Section 21 with no lease – Help!

Section 21 with no lease – Help!

by Readers Question

Guest Author

9:36 AM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago 12

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Hi, I bought my first buy to let house in 2012 with a tenant in situ, and being naive and inexperienced, I never thought to issue a lease as my solicitor at the time arranged with the selling agent to have the rent payments paid directly into my bank account.

Now, all these years later, I have issued a Section 21, my first ever, only to find, when going to fill in the possession paperwork details of the lease, multiple questions about the tenancy agreement and having to send them in with the claim form.

Does this mean that the Section 21 is invalid, and if so, what are my alternatives?

Thank you,

Joe


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Comments

Paul Essex

10:17 AM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Eek, have you done all of the other paperwork EPC, EICR, Gas safety etc Was there a deposit, do you even know if a deposit was taken.

It will be cheaper to pay the tenants to leave than trying to sort the mess you are now in.

Dylan Morris

10:38 AM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Your solicitor should have assigned over to you the original tenancy agreement held by the seller so you take over the existing tenancy. As far as I am aware there would be no need to reissue gas certificates or any paperwork. The deposit should also have been transferred over to you by the previous landlord. If the deposit was held with the DPS it’s a simple matter of pressing a button on the DPS website. If with another deposit provider there would be a similar arrangement I am sure.
I reckon you have a really strong case against your solicitor for negligence here.
Other issues did the tenancy (if there was one) go periodic and have you kept up to date by issuing updated How To Rent guides (assuming the tenancy did not go contractural periodic) ??

Dylan Morris

10:47 AM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Why do you want to issue a Section 21 ? If rent arrears you may be best to consider going down the Section 8 route here. May be best to contact a specialist eviction firm such as Paul Shamplina at Landlord Action or Chris Sharpe at The Landlord Group (both been featured in Chanel 5’s Rogue Tenants Slum Landlords programmes. I used The Landlord Group a few years ago and they were great.

White Collar

11:18 AM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago

It does not mean the Section 21 is invalid however one of the things you have to prove is that you are the landlord. You ought to have issued a notice to the tenant that you are the landlord.

The form you are using (assuming this is the N5B) is not appropriate for your Section 21 case given you may not have the paperwork. You may need to use the standard N5 and Particulars of Claim N119.

Happy to consult and advise further as appropriate.

Joe Boxer

12:40 PM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Essex at 17/04/2024 - 10:17
All paperwork was served with the section 21 notice - no deposit was ever taken by the previous landlord, nor by me

Joe Boxer

12:43 PM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by White Collar at 17/04/2024 - 11:18
I most likely introduced myself to the tenant, both in writing and personally, but after twelve years, i can't remember.
Thank you for your reply

Joe Boxer

12:47 PM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 17/04/2024 - 10:38
All paperwork is up to date - the only thing missing is the non existent tenancy agreement
Thank you for replying

Dylan Morris

13:02 PM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago

As far as I know (I’m not a lawyer so please check this out) you don’t need a written tenancy agreement it can be verbal. And under The Housing Act 1988 a tenancy is deemed to be an assured shorthold tenancy by default if the agreement does not state otherwise. So you might be okay without a written AST here…..but check this with a specialist.

White Collar

15:20 PM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Dylan Morris is correct that a tenancy need not be in writing. It can be verbal.

As there is no written tenancy agreement, you cannot use the N5B and cannot use the accelerated procedure.

DPT

15:28 PM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago

You can use s21, but not the accelerated procedure. Google "nearly legal s21 flowchart" to make sure the s21 would be valid.

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