Section 21 issued, now council have issued a substantial improvement order?

Section 21 issued, now council have issued a substantial improvement order?

by Readers Question

Guest Author

9:35 AM, 25th September 2023, About 9 months ago 12

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Hello, I have a tenant since 1996, but the recent interest rate increases have left me with more costs than income. I live far away and he has always been impossible to contact, ignoring texts and phone calls and returning recorded letters.

I issued a section 21 through Landlord Action and was just getting ready to fill the court form in but he has since contacted the council and I now have an improvement notice for extremely substantial works to get done within 3 months:

  • New heating system
  • New guttering
  • Soffits and facias
  • New windows throughout
  • New bathroom
  • New kitchen
  • New wiring
  • And plastering throughout.

I will get the work done because what choice do I have, but how can he live there with all that work being done?

Should I try and get him to move somewhere else in the meantime?

Second, is my Section 21 not valid now?

Will I have to start all over again in 3 months’ time?

Thank you,

Rufus


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Comments

Chris @ Possession Friend

11:24 AM, 25th September 2023, About 9 months ago

Refus,
Your welcome to contact us for some initial free advice.

Seething Landlord

11:39 AM, 25th September 2023, About 9 months ago

Extract from
https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/eviction/section_21_eviction/how_to_check_a_section_21_notice_is_valid

6. Is it revenge eviction because of repairs?
Some landlords try to evict tenants who ask for repairs.

You can sometimes stop a revenge eviction.

The section 21 notice will not be valid if you complained to your council about repairs and they gave your landlord:

an improvement notice

an emergency works notice

Your landlord cannot use a section 21 notice for 6 months after they get one of these.

The section 21 notice could also not be valid if:

you got it after writing to your landlord about repairs or bad conditions

the council then gives your landlord an improvement or emergency works notice

The council might only give your landlord a hazard awareness notice.

This does not protect you from revenge eviction."

Obviously the timing and sequence of events is crucial. Landlord Action should be able to advise.

It looks to me as though the LA might have overstepped the mark and perhaps applied the decent homes standard criteria so I would want to arrange my own urgent inspection and obtain a professional view on whether the requirements are justified or should be challenged.

What does your EICR say about the condition of the wiring? What is the condition of the kitchen and bathroom? What is the problem with the windows? Why does the heating system need to be replaced? Plastering throughout? They are demanding a full refurbishment, which might be desirable but probably not required. Professional advice needed.

SimonR

11:53 AM, 25th September 2023, About 9 months ago

Providing the Sec 21 was issued before receiving the improvement order form the council then it is still valid and you can continue with the eviction process.

Jonathan Willis

12:35 PM, 25th September 2023, About 9 months ago

Your s21 notice is still valid and you can proceed to court for a possession order, so long as you meet all the other criteria to ensure the notice is valid, gas certificates, EPC, right to rent, protected deposit etc.

An s21 notice is only invalid if issued within 6 months of the improvement notice been issued. As your notice was already served, and done so prior to any complaints about repairs from the tenant it won't be a "retaliatory" eviction.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/20/section/33/enacted

Tony Johnson

14:11 PM, 25th September 2023, About 9 months ago

All these requirements by the tenant are irrelevant.
He's not staying because he's out.
Section 21 is not conditional on anything.
It cannot be a revenge eviction because you don't have to give a reason.
Only after sec 21:is abolished can they try this tactic to delay a sec 8 through the courts
But if you're selling or moving in your family the tenants refurbishment demands are totally irrelevant.

Proceed with the eviction and ignore this nonsense.

Crouchender

14:15 PM, 25th September 2023, About 9 months ago

Until you see a formal notice from the council ignore it. LA will advise anyway.

Judith Wordsworth

14:46 PM, 25th September 2023, About 9 months ago

"I now have an improvement notice for extremely substantial works to get done within 3 months". Is this an official notice for the local authority?

When did you last do an inspection? Do any maintenance?

The list of works look like the property hasn't had any maintenance for years!

David Houghton

14:52 PM, 25th September 2023, About 9 months ago

Are there any grounds to appeal the improvement notice. Did you receive 24houts written notice. You have 3 weeks to launch an appeal. The improvement notice doesn't come into force until after the hearing, which of course may be after possession. You could for example argue that as you had already served s21 a hazard awareness notice or suspended improvement notice may have been .more appropriate. If the former then the la can't bill for the improvement notice either. As others have said it is the order of events that count. If you served s21 before complaint of disrepair then you are ok

Seething Landlord

14:53 PM, 25th September 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Tony Johnson at 25/09/2023 - 14:11
The "revenge eviction" provisions only apply to S21, not S8.

Ignore a valid improvement notice at your peril.

DPT

15:37 PM, 25th September 2023, About 9 months ago

The criteria for revenge eviction are very specific and unless the tenant raised any of these issues with you in writing before you served the s21 notice, then the Councils Improvement Notice will not invalidate the s21 under s33 of the Deregulation Act 2015. Conversely, if they did raise any of them formally, then your s21 is now invalid. Go back to Landlord Action for more help.

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