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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.
Thank you for your detailed post. May I clarify one point with you. You mention that no tenancy agreement could be found for the lady in question but towards the end of your post you refer to using the same tenancy agreement for all your tenants and copying the tenancy the agents used. For the avoidance of doubt has the lady in question signed a new tenancy agreement so that you now have a signed agreement or has she refused to do so?
Thanks for the above.
The position as you will likely be aware is that if the tenant was in situ in 1995, or in particular took occupation between 1989 and 27 Feb 1997 which based on what you say is the case, then she will be an assured tenant. This gives her security of tenure however it does not give her a right to subsidised rent, nor is it a regulated tenancy (often known as Rent Act tenancies) which allow housing officers to set rent. She is required to pay a market rent for the property under an assured tenancy.
In order to increase the rent it is necessary to give her one months notice of the new rent using a s13 notice. She may challenge the new proposed rent if she wishes and if you are unable to reach an agreement she can refer the increase to a property tribunal which has the power to set the rent for the next year. If you wish to increase the rent again in the future after that year you can repeat the process. If she falls behind in her rent based on the new rent then you can seek to evict her using a s8 notice.
You must use a prescribed form in order to propose an increase in rent for an assured tenancy otherwise she may ignore your proposal. You can find the form you need to use here:
Otherwise generally in terms of evicting her other than for rent arrears of more than 8 weeks, this is far from straighforward. You would need to show substantive breaches of the tenancy agreement conditions which of course you do not have. In practice the only worthwhile attempt at eviction is likely to succeed is if she falls more than 8 weeks behind in rent though of course as above, you can increase the rent to a market level. It is also important to ensure any disrepair issues are attended to ideally before attempting eviction for rent arrears because she can counterclaim for any disrepair issues to offset against the rent. If she can reduce the net rent owed to under 8 weeks she will be able to delay and frustrate you application for possession.
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?
Thank you, ***** ***** clarifies matters for me. I will write to her and see what response I get before taking further action. Again thanks
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