s8 expires on the 5th Feb, s21 on Mar 8th...what to do next?

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  • s8 expires on the 5th Feb, s21 on Mar 8th...what to do next?

    I have served my tenant (who has paid no rent for December or January) with both a s21 notice expiring March 8 and a s8 notice expiring Feb 5th (I served the s8 notice later because I didn't realise that two months arrears really meant one month and one day...thanks for setting me straight on that).

    I visited him at the property the other day, and while there were a lot of promises to pay me at the end of this week I can't see it happening. The property is also very dirty (new carpet looks ruined) and he himself looked unkempt - I think after some business problems he has buried his head in the sand and is not taking care of himself, the property or his obligations at all (though he has recently started a new job).

    What I want to know is:

    - Will starting court action after the s8 expires get my property back any quicker, or should I just wait until the s21 expires and, if he doesn't leave, go for "accelerated possession" i.e. which will most quickly lead to a possession order? How easy is it to do yourself - do I need to set aside a whole day for it, or is it relatively simple?

    - Given I think the chance of actually getting any money out of him ever is small, is it worth doing the whole small claims / court proceedings route to recover it? Or would you try it anyway as it might lead to a payment in the future if he ever wants to clean up his credit record.

    Thanks for the advice...

  • #2
    On what date did AST's fixed term start and how long was the term?
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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    • #3
      The AST started on 10 Aug 2007, for a fixed term of 6 months to 10 Feb 2008.

      I should have got started on serving the notices sooner, but the rent had been late several times before (I've kept records of exactly when it came) and for a while he had me convinced that it was coming soon, just be patient with him (he had run into a lot of difficulties which I naively sympathised with). Definitely learning the hard way with this one... what's likely to be the most effective / least hassle option to get the flat back as soon as possible?

      Getting the money is definitely 2nd priority as it's getting control of the flat again that would make me sleep better at night.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ben1867 View Post
        The AST started on 10 Aug 2007, for a fixed term of 6 months to 10 Feb 2008
        So the term ends on 9 February.

        Originally posted by Ben1867 View Post
        What's likely to be the most effective / least hassle option to get the flat back as soon as possible?
        S.21 Notice gives L right to vacant possession two months from service. Since it's not fault-based. that's quicker than relying on s.8 Notice.
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes, but, Jeffrey - seeing as the S8 notice expires a full month earlier than the S21 notice, and knowing what a pain in the bum it can be having to wait for a court hearing, would the OP get a hearing - and therefore some action - a bit sooner if they go down the S8 route? Should (s)he start the S8 proceedings now and see what happens with court dates?

          A further question for you, using this case as an example. If the OP were to start S8 proceedings and didn't get a court date for ages, then started S21 proceedings (for the purpose of this question I will assume that both notices are valid), would the OP be able to claim back the costs of both actions, or only the one that succeeds? Would (s)he need to proceed with both or could (s)he request at whatever hearing comes up first that the other action and the costs thereof be taken into account?

          What I'm really after is, is the belt-and-braces approach I am suggesting worth the extra £100+?

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          • #6
            Exactly - that's the key issue for me. Will I (in all likelihood) get the flat back just as fast or faster by waiting for the s21 rather than going ahead with the s8 proceedings? Or perhaps it's best to do both?

            I doubt I'll get much money out of him even if a judgement awards me arrears plus costs anyway - and if this is the case, am I throwing good money after bad?

            I suppose one advantage is a successful judgement against him could help protect any potential future unfortunate landlords (but not me!).

            If I just wait for the s21 to expire and evict him that way, do I have any means of pursuing him for the arrears other than the s8 notice? Legally I mean (though it is tempting to try other methods).

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            • #7
              I've decided to go for possession under s8 once the notice expires on Tuesday, and will try the online claims process others have mentioned on here.

              Once the s21 expires next month, if he hasn't moved out can I also follow the 'accelerated possession' route if I am still waiting for a court hearing for the s8 claim?

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              • #8
                you should ask your local court how long it takes to get a hearing date.

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                • #9
                  I called them this afternoon...takes between 4 and 8 weeks apparently.

                  Strangely, the guy I spoke to said it can take almost that long to get possession after a s21 notice has expired as well! I had thought the "accelerated" bit meant it would be quicker.

                  He recommended using the online service... has anyone done this? I had a brief look and it seems fairly straightforward. Will research it properly tonight...

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