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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 18742
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Can I ask a tenant on a periodic tenancy to leave? Nothing

Customer Question

Can I ask a tenant on a periodic tenancy to leave?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: Nothing so far but the tenant wants to leave as they think they will be housed by the council! I have said I am not prepared to evict them and go to court over this but I would be very happy if they did leave
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: Roehampton, Wandsworth
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: cost?
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 16 days ago.

Welcome to Just Answer.

I will be happy to assist with your question today. I need some time to consider this and compose a response. There is NO need to wait online because you will get an email when I respond. Sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes longer.

I apologise for any unavoidable delay, but rest assured I have not forgotten your question.

do you know for sure that they have been offered and accepted a council property?

how long have they been a tenant?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
No they have not been offered a council property. They believe they will be more likely to get one if I make them homeless. I do not want to do this as they have done nothing that gives me a reason to do this. I do have a daughter who is looking for somewhere to live on a short term basis. I don't know if that is a good reason for asking the tenants to leave.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
They have lived there for seven years and their family has grown. This is why they want a bigger place.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I have pointed out that they are unlikely to be offered a three bedroom council house and would be more likely to end up in B&B accommodation
Expert:  F E Smith replied 16 days ago.

You can do, but under the Corona Virus Act you have to give 6 months notice.  It was 2 months notice, but it increased to 3 on 25 March last year and again, to 6 months at the end of August.

It has to be in the statutory section 21 format on form 6A.

However you have a bigger problem with the council because unless there is an eviction notice, the council will hang onto their housing stock as long as they can.

So I’m sorry to say that you won’t have to wait until the notice expires and then you are going to have to make an application to court for an order for possession and the local authority may still not take that in which case you would then need to make an application for a warrant for possession for bailiffs to come and physically throw the tenants out.

Only then will the local authority deal.

Some will rehome people when there is an order for possession, others wait for the warrant and eviction.

It’s up to the local authority what they end up in.

If they simply left, they would be deemed to have made themselves intentionally homeless.

They really are in the hands of the local authority.

I am glad to help.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand.

I would be more than happy to clarify anything else for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please be aware that my answer is based strictly upon the information you have given me.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will be happy to reply because the thread does not close. In fact, it remains open indefinitely.

I am always happy to answer any further questions you have on any new thread in which case, please start your question with, “ For FES only”.

That only applies to new threads, not this one. You have me exclusively on this one.

Thank you.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you. Does it not make any difference if my daughter was to move in?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 16 days ago.

I can’t see why that would make any difference.

I don’t understand why you are suggesting it?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you. I was only suggesting it as a way to potentially make it easier. However, if I still have to go through the courts to do it, it would not help. I am not prepared to do this just to please the tenant so I will have to wait to see how the tenant moves forward in this matter. One more question.. At present it is a periodic tenancy. Am I able to create a new fixed term tenancy agreement so that they would leave at the end of the fixed term or is it too late to do this after seven years?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 16 days ago.

The only time that you can get somebody out in the month and even then you can do without notice, is if the landlord is a live-in landlord and the person is a lodger and share some facilities.  Then, the Corona Virus Act doesn’t apply.  However you couldn’t insert yourself or your daughter is landlord so that you could legally do that.  I’m sure that some people do but I cannot advise you otherwise.

I’m afraid that you are doing it just to please the tenant.  Otherwise the tenant can simply stay there forever as long as they continue to pay rent.  If however they stop paying rent, then you’re going to have to do it and there are going to be six months of arrears before you can issue proceedings for possession some sorry to say that it’s probably going to be in your best interest to actually help the tenant.

If they leave at the end of the fixed term, they are deemed to have made themselves homeless which is why the council will insist on the order for possession and possibly eviction.

It’s well known and in my opinion it’s a waste of court time but that’s what the local authorities want.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you. I have insurance cover for loss of rent so I may just wait and see what they do. Surely, if they stop paying me rent then doesn't look good from the council point of view in rehousing them?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 16 days ago.

You are correct, the council can say that they have made themselves intentionally homeless and the children could be taken into care so it’s dangerous but it depends whether the council accept that they only stop paying rent to get you to evict them

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thanks for your help
Expert:  F E Smith replied 16 days ago.

No problem at all.  I am glad to help.  Please come back to me at any time if anything needs clarification.  Kind regards.