Jump to content



Recommended Posts

My tenant, on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy expiring on Oct 13 2007, has lost his job and has not paid rent due on first Oct.

I have sent a letter requesting payment. Telephone reply, lost job cannot pay at the moment. I have given him until the end of this month

to pay Oct rent and advised him I expect Nov rent on time.

I doubt he will be able to pay either. Having been fortunate enough, in 20yrs of letting, of not having a tenant who cannot pay I am not sure of the best way to proceed.

Should I serve a Notice Requiring Possession S21 and if so a Periodic or a Fixed Term Notice?

Do I have to give a full 2 months notice, as tenancy paid monthly? If so from agreed payment date of first of the month or 14th of month, tenancy start date?

Should I bring in Debt Collectors if so when? ( Rodent pse advise).

I must admit in the 10 months of occupancy tenant has only failed to pay on time once before. So, am I being a bit unreasonable?

I also have 6 weeks rent as a deposit.

All advice gratefully received.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whatever you do, don't hang around waiting for things to sort themselves. At least if notice is served it can be rescinded by you later. Try putting it to him that though served, you will still allow a period of time to rectify matters but will enforce the notice if nothing subsequently happens. Date to serve by depends on the rent due date, which sounds like the first of the month so serve before then. The type of S21 notice depends on where you are in the tenancy term and will need to be a min of 2 months. I've had a similar situation and was able to work through it with the tenant but there're no guarantees.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Ossy

T is communicating and hopefully being truthfull re job !!

Horses for courses here ....I am not going to disagree with GPEL as his advice is sound and absolutely correct ....


If rent is not due until 1st of oct how is he late already ?

Does he propose to leave on 13/10 unaware(as so many T are )that they must give notice and further more does your ast state 1 or 2 months as N period?

How did he respond to you reauesting payment by the end of the month ?

Can he get someone to lend him cash whilst he gets another job ?

A lot of how i react to this situation depends very much on the individual concerned....

I would not be rushing for DC or S21 unless you want him out ....do you....? or is he a good tenant who has just got a problem that can easily be solved ...?

If someone says to me " icant pay the rent at the moment " me my knee jerk response is " okay ..well that could cause a problem ..as i am going to have to ring the mortgage co and tell them i cant pay the mortgage ...what do you think they are going to say to me !!??! ..." I keep it fairly light hearted for the beginning then next ascertain why they cant pay ...okay we know why !.....so next is going to be "when are you going to be in a position to pay ?" if the guy has committed to pay by the end of the month and does ..and gets another job in the next few weeks ..and is a good tenant then i presume all is well .....

By coincidence i had a call yesterday from on of my T to tell me that a "magic tap" in the ensuite of one of my props had turned itself on and stayed on all night, also the plug had fallen into the sink and for 7 hors had poured thru the ceiling straight thru his flatmates bed in the room below .....the carpet was completely sodden as was the mattress ....(not surprisingly!).....the ceiling has paint bubbles all over it but most of the water came thru the light ...!

I called in this morning armed with an industrial fan and heater to dry the place out ....only to be greeted with more good news ...the guy whose room was flooded had gone to stay with his mother until the room is sorted and would not be paying rent !!!!!....

Upon investigation the "magic tap" was absolutely fine ....so i kept it light hearted and old the T who had left it on that that it was up to him how he handled it as he had caused the problem and not only would i not be wearing non payment of rent that when it was all dried out he was likely to be getting a bit of a redec bill!

At this point he says " I've got another little problem ....i was made redundant on friday....."


"you are not having a very good weekend are you !!!???????"

There are 5 professional guys all around 21/22 on a Joint ast start jul07 finish july08 they ...now what do i do ...use DC issue notice ???

SxxT happens ..it is how you deal with it ...that will have a huge effect upon the out come ....

I am not losing any sleep over it yet ...as i will negotiate a payment plan with him if neccesary(i also take payment by CC which is extremely useful in these ocassions!!) and gently help to pacify the "wet" one ! if they renege on plan then

i will start looking at DC etc

What you do next depends on what whether you want them to stay or go ...If they are abrupt and will not commit to payment on time (or an acceptable time frame for you ) then yes i would put it in writing explaining that if pymnt not rcd by xxx then matter will be passed to DC incurring further costs(YOU MUST OUTLINE EXACT COST..15 % AND NAME DC OR YOU CANNOT CHARGE THEM WITH THESE COSTS) but urging them to resolve the matter on time to avoid incurring unnecessary and expensive costs ......

I get far more concerned when someone does have a job and cant pay !!!

If you really want to cover your Axxe then Gpel is right ...Issue s21 with the knowledge that you can retract it ...you are not exposed to massive financial risk here as 6/8 weeks are covered by the deposit ? Iwould throw a call in every week just to keep on top of situation ( i will no doubt be accused of harassment now !!) but i am a frindly approachable guy and am not overly formal unless i need to be so wouldn't consider this a problem unless of course T does ..

Please keep us informed..



Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Does he propose to leave on 13/10 unaware(as so many T are )that they must give notice"

Could you explain WHY this or any other Tenant NEEDS to give notice please?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes simon this IS a real question.

Shall I break it down for people?

The current fixed term tenancy has a start date and an end date therefore the tenancy ends on this date (13/10) and the Tenant doesn't have to give notice -although it may be deemed polite to do so. This is why all Landlords who haven't 'checked' that their Tenant is staying on after the fixed term really should do so.

This is how the OFT view this situation

"Notice not required for fixed term agreements"

A tenant is not required to give notice to bring the tenancy to an end at the end of the fixed term. That is because a fixed term agreement comes to an end at the end of the fixed term, and no periodic tenancy will arise if the tenant then leaves. We appreciate that landlords will want to ensure that their properties are not left empty between tenancies, but object to terms that impose a contractual obligation on the tenant to give notice in order for the tenancy to be terminated at the end of the fixed term. This could allow the landlord to impose a substantial financial penalty on tenants who do not realise that notice is not required, by requiring them to pay rent for a period after the end of the fixed term. Terms such as this are not necessary to protect landlords from the possibility that their property will be left empty, as the law allows landlords to recover possession at the end of the fixed term by serving at least two months' notice, and they could do so where their current tenant fails to indicate when asked whether they intend to stay on. The landlord and tenant could of course still agree to a renewal of the tenancy even after such notice was served.

OFT guidelines are not the law, but they can influence a judgement. They are there to encourage fair practice and discourage standard terms in contracts that undermine the rights of the consumer. So writing into an AST that the Tenant NEEDS to give one months notice really should only take effect once this trips into a periodic Tenancy. Although I'm sure that some solicitors and the CAB may disagree with this, i'd be prepared to argue this in court because then the initial contract may be seen as unfair. Who knows.

Now, simon's other question, why does a Landlord need to give a Tenant notice?? . . . because it is the LAW!!

Ossy's case is a difficult one because he's not stated whether or not the T is going to leave although from the post mentioning November rent I'm guessing he's planning on staying.

Also the fact that he mentions October's rent and we're not yet past September makes me wonder whether he means September's rent was missed.

If this is the case I would have served notice directly to finish 2 months after the end date of the fixed term and not waited til now to investigate.

Ossy I think we need some clarity here please . . .. .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Without a contratual term to give notice a month before the end of the fixed period, J4L is correct that the tenant could just walk away without any further obligations. However, the jury is defn still out if there is a contractual term to give notice for the end of the fixed period if that was agreed by the tenant. OFT's bias on this hasn't as far as I am aware been tested in law. There are split views on the likely outcome. Notwithstanding this, still try and ascertain tenants intentions before the end of the fixed period. My view is to put the clause in as it may help promote communication from the tenant but if not provided and the tenant ups and walks, then make a judgement whether to enforce or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry guys I made a mistake,(must be cracking up), tenants rent was due 1st Sept but I agreed under protest that he could pay on the 21st Sept. Rent has still not been paid. Tenancy was from Oct 14th 06 to Oct 13th 07 with a fixed term of 6months after which tenant can give a minimum of 1 months notice and LL 2 months. I assumed that tenant was into Periodic Tenancy and have served a Periodic Tenancy S21

as he has not advised he would be leaving on Oct 13th. I request all tenants to give me at least one months notice of departure so that I can arrange for new tenants.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the Tenancy was fixed for 6 months then the agreement was not october 06 - october 07 it was from october 06 - April 07.

If your AST gives above dates then the term is 'fixed' for 12 months and not 6, effectively meaning that the periodic doesn't start until the 14th october 07.

My guess is your dates are wrong on this and you could experience problems in a court.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...