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Section 21 procedure


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I have been owed rent by a tenant of mine since May 2006, the other 2 tenants have been paying and the rent owed is now approx £1,000 (the monthly rent for the flat is £1,200). Unfortunately I have lost/misplaced my copy of the tenancy agreement and so has the tenant and so has she (or at least she claims so, I do have a blank copy of that agreement though). She originally moved in with one other into the 3 bed flat on 23rd September 2002 and that tenancy agreement ended on 31st July 2003. It is my understanding that she is now on a periodic contract from the first to the last day of each month.

She claims that she is not responsible for the current vacant room in the flat (although I do have emails from her confirming she accepts responsibility on 2 separate occasions in the past when her previous flat mates moved out, are emails admissible in court?). Although she is now paying her own rent and arrears, she is saying the empty room is not down to her, although on Jan 1st 2007 she reduced her rent and increased the rent of the smaller room, this room became vacant in June this year. She is actually moving out at some stage because she is buying a flat. But she is saying that work is needed in that flat and does not expect to complete until xmas.

My problem therefore is:

The room is empty and seems to have an inflated rent so will probably remain so. I think I should issue a section 21 giving her 2 months notice (and her flat mate) to vacate by 31 October, and then pursue her in the small claims court for any arrears. But what do I do if she does not move out on or before the 31 October, I have no idea what the procedure is. I was told by the National Landlords Association that because I have lost the original contract the accelerated route is not an option. So what is my option? Is there something else I should be doing to ensure possession by the 31st October or do I have to wait until that date then do something if she does not move out? If so how long would that take? I have the felling that there is something else that I should do in addition to merely issuing the sction 21 notice.

Any advice would be appreciated, although I have been a landlord for over 15 years, I have been lucky enough to have never been in this predicament before.

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After reading around the subject on the internet I think I am a bit more informed now. Apparantly I issue the section 21 notice and if they move out fine, I then seek loss of rent in the small claims court.

If they do not move out then I seek possession via the courts with either the accelerated or standard procedure, here is where my confusion lies, although there was an original assured shorthold tenancy agreement, it is now lost. Can I still proceed with the accelerated route or does the fact that I have lost the tenancy agreement mean that I have to go down the standard route? There are various exchanges of emails referring to the tenancy agreement, plus I do actually have blank copy of the agreement that I issued (I can also produce actual tenancy agreements using that same contract both before and after the lost agreement which would hopefully establish that that agreement was being used by me at that time). I also have the covering letter sent out with the agreement (but I suppose that this letter would be meaningless as it could have been faked ie it does obvioulsy not have the tenants signatures on it).

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Hi Stodd

if ast is for whole flat (as she has agreed) then she has to pay for whole flat (joint ast)

If she claims that she is renting a room then if room is empty go and put a lock on it so she cannot use it !

Personally i would give her 2 months S21 and an invoice for arrears to be cleared within 10 days (ALL of them - whole flat ) plus 15 % Debt collector fee plus interest @5% > BoE base .....sent by registered del ............or the option to vacate amicably under her own steam within 10 days and a fig you are happy with .....Take control quickly and do not stand for anymore nonsense and explain that if she wants to be a txxt you are going to be a bigger one !!!

What possible right has she got to adjust rent s on rooms (unless on a Joint ,and several ast - in which case she is liable for the lot ......)

You have won before you start as long as you "steer" the situation carefully - analyse all angles and have the "!hammer" ready to fall on all avenues of the arguement .........

Please let us know the outcome .......I love idiot like this (T)

surf about a bit on this forum for loads of detailed advice on debt collectors and the power of the the threat - much more than the use of .....

Let the physcological war commence ..................LOLOL


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Hi Simon,

Yes I realize that she is hopelessly wrong and has no case, but the problem is that dealing with irrational people like her eventually grinds you down. I have allowed it to go on for too long, along if it does go as far as going to court at least that should stand me in good stead, for exercising extreme patience and understanding. I have just issued the section 8 notice citing grounds 10 and 11. Personally I do not think she will go to court, although she is skint I am hoping she is able to borrow and pay up then disapear out of my life. I will post what happens. I have just got back in from posting the notice so she will either get it tomorrow or the day after.


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