Section 21 advice needed – buyer waiting?

Section 21 advice needed – buyer waiting?

by Readers Question

Guest Author

9:36 AM, 11th December 2023, About 7 months ago 24

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Hello, Our tenant of 8 years has a periodic tenancy. We gave written notice in May 2023 and put the house up for sale as the rent isn’t even covering the interest on our mortgage. At the end of the two months notice period he couldn’t find or afford a new rental property and was getting advice from the local housing authority.

We told him verbally he could stay until we found a buyer. We now have a buyer but he has said he’s been advised to stay put and we need to serve a section 8 or 21. The rent has gone up only once in 8 years by £10 pm, this isn’t his fault, it’s very much ours but it’s now £300 – £400 below the rentable value. He has never defaulted on his rent.

I don’t think a Section 8 would apply, insufficient grounds, so we issued a section 21 giving him nearly three months’ notice due to it being Christmas, but realised I didn’t have everything in order so revoked it.

At the beginning of the tenancy agreement everything was in place, the Gas certificate, ECIR, an EPC, I registered the deposit and got a signed prescribed information form. I recently provided the tenant with the ‘How to Rent’ advice.

The property currently has a valid gas certificate, an EPC and the deposit is still registered.

However, I can’t find one Gas Safety Certificate during the 8 years tenancy. (I have 9 out of 10 years since property renting). I also cannot recall who did the gas check as we’ve used different ones over the years.

My first question is, would a section 21 get rejected by the courts because I cannot find a missing certificate?

Secondly, is this the correct process to follow? We need him out quickly so we can hopefully sell this financial year but as each day passes it becoming unlikely and I certainly do not want to lose the buyer.

Any advice would be helpful.

Thank you,

Claire


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Comments

David Griffith

10:24 AM, 11th December 2023, About 7 months ago

What was the exact start date of the tenancy?
For which year are you missing the GSC?

Easy rider

10:30 AM, 11th December 2023, About 7 months ago

There is very little chance of gaining possession in this FY - even if the Section 21 is valid. When the S21 date passes you need to apply for a possession hearing. If you ‘win’ and the tenant still doesn’t leave you need to go back to court to appoint bailiffs.

Maybe consider compensating the tenant for their out of pocket expenses incurred through no fault if their own.

I’d recommend contacting an eviction specialist.

Fed Up Landlord

10:44 AM, 11th December 2023, About 7 months ago

Evictions are a legal minefield. And the tenant will be told to stay put until evicted as to leave beforehand makes them
" intentionally homeless".

Tenants are not your friends, they have no loyalty to you, and they will be quite happy to sit there where you spend your money and subsidise their rent and be more charitable than Shelter.

No more Ms Nice Lady. Get hold of a good eviction specialist and get them out.

NewYorkie

11:11 AM, 11th December 2023, About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Fed Up Landlord at 11/12/2023 - 10:44
I feel for you because I was in your shoes in March 2020, and couldn't evict until July 2021. It then took 7 months to sell, and I was RTM Director and in possession of all necessary paperwork [incompetent solicitor]!

Use an eviction specialist. It will cost you, but it's a small cost compared to the income you're already losing, and will save you a lot of added stress.

Work out the worst case scenario, and if you can survive financially until you sell, you will soon forget.

Ross Tulloch

12:10 PM, 11th December 2023, About 7 months ago

Wise words from above, esp NewYorkie. The courts are simply not fit for purpose. If it were me I would make him an offer he cannot refuse. (Money to get out)

Paul Essex

13:37 PM, 11th December 2023, About 7 months ago

Sadly this also clearly demonstrates the risks of below market rent as the first response is that all other rents are too expensive - no appreciation at all for the fact that they have been paying a lower rent.

With a market rent there should be comparibly priced properties available.

SimonP

14:07 PM, 11th December 2023, About 7 months ago

"I also cannot recall who did the gas check". Is it relevant? If so, assuming that you didn't pay cash, then look at your bank statements and cheque stubs. The bank should be able to supply a copy cheque if it's needed. Perhaps your accountant has the required information within his working papers?

DPT

14:45 PM, 11th December 2023, About 7 months ago

It's not a good idea to market a property for sale when you don't currently have possession and eviction will take many months. You will likely lose your buyer.

H PH

15:07 PM, 11th December 2023, About 7 months ago

your eviction is likely to be thrown out by the courts. I would suggest a surrender of tenancy giving the tenant some compensation to leave, maybe 2 months equivalent rent for example, if this does not work you said that the rent is £300-£400 under the market value, I would serve the relevant paperwork to increase the rent, as long as your contracts allow this, give them a months notice and if they pay then hopefully this covers your mortgage and if they do not then eventually they will be in 2 months arrears and you will have the correct grounds to serve a section 8 on the grounds of 8, 10 and 11. the courts are not fit for purpose. I hope this helps

Easy rider

15:33 PM, 11th December 2023, About 7 months ago

Could somebody point me to the legislation that says a landlord needs to keep Gas Safety Certificates forever?

The HSE stay we need to keep them for two years (see ‘What are my duties as landlord in relation to gas safety’, paragraph 3).

https://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/faqlandlord.htm

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