Served sec 21 what to do now

Hi Mr T,

I’m not sure about the CV19 measures, particularly since the lockdown has eased. I didn’t take much notice of them, although, I believe I read it was 3 months during this period. Also you could not submit one for 3 months from some date in March. Have a look on the government website, it will be fully detailed on there.

Regarding your question about the granting of an S21, yes it is usually a straight forward award for possession, obviously unless it is contested by the tenant. Most claims for eviction, I imagine, are based on unpaid rent, which is generally uncontestable, but in case of damage and misuse of the property, you would need to have sound evidence to prove your grounds. In this case, if the tenants are being awkward, you may be advised to expect the worst, possibly including the necessity of a baliff to effect the eviction. Unfortunately this all takes time, but if they are paying the rent, that is at least some consolation. The damage will always be there to sort out eventually, how ever long it takes to evict them. I would send them a letter demanding the list of repairs are attended to within a reasonable timescale, and that they will be liable for the costs of your contractors if they do not comply, which is what your tenancy agreement should say.

I have never had to evict anybody on those grounds, so couldn’t say how easy / difficult it would be. I would imagine with the clause in your TA, as noted above, you would be required to afford the tenant every opportunity to make reparations either physically or financially. However, if you have been subjected to their repeated misuse of the property, as you say you have sucked it up previously, and presumably made the repairs yourself without receiving payment from the tenant, this should go in your favour, as long as you have good records of the issues, i.e. correspondence, bills and demands to the tenant.

My only non-rent evictions were for antisocial and abusive behaviour, which may have some similarities, if she is being objectionable / belligerent.

Sadly, but also somewhat amusingly, I had one guy who would stand on the doorstep, screw up my hand delivered letters and throw them in my face whilst telling me to F-off. He was disturbing / scaring the other tenants in the block banging on their doors and claiming his girlfriend, which he didn’t have, was hiding in there… Sadly he had fried what few brain cells he had with methamphetamine abuse, and even came to believe he actually owned the flat, and made those claims to the baliff, and the police, who were called in and eventually had to physically drag him out and lock him up for half a day, so we could clear his stuff out without his interference. He returned in the evening, riffled through his belongings, took a bag from the pocket of a jacket, left the jacket and all his clothes and furniture behind. A hopeless and helpless case!

For those people thinking we are nasty landlords, we firstly gave him a huge chance being a benefits tenant, as he was well presented, articulate and showing no signs of his past problems, verified by his support workers, but not having a guarantor. He was fine for about 3 years, but then he became a nuisance. We contacted every agency we could to try to get him support with his drug problem and his relocation to a new home, but they wouldn’t help if he didn’t ask for it himself, wonderful system… We spent many hours talking to him, before he became abusive, trying to help him understand the situation and encouraging him to contact the agencies / doctor who had supported him previously, but since abandoned him to his own devices, sadly without success.

There’s no helping some people and, of course, we the landlords, were left alone to try to sort it out, along with a major refurbishment and all the associated cost. Then people wonder why we shy away from benefit tenants??

Being a soft touch, we have just taken on another one, who is so well cossetted by the housing department, they have paid the full rate rent (for an under 35 year old) and a cash bond in advance, usually unheard of, and her previous partners parents are standing guarantor and supporting her, thereby satisfying all our requirements, such that we couldn’t conscientiously refuse. I am far from confident we will not regret this decision, but at least we have a guarantor to fall back on, and everyone deserves a chance in life.

Yes Colin, being a principled person it goes against my grain to let them simply walk away without consequences for their actions. But, of course, it’s likely money down the drain!

There are some individuals (see pets post), who did simply walk away, leaving us with physical and emotional scars, that I would wish to meet down a dark alley to dole out retribution, but unfortunately I couldn’t live with my conscience. Yet we are the evil landlords…

Hi Chris,
Thank you again for the useful information and sharing your experience.
The three month notice took effect from 26th March (but CAB saying two months on a periodic tenancy) so if there’s doubt I suppose it’s best to go with the longer notice just to be sure.
It’s a terrible state of affairs when the agencies responsible don’t step up and help someone who is clearly in need of it.
Getting rid of bad landlords is only one aspect of the rental market. Bad tenants need to held responsible for their actions and good landlords need to be supported. Contacted our Council as have a licensing system I place, which when introduced, was marketed as support for landlords. That’s a joke! Was told to get a solicitor as they ‘didn’t do that’. Maybe a section 21 is the better option.
So kind of you to give someone else a chance after your experiences.
We are a soft touch too and don’t think suited to this job. Have taken in three sets now all without all of the requirements most insist on, such as no guarantors or references as such. Basically, being empathetic and giving people a chance who then throw it back at you.
I hope it works out for you this time round. Sounds like you deserve a break yourself. Thanks again.

Mr T - It’s three months at the moment for eviction notices.

Hi Mr T,

I’m fairly sure that 3 month duration applied to all tenancies, fixed and periodic during the Covid period. Although I believe that has ended, as it was only for 3 months, unless it has been extended.

Unfortunately what you say is very true, there is no help or guidance for landlords unless you pay for a solicitor. I know that some County Courts have a duty solicitor present on certain days of the week, for the purpose of offering free advice to the public. It might be worth checking if you ever need legal advice. Also the court clerks will advise you of the current procedures, but will never give advice about a case.

The government are only interested in legislating the landlords to make the rental market more acceptable to, and protective of, tenants to suit their ulterior motives of avoiding the responsibility of providing social housing, and winning votes. They don’t want the hassle or the expense.

Having also learnt from bitter experience, I would now never take a tenant who does not pass referencing, unless they can provide a guarantor who can. Happily I now have a good agent, who are more careful and less accommodating, as it’s not their property, and I’ve had no disasters from any of the tenants they installed, fingers crossed. Although it costs a lot more to manage and maintain the properties, it most certainly relieves a considerable amount of the stress, which I know you know all about.

I have to laugh, we had a wonderful relationship with a housing assistance charity, ‘Fusion’, because we accepted their bond guarantee and provided excellent properties. They were supposedly very thorough and comprehensive in their vetting of the tenants they assisted. They would support the tenants needs with a mentor, and make periodic inspections. In spite of all this all the tenants, without exception, left owing money on rent and / or dilapidations. Unfortunately this association only covers the bond and are not a guarantor in the true sense of the meaning. Because we have claimed the bond in all cases, some I had to fight them for over periods of a few years, even threatening legal action, they now don’t want to deal with us anymore. I had in fact beat them to the post, and refused to allow any viewings for people supported by them, a recipe for disaster.

I sincerely hope your luck changes, and the letting business goes a bit smoother for you in future. The old adage is very true, an empty property is better than a bad tenant, not necessarily financially, but certainly from a stress point of view. But then the government have stuck it to us on that score as well by removing the council tax exemption, which used to apply for 6 months, now we pay from day 1.

Good luck.

Thank you.
How are you getting on with your troublesome tenant? Any developments?

Thankfully, I have none at the moment, only a couple of empty properties to worry about.

All my anecdotes were of historic cases.

Hi Chris.
I understand that yours were historic. Thankfully!

I was trying to reply to someone called focusfocus who posted on here they were in the throes of trying to deal with a shed load of problems!

Have given 3 dates well in advance for inspection, on the last date said her representative wasnt able to be with her!
Have now given her 3 more dates 3rd one up tomorrow, fingers crossed.

Hi Chris.
Have you been a landlord for a long time?

Sorry Mr T, I got carried away, and didn’t notice. :slight_smile:

Hi Chris, No worries, didn’t want you to think I hadn’t read it properly! You spent a long time giving your experience which I really appreciate. Always interesting and a lot to learn from on here. Thank again.

36 years. See personal message.

Hi Verity,

Don’t let her fob you off. You have a right to make inspections with reasonable notice, whether she is there or not, has her representative there or not.

Sometime you just want to smash their faces in! I suppose that’s why tenants have rights, but it does not stop you fantasising.

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You wouldn’t believe what is going on - he has gone abroad supposedly to buy property and moved a family member in (breach of contract). He is supposed to be coming back but who knows. I can’t do anything more now but wait my turn for the courts unless he just leaves.

Does any one know if I can legally insist on inspecting the property if I cant get the tenant to agree a date with plenty of notice.we have a section 8 and 21 in place and £3800 in arrears bloody nightmare!!

Blimey. You are really suffering, things are getting way out of hand.
It’s not right landlords are being made to suffer loke this. Surely section 8 notices should be going ahead regardless. Wonder how many landlords will be leaving due to all this.

I know section 8 notices are not going ahead by the way, but just think it highly ridiculous everything has come to a stand still. Just me venting!

Do I have to have the tenants permission to find out if they are receiving universal credit for rent arrears the web site says yes.