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First time evictor


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I have a tenant that is on housing benefit but pays a top up to the council contribution. She is behind with her payments and is perpetularly late paying. A few weeks ago we had trouble with the police who had to remove an at risk child (her brother's not hers) because she was high on something. She has been in the flat for 8 months and had a 6 month AST so I believe she now has a periodic tenancy.

So can I evict her? Do I use a Section 8 or Section 21 notice? How much notice do I need to give?

Many thanks.

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hope some other people reply with their experiences to give you some better guidance as I (thankfully) have never had to evict anyone.

you can use either section 8 or 21, my feeling is that a lot of people go with section 21 as you know at the end of it you will definitely get your house back, there is no element of discretion from the courts in it.

with section 8 there are some MANDATORY grounds for eviction (one being 8 (?) weeks in arrears) but if your tenant takes advice from Citizens Advice or elsewhere, she might pay just enough to take her arrears down below the level at which eviction is mandatory just before court hearing. for this reason if you use section 8 you should also add the ground of habitual late payment (can't remember what number ground this is) to your notice but this is not a mandatory ground for eviction, it is only discretionary. Judge can then give tenant a second chance if they have paid up some/all of arrears by court date.

so 21, maybe longer but outcome is guaranteed, 8 might be quicker as long as you have a tenant who doesn't try to "game" the situation.

section 21 you need to give 2 months notice to expire at the end of a rental period, so if your contract starts on 1st of month your rental period starts on the first day of every month so if you serve notice today (23/08) earliest you can ask her to leave is 31st October. if she doesn't leave by that date you must apply to courts for eviction order.

good luck!

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Does your tenant owe you more than 2 months rent? If so, section 8, ground 8 is available to you.

Section 8 ground 8, 10 & 11 has the advantage that the notice period is only 2 weeks, the court process can be commenced online at the (relatively) modest cost of £99 and you can request a court order that the tenant pays the missing rent. It has the disadvantage that it requires a court hearing (which makes the legal process longer) and if the tenant gets the rent owed to below 2 months at the time of the hearing ground 8 will fail (grounds 10 & 11 might succeed). http://tenancyanswer...f_contract/0-36

Section 21(4)(a) usually has no court hearing, and the court process is often complete within 6 weeks. Providing the paperwork is in order, it provides a guaranteed route to possession. However, it costs £175, the notice period is at least 2 months (can be up to 12 weeks) and there is no order for missing rent - if you want that you have to do a separate moneyclaim, which will cost even more. If you have taken a deposit and not protected it, you can't use section 21. http://tenancyanswer...f_contract/0-37

In both cases, if the tenant does not leave when the judge orders, you will need to employ court bailiffs to obtain possession for you - that will cost a further £110 and may take many weeks.

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YES - it is really really easy to get the dates wrong .... and it is even easier to get the dates wrong if you have a statutory periodic tenancy with a Housing Benefit tenant in situ!

Once the initial 6 month term comes to an end .... you create a SPT ...... and the tenancy is determined by the frequency that the rent is paid .... as defined in the tenancy agreement ... and this frequency of payment is used to calculate the dates for the Section 21 notice.

To explain ... most tenancies are 6 months in length and rent is paid monthly ... so when you create an SPT you create it on a month by month basis from the end of the 6 month term ....... so initial tenancy started on 1st Jan ... 6 months ends on 30th June .... SPT commences on a MONTH by month basis from 1st July ..... you need to give 2 months notice from 1st July..... so s21 expires AFTER ...... 31st August ....

BUT BUT BUT BUT this is really important .... if the tenancy states that rent is paid weekly, or 2 weekly or 4 weekly (which is often the case with DSS tenants because that is how their benefit is paid) .... then the calculation of the end date for Section 21 purposes is DIFFERENT because the SPT would have been created on a weekly, 2 weekly or 4 weekly basis and not a MONTH basis.

In the case of weekly, 2 weekly and 4 weekly tenancies ... you need to give a minimum of 2 months notice and the date for expiration MUST BE the last day of a weekly, 2 weekly or 4 weekly period ... otherwise the dates will be wrong .... So you need to give 2 months notice PLUS the number of days required to bring the weekly, 2 weekly or 4 weekly period to an end ...

Hope that helps ..........


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Good post Trenners.

I've often wondered what percentage of novice landlords who serve their own S21's actually do get it wrong........I suspect its very high.

Of course some who get it wrong, never know, because the tenant moves out anyway or the matter is resolved without court action.

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The 'Rent Period' is the period for which the payment of rent is made.

It can be seen that confusion can arise from start of tenancy dates,

payment dates that may vary or where a variance is requested by T,

or by DSS payments that detail the period 'they' decide to pay for.

For this reason my AST's detail that a tenancy period starts on the 1st of any month and is till the last day of that month.

Payments however and whenever made are for or toward a contracted tenancy period.

It is made clear now that the last day of a tenancy period, for all my tenancies, will be the last day of a month.

There is less chance of my making mistake with dates, but the saving clause on the notice is always included to allow for error.

The one time I detailed the notice to expire after the 31st June blew that one though as there is no such date blink.gif.

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I consider that action to be rather OTT COR.:blink:

I always have an S21 served immediately following :- ....the start of the tenancy &

as soon as the deposit is protected. But

I certainly wouldn't impose on any potential tenant the requirement that all my tenancy agreements have to start on the1st of the month just in case there might be a problem with getting the dates wrong. :P

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Thanks Mark Trenners!

You've answered and explained why S21s for HB tenants are trickier than expected and can easily go wrong.

In my experience, landlord started tenancy with a calendar month agreement of rent period, after which local authority changed the period to four weekly to match the HB payments (this would over-rule COR's approach, wouldn't it?).

The landlord was not aware of this potential S21 pitfall, and T encouraged to stay until evicted.

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RL my tenancies start whenever, the initial rent payment will be for the remainder of the current month and if tenancy start is after the common payment date (20th in my case) the following months rent also.

A confusion could arise in that a Judge might say that a tenancy period commenced on the 1st day of tenancy but as a S21 has no value in the fixed term I have no concern.

Using a S21 in the periodic has value and the tenancy period is stated, as that is the period the rent is paid for, and each month is a new tenancy period.

Rather than argue the point I would fall back on the saving clause for a Judge to the discern 'his' appropriate date.

RL, as you, I used to serve a S21 at the commencement of tenancy, before the deposit protection additional complication.

I realised that T's might perceive that as notice has been served by me, and has expired once in a periodic, then they may feel no need to provide notice to me.

As we are aware the whole situation is complicated and confusing, for us to understand is difficult, now to educate a T that has an incorrect understanding and has moved elsewhere is just an additional possible headache.

I try to simplify as far as possible, the hope is to reduce confusion and ultimately for T's to see their responsibilities rather than latch on to some loop hole or escape clause they think they have.

When they do we are left with the problem to resolve and more often lose out anyway. Even if we do resolve to benefit the time and effort won't be compensated.

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Chestnut if the AST dictates the tenancy period (by statement or AST start date) this isn't altered by the date of HB payments.

There is no tenancy agreement with the HB, them making payments as they prefer is payment on behalf of the T toward the rental balance and should not confuse the rental period.

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