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Possession route question


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I need to get possession of a flat where my tenants are currently on a monthly periodic tenancy, in 16 years of being a landlord I have never had to do this (guess I have been lucky, never mind I suppose it had to happen at one stage). After a little more reading around the subject I see that you cannot use the section 21 accelerated route if the tenancy agreement is lost (which it is, how unlucky is that out of all the tenancy agreements I have issued since 1991 in 4 properties, this is the only missing one, from 2002). So my section 21 route seems to be issue a section 21 to require possession after Oct 31st (they are on a 1st to the last day of the month periodic tenancy) followed by a 3 month wait for the standard procedure hearing.

I have noticed however (unless I am mistaken) that I could actually initiate court proceedings within 2 weeks using a section 8 notice, but citing only grounds 10 and 11 which I appreciate are not manditory (as ground 8 for 2 months arrears is) but would be at the judges discetion whether he gave possession or not. The sction 8 action would offer faster possession if the judge used his discretionary powers. As the standard procedure also offers the opportunity to recover rent arrears (instead of taking out a separate small claims court action) it might help as when my tenant seeks advice she will no doubt be told this and might encourage her not to stop paying the rent altogether.

Does anyone know under what type of circumstances a judge would allow the tenant to stay on, despite being in arrears since May 2006 (yes I have been rather foolish to allow this to continue for so long, although at the moment her arrears are only £1,000 I have had enough, want her out and get my life back)? Also does anyone know if there is any reason why I cannot do both, i.e. commence a section 8 action right now and a section 21 procedure to tie in with their current periodic tenancy (at the end of the month)? Because if I can do both it provides me with the opportunity that she vacates on or before the 31st October and I will also have given myself another key date only approx 3 weeks later when the standard hearing for section 8 would be.

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