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F E Smith
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Category: Law
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Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My father is living in my house and has stopped paying rent.

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my father is living in my house and has stopped paying rent. There is a tenancy agreement in place until March 2017. He has been signing shorthold tenancy agreements since 2007 although in 1998 we signed a document saying he could live there for £1 a year until he dies. Circumstances changed and I started charging rent in 2007 and can prove payments have been made since then. The relationship has broken down and he is refusing to leave how can I get him out and what rights does he have? x
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

Please confirm that you do not live in the house with your father?

What is the nature of the tenancy agreement? Is it a AST?

You say that circumstances changed in 2007, please confirm that he has been paying rent since then, until now.

As much background detail as you have would be really useful

incidentally, the fact that he may be your father is not relevant as far as the legality goes.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No I do not live at the property now, its an ast and he has been paying rent since 2005 I think but definately since 2007. He paid £30 a month and he council pays the rest. The rent is £400 as noted on the AST which curremtly runs from March 16 to 10th March 2017. He pays £30 and the council pay the rest.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

The situation that your father is in is the same as it would be with any tenant.

You can serve him a section 21 notice to get out because you don’t want him there any longer provided it doesn’t expire before the end of the tenancy period and provided he has at least 2 months notice.

You can also serve him a section 8 notice on 2 grounds, consistently late paying rent and that there are two months rent arrears at the date of a court hearing.

Here is some reading on section 8 and section 21 notices.

I would always suggest that in circumstances like this, you serve both a section 8 if appropriate and section 21 notice and then, in the section 21 notice is defective for any reason you can still fall back on section 8 notice.

Section 21 notices usually fail because the landlord has tried to give the minimum amount of two months notice and hasn’t given enough, often out by just one day and then, the whole process starts again. It has to include two months and two tenancy payment periods. Working that out, as you will read from the above links is a bit of a minefield and hence, if you can, give three months notice and then you are in the clear.

You wouldn’t be able to give him section 21 notice except to expire after 10 March 2017.

If he is in arrears, you may be able to get out using section 8 notice prior to that.

Can I clarify any points arising from this?

Please rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.

We can still exchange emails.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 9 months ago.
he says he has been to see a solicitor and that the agreement signed in 1998 means he never has to leave? I thought the current agreement would be more current and stand but according to him it doesn't? I just want to be sure before I sell the property to an investor. If I can get him out I would rather sell on the open market but accordding to the solicitor my father saw he is saved bhy the agreement signed in 1998 despite the current tenancy agreement?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

If he has been to see a solicitor and that’s what the solicitors told him, ask him to get the solicitor to write to you confirming that. At the moment, he has a AST and you are able to terminate that. If he wants to go to court on the basis of the earlier agreement then he will have to do that. To my mind, the later AST serves as a determination of the original agreement.

I don’t agree with what the solicitor has told him (if he has seen a solicitor) but solicitors don’t always agree which is why things sometimes end up in court.

If the original agreement still applied, it begs the question as to why he has been paying rent!

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
we suspect that he hasn't told the solictior about the current agreement and the agreements before it.Thank you for your time. I will serve a section 8 and 20 in January to give him until the end of march. Would that be ok?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

Although in the documents I gave you it says that you can serve a section 21 notice on day one of the tenancy, the situation changed last October you can now no longer serve it in the first 4 months.

So, you could serve it now to expire the day after the tenancy period ends.

there is also a statutory form that you need to use, form 6 a.

There are some more notes in the form you need is here.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Could you advise on the following before I go, if I sold the property to complete at the end of March what rights does he have?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

He has no extra rights other than those which exist under the terms of the AST.

In circumstances like this, he may be agreeable, rather than you having to go through the whole court process, to leave, if you agree to pay him some money. It just makes it more attractive for him. You are not under any obligation to do so.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Sorry to clarify, if we sell to complete on the 31st March 2017 he is out of the AST so it would be the same process as if we weren't selling? I will leave you alone now and then rate positively
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

It is exactly the same process as if you weren’t selling. That is correct. It’s just that it is unlikely your solicitor would let you exchange contracts unless he was already out. The fact that you may be selling the property is immaterial with regard to getting him out. It doesn’t give him any more or any less rights and nor does it give you any.

F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

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