How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joshua Your Own Question
Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
35043042
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Joshua is online now

I am a Landlord of my property (together with my ex). We rented

Customer Question

I am a Landlord of my property (together with my ex). We rented it out to a tenant who has a AST that is due to expire on 30 June 2015.
I served her with a section 21 notice by email on 1 May 2015. Her appointed representative has emailed saying they will not move out and look forward to eviction proceedings.
Their rent payment is up to date.
I need someone to:
1- verify that the section 21 notice I served is valid. ( uploaded here: http://www.picpaste.com/section_21-Q5b7R2G8.jpg )
2- What is the quickest route to get them out. When can I commence eviction proceedings? and what is the court form I need to file?
3 - Realistically, How long does it last and can the tenant object other than on technicalities (eg hardship, cauuse her stress etc)?
4- are all costs (court fees, extra rent etc) realistically recoverable in practice?
(Please note this property must be sold by court order as a consequence of divorce settlement between me and my ex)
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

For the avoidance of doubt tenant has expressly acknowledged receipt of s21 notice by email please? Does the tenancy agreement provide for service by email? Was it aso sent by post with postage receipt retained?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The answer to all of these is no.

But the following form strongly suggests at the bottom that email is acceptable. http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n215-eng.pdf

I have been in a year long correspondance with her daughter about all manner of issues to do with the flat on the same email address.

Specifically regarding the s21 notice, she did not reply to the email in which i served it.

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
You need to be very careful with email. Email is permitted for service but you need to be able to satisfy the following requirements under the civil procedure rules in order to claim deemed service:a) the party who is to be served or the solicitor acting for that party must previously have indicated in writing to the party serving –(i) that the party to be served or the solicitor is willing to accept service by fax or other electronic means; and(ii) the fax number, e-mail address or other electronic identification to which it must be sent; and(b) the following are to be taken as sufficient written indications for the purposes of paragraph 4.2(a) –(i) a fax number set out on the writing paper of the solicitor acting for the party to be served;(ii) an e-mail address set out on the writing paper of the solicitor acting for the party to be served but only where it is stated that the e-mail address may be used for service; or(iii) a fax number, e-mail address or electronic identification set out on a statement of case or an answer to a claim filed with the court. If you can't show the above then the tenant may argue potentially successfully that he was not severed with the s21 notice. A way of achieving the above is by including provisions in your tenancy agreement allowing for email but you can't do that retrospectively. Of course, if the tenant has explicitly acknowledge receipt of the notice, then the above is irrelevant any has received it but from what you say, this is not the case. Accordingly, if you cannot satisfy the above requirements as laid down by the civil procedure rules, you would do well to consider serving the notice again by post or by personal service and keeping a receipt if sending by post in order to avoid any possible argument by the tenant that he has not received notice. If you do reserve you would obviously need to alter dates to allow for 2 clear months notice. The above aside, the dates given on the notice are not valid because the legislation requires that you give to clear months notice from the day the notice is received and from what you say, you were just short of that if you served on 1 May. However, the wording of paragraph 2 says the notice from being invalid and the notice would take effect 2 July being two clear months notice from 1 May (notwithstanding comments above re email). there is one of a component which is that if you hold the deposit for the tenant, this must have been protected in a deposit scheme within 30 days of receipt or any section 21 notice will be invalid. the quickest approach to achieve possession is by seeking possession under the accelerated possession route to which there is no defence providing a section 21 notice is valid and has been served properly. Although it is called accelerated possession, it still usually takes between three and six weeks to obtain a possession order depending upon court time. as above, there is no defence to a claim under accelerated possession other than defects in the section 21 notice or claim it was not served but the tenant can make the case for exceptional hardship to ask for a further six week delay before being evicted. This is not granted lightly by the courts and the tenant must demonstrate exceptional circumstances in order to be considered. Obviously, the tenant is responsible for rent until he moves out and a claim for court fees can be made. If the tenant refuses to move out following a possession order, you can then obtain a warrant for bailiffs to attend to evict. County Court bailiffs can take up to a month or more to evict a tenant following the possession order and so many landlords prefer to apply to appoint High Court enforcement officers that which will usually execute a warrant within a few days. You ccan decide whether to apply the County Court High Court enforcement officers to carry out the eviction if necessary once you have the possession order. Court fees rent and so on are all recoverable from the tenant providing your possession claim succeeds and this is only limited by the tenant's solvency. Recovering from housing benefit tenants is in practice really successful in full at least because they really have sufficient monies to make payment but for private tenants, the recovery rate is usually much better and of course you may also make deductions from the deposit in respect of any such monies should you hold one. I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Yes, I only have implicit proof that they have received the email, by subsequent correspondence about it.
If I serve a new one, what should the dates be? Would it be ok to serve on 20/5/15 to require possession after 30/6/15?
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
If you were to serve personally today for example the form would be dated today and dated to expire after 16 July 2015. If serving by post add two days to the date (so 18 July). If serving later than today just move the dates on according to the date you serve.You dont have to worry too much about the dates (though ideally they should be right) beause the precedent you are using is a good one which includes the saving words at para 2 to prevent the notice being rendered invalid.If serving by post keep a copy of the notice and proof of posting. You can also serve a copy by email to advise one has been posted. Enclose a coverling note advising that the enclosed notice replaces the previous notice served.I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.
Joshua and 3 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
I have received a letter from the tenant as follows:
1. She has confirmed her contact details and that of her representative, including confirming the email address that I used and that email is acceptable.
2. She has confirmed that she has received the notice served by email on the 1st of May and that she is aware that her tenancy agreement ends on 30 June 2015 and that she intends to vacate the property.
Would this letter now validate the original notice served, or do we still need to issue a fresh notice?
PS: we do hold the tenant's deposit in a deposit scheme, which was done within 30 days, with details sent to her as such.