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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I need to get possession of a Holiday Let house now occupied

Resolved Question:

I need to get possession of a Holiday Let house now occupied by a family who originally wanted very temporary accommodation. They have now been in the property for ll months and continually from last September give me a date they are leaving and then delay it further. They owe me rent from September. I cannot afford the further cost of a solicitor so am getting documentation myself.
I have Form Section 21(4)(A) and am told by the RLA that I have to fill in and serve 31 copies for each day of the month as there is no Agreement in place. A solicitor I used to send a letter requesting them to quit said to me that there is no need to send 31 copies. The RLA say this is necessary, but the solicitor said that special wording could be included to cover the problem but did not tell me what that wording should be. Can you help please?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

You refer to the let as a holiday let. Do you supply services to the tenants such as cleaning or laundry or anything of that nature please?

Customer:

No, except electricity used was an extra. The house is a furnished-let on a Holiday Site in Cornwall.

Customer:

No services provided

Joshua :

Thank you. Was there an original agreement in place for the holiday let? Did the occupants occupy (and you knew this was their intention) as their primary home?

Customer:

No agreement in writing, as I was told they just wanted somewhere to stay whilst their house was being repaired. They did not give me their address, as the lady was at that time working for the Site Manager as a Cleaning Supervisor. I am told they have another house in the area that they let out for holidays, but I am not sure now if I have been given accurate information.

Joshua :

Thanks. finally, on what dates was rent originally paid each month before they got behind?

Customer:

The date of occupation was 23rd March 2013 and they paid £150 twice and then the rents were paid spasmodocally. with sometimes a month in arrears and then once just £50 (where they said the Bank had made a mistake but when I checked with the Bank they said if the receipt was presented they would credit the £100, but it was never presented!).Up to the end of January they owed me £2,500 approx. and have paid nothing since and even now say they should have a refund! The rent agreed was £150 per week..

Joshua :

thank you. I am surprised by the advice you have received from the RLA. you cannot serve multiple notices and submit all of them to the court as a form of menu from which to choose. The court will only accept one notice with your possession claim. In any event following the decision in Elias v Spencer it is quite unnecessary.

Joshua :

The reason I asked you same any questions about the holiday let situation is because holiday lets cannot be short hold tenancy is and therefore fall outside of the scope of the Housing Act and the requirement for a s21 notice. a holiday lets is a property letting for the purposes of a holiday where the occupants will not occupy the property as their primary residence. If you can show that you believed this was the case, then you could dispense with a section 21 notice however based upon what you say, I believe this is likely to be a short hold tenancy and section 21 notice will be required because they were living in the property as their primary residence albeit on a temporary basis

Joshua :

on the above basis, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, it seems sensible to consider that the rent period should be 23rd of the month to 22 of the month on the basis that they take up occupation on 23rd March and accordingly the first rent payment should have been due on that date.

Customer:

That is interesting - when was Elias v Spencer? Also, then, can you tell me what date I should put on the Form 214A and on the form from the RLA there is a wording (not on the OYEZ HA21A) as follows:

Joshua :

accordingly, you may consider using the date of 22nd May 2014 as the move out date being two months notice as required by the Housing Act ending the day before rent is due. However you can include the following words on the notice which have been held to be effective at preventing a section 21 notice failing due to an incorrect date being entered - the decision in the above case in 2010

Customer:

If the date specified above is not effective so as to comply with the requirements of Section21(4) of the Housing Act 1988 then the date after which possession of the premises is required pursuant to this notice is the last day of a period of your tenancy wich ends next after the expiry of the periodof two months from the date of the service of this notice upon you.

Joshua :

After 22nd May 2014 or, if this notice would otherwise be ineffective, after the date being the earliest date not earlier than two months after the date of service of this notice when shall expire a period of the assured shorthold tenancy

Customer:

Possession of the dwelling house is required by virtue of Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988

Joshua :

The above words have been held to provide an effective notice even if the court subsequenty finds that you have specified the wrong date on the notice though on the above facts 22nd of the months seems a reasonable date to select given the lack of tenancy agreement and sporadic rent payments

Joshua :

is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

Just to be clear - should I serve just one Notice on the OYEZ form with the added wording on the RLA form? Thank you for giving me the date. Or, can I use the OYEZ form which has the wording under "date of expiry" after ......... or, if later, the day on which a complete period of your tenancy expires next after the end of the two months from the service of this notice. Sorry I find legal language very confusing!!

Joshua :

Don't worry. s21 (4,a) notices are a landlords nightmare. They are also the most common reason why possesion claims fail. Providing it is a s21(4) (a) form it doesn't matter what you use. OYEZ is fine. Just make sure you use the exact wording as above for the possession date. It has just been reconfirmed as good law by the Court of Appeal in 2013 in Taylor v Spencer so it definately works for the courts.

Joshua :

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?

Customer:

One last thing - I have found a Process Server in the area who can serve the Notice - should I send it by post, or can I email the document and he can take the copy to the Tenants (Squatters)?

Joshua :

You don't need to use a process server. Recorded delivery an a second copy by normal post retaining proof of postage in each case and keeping a copy yourself is sufficient for service. Recorded devliery is deemed served on the day of posting whether or not the tenant signs for it.

Joshua :

Is there anything else I can help you with?

Customer:

As there is a family of 5 occupying the house should I include all of them on the Notice, or is it sufficient to have just the Mr & Mrs?

Joshua :

the only people capable of being tenants are those individuals who have paid you rent. If you know who has paid rent to you then you need only include those individuals. If there is any uncertainty as to who has paid rent to you, it is wise to include all occupants on the notice to avoid doubt.

Customer:

Just thought of something else - As the house is a holiday let there is no letterbox and the post gets delivered to the Site Office and is then taken by hand to the occupants. Therefore I think I have to have a Server to ensure they cannot say they have not received even a recorded delivery letter. Does the Notice have to be the original, or will a copy do?

Joshua :

in the second sources, either serving the notice yourself or using a process server to do so would be wise and in if using a process server, ensure the complete and provide to you a certificate of service. Process servers typically do this as a matter of course but to ensure that you have this as you will need it for a possession claim if the matter proceeds to court

Joshua :

you should serve the original notice upon the tenant and retain a copy for your own records. it is also sufficient for the notice to be slipped under the door if there is a letter box

Joshua :

Sorry... * if there is NO letter box.

Joshua :

Are you happy with the information I have provided to you above or is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

Customer:

Yes, very helpful - can I keep a copy of your answers or will it disappear - as I will need to check that wording - am now confused, sorry! You have been very patient.

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me and will also save the thread to your account from where you can return to it at any time you wish. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though.

Customer:

Thank you very much!

Joshua :

Best wishes

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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