Is my tenant now a squatter?

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    Is my tenant now a squatter?

    My tenant was on a rolling tenancy after I refused to renew their six month agreement. Because of rent arrears and complaints I served an S21 notice to vacate by 26th June (served 11th April). They then gave me one months notice saying they would be leaving on 26th May. They are still there and say they will be out by the end of this week. I am pretty sure this is correct as a relative who is a guarantor is on the case! I have told them they will have to pay rent for the days they have overstayed but wonder if he is liable for the whole month? Or is he legally not my tenant anymore merely a squatter?

    The agents have a prospective tenant waiting to view but the tenant/squatter won't allow a viewing so he may put me into a void period and I will be out of pocket.

    Many thanks

    #2
    If the tenant's notice was valid I'd wait for them to go and re let it then.
    If they don't leave, you'll have to go to court to evict them, which isn't a great process.

    They're not, strictly speaking, a squatter, but the process to remove them would be pretty much the same.
    Best to hope they leave a bit late.

    Yes they owe you rent (technically double the normal rent).
    Do you have a deposit from them?
    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


      #3
      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
      If they don't leave, you'll have to go to court to evict them, which isn't a great process.
      Interestingly this doesn't seem to be a legal requirement.

      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
      Yes they owe you rent (technically double the normal rent).
      Be careful that they no longer owe 'rent' once the tenancy has ended.

      Comment


        #4
        Many thanks. They owe one and a half months rent and I hold one month's deposit. I'm pretty sure they will move out from what the guarantor has said.

        Can I ask why they technically owe double the rent for the new period they have gone into?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
          Interestingly this doesn't seem to be a legal requirement....
          I think they are covered by "Prevention from Eviction Act 1977" and court order is needed.

          Double rent due to Distress for Rent Act 1737, section 18.

          In your shoes my priority would be get them out 1st, then worry about money.
          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


            #6
            Many thanks. Yes getting them out is my main concern but I thought having clarification about what they or the guarantor might be liable for might concentrate their efforts to vacate.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
              I think they are covered by "Prevention from Eviction Act 1977" and court order is needed.
              Well, that's what is interesting: The Act does not mandate a court order for assured tenancies as far as I understand it.

              Comment


                #8
                Spot on, theartfullodger.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
                  Well, that's what is interesting: The Act does not mandate a court order for assured tenancies as far as I understand it.
                  Er... how else were you thinking that they can lawfully be evicted?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Kay Powell View Post
                    Er... how else were you thinking that they can lawfully be evicted?
                    Court orders are not always required by law.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      It's hard to imagine anyone with so slim a right to be on a property that they can be removed by anything other than an authorised person (a police officer or someone acting on behalf of the property owner in the case of a trespasser for example) or a court order.
                      Even trespassers have some rights.
                      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


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                        It's hard to imagine anyone with so slim a right to be on a property that they can be removed by anything other than an authorised person (a police officer or someone acting on behalf of the property owner in the case of a trespasser for example) or a court order.
                        Even trespassers have some rights.
                        Trespassers may be peacefully evicted by the landowner without a court order.

                        This is why the Protection from Eviction Act removed this right for ex-tenants. But ex assured tenants are not protected under the Act.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          But if the tenant doesn't believe the person trying to evict them is the land owner or someone acting on their behalf, they can decline to be evicted.
                          Which is a pretty serious problem in practice - I don't think I'd risk it.

                          I don't see where ex-assured tenants are excluded from the Protection From Eviction act.

                          The act covers any residential occupier, which includes anyone with a right "restricting the right of any other person to recover possession of the premises"
                          Which the Criminal Law Act 1977 gives anyone, including a trespasser - there's a right not to be threatened with or subject to violence - which sounds like a restriction...
                          Last edited by jpkeates; 01-06-2016, 14:05 PM. Reason: includes not means
                          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


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                            The act covers any residential occupier, which means anyone with a right "restricting the right of any other person to recover possession of the premises"
                            Once the tenancy has ended the occupier has no right to remain and no right to exclude others from the premises. So 'residential occupier' means a tenant or licensee, not a trespasser unless he is protected from eviction.

                            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                            Which the Criminal Law Act 1977 gives anyone, including a trespasser - there's a right not to be threatened with or subject to violence - which sounds like a restriction...
                            A right not to be threatened has nothing to do with a right to remain at a property...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
                              A right not to be threatened has nothing to do with a right to remain at a property...
                              The possessor of a right "restricting the right of any other person to recover possession of the premises" (which is -I agree - different to a right to remain at the property) is protected by the Protection of Eviction Act.
                              The criminal law act gives a trespasser a right that restricts the right of any other person to recover possession of the premises, in that the means available to them are limited to exclude something.

                              The only cases I can find where this has been tested seem to relate to situations where the person losing possession wasn't actually present, which doesn't really help.
                              Other than indicate that, whatever the legal position might be, in practice everyone's going to get a court order (even if it's possibly not necessary).
                              Tough to have to establish a precedent in order to have a defence.
                              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

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