelerated possession procedure. Make sure your S.21 Notice is the right version and has the right dates otherwise it will be invalid. Look at my thread from yesterday for Gary Webber's article about S.21Notices. You might also want to look at the thread "Answers to Question Time (3)" posted on 10 July & "Question Time (3)" posted late June which is also enlightning.

    Any advice much appreciated. This is my first (and maybe last) attempt at buy-to-let (can you tell?). it might be a good idea to use a regulated agent - a member of NAEA/ARLA/RICS. Don't give up just because you might have made an error - just get it right next time.

    Andrew
    You should also try contacting the local authority's housing benefit section to see if your tenant was claiming benefit of any kind.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi again/

      After checking again it looks as if I served her with a S8 Notice, not S21, under ground 8, (stating that she was over 3 months in arrears showing amounts)
      Is this going to be acceptable when I go for the Court Order ?

      cheers, Andrew

      Comment


      • #4
        Ground 8

        I hope that you have included grounds 10 and 11 as well. They are not mandatory but do help if the tenant tries the trick of reducing the arrears to within the two month amount just prior to the hearing.

        The section 8 notice is normally used within a fixed term or if you are intending to try and recover your arrears. It is a more complex matter and obviously requires attendance as well as allowing a defence. Please note that some Judges have a peculiar understanding of the meaning 'Mandatory'.

        If you are just looking to recover possession and will deal with arrears at a later stage the section 21 notice is normally a quicker route (subject to when your section 8 was served). As you are in a periodic tenancy make sure you serve the right notice. (Paul F has supplied ample instructions on this, see his various posts).

        PS: the accelerated possession procedure does in theory also allow a defence, however in all the years I have been using this method, no defence has ever been considered.
        For the avoidance of doubt, I am not a solicitor nor a specialist. I have simply spent many years in the business and am expressing my opinions. I would urge caution to any individual using these forums as a sole basis for decision without first speaking to a solicitor.

        Comment


        • #5
          A Section 8, Ground 8 Notice is fine provided you've enclosed all the correct documentation, but you should have included Grounds 10 & 11 too just in case when you get to court the tenant has brought the arrears to under 2 months! If the tenant is two or more months rent in arrears at the hearing the judge must give you possession under Ground 8. It seems unlikely that it will be contested but make sure you show up even though its a fair treck!

          Grounds 10 & 11 deal with persistent late payments of rent and/or at the time of the hearing there are some arrears, but these are Discretionary Grounds whereas 8 is a Mandatory Ground.
          The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks guys

            I'm still not clear what the difference between a S8 notice and a S21 notice is...but I'm pretty sure that I served the S8 correctly, (albeit without grounds `10 and 11 included).
            I also don't think my tenant has any intention of paying anymore rent, so will probably not offer a defence.
            Lastly when I go for a Court Order do I need a solicitor to either go over the form or attend in court with me ?

            ta again, Andrew

            Comment

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