Here is a question to the blog clinic from Nick whose parents are landlords
I’ve a bit of an unusual situation which I would really appreciate help in clarifying.
My parents own a flat and they served a S.21 notice on the current tenants (not council tenants) in order to regain possession of the apartment so that I and my partner could move into the property.
A full 2 months (plus some extra days) notice was served and in the correct manner. Three days prior to us believing we would be moving in we have discovered that the tenants are refusing to leave the property for 3 and a half weeks – effectively leaving us homeless (the tenants have acknowledged receipt of the S.21 to the managing agent).
I understand that the tenants have the right to stay (frustratingly) until my parents have issued court proceedings and secured an eviction notice which can between 6-8 weeks, thus leaving my partner and I homeless for 6-8weeks.
I have a few questions.
1) Are the tenants due to pay rent for the full period until the eviction notice is served?
2) Can my parents claim back from the tenants deposit expenses incurred by my partner and I for moving property twice, plus the additional costs relating to additional travel and rent in the holding over period? What protection is there for us as tenants due to move into the property?
3) Are there any implications for the tenants not moving out when due (why don’t all tenants do this – being honest I suspect) as they are adversely affecting other tenants, not just the landlord? If they are liable to get a CCJ then I’m sure this would give them an incentive to vacate the property, having had a sufficient warning that they were due to vacate (over 2 months).
Currently it seems that irresponsible tenants can cause a whole series of issues, for the landlord and also for the tenants due to move into the accommodation – potentially causing a huge chain of events. If for example my partner and I decided to stay in the property we currently lease, thus affecting our current landlord plus the tenants moving in after us.
Its not an unusual situation at all Nick. It is not at all unknown for tenants to fail to move out after being served a section 21. In fact if they want to be rehoused by the Council they will be told to stay there by the homelessness officer as otherwise they will lose their right to be re-housed (as they will be deemed ‘voluntarily homeless).
A section 21 notice does not actually end the tenancy. All it does is give the landlord the right to go to court and ask for an order for possession. So the tenants are fully entitled, legally, to ignore it and stay on if they wish.
1. The tenants are liable to pay rent right up until the day they leave the property. Although many tenants (wrongly) stop paying rent if they know they are being evicted.
2. No. It was inadvisable on your part to assume that the tenants would move out. You are not the ‘tenants’ of the property, they are. A property cannot be let twice at the same time, and so any tenancy granted to you will only become effective once the current tenancy has ended.
3. All tenants are entitled to stay put if they want (and if they want to be re-housed by the Local Authority they will have to). However most tenants don’t do this as they respect the landlords wishes and (perhaps more crucially) don’t want to get a negative reference.
If the tenants are in arrears of rent, your parents can apply to the courts for a CCJ. The section 21 procedure does not affect their right to do this.
If they want to deal with the eviction themselves, note we have a DIY Eviction Guide
** Stop Press : Get my free report on how to evict your tenant for £376 or less: click here**