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Non paying tenant - have I served the correct notice?

(5 Posts)
PussinJimmyChoos Fri 14-Nov-14 17:39:41


I have a private property that we let under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (within the meaning of the Housing Act 1988 as amended by the Housing Act 1996).

In only the second month of the initial 6months, the tenant was 24days late with rent, despite advising they were in receipt of housing benefit. The next rental instalment was due 01/11/14 and as of yet is still outstanding.

I am not convinced that this tenant is reliable, and when the second payment of rent did not go in on time, I issued two months notice. The tenant is now going to the council as she wants them to re-house her and she says she needs a notice of possession.

As far as I am aware, we will only need this if she doesn�t leave on the required date.

I e-mailed the council to find out more and they seem to think I can�t issue notice within the 6 months contract, even though she is in breach of the contract by being more than 21days in arrears etc.

The termination section of the contract states that I have right of termination if the rent is not received in full within 14days of it becoming due � which has happened in Oct and November. The notice has to be served in accordance of section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 � I thought the two months noticed served was in accordance with this but now I am not sure?

Any advice gratefully received as we are losing money now and I am very worried it will escalate to court possession orders � which we have a weak case for as she is not more than two months in arrears

It seems very much that everything is in the tenant's favour even though she is not paying!

NotCitrus Fri 14-Nov-14 17:55:10

I'm not a lawyer, but IIRC a s8 is right. Not sure if it's enforceable until 2 months in arrears.
If you want to ensure they won't get to stay after 6 months even if they do pay up, then you'll need a s21 notice. However hopefully the tenant can use your s8 notice to kick the council into paying what is owed to them, and then it will get sorted.

PussinJimmyChoos Fri 14-Nov-14 18:01:56

Thanks for that - the council are paying the housing benefit afaik but she is not paying us

I have given her two months notice within the 6 months - can I do that? Or is it the wrong type of notice?

specialsubject Fri 14-Nov-14 20:21:20

I also don't think anything is enforceable until the tenant is 8 weeks late with the rent. It isn't a mandatory ground for repossession until this happens.

you may have a professional thief here, who will string you along as much as she can. You need proper legal advice as to whether your contract can override the legal minimum notices.

I sincerely hope you have legal expenses cover as this may need the bailiffs and that gets pricey. Sadly it sounds like you don't have rent guarantee cover.

here's the official word:

LadyMercy Sat 15-Nov-14 20:18:27

If you served two months notice, it sounds like a section 21 notice. I think a s21 served within the fixed term (the 6 months that you initially granted) cannot be effective til the end of the fixed term. There are 2 types of s21, an A and a B. I'm not sure which one you need, but you need the right one.

Did you accept a deposit from the tenant? Is it protected in one of the approved schemes?

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