S21, tenant not leaving or paying rent, no help from LA

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    S21, tenant not leaving or paying rent, no help from LA

    When I moved abroad I appointed a LA to find tenants and fully manage my property. The house was rented out from end April 2013 to 3 working adults (Mum, her son and his partner plus a young child); the 3 adults all signed the AST. After 2 years I changed LA. I need to move back to the UK so 2 weeks ago the LA issued a S21. The next day they emailed me to say the tenant "would not be able to move out". (I do understand a tenant can stay on once their AST has expired but please bear with me as I do need some advice please).
    When I spoke to the LA they told me that the son and his partner have bad credit and therefore wouldn't be able to pass credit checks. They have now told me that the Mum claims to have moved out yesterday, that she was the one paying the rent, and that she will not be able to pay any rent in future as she can't afford it. The LA also said the son and partner can't afford to pay me any rent due to their debts and they won't leave until they are evicted (which I know can take some time).
    Does anyone have any advice about this situation? Can the Mum just move out into another rented property and then say she can't pay any more rent to me? Please be kind here....I'm not an experienced landlady but don't feel supported by my LA and would appreciate any advice. Thank you.

    #2
    She can't just move out without giving notice and your section 21 applies to all tenants assuming it's a joint tenancy and not individual?

    I think it would help you with the eviction process if she gives written notice. Assuming the tenancy is now periodic then her notice will end the tenancy for all occupants and it will be easier for you to evict the remaining occupants.

    If she doesn't give notice I beleive they all remain responsible for the rent until vacant possession is provided

    Comment


      #3
      Dear Wright76
      Many thanks for your reply. To confirm, all 3 adults signed the tenancy agreement and as far as I understand the section 21 would therefore apply to all tenants. When I rang the LA today, and they told me the Mum had moved out after receiving the s21, I did ask if she was legally allowed to do this (ie she had not given any notice either verbally or in writing); the LA was unsure of the answer (!) but rang me back later to say she had not breached the contract as I had given her notice? This is why I am so confused....she has simply moved out and appears to have decided that neither she, nor her son and his partner, will pay any more rent as they "can't afford to".
      In your view, has the tenant broken the agreement by moving out without giving any notice (even though the s21 had been served)?

      Comment


        #4
        If the three people all signed the tenancy agreement, they are (almost certainly - the agreement will confirm) joint tenants.
        That means that they are all liable for all of the rent and all of the contractual obligations - it's not thirds as most people imagine.

        If the ternancy is in a fixed term, no one can end it, so presumably, as you've issued notice, it isn't and it's periodic.
        If the tenancy is periodic, notice from one of the tenants ends the tenancy for all of them.
        I would suggest the mother is contacted and advised that until she serves valid notice and it expires, she remains liable for the rent, and as she's the only one with any money, it will be her you sue to recover it.
        If the tenant serves notice, and anyone stays in the property after it expires they will be easier to remove, as the tenancy is ended by the tenant's notice (unlike a s21).
        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


          #5
          Hi

          If one of the tenant move out and is unable to pay rent, the rest of the tenants become liable to it, they are all jointly liable for the rent. You can take them to online claims court for payment.

          I do have sad news though.

          In cases where the tenants are in hardship, I almost never managed recover any money from tenants who owe rent, so the money you spend reclaiming will likely be wasted.

          The best way is to wait for the S21 notice to expire, and start the accelerated court possession, this will cost 350GBP, which you can apply to have the costs recovered. (This will take around 8 weeks in my experience), then 110GBP after for bailiffs eviction, again no guarantee on the ability for them to pay you.

          You could also bribe the tenants to leave, offer to contribute towards their deposit, but only after they leave the property (Don't give them money for giving you notice), their tenancy doesn't end until they hand over the keys to you when they close the doors on the way out.

          Comment


            #6
            She's perfectly entitled to leave. All of them are. Doesn't mean not still liable for rent. Expecting LA to understand Landlord/tenant law is liable to lead to disappointment, may costs.
            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


              #7
              Was the s21 valid ie any deposit duly protected in time and all rel docs re-served with s21?
              Were 3 individual s21s addressed to the 3 joint Ts?
              Until mother serves an NTQ for self, she remains solely/jointly liable for total rent.
              It is a common LA misconception that a s21 gives 'Notice' for any Tenancy on expiry, or ends a T, It does not - it just allows LL to seek Court Repo. T is still required to serve due Notice during life of s21.

              Comment

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