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  • Problem Tenants

    Section 8 options

    Hello folks,

    Hopefully a quick question...

    Have a bit of an ongoing problem with a difficult tenant which is kind of slipping between the cracks of an S8 and S21 at the moment. Issued S8 in Sep due 2 months arrears. S21 not an option until March due AST type. Tenant has been in arrears since day one, May 17, making numerous promises to pay which never materialise etc etc. Anyway, at end of 14 day notice she pays practically in full, promising she has got a new job, will pay every week, has changed etc. Anyway, sure enough reverts to type... Rent comes in dribs and drabs, ignoring calls etc and we are now back to 2 months arrears. C’est la vie...

    My patience is (still) exhausted and for I would like her out, preferably without having to wait 5 months or so (March plus the req. notice.)

    So the question... I can still enforce S8. I suspect upon receipt of a court date she will make a significant payment beforehand therefore making it unlikely I get a favourable judgement on the day. Worth it? Is it refundable if we cancel? My research indicates probably not these days although I cannot find a definitive reference. Alternative appears to be wait until March for S21 and hope she keeps making some payments here and there, which, in fairness I suspect she will.

    It is not lost on me that this is Christmas week and I am talking about eviction. However, she is employed, there are much cheaper housing options in the vicinity available to her and my stress levels are getting a bit higher than I am comfortable with.

    Any thoughts or opinions much appreciated!

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    Can you not keep issuing s8 notices every time she’s 2 months behind? Don’t apply to courts,and hope it scares her into catching up. Rinse and repeat until March, then s8 and s21 at same time, but proceed with s21 after 2 months notice has expired.

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    Keep issuing s8s every month one may be valid (sounds like g11 will always be valid). She just might take the hint, only costs a stamp & paper.

    As I boringly keep pointing out, s8g10 may be validly served if only 1p is underpaid for only 1 day.

    To "prompt" her you might also start SCC/MCoL - gets her a CCJ earlier.

    In your shoes I'd - verbally only - outline that you always feel duty bound as a citizen to inform council of any rent arrears and what "intentionally homeless" means and how she will likely not get help or rehousing from council.

    And inform her that there will either be no reference or a full, honest, one.

    5 months to wait since May 2017?  Blimey, was that a 24-month fixed term (only do 6 months then only periodic!!!) or did you renew (if so why on earth??).

    What were her credit checks and landlord references like, please??

    You CAN proceed to court and see what judge says about, e.g. g11 repeatedly.  If she doesn't file and defence & doesn;t turn up you just might get lucky or get at lease a suspended PO.  Downside is she might turn up,with legal team in tow, you lose & judge award her significant legal fees against you (ouch!).

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    If she is 2 months in arrears when the notice is issued and 2 months in arrears on the court date you should be fine.

    However I would advise you to issue the notice again here and see where you are in 2 weeks. She is most unlikely to make up the arrears over Xmas so you could then issue proceedings in the new year

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    David Smith
    Landlord & Tenant Solicitor
    Anthony Gold Solicitors

    Find me on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/dsnsmith

    All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of my firm. No comment made should be taken as legal advice and you should consult a solicitor or other legal professional for advice on your specific situation.