Section 21 - Pre-Coronavirus

Hi. I’m in a bit of a pickle. I’ve served the my tenants a section 21 back in February and the 2 month moving out date is coming up. They have been causing me alot of problems. I didn’t want to serve a section 8 last year and wanted to wait until the end of their lease before giving them notice but I did tell them that I wasn’t going to renew their lease and they should start looking for somewhere else.

So 2 months before their renewal, I gave them written notice (2 months notice) but a month after that they said they needed a section 21 so it pushed the notice period by another month. Now with the coronavirus lockdown, I don’t see them moving out now.

I didn’t realise how badly they had damaged the property until I saw it myself because the agent said it was wear and tear. And because they lied to me I’m now in breach of my license. If they don’t move out by the move date, is there anything I can do now that the courts are closed until June or do I just need to wait until the courts are open?

You seem to have answered your own question at the end of your text so I can only but assure you that your suspicions are correct and you are now in limbo.
There are very important things that you can do on your downtime which is you need to contact the said license department and notify them of the situation as you say you are in breach of and you can further ask their advice I’m trying to follow it, mainly to keep the license valid and the license issue is off your back as well as following due process.
You must in tandem further communicate with the tenants via snail mail email and text if you can, just open basic non-provoking communication about the issue whilst trying to remain transparent to your objectives and serving any obligations you’re legally allowed to serve.
Do check out the government website and shelter as there is a lot of information that may well further help you out.
I am not sure what you mean by written notice I presume section 21 yet I am not sure if you need to be serving section 8 it depends on the tenancy and if you have just given written notice to vacate and it is not in the correct format or using the correct section then it will be a waste of time so you may wish to go over all of that again to make sure your paperwork is correct and you have served correctly as you clearly don’t have any more time to waste.

I’ve been to court with tenants more than I would like and each time definitely does not get any better so I most certainly empathise with your situation.

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Thanks Andrew8. That’s what I thought as well. I have spoken and written to them lots but nothing seems to have changed. I guess I’ll keep doing that and speak to the council.

I was going to serve a section 8 last year to cut short the tenancy when I found out about their lie but decided it would cost too much and waited until the end of their tenancy.

How do you think I can manage the neighbours because they have complained about them and are expecting them to vacate because the tenants are also causing them a lot of problems. I had originally gave them a written notice in Feb but it wasn’t on a section 21 format. A month after I gave them this notice the tenants said they needed a section 21 so I issued another notice in a section 21 format and the 2 months notice started again. The neighbours have been pestering me because they are very unhappy that the tenants will now be here for much longer than expected. It seems I was wrong to not give them a section 21 the first time I gave them notice. Does that mean am I in the wrong for not serving a section 21 in the first place?

I think the answer is yes. ButI am no great expert in this as i have only had to do a section 21 once in 40 years.

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Thanks Colin3. That’s what I thought :pensive:

we all learn by experience which is useful for the future

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I always thought just a simple letter would have been sufficient. I didn’t realise that if they don’t leave I will still need to go to court to evict them. Which is going to take months now

it may be useful to join a landlords association. The fee is tax dedustabe. The advice is free. A magazine keeps you up to date. You can download doccuments

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Just ensure you follow due diligence regarding the neighbour by informing them and the Council so you can prove later if needed just to protect your intent to remain a professional this should keep the council from looking badly at you if the neighbour complains to them.

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It is extremely important that you have your notices served correctly as if it is not served correctly, you will have to start all over again. I cannot see your tenants moving by this year due to the build up of hearings due to the courts being closed to all possession hearings. Remember that once you get a hearing and there is no problem, if the tenants don’t move out you have to apply for the bailiffs which again can take several months. With a section 21 there will only be a hearing if the tenant defends the case.
If you serve a section 8 notice, the tenant must be at least two months in arrears at the time of serving the notice and also on the day of the hearing. There are many things that can go wrong with a section 8 notice and if you are relying on this, I would suggest you use a possession company that has expertise in this.
I have been to court almost on a continuous basis for both types of notices and one has to get everything right for it to be vaild.
At present, both notices require a minumum of 3 months after serving the notices before you can apply to the court due to Covid 19.
See the link below to get the correct notices to be served at present if required:

I have the situation with a tenant who has been accumulating arrears in rent and has anti-social behaviour and was supposed to have a hearing on 24th March 2020 which was cancelled due to Covid 19 and now the tenant is being an absolute nuisance to the neighbours where the police attends regularly. There is nothing that I can do until he is evicted so I have told the neighbours to keep calling the police as, there is nothing that I can do.


Thanks Clint for the details. I have no problems with the laws protecting tenants because there are landlords who r absolutely terrible and good people should be treated better. But there is nothing protecting the landlord against tenants who abuse their protection especially the ones who have continuous anti social behaviour. It’s extremely frustrating because it not only causes me problems, effort and time to resolve but also my neighbours who have to live with this.

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