Arrears within fixed term - MCOL instead of eviction?

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    Arrears within fixed term - MCOL instead of eviction?

    I have got a tenant who moved in about three months ago and has already got into an arrears situation. Last month's rent was paid late and incomplete. Most recent payment missed. Therefore just over a month is owed at this point. Tenant is not communicating at all.

    Property is in E/W* and managed by agent. Deposit protected and PI issued as per requirements to the best of my knowledge and belief. Tenant is employed. Rent payable monthly. Fixed term is one year, so S21 not an option any time soon.

    Currently I believe that -

    1. I could use S8 ground 10 but without much confidence
    2. I could use S8 ground 8 in due course with more confidence, but only after waiting until arrears reach two months
    3. I could use MCOL to claim arrears now, without attempting to evict

    I am quite tempted by option 3 since I could reasonably expect to be able to recover debt (i.e. attachment to earnings, if it reached that point) and it holds tenant to their obligations with respect to fixed term.

    Is this a viable option? The main downside I can see is that it will not lead to a possession order, but if we assume that tenant can be made to pay, that isn't necessarily a showstopper.

    * not both
    There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

    #2
    I would issue s21 & s8g10 today & also MCOL. Tenant might take the hint.

    Does your tenancy agreement state s8g8 can be used in fixed term? (Not all do)??

    Does tenancy state rent payable 4-weekly?? (If so s8g8 not valid)
    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...

    Comment


      #3
      The issue with MCOL is that you will have to issue multiple claims, as the debt increases with the passing of time.

      Even if the tenant is compelled to pay this month's rent, are you going to court next month and so on?
      I'd favour s8 g8 next month - it can be issued immediately there is 2 month's overdue rent - if nothing else it will get the tenant's attention.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the comments.

        Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
        Does your tenancy agreement state s8g8 can be used in fixed term? (Not all do)??
        It states that S8 can be used in case of a breach, although not specifically when. It says (in what sounds to me like yokel/pirate dialect*):

        "If there be a breach of any of this agreement by the tenant the landlord may serve notice in accordance with Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 (as amended)"

        Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
        Does tenancy state rent payable 4-weekly?? (If so s8g8 not valid)
        No, monthly.

        Originally posted by jpkeates
        The issue with MCOL is that you will have to issue multiple claims, as the debt increases with the passing of time.
        Ah, OK. It had occurred to me that this could be a problem, and maybe that's why people don't tend to use this option. Perhaps I should pursue the more standard S8 route instead.

        ___

        * Arguably off topic, but I am struggling a bit with whether or not it is acceptable to say "If there be..."
        "There be a tree" is definitely not good/standard English
        "Should there be a tree..." is definitely OK
        "If there be a tree..." sounds wrong to me
        There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
          The issue with MCOL is that you will have to issue multiple claims, as the debt increases with the passing of time.
          This exactly.

          If a Tenant has decided to not pay you rent, surely you must evict? Anything else is really letting it slide, surely? The problem is very unlikely to diminish.

          Comment


            #6
            I'm not sure I was suggesting letting it slide, exactly. I was suggesting immediate steps to sue the tenant.
            There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

            Comment


              #7
              Do you think it will correct their behaviour? I'm not so sure myself.

              Comment


                #8
                I haven't been through the MCOL process before so have no experience of it. However, if rent not paid I presume that my proposed option 3 could be expected to end in a judgment, attachment to earnings, award of costs/interest, or some combination of these. I would then evict tenant at end of fixed term and of course decline to provide a reference.

                I have been through the Section 8 process before, and I know that if rent not paid this option would be expected to end in a possession order, attachment to earnings, award of costs/interest, eviction, or some combination of these.

                If tenant continues not to communicate or pay rent then I presume that tenant is aware that they will be evicted. Some tenants wish to be evicted. Tenant in this case may or may not be one of them. As I see it, eviction may provide a way to avoid the commitment to 12 month tenancy and this was the basis for my considering not using Section 8.

                Section 8 is far from watertight and can be subject to counterclaim. MCOL would be, AFAIK, more black and white in a case where rent is owed.

                Therefore I don't see that a Section 8 would necessarily reform a wayward tenant, where MCOL would not.
                There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

                Comment


                  #9
                  doobrey,

                  Issue Section 21 notice, as well as section 8, matey. Don't act on t' 8, only t' 21 in due course. Issue claim after tenant leaves for all doubloons owin'.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It's doobrey, not Owen.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                      Don't act on t' 8, only t' 21 in due course. Issue claim after tenant leaves for all doubloons owin'.
                      Ah... I see what you did there ;-)

                      S21 eviction wouldn't be for about 9 months yet.
                      There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I personally would be in favour of the MCOL - but that has to be done in parallel with other serious steps at eviction. MCOL is not too hard, or too expensive. Yes, you may need to issue a second MCOL (depending on your deposit calculation), but that's not too hard either. MCOL serves to sharpen the tenant's mind in a way that S21 or S8 proceeding does not (and you also know their address for service -- which you might not later).

                        Having just been through a MCOL while T is in situ route -- I can strongly recommend. PM me for a bit of hand-holding if you like. Initiating the process will take you precisely 20 minutes and £70 or so.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                          Having just been through a MCOL while T is in situ route -- I can strongly recommend.
                          Interesting. Thanks.
                          There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Returning to the pressing issue of whether it sounds silly to say "If there be...", I have done a quick bit of research. It seems that it is more archaic than actually wrong. Therefore I would say it is just legal-speak.

                            Some linguistic enthusiasts mention it here: http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?t=74033

                            Thomas Jefferson's first inaugural address (1801) includes "If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. " He used it on other occasions as well.
                            There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by doobrey View Post
                              "If there be a breach of any of this agreement by the tenant the landlord may serve notice in accordance with Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 (as amended)"

                              * Arguably off topic, but I am struggling a bit with whether or not it is acceptable to say "If there be..."
                              "There be a tree" is definitely not good/standard English
                              "Should there be a tree..." is definitely OK
                              "If there be a tree..." sounds wrong to me
                              It's the subjunctive. Correct but old-fashioned.
                              (Same tense as "If I were queen")

                              Comment

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