Bad tenant - non paying but out of contract??

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    Bad tenant - non paying but out of contract??

    I let out a shared London flat and have 1 problem tenant, who consistently pays late but always in full until last month. She asked for an rent extension which was not met and subsequently informed me that she had gone to work abroad at short notice at a major event and she would be paid end August and would pay me after this – no payment has arrived and I am now unable to reach her by email or mobile. She is now 2 months in arrears. She is still overseas and has not been at the flat since early August. She is also out of contract as she was on a 6 month contract which ended early August (the notice period is 2 months). There is a chance (ever the optimist!) that she may pay as late paying is in her nature. Of course, she may well return and continue to with-hold payment until I take legal action (Section 21) or stay for a while and do a runner.

    I've a few questions:

    Does the fact she is out of contract make her/my position better or worse?

    I have never had to issue a Section 21 before – how long does this process typically take to remove a bad tenant - and what happen if that bad tenant makes life very difficult for the other good tenants living in the shared property? Eg. If she is really unpleasant to the others (which she can be), will this speed up the process?

    I periodically change the front door locks, as a part of regular security/maintenance as we have a fair amount of tenant changeover. I am due to do this soon. Am I still within my rights to do this to protect the security of my other tenants - assuming I email the bad tenant and her best friend (I have their email) to let them know so she is aware I am not deliberately locking her out? Her room lock will remain the same, just the front door.

    The tenant is an EU national, in her 30s and works for herself. I have her passport details, her best friend's work email, her old employer's details but no other address details so a pretty small audit trail...

    Any thoughts/help would be really appreciated.

    Many thanks.

    You are not allowed to lock her out - that will bring you loads of grief.

    I assume they are all on the same tenancy agreement, you have protected the deposit(s) and issued PI? Is there a current gas certificate.

    If all this is present and correct you can issue a S21 giving 2 months notice - when did the tenancy start?

    Freedom at the point of zero............


      Are they all on individual agreements or one joint tenancy?
      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).


        She is not out of Contract, the fixed Term may have ended so T is now SPT. Rent remains payable when due.


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