Can a contract be extended month by month after possession order?

by Readers Question

10:29 AM, 1st April 2015
About 4 years ago

Can a contract be extended month by month after possession order?

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Can a contract be extended month by month after possession order?

My tenants were ordered to leave on 2/1/15 after I obtained a Possession Order. They are hoping to be rehoused by Southwark Council, who advised them to stay put until they get a visit and letter from the bailiffs, so I obtained a Warrant and we have all been waiting 12 weeks for the bailiff to respond.

Meanwhile, the tenants stopped paying rent, stating that they had been receiving housing benefit , but it had stopped because they had no contract to show. (the original contract expired in September) I had no idea they were claiming HB, as they both work, but I depend on the income from the flat to pay my bills.

My question is, can I give them one month contracts, month by month, which they can take to HB to prove they are still living in my flat and need to pay rent? If I issue these contacts, going back to January, will this affect my possession order, perhaps invalidate it? Whatever happens, I don’t want to risk holding up the eviction any longer than it has been already.

All this is because the bailiffs have been too over-worked to carry out the eviction promptly !

Lenincomplicate



Comments

Neil Patterson

10:33 AM, 1st April 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi Lenin,

You are right to have concerns as I am sure this would complicate matters, but I would personally seek advice from Paul Shamplina and his team at Landlord Action. They are industry leading tenant eviction experts and have helped many readers.

see >> http://www.property118.com/member/?id=190

Romain Garcin

11:05 AM, 1st April 2015
About 4 years ago

I am not convinced that your tenants tell you the truth. They might just have stopped paying because they know they're going to get evicted.

Presumably they do have a written contract to show: The last one you agreed with them.

I would not give them anything and focus on getting them out. Enforcement through High Court Enforcement Officers would have been much faster than using county court bailiffs (something to know for the future).

Alexis Cooper

11:23 AM, 1st April 2015
About 4 years ago

Thanks a lot for these post. I am newbie here and looking for the forum rules. Please help me out.

Mark Alexander

11:36 AM, 1st April 2015
About 4 years ago

See "House Rules", under the members tab

Welcome to Property118 🙂
.

Paul Franklin

11:55 AM, 1st April 2015
About 4 years ago

Don't give them a new contractual periodic (month by month) contract. My understanding is that this would clearly be a new tenancy and you are seeking possession based on the previous tenancy.

Do call the Southwark housing benefit team. If your tenants are 8 weeks or more in arrears and you can provide evidence that this is the case, the HB will be paid directly to you.

Also, they shouldn't need to see a 'new' contract. They already ahev one. The intital fixed term that expired in September has continued as a Statutory Periodic Tenancy, it continues because the law says so, you don't have to sign any new contracts/agreemeents. Putting something in writing to this affect to the council may help clarify things - stating that your tenants have a stat periodic from sept at a rent of x per month - though this doesn't need to be in the form of a tenancy agreement signed by both parties.

Paul Franklin

11:58 AM, 1st April 2015
About 4 years ago

P.S. Get written permission from the tenant to discuss their HB claim with the Council, this should help matters if they want things sorted out. If they don't give you that permission, that should tell a story in itself that they may not have been completely open with you about the situation.

Ross McColl

12:07 PM, 1st April 2015
About 4 years ago

In my experience the council will accept a letter to confirm the tenant is still is residence. Provided the tenant also notifies the council to the same effect their entitlement should continue, hence their housing benefit. I would not be inclined to provide any kind of new tenancy as this poses too many uncertainties.
If you think they may be telling a few lies phone the council in front of them and ask they they give you permission to discuss their claim, also get it noted on the claim.
You'll then be able to find out if they are lying. If they are over 8 weeks in arrears you can force any payments to be paid directly to you.
Good luck with everything

Sharon Betton

12:29 PM, 1st April 2015
About 4 years ago

I am sorry if I have misunderstood, but my understanding is (was if advised differently here!) that rental liability ceases on the date the Court orders possession. Therefore, housing benefit would stop then - this is why the court forms ask for a daily rental sum - because they know that the rent stops at that point.

12 weeks seems a long time to wait for the Bailiff - recent meeting with the Sherriffs office does seem to indicate that it can be a more cost-effective measure than waiting for the Court Bailiff.

Steve Masters

15:54 PM, 1st April 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Franklin" at "01/04/2015 - 11:55":

Correct me if I am wrong but not only does the fixed term AST automatically roll into a Statutory Periodic Tenancy (SPT) but either AST or SPT tenancy is still in force after a possession order has been granted and only ends when you obtain vacant possession. (Unlike when the tenants give notice, then the tenancy ends at the end of their notice whether vacant or not).

Paul Franklin

16:00 PM, 1st April 2015
About 4 years ago

That is also my understanding Steve and if Sharon is correct that is news to me.

My understanding is that the date given in the possession order does not end the tenancy. It continues until bailiffs 'enforce' the order. Unitl that point, the order hasn't been enforced and therefore the tenancy continues.

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