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, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Joshua is online now

My tenant has been served a Section 21 notice and has duly

This answer was rated:

my tenant has been served a Section 21 notice and has duly stopped paying his rent. He is due to leave June 15th 2015 and despite the agent saying he has a Guarantor and a legal insurance policy in place for rental arrears and or legal representative, say they can do nothing until he is two months in arrears.
He is apparently not responding to their calls and as I am based overseas, it is not easy for me to sort this out.
My question is is there any other action I could/should be taking and beginning now that may help getting him out of the property asap now or should I leave the agents to take care of it?
I do not wish to make the situation worse but also want to be prepared if, come June 15th, he does not move.
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.

May I confirm if you hold a deposit for the tenant please?
Do you know when his fixed term ends for his tenancy?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes the tenancy stipulates that the tenant has paid a deposit to the agent which is now the same amount as his rental arrears.

The tenancy was for a year due to end November 2015 but the agent advised that there is a break clause. He was served two months notice but not for rental arrears, this has happened since receiving the notice.

Thank you. The regret that I can find no major fault in what the agent has told you. It is possible to serve a s8 notice for rental arrears for which you only need give two weeks notice and then you can apply for possession but in practice this would not be worth doing because a court will not order possession on a first rental arrears "offence" until the rent is 8 weeks or more in arrears. In addition possession claims using s8 take longer to determine than possession claims under the accelerated possession route which can be used under s21.Accordingly whilst the s8 notice is a technical option it is not likely to be a good one and it is likely to be significantly faster to rely on the s21 notice served and if the tenant still refuses to leave to apply for possession using the accelerated possession route to which there is no defence (other than hardship in exceptional circumstances which is very rarely granted). once the existing notice has expired, if the tenant refuses to move out, action can be taken as above, using the accelerated possession process. If the tenant has a guarantor, this is often a parent relative and the agents may consider contacting that guarantor to advise them of the position. This is very courteous if a potential claim is going to be made under the guarantee agreement but also because a parent or relative and sometimes have a heavy influence on the tenant and procure that they move out earlier than legally they are required to do using parental pressureIn terms of the rent the tenancy should give you a right to charge interest on the late rent. If it does not and you are forced to go to court to recover the rent you can charge interest at 8% per annum by virtue of s69 County Courts Act. You can make a claim against the tenants deposit and if what the agent has told you is true you will have a claim against his guarantor and failing which the rental insurance policy. On this basis you should not be out of pocket in the medium term and as above should be able to claim interest at a good rate in addition to any of your court fees. Of course this does not necessarily compensate you for short term lack of cash flow which of course can be a significant problem for landlords. If you are able to cover the short-term cash flow issues arising from the tenant failing to pay rent, there should be little to concern yourself with here. if cash flow is a problem for you and there is a mortgage on the property, it is generally wise to contact your mortgage lender as soon as possible in order to explain the position to them, paying what you can and assuring the lender that you have both the guarantor and rental insurance and so any mortgage arrears will be made up in relatively short order.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
Joshua and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you