Section 21 Minefield

I have had a tenant for about 3 years and she is an absolute nightmare and is now 3 months in arrears and by the time this is displayed probably 4 so i am thinking about my options:

My preferred option is just a section 21. My problem is that i have no real evidence of handing over the how to rent guide and EPC cert when she first moved in. What i have taken to doing is stapling to the back of each new contract. So here is the question - when they say these things should be included at the beginning of the tenancy, does that mean when a new AST is signed or the actual day they moved in. Because it seems that if it is the actual day they moved in and i cannot prove it i can never serve a section 21.

If i serve a section 8 about rent arrears and she just pays enough to be less than 2 months in arrears does this make the section 8 invalid and again she can pretty much stay forever.

If i go for the masses of complaints from the neighbours , a lot of which were verbal, i am worried that the neighbours may not be so vocal if they have to write down stuff to be presented in court.

Should i just say i will forget about the arrears if you move out at the end of the month?

I would appreciate any advice

You can serve both the epc and h2r late without affecting s21. Post it first class from a post office with proof of posting slip, (not signed for post) the day before the s21. Take photos of them going in the envelope.

Is there gas in the property? What abour gsc?

You should be careful of asking her to leave without due process. It could be construed as harassment. If you think she would go, you can bring it up tentatively, however, I would doubt she will find anywhere else, especially that quickly.

Hi @Ian46 - I can see you’re tagged as a Rent Now landlord. Was this tenancy set up with OpenRent? If so, we will have served the latest how to rent guide at the time on your behalf. We’ll have also managed the other documents for you as and when provided to us - do reach out to our team if this is a tenancy you set up with OpenRent and we’ll be glad to help.

Even if not, or if you’re looking for more general legal advice, we’d certainly suggest you reach out to a legal professional - we have partnered with a legal firm who provide OpenRent users with a free initial consultation. You can get in touch with them here:

Thank you but i was kind of hoping for a very general reply before involving formal legal advice. My question comes down to : If an AST is regularly renewed , do the EPC etc have to be served on the day they physically move in or is it acceptable to give them at the time of contract renewal.

My fear is that if it is the latter, even years down the road i will not be able to issue a section 21 notice.

Also in general i am rather surprised out how easily an AST can be turned into pretty much a tenancy for life - my simple understanding was that if i signed a contract to rent from day x to day y - on day y i would move out unless arrangements were made for the contrary. i thought this was the difference between a shorthold tenancy and other types of tenancy.

And I answered this is my first reply.

I suggest some landlord training. There are lots of things that can go wrong that you may not even be aware of.

Where would you get landlord training from?

The NRLA, which also gives members free advice and model documents.

I’m confiused by your comment that an AST can easily become a tenancy for life. An AST once expiring rolls over into a periodic tennacy which can be terminated by either party subject to notice. This will I am sure be explained in the terms of your tenancy agreement.

I’ve never had to evict anyone yet, but if I did, and I was confused or unsure, I think I’d prefer to find an expert to do it for me. I suspect there are many 'holes to fall down along the way, and your questions about issuing epc, rent guide etc, suggest you might already have fallen down some of these.

Thanks Karl i believe you are right - i have had tenants for years and everything has been smooth sailing - this is the first time i have had to think like this. My big mistake was letting to the daughter of a friend.