Trying to evict tenant but does applying to county court make it harder for them to move?

I gave my tenant unofficial notice that I wanted to move back into my property before Christmas. 3 months on, he showed no sign of moving saying he could not find anywhere. I served him the section 21 notice in March and his move out date should have been 2 weeks ago. He has, in the meantime, applied to the council for housing assistance and tells me he is waiting for the outcome of his council housing application. I have called him each week since the s21 move-out date but he states he cannot find anywhere. I have stated I will apply to the county court next but he asks that I don’t as he is applying for British citizenship.

I’ve been charging less than market rate for 4 years and currently he is paying at least £300 less pre month. He also breached the contract as my agreement is for 5 people maximum and he had a further child whilst in my house.

I am somewhat scared applying to county court will make his next move out of my house difficult?

I feel I am getting nowhere and am being penalised for being a kind landlord and taking pity that he has a young family but I really need my property back as I cannot afford to pay rent myself and then be taxed on the rental income I get from this property.

you have to do the section 21 route into the court system which could take a year anyway. The council will drag their feet as long as he has a roof over his head

His problem is not your problem.
Apply to the courts and move forward with your agenda.
He’s playing you and will sit there until he is evicted.

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I think this is unfair to say this. It is very difficult for people to find rental property in the current market, and he may be trying very hard. I personally, would hate to be in his situation.

He may be ‘playing you’, but may also be a very genuine tenant that is legitimately struggling to find a new home for his family.

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He’s applied to the council for housing assistance.
It is well known that tenants are advised by the council to wait till they are homeless to get social housing .

He’s using his stay in the property to apply for citizenship.

It would be naive of me to not be cynical in such a situation.
The landlord here cannot afford to pay rent themselves.

Not all landlords are mortgage free and may not be able to support tenants to their own detriment.

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Thanks everyone. I think I was giving the tenant leniency initially but I’m glad I served him the section 21 notice as he did not seek housing assistance until I served him that.

As a first time (and definitely not professional) landlord, I am only letting the property out so I had the flexibility of renting elsewhere when my job contracts changed every year. I’m glad I use OpenRent though as it gives me access to these communities.

I think it’s clear that I need solicitors now. Have spoken to them and will review my documentation. They agree with your advice, it’s his problem not mine. And this will probably help him to get housing sooner since he has 4 children.