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  • Landlords in Distress

    Tenant leaving but leaving ex-wife/son behind

    Hi. One that I have never come across before.

    My tenant has called me to say that he will be leaving in the next month. I have asked him to confirm this in writing.

    He is the only person on the tenancy agreement. His ex-wife and son are also in the property.

    He says that she will not move out. So he is basically dumping them both on me. I don't want them.

    The problem is how do I get them out ? Section 8 or section 21 ?

    Hope that someone can shed some light on this.
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    What does your tenancy agreement say about notice and returning the property?

    If there's nothing that means that returning the property with someone in it makes the notice invalid, serve your own s21 notice, go through the repossession process (which, hopefully, the tenant won't defend).

    The bailiffs will remove all of the occupants of the property, regardless of their tenancy status.

    There are other options - you could request a court order to prohibit him doing what he proposes (which would require legal support and money) or you could try and have the occupants removed as trespassers when he leaves and his notice has expired.

    But repossession is simpler provided you have all the pre-requisites in place.

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    Hmm time to get legal advice - my gut would be that until they give you vacant possession they haven't complied with their own notice so are liable for double rent until they do.
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    DISCLAIMER just my personal opinion - for legal advice consult a qualified professional grown-up.

    Your tenant cannot be leaving because he's not giving you vacant possession. Your tenancy agreement should require him to do so.

    Therefore you should inform him that unless he gives you vacant possession his tenancy will continue and so will his liability for the rent.

    Then if it's not paid you need to either serve section 8 (or just serve a section 21 if you can) and have everyone removed from the property by taking possession proceedings against the tenant.
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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.
    I would have thought that the tenancy agreement requires no other adult to occupy. The reason is that they can acquire rights to the property. You cannot be seen to give any consent to what is being requested here. A lawyer is also a good plan if the mother and son won’t sign a new tenancy.
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    Chartered Accountant, Tax Advisor and Mortgage broker

    (and BTL portfolio owner)

    stuart@johnsonsca.com

    02039077022