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Tenant agrees to leave but council telling her to stay!


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Hello everyone,

I rent my three bed house to a single mother with four children. Over two and a half years she has caused thousands of pounds worth of damage :angry: and to cut a long story short I told her it was best she leave to which she agreed. :)

I sent her written notice via a solicitor giving her two months to vacate the premises. She went to the council to get re-housed and they told her there was nothing they could do until the last day of the notice period which was two days ago, the 17th February.

When she called the council on the 17th they told her not to leave my property and if she did I would be prosecuted and that I would have to take her to court if she wanted re-housing! :(

Who would prosecute me and what for if the tenant has agreed to leave? Can the council give this sort of advice? Surely my contract is with my tenant and if we both agree to terminate that contract it is nothing to do with the council?

I called my solicitor who informed me he only dealt with issuing legal agreements and would be out of his depth acting on my behalf. I know I need to find a solicitor but before I do I wondered if anyone here could give me any advice on this matter please?

Regards to everyone

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Hi there,

I think there has been a mis-understanding between some parties in all this.

The council cannot prosecute you if you have given notice in the correct manner but if this woman will not leave (and it seems that she may have been advised not to) then you will have to get a court order to get her to leave and it is usually at this point that the council will miraculously re-house her to mess up somewhere else. If you try to enter the premises before this time and the bailiff evicting her you could be prosecuted for harrassment.

I would guess that the council have told her to stay put until you have a court order and get a bailiff to evict her - so you need to get on with it. Either find a solicitor who is a landlord and tenant specialist or do it yourself by researching Section 21 on this site and on the net in general. Depending on your area it could take up to 12 weeks or more. During this time you are still entitled to rent - I take it she is on benefit?

Is the solicitor you have used for the notice the one who cannot help you now? Obtaining a court order often fails due to the notice not being givn correctly in the first place - even by solicitors - just somethig else you might want to check out.

Hope this helps,


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Hello Mortitia,

Thank you so much for your reply.

Yes she is on benefits and yes the solicitor I used is the one that cannot help now (which amazed me). I paid £100 for him to send a letter recorded only for the council to say it was not clear enough and had to send it again. He advised I would need a court order if she refused to leave but at no time did he say I would still have to go to court if she agreed to leave.

I assumed I had given notice in the correct manner, that is why I went to a solicitor, I have never had to do this before and wanted to do everything above board and legal.

I'm assuming I have been badly advised by this solicitor?

Thank you again.

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It is local council policy that rehousing of families into council/private accomodation will only take place after a Court has granted possession of the rented property to the Landlord.

This process may take anything up to 3 months to complete and be warned the documentation will have to be 100% correct or you go back to square one in the eviction process.


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Hi Candy Man,

Just to anwer your last question - yes solicitors make mistakes especially in this 'correct notice' area. On 2 occasions now I have bought a property with a tenant who the previous owner could not get to go because the notice was not served correctly and the owner gave up in disgust.

Either get a solicitor with exprtise in this area (I did) or go it alone having researched things. You may well have been the subject of a 'wrong notice' - ask for a copy and see. If so don't pay his bill.



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