Section 21 notice coming to end, and we need approx. 2 more months | The Tenants' Voice
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Section 21 notice coming to end, and we need approx. 2 more months

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515 views 3 replies latest reply: 16 January 2017
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Tenant

Hi all,

New to the forum and posting my first question; of course will be grateful for your kind advice / any pointers.

As private tenants (which seem to be the biggest sin of one’s life), we were given a section 21 notice on 20th Nov 2016, which expires on 20th Jan (last date for tenancy as per the notice). It seems that we haven’t been able to find/secure a suitable property in time but we have secured a property that is available Mid April 2017, hence in a tricky situation on our hands now.

Family with toddlers…DEFINITELY plan to move in April as stated above!

Please if you can share some advice on the below questions: (thanks in advance)

  • I have asked the letting agents/landlord to extend the notice or retract the notice etc. , explaining the situation on hand, that we can move out mid April. They’ve refused to accommodate this situation, and have said that the notice stands as is. What will happen if we were to stay beyond the end date as per the notice?
  • What is the accelerated possession procedure (APP) step by step please? Especially the avg. timescales for it? Steps?
  • Is it worth for the landlord to go on the court possession order track? Considering we’re only asking for just over two more months!
  • Never any missed rent payments or any other issues, absolutely a ‘no fault’ notice, will a possession order in favour of the landlords cause a CCJ or similar item to appear on our file / credit history etc.?
  • Are we able to explain the situation as our defense/provide more info in the form that will be sent to us with the possession order?  Will it help the cause?
  • The fact that we have toddlers with us, is it going to help the cause in this to stop the possession order? Or to achieve a delayed/suspended possession order till April?
  • anyone with similar previous experience to share some info?

I’ll be awaiting some helpful feedback/information on the above.

Thanks

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Tenant

Hello, 

Before I proceed to the questions, I want to just mention that we’re not lawyers and legal professionals. This advice should be taken as is, and you really need to get a solicitor’s opinion if you’re likely to become homeless. At least call Shelter or Citizen Advice for more help. 

Here we go:

If the letting agent refuses to give you an extension, you may ask the landlord directly. The landlord may be more lenient than the letting agent. 

If you stand past the Section 21 notice nothing happens. The S21 is required for the landlord to proceed into the real eviction. S21 is not an eviction, but merely asking you to leave peacefully. 

Accelerated possession generally goes like so:

  • The landlord has successfully served a Section 21 notice to the tenant, giving two months of time and that time has expired.
  • The landlord needs to file a claim to the court, requesting possession of the property under the accelerated possession procedure.
  • The landlord needs to fill in this form (http://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/n005b-eng.pdf) and provide a copy to the tenant and the court.
  • The tenant has 14 days to fill in a defense form (http://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/n011b-eng.pdf) and send it the court and the landlord.
  • The court will then make a decision provided on the documents supplied by both sides. There is no court hearing (thus accelerated).

You can use the defense form to ask the court for an extension before the eviction goes into effect. See “Postponement of possession” in the link I added above. I can’t tell you if you’d be successful, but I don’t find a reason, except if the landlord doesn’t provide one, to not give you a two month extension before you have to leave.

If the court gives the landlord a possession order, this means you will get (I think) 14 days to leave the property and move out. IF you don’t, the landlord has to apply to the council bailiffs and request a “warrant of execution”. This means the council bailiffs will come to the property and physically move you out. You will receive a notification from them about the date when this will happen. 

This entire process may take a month or two, so even in the worst-case scenario, you can probably delay the eviction enough to meet your desired date. 

Is it worth for the landlord to do this ? Probably not, but it’s their decision. They may ask the court to make you pay the legal fees, and you’re still liable for rent even though you’re being evicted, so it may come out relatively free for them, minus the time and effort, which is the agent’s job anyway.

If the landlord goes through the eviction, you will get a CCJ in your name – no way around it, but to negotiate something with the landlord and not take it to court. 

On your last two questions, the court can decide to give you an extension based on the circumstances, but there is not way to tell which factors will they take into account. You need to make the defense form as compelling as possible. 

However, let me get back to the first point – please do whatever you can to contact the landlord and try to negotiate a two month extension. 

I’ll leave you with a couple of links for more information, please read them thoroughly:

http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/advice_from_us/section-21-notice-to-quit/

http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/advice_from_us/section-8-notice-seeking-possession/

http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/advice_from_us/grounds-for-eviction/

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Tenant

Hi Audrey,

 

Thanks for your kind reply. I wish things were slightly easier in today’s world. But then again I think there are people who are worse off then us, so we don’t have an automatic right to complain really I guess. Staying over S21 is our absolute last resort and It looks like we may have to go to that resort and keep our fingers crossed. This is the first ever time we’d be doing something like this in over 12 years of renting. I feel for other decent tenants like us sometimes, it is so a landlord market and they get the money they want for their properties too, because so many people are struggling to buy.

 

After having experienced first hand, I wish if we had a magic wand, the first thing we would’ve sorted out will be the landlords.

 

Below are some comments + some questions I guess!

 

Before I proceed to the questions, I want to just mention that we’re not lawyers and legal professionals. This advice should be taken as is, and you really need to get a solicitor’s opinion if you’re likely to become homeless. At least call Shelter or Citizen Advice for more help. 

 

I totally appreciate that and thank you for your reply and the advice. I’ve been trying to contact Shelter helpline for 3 days now, always busy and one cannot even sty in the queue. You have keep recalling and keep getting the same message and keep trying and so on….

 

If the letting agent refuses to give you an extension, you may ask the landlord directly. The landlord may be more lenient than the letting agent. 

 

I can ONLY wish that the landlords these days had some courtsey and trust left in at least some decent tenants, if not in the trouble makers. We don’t have landlord’s contact details, which is common practice when dealing via letting agents. + Letting agents wouldn’t even get us in tuch with landlords when asked for it.

 

Accelerated possession generally goes like so:

 

• The landlord needs to fill in this form (http://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/n005b-eng.pdf) and provide a copy to the tenant and the court.

 

Does the landlord provide a copy to tenants or the court sends a copy to the tenant once submitted by landlord?

 

The tenant has 14 days to fill in a defense form (http://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/n011b-eng.pdf) and send it the court and the landlord.


Again, does the tenant provide a copy to landlord or the court sends a copy to the them ?

 

This entire process may take a month or two, so even in the worst-case scenario, you can probably delay the eviction enough to meet your desired date. 

 

Do you think the ENTIRE process can take just a month in some cases? as obviously in that case it’ll still be a problem for us I guess!

 

Is it worth for the landlord to do this ? Probably not, but it’s their decision. They may ask the court to make you pay the legal fees, and you’re still liable for rent even though you’re being evicted, so it may come out relatively free for them, minus the time and effort, which is the agent’s job anyway.

 

Well, having experienced some useless landlords first hand now (veen being a professional tenant), never a problem with a rent payment, always paid via direct debits etc. , I think they will do whatever to harrass a decent and genuine family. And of course I’ll continue to pay rent if I was to overstay S21; I am not going to stop any payments or create any other trouble, which is normal for tenants like us I guess.

 

If the landlord goes through the eviction, you will get a CCJ in your name – no way around it, but to negotiate something with the landlord and not take it to court.

 

As per some information online (that i have come across), a CCJ is only issued IF any rent arrears were due? Is that correct or not! We don’t have any rent arrears at all.

Also, I read that even if there are rent arrears and the court orers the tenant to pay these back, and if paid back in 28 days time, then there is no CCJ on the register against the tenant?

 

However, let me get back to the first point – please do whatever you can to contact the landlord and try to negotiate a two month extension. 

 

I genuinely wish people could talk through things. Today’s society or at least it seems the landlords’ guild, doesn’t have any decency left in them whatsoever. I can understand the trouble tenants and lack of confidence on landlords’ side, but they shouldn’t just put everyone in the same category and stick to black & white contract and notices stuff., and top of all NOT TALK.

 

 

Thanks once again for your time and answers Audrey.

 

Regards

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Landlord

Hi SP,

Has your agent not issued you with a Sec. 48 Notice [of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987] giving the Landlord’s contact address? You’re entitled to/should have had this at the outset – should you ever have cause to serve a Notice on the Landlord. (Won’t include a Tel. No. but you could write directly). Whilst I don’t know your L/Lord’s situation, I’m sure any Landlord who had a decent tenant, would definitely try to be helpful if they could, especially for a long term tenant! It’s possible the Agent may not even have made the effort to contact the L/Lord to explain your circs? (if it was more work for the agent?)

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