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Hello, my tenants have been in my property for 8.5 years with minimal problems. They are a married couple with two children. They have told me that the woman has left and the man is there with the children. My concern is payment of course. He has paid on time for the last three months since he's been on his own but this month is one day late so far but I'm not worried as yet.

Historically if the women went away and left him to pay the rent he sometimes didn't and on two occasions over the 8.5 years I've had to chase hard for it and got it eventually.

Is there anything I should do now there is only one person in the flat who will be paying the rent? A guarantor or something like that?

Any advice would be welcomed.



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How easy will it be for the man to work and look after 2 kids at the same time ?......seems an impossibility to me.

So, if he's looking after kids and not working = less income. That usually results in things not getting paid as food and other necessities take priority and rent is often the last thing that gets paid.

Is there anything I should do now there is only one person in the flat who will be paying the rent? A guarantor or something like that?

1. Find out what the arrangements are for his work, childcare, the return of the wife and the payment of rent.

2. Pending receipt of that info.....try not to worry unduly.

3. Promise yourself that when you next let a property you will get rent guarantee insurance or a home owning guarantor.

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I would issue a Section 21 4(a) now to protect yourself in the future. Explain to the tenant that it is just a precaution as you are concerned for his situation.

Is the deposit protected and PI given. I note that tenancy maybe outside May 2007 but it is recommended that all deposits are protected now.

Section 21 may not be valid without deposit protection.

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Thank you for your responses. I have just been round to the property and neither the mother or the father (tenants - people on the AST) are at the property, only one son. The son has given me the number of the father who is now in Kenya for 3 weeks but he didn't know when he would be back. I have decided I want to ask them to leave, the property is not in a good state, it isn't terrible but the whole place will need decorating. And I do not trust the man paying in the future.

In regard to issuing the Section 21 and neither of the tenants being at the property, what can I do? I've asked for an email address of both the parents, can I issue it via email, but how do I evidence receipt? I want to issue this immediately.

Any other advice?

Many thanks

Paul Grove

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Just out of interest and no racial discrimination intended - are these tenants African by any chance?

Do not renew the AST and allow it to go periodic if tenant does not vacate on last day of tenancy. If you renew the AST tenants will be there for another 6 months possibly.

Issue the Section 21 to the address in the name of the tenants on your agreement. Does not matter if he is in Kenya, Dubai or Tunbridge Wells. Send it by 1st class post from 2 separate post offices and get the free 'proof of posting' slip - make sure you keep them safe.

Sit back and wait. Once the notice period is up apply for a court order to remove the tenants whether they pay the rent up or not.

Start again with well referenced tenants.

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Thank you Morticia. Yes they are African, why do you ask?

I will go to periodic now after the AST has elapsed, do I need to issue a periodic contract? So does that then follow that I issue the Section 21(4)a? I don't mean to question your knowledge but from what I've read about issuing S21 I have to evidence receipt of it. Is that correct? If I send by RM and get the proof of posting slip, will that be enough evidence in court (if necessary) of them receiving it?

To add, I spoke to the male tenant yesterday - I called him in Kenya, he has promised to pay the rent on 17th (when he's back in UK) so I've written him a letter and posted it to confirm our agreement and pointed out that he will need to pay June's rent on 29th. He was very apologetic and said he wanted to continue living there but I have decided I want him to leave.

The Deposit that I put into the Deposit Scheme in 2009 is still there but I haven't done anything else since with it - do I need to? I issued them with the relevant notification at the time but that was it.

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My nieghbour who is white English belongs to a church with a lot of Africans in the congregation and if she says 'can we all meet at 1pm' the Africans nearly always will turn up by 6pm - it is just how they are and seems same with your rent payer! He has gone off forgetting all about the rent.

Do not write to the tenant about the tenancy going periodic - absolutely no need as it happens automatically. Leave deposit exactly where it is for time being.

Serve Section 21 4 b in the fixed period of the AST and Section 21 4 a in the periodic phase of a tenancy. These are the correct terms.

So assuming the rental period runs from 29th of the month to the 28th and you are still in the fixed period of the tenancy you need to issue a Section 21 4 b saying you want possession under the Housing Act 1988 'after 28th August 2014'. Send it this week so you are well in time and keep the 2 separate postage receipts from 2 separate post offices. This is widely accepted in the courts in England and Wales as a correct method of service. (If you did send it 'signed for' there is a fair chance no one will sign for it knowing it is something bad.)

Sit back and wait. When 29th August comes and he has not moved out fill out a form N5b from HMCS to apply for a court order for possession. Tenant has to pay rent throughout this period - if he does not it can come from the deposit or you may have to do a separate money claim to get the rent off him as a debt.

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Morticia, thank you for your advice. I've issued the 21 4 b this week and not heard anything but I didn't expect to as the tenant is still in Kenya. I expect I will hear something next week. I did it exactly as you explained above.

I came across a letter on here that someone uses to send to his exiting tenants detailing the expectations of the property on leaving. I'm thinking of using that.

To be honest I've only had these tenants for 8 years so am naive in many parts of the process. Would you mind if I PM you or can you direct me to other parts of this forum to find out the information I will need?

Once ey have gone and I'm ready to rent again I will need information on carefully screening for the right tenants etc.

Many thanks

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Only had tenants 8 years! I would expect to have to do quite a bit of work after that amount of time but tenant must leave place clean.

It is generally accepted that carpets should be changed every 8 -10 years anyway.

When tenant returns ..... and if he contacts you keep it amicable but maybe go around and point out the obvious cleaning that may need doing. I think Richlist on here has a standard letter for that - maybe he could post it again?

PM me if you like but Richlist's letter did seem to cover everything.

Hope all goes well!

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Here's the letter:-

Your name & address


IMPORTANT - This letter contains important information for the return of your deposit.


Re: End of Your Tenancy Agreement for XXXXXXRental Address.

Thank you for notifying us today that you wish to end your tenancy of rental address. The earliest your tenancy can end is XXXXX date 2013. This letter is to advise you how you should leave the property when you move out.

1. Its important that you leave the property in a clean & tidy condition. General wear & tear is accepted but any damage, breakages, missing items or anything that is not clean may result in a deduction from your deposit. If you are unsure then please contact us. Its important that the property is handed back to us in a condition that is suitable for new tenant(s) to move in immediately. We prefer to return complete deposits as this means we have had no work to do.

You should ensure that the whole of the property is clean including (but not only):-

  • Carpets.

  • Curtains.

  • Lampshades/ light fittings.

  • All kitchen equipment including walls & tiles.

  • All bathroom equipment.

  • Windows.

  • Any marks on walls, woodwork, door frames, skirting boards etc have been cleaned off.

  • Any mirrors or glass have been cleaned.

  • All light bulbs & smoke detectors are working.

  • The oven & hob are clean.

  • The fridge is defrosted (please ensure water from fridge does not run onto floor & damage kitchen units/ floor coverings).

  • Any soft furnishings supplied have been cleaned, this includes- shower curtains & net curtains & floor mats.

  • Anything else that has been provided & that you will hand back to the landlord.

    2. Your deposit is held within the Tenancy Deposit Scheme operated by XXXXXX complete as necessary. Payment of all or part of the deposit will normally be made within 10 working days of the end of the tenancy.

    3. Please ensure you provide us with a forwarding address.

    4. If you have changed the electricity/ gas supplier you must provide the details. Currently our records show XXXXXXXX as the supplier. Please advise us if this is NOT correct.

    5. You must also ensure that :

  • All instruction books are left at the property.

  • All the keys are returned.

  • You have contacted the utilities: Electric, Water, Sewerage & Council Tax.

  • You have made a note of the meter readings.

  • You dispose of all rubbish before you leave.

  • You have removed all of your personal belongings.

  • Note: Royal Mail can redirect your mail for a charge, for up to one year……but we are happy to forward your mail on to your new address for a week or two.

    6. When you leave, turn OFF all electrical appliances, ensure all doors & windows are locked and post your keys through the letterbox.

    If you are unsure of anything, please contact us.

    Yours sincerely

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Hello - My tenant is back from his holiday.

He agreed to pay the rent on arriving back on 17th June. He's told me he got his dates conused when he gets paid (yeah right) and will pay on 20th. I told him he will need to pay again on 29th but he said it will be late again. (rent due on 29th)

He confirmed he received my notice Section 21 4 b but has said he will ignore it and we need to talk.

What would you suggest as nect steps?

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Classic African reply re 'we need to talk' - I'm sure your tenant could be very persuasive.

You need to be in control - do not let the tenant control things by 'talking'. If it were me I would not talk and refuse all verbal communication reminding him of YOUR decision and that you expect to see the back rent paid in full. Give em an inch and they will take a yard.

Stick it out - time will be up soon and you can apply for the court order if he does not move out on expiry of the S21

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Thanks Mortitia.

I am sending a letter to him and his wife confirming what he's sent me in a text. Basically that he agreed to pay on 13th now it is 20th and he needs to pay again on 29th. In the same letter I am expressing my disappointment at the state of the porperty and thay he needs to ventilate the whole flat and get the gardens back in order by cutting back and mowing the lawns. All this I'm putting in a letter that I will send tomorrow.

Then I will send the letter that RL supplied going into more detail about how the property should be left on exiting. When would you suggest I send this letter?

I know he isn't going to do any of it and I'm not convinced I'm going to get paid for rent now either. With that in mind how do I go about getting the money legally?

Many thanks

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I know he isn't going to do any of it and I'm not convinced I'm going to get paid for rent now either. With that in mind how do I go about getting the money legally?

How....legally ?

Does that mean you know a way of getting money from someone illegally ?

Only illegal way I know is to threaten to break their legs , even then they probably wouldn't pay. Some still wouldn't pay if you went ahead and broke both legs. :D

So, for the future make sure you have rent guarantee insurance or a home owning guarantor. Before you take any court action on this problem you need to assess the tenants ability to pay......winning in court and getting paid back at £5 per week doesn't sound attractive does it.

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I know of a debt collector you could use. He has worked and collected for me in the past after I have reached a dead end trying to collect myself. The good side is he doesn't charge if he doesn't collect the bad side is he charges 20% of what he does collect.

All done by phone and letter. Let me know if you want his details.

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GrosAve - does this tenant have any assets such as a nice car not on tick? Is he in work? If there is a yes to either or these then you may have a chance via MCOL (google it). Start a claim before he moves out or you will be trying to trace him.

Did you have an inventory done as to the condition of the property before letting? If not you will be barking up a gumtree to get money for damages I'm afraid.

How much deposit is protected?

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I take on board what you're saying.

Yes I did do a thorough inventory of the property as they moved in 8 years ago which I still have and is signed. No photographs though.

I have £850 deposit protected.

Yes both the tenants work and I believe they have cars.

Have Googled MCOL and this seems a viable option. I want to wait to see if he pays May rent on Friday and then June's on 29th (hmm). Would you suggest I start this (if necessary) nearer the end of the notice?

When would you suggest I send the letter out that Richlist supplied? Nearer the end of the notice or now?

Richlist - I know people who shoot kneecaps off but mummy & daddy always told me violence wasn't the way forward :ph34r::rolleyes:. Points noted about Rent Guarantee insurance and home owning guarantor.

As always, appreciate all your advice and as mentioned before, this has been my only tenancy albeit a long one and I am completely virgin to serving notice so I just want to make sure I do it properly so if it does got to court I will be confident I have covered everything correctly.

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You will of course need to make some adjustments to my template letter to reflect your individual circumstances before sending it out.

There are firms who will handle the serving of notices and any legal action for you so you don't have to spend the time & effort or concern yourself about getting it right.....here's one:


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