Here we have a blog clinic question from Nicola who is a landlord:
I have a tenant who is now 2 months in arrears with their rent. They had promised to pay this on 27th July but no payment has been made and they now owe a further months payment. I am now writing to them asking for payment within 14 days otherwise I will issue them with notice to leave the property under Section 21.
My main concern or query is they originally signed a shorthold tenancy agreement on 09/10/10 for 6 months. They did ask for a new tenancy agreement after the 6 month period as they had now moved their boyfriend into the property and wanted him on the lease as well. So a new 6 month lease was drawn up on 01/05/11 and sent to them for signature. To date I have not received the signed lease back. I am now unsure as to whether I can just give 2 months notice under Section 21 or does it need to be dated at the end of the new lease even though I haven’t got a signed copy back from them.
I would really appreciate it for any advice as I know that they will get advice on this when I send the letter to them and want to make sure I’ve done it correctly.
NEVER send a tenancy agreement for signature and return without putting some limits on it. Otherwise, as here, you won’t know whether it has been signed or not.
I would suggest you write to them now, in a separate letter from your rent demands, saying that you have not recieved back the signed tenancy agreement and that as they have failed to pay rent, the offer of a new tenancy agreement and new fixed term is hereby withdrawn.
As they are in arrears of rent, you can serve a section 8 notice based on the mandatory rent arrears ground anyway, so do that now.
Then about week after you have sent the letter withdrawing the offer of a new tenancy (to give them time to respond) serve a section 21 notice.