Tenant refuses to leave

Hi all, urgent help needed. Called landlord action but no-one has rung back…

I let out the flat that was my main residence 2 years ago (16.08.21 renewed on 16.08.22) as I needed to move closer to work and rented a place close to work. My landlord decided to increase rent by 40% and so I said no thanks and decided to move back to the flat I let. I issued a S21 on 23.05.23 using the mutual break clause in the AST I agreed with my tenant with the end date of 01.08.23. She is refusing to move as she has been unable to find another place to rent and she also says she things she has grounds to challenge the S21. I can’t see how as she agreed to the mutual break clause.

The only things that may be an issue is that I never issued an gas certificate as there is no supply to my flat or block at all as it is part of a development that uses a central heat exchanger and while I did give her an EPC and EICR when we signed the first contract, I did not give it to her again when we renewed the 2nd contract since they had not expired and I told her it is the same one as can be seen on the openrent portal from the previous year. Does she have grounds to challenge? What shall I do? Pretty stressed as I must also leave my current flat by the weekend!

Thanks all for your help!

The s21 is an invite to leave so people can ignore it. To enforce the s21 you’d have to seek a Possession Order then an Eviction Order but you’d likely fail at the first hurdle.

Check your s21 against the checklist on the Nearly Legal website and see where you may have fallen short. Rectify the mistakes then start the s21 process again.

Check the validity of your s21 notice by googling “Nearly Legal s21 flowchart”

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My issue is that I used the S21 to activate the mutual break clause rather than issuing an S21 by itself. Does it still mean that I must meet all the requirements of the S21? Also, it’s not clear to me whether the EPC must be given again for a renewal?

With all due respect, if I were you, this is the time when I would be paying a professional. Have you contacted LandlordAction or another similar eviction specialist.

Eviction is a mine-field, and very time consuming. If you dont know what you are doing, it would be easy to do something wrong.

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There’s a very good explanation of how break clauses work with tenancies and s21 on the Shelter website.

I’d post a link but OR doesn’t like links. Google Shelter: Using break clauses to end fixed term tenancies"

You’ll need to check the wording of those clauses as there is the additional issue of “fairness” in terms to be examined - which a judge when you try for possession, will look at.

Thank you. I have contacted them and another company. As you and others have posted -it is a mine field!

Provided your tenancy agreement allows a s21 notice to be used as a break notice, then the notice only ends the fixed term. A periodic tenancy then arises automatically and the same s21 notice is used for that, which is where it has to meet all the requirements.