Tenant asking not to extend S21?

by Readers Question

9:01 AM, 27th November 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Tenant asking not to extend S21?

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Tenant asking not to extend S21?

I have served a Section 21, giving the statutory two months notice, on my tenant who has been on a periodic tenancy for 7 or more years.

She is now asking me to write a letter/email which she can pass on to the council, saying that “I cannot extend the tenancy beyond the date I put on the Section 21.” This is because she wants to be rehoused by the council.

Please can anyone give me advice on this as I am concerned that I must get this right so I can take possession of the property without difficulty at the end of the notice.

Many thanks

Liz



Comments

JO CHAPMAN

10:16 AM, 27th November 2019
About 2 weeks ago

In my experience any letter you write will make no difference to the Council. They will not take any steps to rehouse her until the bailiffs have evicted her. One of my tenants was in the same position and the Council advised her to stay put until I had a court possession order and had instructed bailiffs. They told her that if she complied with the S21 date she would have made herself intentionally homeless and they would not have to help her. I would be interested to know other landlords experiences though.

Tom McGrath

11:10 AM, 27th November 2019
About 2 weeks ago

As Jo Chapman has correctly said, councils will only rehouse people who are ‘unintentionally homeless’ and evicted by a bailiff. The abolition of. Section 21 will mean that tenants lose the protection of the no fault eviction, and landlords will have to spell out the faults of the tenants (usually rent arrears or damage). This is a spectacular own goal by Shelter and a victory for councils, who will henceforward evade their duty of care.

Hardworking Landlord

11:44 AM, 27th November 2019
About 2 weeks ago

I have experienced the same thing / had the same request. The section 21 you have issued will have all the details the council needs in terms of confirmation that the tenancy is to end on a set date. In my situation, the council did aim to get a property for the tenant lined up for the end of the tenancy, so you may not have an issue. Depends on the council and also the tenant you have and thier circumstances. Writing an email for the tenant is just duplication and would carry less weight than the section 21 notice

Rob Crawford

12:21 PM, 27th November 2019
About 2 weeks ago

The tenant is trying to leave and acquire a council house as soon as possible. Unfortunately, despite Gov't guidelines, councils tend not to rehouse until evicted by bailiffs. The Section 21 should be enough and if you wrote the letter as requested it would just be laughed at. You will need to plan for bailiff eviction.

Rob Crawford

12:36 PM, 27th November 2019
About 2 weeks ago

.. following on from my previous comment. Councils will appreciate an early heads up of the serving of a section 21 possession notice. As such you could inform the council by letter and in that letter detail your expectation that the tenant will be re housed iaw with Gov't guidelines at the end of the section 21 expiry period, see: http://www.allwessex.co.uk/local-authority-advising-tenants-stay-beyond-section-21-notice-period/

Liz Buckland

12:57 PM, 27th November 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Thank you all for your very helpful thoughts on this tetchy subject. Much appreciated.

John Frith

14:27 PM, 27th November 2019
About 2 weeks ago

This raises a point I'd not considered before. If a tenant is evicted using S21, then presumably the council has usually accepted that this is consistent with the tenant NOT making themselves intentionally homeless. But when S21 is abolished, tenants will now be evicted on many different grounds (ASB, rent arrears etc.). Will this change the councils assessment of whether the tenant has made themselves intentionally homeless or not?

If S21 is no longer an option, maybe the councils will be able to class more evictions as "intentionally homeless", resulting in less tenants trying to game the system by going down that route? I'm looking for a silver lining here!

I would have thought ASB's would be construed as intentional.

I read of a case this year where the council argued that rent arrears were an intentional reason, because the tenant was in receipt of HB, and therefore had been given sufficient to cover all their rent, but that view was overturned by the court arguing that the tenant couldn't be expected to use non-housing benefits to "top up" the shortfall in HB, and therefore HADN'T made themselves intentionally homeless.

Rob Crawford

14:59 PM, 27th November 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Hardworking Landlord at 27/11/2019 - 11:44
I do think a reminder of the guidelines that the council should be following is worth referencing though!

Michael Barnes

23:59 PM, 27th November 2019
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by John Frith at 27/11/2019 - 14:27
Rent has to be affordable to the tenant for shortfall not to be considered "intentionally homeless".

Michael Barnes

0:00 AM, 28th November 2019
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Hardworking Landlord at 27/11/2019 - 11:44
Just to be clear, a S21 notice does not end a tenancy; it gives a date after which the LL may begin court action to regain possession.

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