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Hello. I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience. I will try to help you with this.
Can you just give me some more details please? When did the tenancy start and how long was it for. Was there any new agreement made on the expiry of the old one or did the tenancy just continue with no other action taken? How much does the tenant owe? If there was nothing in writing re: the increase in rent how was the increase communicated and did the tenant pay the new amount after March 2011? Has he given yo any explanation for not paying rent?
where, please, is the answer. I cannot see it.
Can you see the extra information I have asked for?
The tenancy was dated the 24th October 2009 but the term started on the 26th March 2010 and was for a year ending on the 25th March 2011. The agreement was drawn up for me by a letting agent and I have never understood why it was not dated on the 26th March 2010 but there we are. No new written agreement has replaced it. The arrears are 5 months at £900.00 per month (£4,500). The tenant was informed of the increase but I do no have a copy of the letter. he has paid rent at £900.00 per month for several months. He has always been an irregular payer and gives no explanation for that. Thank you.
Thankyou for that. I have a meeting due to start soon for for the next hour or 2 but will answer you later today. I hope that is OK.
OK so this is, I assume, an AST the fixed term of which expired some time ago. The tenant is therefore a periodic tenant. Assuming your S21 notice was valid you will be able to issue accelerated possession proceedings without needing to serve another notice. If you want him out quickly your best bet is the accelerated procedure based on your right to possess you property after the expiry of the tenancy agreement.
You will not be able to use the accelerated procedure if you are seeking rent arrears. If you issue a s8 notice you could make matters more difficult for yourself. The tenant may be able to argue that the property is in disrepair and that he is entitled to compensation from you set off against any rent he owes you. These counterclaims are sometimes made to buy time and make life awkward even in there is no real disrepair. A claim for payment of arrears is a breach of contract action and may take some time to be dealt with in the courts.
You might think that serving a section 8 notice and seeking possession based on arrears of rent would complicate matters for you. Rent arrears claims and possession as of right claims at the end of a tenancy do not mix together. You might think that the best course of action is to proceed with the accelerated possession proceedings and bring a separate action in the small claims court for recovery of the rent owed. This is something you are allowed to do. Whether to start the money claim before or after the tenant has gone is a matter of tactics and practicalities for you to decide.
I sense that you are unfamiliar with bringing possession proceedings and it might well be a good idea for you to get legal advice on this from a solicitor in the usual face to face way. He will be able to check the validity of your notice and help you get things right. It will cost money but for peace of mind it might be money well spent.
I hope this was a helpful answer but if you have follow up questions then please ask.
Thank you for this. Does it mean that I need not issue a s.8 Notice but can still issue separate proceedings in the small claims court for the arrears without, as it were, asking for possession because of the arrears of rent. The arrears are actually 6 months amounting to £5,400.00. Would it be a simple monetary claim in the Small Claims Court, please.