Sec 21 issued, 1 tenant leaves, 1 stays?

Sec 21 issued, 1 tenant leaves, 1 stays?

0:02 AM, 8th March 2023, About 7 months ago 22

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Hi, I have been a landlord for 20 years and am now selling all my properties, one a year, as I’ve had enough of the way things are going against the private landlord.

I have done evictions in the past but have now come up against a situation new to me, so would appreciate advice from those of you with experience of the following.

I have issued a section 21 to a couple who have been with me for several years. The notice requires them to leave on the 20th of this month.

They know it is because I’m selling as I told them 18 months ago, hoping they would leave earlier and save me the trouble of eviction.

One of the tenants has found a place and is moving out on the 15th, but says the partner is staying on as advised by the council.

My question is: As one person has left the property, does the tenancy end automatically when the S21 notice is up on the 20th?

Can I tell the other tenant to be out as I’m coming to change the locks, no matter what the council says, or do I have to continue through the court system and bailiffs?

Thanks for any lawful advice,


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Donna Chipchase

4:26 AM, 8th March 2023, About 7 months ago

U have to follow procedure s21 only asking them to leave then u must apply to the courts if u change the locks you will be in serious trouble only a bailiff from the courts can do the eviction


10:29 AM, 8th March 2023, About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Donna Chipchase at 08/03/2023 - 04:26
Face it: the rules are completely ignored in favour of the tenant no matter what! The council doesn’t want to take over from you. Also as a landlord you are automatically in the wrong even if you outdid the Good Samaritan!
This is why more and more decent landlords sell up with tenants still there. I sold to the most evil landlord ever and lo and behold my tenant from hell grew wings and flew away at mach 10!!
One good landlord less!
All private landlords should go on strike!

Martin Roberts

10:33 AM, 8th March 2023, About 7 months ago

Do point out, politely, that they will force you to get a court order and possibly use bailiffs and they will be liable for the costs.

If they fail to pay rent they will be liable for that and could well finish up with a CCJ and damaged credit rating, making it very difficult to rent, or obtain a mortgage, in the future, plus an attachment of earnings order.

There was an interview on the radio a while back with a tenant who had taken Shelter's standard advice, “Wait for the bailiffs”, and said it was the worst advice she had ever received.

Judith Wordsworth

11:07 AM, 8th March 2023, About 7 months ago

You probably need to apply for a Possession Order in both names, then if the remaining tenant does not vacate a Bailiffs Order in both Names.

It's a bit unfair on the tenant who has agreed to vacate to get a ccj, maybe explain this to the tenant who refuses to vacate.

Its taking a bit of a chance to give the tenant who is leaving, when they vacate and you collect their keys from them, a Deed of Surrender. But if you did and they then moved back in they would be squatting I believe.

Presume your tenancy agreements is "jointly and severally"?

Steve Masters

11:48 AM, 8th March 2023, About 7 months ago

It's possible that as one tenant in a joint tenancy has left then that ends the tenancy agreement for all tenants. In which case, the remaining tenant is staying on past the end of the tenancy. According the "Distress for Rent Act 1737" you might be able to charge the remaining tenant double rent or "mesne profits".

Look it up but let both tenants know this regardless of what you find.

David Houghton

12:11 PM, 8th March 2023, About 7 months ago

Proceed with the court proceedings in both names. Negotiation is better but it doesn't always work

Neil Heffey

12:30 PM, 8th March 2023, About 7 months ago

When the section 21 notice date expires, prepare possession pack against both tenants named on the tenancy and occupiers. You can only claim fixed costs for the eviction which is roughly £481.75 unless you have contractual terms in your tenancy. The issue fee will cost you £355.00
You need to ensure that you provided the tenants with all the prescribed information. DPS T& C's, Gas Certs, How to Rent Guides etc.. either at the start of the tenancy, or prior to service of the section 21. If you have not, then the application to the court would fail and in that case, you would just reserve the section 21 with all the prescribed information


13:00 PM, 8th March 2023, About 7 months ago

One person moving out doesn't end the tenancy or that persons liability for it. The one who has moved still owes you the rent.

The s21 notice does not end the tenancy either so if you change the locks its illegal eviction.

If the tenancy is now periodic, you could ask the one who has left to serve you notice to end their liability. If its valid, (and you must check this) then the tenancy will end for both tenants once it expires and the other tenant would become a trespasser who could be excluded from the property when they're out.

If the tenancy is still in the fixed term then you will have to go through the court to get a possession order and ultimately bailiffs to remove the tenants.

Steve Masters

13:49 PM, 8th March 2023, About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David at 08/03/2023 - 13:00
OK, just by moving out doesn't end the tenancy but if they give notice they are ending the tenancy then that does. If the OP can ge a Deed of Surrender from the leaver then that should suffice.

Neil Heffey

15:09 PM, 8th March 2023, About 7 months ago

If a tenancy is joint (and even if it is not); one of the occupiers cannot give notice to vacate and bring the contract to an end which would afford a landlord a right to change the locks on another occupier and doing so can have costly consequences.

Refer to the Protection from Eviction Act 1977

3. Prohibition of eviction without due process of law.
(1) Where any premises have been let as a dwelling under a tenancy which is [neither a statutorily protected tenancy nor an excluded tenancy] and—
(a) the tenancy (in this section referred to as the former tenancy) has come to an end, but
(b) the occupier continues to reside in the premises or part of them, it shall not be lawful for the owner to enforce against the occupier, otherwise than by proceedings in the court, his right to recover possession of the premises.

(2) In this section “the occupier”, in relation to any premises, means any person lawfully residing in the premises or part of them at the termination of the former tenancy.

You should not allow one person to end their liability in accordance with the contract. I would keep them both liable until they surrender the property with vacant possession.

Damage awards for unlawful eviction are in the tens of thousands, let alone the cost consequences of the legal profession.

You can gain possession for around £750 - £1100 depending on how much you can do yourself.

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