How to evict a tenant for breach of contract?

How to evict a tenant for breach of contract?

8:49 AM, 20th March 2023, About 12 months ago 26

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Hi there, I have recently had a lot of complaints about a tenant of mine who is on an AST.

He has breached the contract in that he has disturbed his fellow tenant and neighbours by making noise/playing loud music, having friends at the house for parties at unsocial hours, smoking cannabis in the house, and by making verbal and written threats my other tenant. Furthermore, he is now refusing to pay the rent.

However, he is also on an AST and has been at the house for only 1.5 months. I do not have a break clause in my contract but there is a clause stating that the landlord can end the agreement at any time with just one month’s notice.

However, while I do have Gas Safety certificate, I did not give it to the tenant when he moved in. Nor did I give him a copy of the ECP.

What are my options?

Grateful to hear of any advice you can give me.

Thank you,

Julie


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Comments

Julesgflawyer

12:04 PM, 20th March 2023, About 12 months ago

Ground 14 section 8 notice. But it's discretionary, only. Good luck with that.

Londonlandlord

12:28 PM, 20th March 2023, About 12 months ago

Not sure what the legal position is if you give him all certificates etc now given he has only been there 90 days. If you are a member of the NRLA they can advise if no one here can/does. Check that you have not omitted to send him anything else.

Reluctant Landlord

12:39 PM, 20th March 2023, About 12 months ago

Sorry to say it but you seem to have been a bit naive here and not read up about the ins and outs of being a LL.

I suggest for understanding where you are with the current situation NRLA might be a first point of call. Maybe better to go straight to a LL representative body too.

You MAY be able to serve some documentation now to stop the situation getting worse, but at the same time you may not. You need to be clear with someone about what you have served and when and they can give advice about what you should have served and when.

If you granted a 6 month min AST then you cant do anything until this date passes, but you need to get your ducks lined up so you are ready to go as soon as notice CAN be given.

Be warned the tenant may be aware of the legal situation more than you and you may have fallen foul to a serial offender....

NewYorkie

13:07 PM, 20th March 2023, About 12 months ago

I feel for you and the other tenants. I was in the same situation and it didn't end well. As landlords, we are hamstrung by the law, and receive zero support, while tenants get it all. The parties and drug abuse took place during lockdown, and the Police did nothing. Then, with a possession order, the tenant played the mental health and then covid card, and bailiffs refused to attend. It took me 16 months to get him out, at a cost of £20k, and I had all my paperwork in order. A S8 clause 14 is unlikely to succeed, so I went for the 6 months arrears clause. Even then, I was lucky, because the tenant got his facts wrong. He paid one month at the 5 months point, and thought the 6 months would start again.

Your first step should be to instruct a possession specialist to get your ducks in a row. I wish you luck.

Jonah !

13:21 PM, 20th March 2023, About 12 months ago

There's a few key points in your situation that need addressing. First, assuming a standard AST, this will be a fixed term agreement, probably with a six-month minimum term. You cannot utilise any sort of break-clause within the fixed term.
Arrears at this point do not amount to two months, but it sounds like they soon will, so you can then go down the Section 8 route, which under grounds 8, 10, and 11 provides for mandatory repossession - ground 8 being for serious rent arrears (in excess of two months at the point of the hearing).
However, if you have not issued the GSC to the tenant at the point of occupancy, you cannot proceed; likewise if the EPC also has not been issued - the Court will reject your claim under Section 8 immediately. I suspect that if those two core items are missing, you might also not have done the basics with the EICR, the Prescribed Information, issuing the How to Rent Guide, nor conducted Right to Rent checks. You also do not mention if you lodged the deposit and can certificate this.
If any or all of the above are the case, you really have to start again: all of the documentation needs to be issued and you need to contact the tenant to try to work with him to correct the missing paperwork.
This does not sound like an easy fix, I regret to say, although with a solicitor on your case or with a very good agent this can all be achieved. As DSR says, you may have a pretty non-compliant tenant to deal with.

Luke P

13:29 PM, 20th March 2023, About 12 months ago

Julie,

You're about to get a tough education and fast.

DO NOT apply any rules of reason and logic from literally any other area of life - they have no place in the unique world of landlording.

You've next to no hope of eviction success for ASB anyway (certainly not this kind of ASB) and missing paperwork, and the associated proof that it was served, you're in for a long, expensive, hassle-filled ride.

Good luck!

Graham Bowcock

13:38 PM, 20th March 2023, About 12 months ago

Not wishing to pour oil on troubled water, there is a salutary lesson for others here about the joys of not taking professional advice.

Sadly it seems there are so many failures here and getting the house back is going to be a slow and expensive process.

As a fellow landlord I wish you luck and have some sympathy on the way the law is so tenant weighted to the extent that practical considerations go out the window.

Seething Landlord

15:12 PM, 20th March 2023, About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jonah ! at 20/03/2023 - 13:21Failure to serve the required documents does not affect a possession claim under S8, which seems to be the only option as you cannot in any event serve a S21 notice within the first 4 months or to expire during the fixed term.
Assuming that the rent is payable monthly in advance, the tenant will be two months in arrears on the day after he fails to pay for the second time and once this happens you can start the S8, ground 8 and others as appropriate, process by giving the tenant the required notice (14 days I believe) of your intention to commence proceedings. You need to get it right first time so as others have said might find it advisable to instruct an eviction specialist.

David

17:10 PM, 20th March 2023, About 12 months ago

Is the tenant on a joint tenancy or a room only tenancy in an HMO? If its a joint tenancy, then you can't evict just him, you have to evict everyone or no-one, although you could then offer the others a new tenancy.
If its room only, then it depends on whether he's in a fixed term tenancy, how long he's been there, whether this is an HMO that needs a licence and whether you've complied with a wide range of other administrative requirements.
The reality is that with your current level of knowledge you're not going to be able to do this yourself. I would suggest you hand the problem to a specialist eviction company.

Albert Liu

20:25 PM, 20th March 2023, About 12 months ago

I had a similar problem with a HMO as i was unfamiliar with all the paperwork.
You are in a bad situation and wont be able to resolve it legally yourself.
I would advise:
1. Bring in a letting agent to fully manage this property and bring it up to regulation. They will reissue all contracts and provide all paperwork to the tenants.
This will require up to date EPC, gas cert, licence (if applicable in that borough)
2. After the new AST cooling down period advise the agency to issue a S21.
3. After that has expired hire a set fee eviction company (i used solicitors4landlords) which costs about £800 which includes the court fee.
4. Hopefully you will get this tenent out in 6-8 months , depends on the courts

Otherwise a section 8 is unlikely to succeed as your other paperwork was not supplied to the tenant correctly.

It will be costly and yes unfortunately the tenent will likely get away with rent free for this period but thats the current system to screw over the LL now a days

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