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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71057
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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My tenant is refusing to pay rent and sign the tenancy agreement

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My tenant is refusing to pay rent and sign the tenancy agreement sincethe last agreement expired on 5th October
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Is this an AST please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes it is.

But that expired on the 5th October?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes I had a one year tenancy agreement in place which expired on 5th October.

I gave my tenant 30 days notice towards end of September 2014 this year in writing to remind him of contract renewal coming up.

The same letter also had a mention of rental increase.

My tenant verbally and then on text refused to accept the increase in rent and told me he will move out and not sign another new contract.

But will still pay me rent for the two months by which he will move out.

However I have maintained throughout that he has to both signa contract and pay me rent.

He has ignored me and now the rent is two months over due and there is still no contract in place?

I just want him to pay the rent arrears and vacate the property?

What are my options?


It is good news and bad news.
The bad news is that your notice is completely invalid so you cannot rely on that to evict him. Unfortunately you need to serve a proper S21 notice afresh giving him two months notice and there is no way of evicting him until you have done that.
The goods is that there is a contact and you do have a claim. He is on a periodic agreement now that the AST has ended as it flips over automatically. He has an obligation to pay rent while he is there at least and if he does not then you can either sue at the small claims court, deduct from the deposit or seek a possession and compensation order at court. The latter would only apply if you have to evict him.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks for your detailed response.

How do I serve S21 notice - is there a free online form?

Also if the deposit is not in some kind of scheme can I still serve him this S21 notice or do I need to put the deposit in some 'deposit scheme first?'

Also how do I access small claims court for rent recovery?

Can the deposit scheme issue have an impact on the rent recovery?

How long does this rent recovery uasually takes?

Where can i get this information free online?

Many thanks

Not that I know of but you can buy them online for about £10 or at WH Smiths.
Have you not secured the deposit? That changes everything and I'm afraid very much for the worse?
If you have not then you cannot ever serve a S21 notice or evict him. The only way around it is to return the deposit in full and then serve.
I wouldn't pursue any claim against him.
He has a claim against you for three times the sum of the deposit and he will win.
Remus2004 and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. I understand.

So I need to first refund his deposit in full and then serve S21?

Do i need to give some time between retuirning deposit and serving S21?


Just hand the deposit back and then serve the S21 notice.
It is probably a good idea to do it on successive days so it is clear you did one first before the other.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Just to let you know the tenant told me to categorically use the deposit as Octobers rent but i did tell him deposit is not rent and I will not do so. So he still now owes me two months rent.

However by his actions so far I can tell you, he does not have much regard for law and if I give him back his deposit -

He will think I am really stupid by paying him money back that he actually owes me?

You see my point - I feel a bit trapped.

What shall I do?

Yes, I do but if you don't pay this back you cannot evict him even if he never pays rent again.
He will soon work that out and take advantage.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK thanks.

So provided I return him deposit in full and then serve him S21.

Can I still start proceedings against him for recovery of rent he owes me?

When do I do that?


Yes but I wouldn't suggest it. He will just counterclaim against you and he will win.
If he claims against you then counterclaim. Otherwise cut your losses.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry I don't understand?

Are you telling me that :

1. I should return his deposit

2. I should serve S21 and get him evicted

3. And then not pursue the rent he owes me?

I mean what is he going to counter claim for?

He has been living in my house actively for all this time and still in there?

I am really confused what will he counter claim for?

Hes the one in the wromg by not paying me the rent?

I am happy to return the deposit to get him out however I still want rent that he owes me?

Can you please give me some legal reference as to what can he actually sue me for?

I am not sure


he is going to claim for three times the sum of the deposit and he is going to win.
You are in breach of the localism act because you didn't protect the deposit. His claim is stronger than yours.