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Nicola-mod
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Hello, I have a query regarding my property being occupied

Customer Question

Hello, I have a query regarding my property being occupied by a tenant whose tenancy has run out, didn't pay rent in the last 3 months of the tenancy & has refused to vacate the property despite being served the section 21 notice. What r my rights as a landlord & what is the quickest & cheapest way of evicting them?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What type of contract is this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Standard tenancy agreement


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ok.

Is it entitled assured shorthold tenancy agreement.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Morning, I drifted to sleep yester night. Yes, that's the title

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem!

When should the AST end please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It ended, sometime in September but with the section 21 notice, it dragged until end of Oct

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks

Who told you they couldn't be evicted and why please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Not that we couldn't evict them per se but that the law mostly favours the tenants and we (my husband & I) will be have to be out of pocket to get them out and we can't pass this cost on to the tenant which we think is totally unfair, especially when they already owe so much rent. This could all be hearsay, but we needed to confirm from the experts. Also, the council got involved bcos the tenants had been claiming housing benefit but paying nothing to us, so the council officer told us to be careful in the way we handled them bcos we couldn't just evict them

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Can I presume that you did secure the deposit in a scheme?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


No, we didn't

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


No, it wasn't because the tenant didn't pay the full deposit when they moved in

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ah! That will be it.

Did they pay any deposit?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Yes, they paid some but not the full deposit because we fell for the sub story that he only had part and he would make good on the rest, which he never did

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

apologies for the delay in my responses, I am at work. Thanks

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Its no problem. Come back when you like.

Did he pay one months rent in advance?

In short, what we need to ascertain is whether he paid more than one months rent at the time of moving in?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He paid a month's rent and half the deposit upfront

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ok.

That is your difficulty I'm afraid. The problem that you have is this. This is an AST. Under ASTs deposits must be secured within a scheme.

I realise that this was only half the deposit but that amounts to a deposit nevertheless. It is not secured. Unfortunately this AST has ended now so it cannot be secured.

That offends against the localism act and unfortunately you could be fined three times the sum. That isn't the issue really.

I'm afraid that you cannot now serve a s21 notice if you haven't secured the deposit. That will mean that you cannot bring the tenancy to an end.

There is only one way around that now and that is to return the deposit in full to the tenant, serve a s21 notice then and then seek possession at court. You need to resolve this deposit issue first.

I'm afraid this is not particularly quick or cheap but it does get you back into the property ultimately.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We already served the section 21 in Aug, are you saying this is nullified? Also, does this mean the tenant continues to occupy the property, rent-free, until the court gets to the point of making a decision, which is indefinite?

 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I am just travelling at the moment and do not have a permanent signal so as soon as I get a better connection I will respond. I won't be too long hopefully - thanks for your patience. Please don't respond to this thread in the meantime, thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, it is I'm afraid. If this is an AST and you took more than one months rent at the outset with out securing the addition amounts then your s21 Is void I'm afraid.

And yes it does mean they can remain literally rent free unless, of course, you resolve it in the way I suggested. At least they cannot lawfully live there rent free but you cannot lawfully evict them either until this is resolved.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks but I can't tell you how sad this whole mess sounds. No wonder the general belief was that we CANNOT evict them. It's really disheartening to find out that the law of the land we pay our taxes to favours the criminals and cheats while also teaching us to be cold hearted and self absorbed. Simply, if we hadn't exhibited any human kindness towards them, the cheat would have had to stay on the streets with his wife and tiny baby, for as long as it took to get the full deposit. I am truly ashamed to be a citizen of this country where the hardworking are the ones who get bashed and the lazy ones just get a free ride. He's not even being challenged for claiming housing benefit and not paying anything to us, rather, we are the ones in a lose-lose situation while he laughs at us. This can only happen in the UK!!

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I know. Its awful. Its an outrageous piece of legislation but it is the law so we have to deal with it.

Just return the deposit and serve again.

You can seem a compensation order against her at court but whether you will ever get the money from a tenant is another matter
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. I'll discuss with my husband and come back to you if we have any queries. Also, from experience, do you have any indication of what a procedure like this will cost and what the average turnaround time is, by the courts?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
The turnaround isn't too bad. Probably 6 weeks.

The delaying factor is the s21 notice which must be two months.

I suppose you could try to speed things up by relying on s 8 if they are in arrears already. Then you would on,y have to give 2 weeks notice but then you cannot use the accelerated procedure so it can slow things down.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So, where does this article fit into what u've adviced? It states:


 



A 'Section 21 Notice to Quit', so called because it operates under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, is the notice a landlord can give to a tenant to regain possession of a property at the end of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). The landlord is able to issue the tenant with a section 21 notice without giving any reason for ending the tenancy agreement.




Read more: http://tenancyagreementservice.co.uk/section-21-notice-to-quit.htm#ixzz2kXbszNdD
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So, if s21 allows us to regain access to our property without giving the reason why and we already gave the expected 2-month notice, how can that be void at this point?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.


I'm afraid that you cannot now serve a s21 notice if you haven't secured the deposit. That will mean that you cannot bring the tenancy to an end.

There is only one way around that now and that is to return the deposit in full to the tenant, serve a s21 notice then and then seek possession at court. You need to resolve this deposit issue first.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Morning, trust you had a restful night. I'll like to inform you that there's been a twist to the the scenario presented to you yesterday. When I discussed it with my husband, it came to my attention that although the tenant appealed to us to take the 50% deposit, which we agreed to, he never actually made any payments to us until after he'd moved in and that was for his 1st month's rent which he ended up paying over 2 days. No other money was credited to our account. He moved in in Mar and the 1st payment we received from him was in Apr, after several calls. He told us his child was terribly ill and he needed to move out of his former accommodation, so, being parents ourselves, we allowed our emotions to cloud our judgement and we went about the deal in an unconventional way. Now, we're being burnt. So, with this new info, where does that leave us now pls?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, are you likely to respond to my question pls?


 

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'll cancel the question. I would have expected her to extend the courtesy of letting me know she couldn't answer. Thanks

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