This week our advice team were able to help out one of our members who was having difficulties with what steps to take with an issue they were encountering relating to one of their tenancies.
The tenant had originally signed for a 6month Assured Shorthold Tenancy which was now in the periodic stage.
The problem our landlord was having was to do with damage caused by the tenant, and also the fact that this tenant was struggling to pay the rent consistently and had fallen into arrears. There was damage being caused by consistently leaving windows shut when cooking and drying clothes inside of the property, which was leading to damp presenting in the property. The tenant was also in 2 months of rent arrears.
We advised our landlord that they have a number of options here. They could consider section 8 for rent arrears, as the tenant is in 2 months of rent arrears; and provided this is still the case when the court hearing takes place, it is a mandatory reason for eviction. The landlord will also receive a money judgement for the arrears. There is also the possibility of using section 8 for ground 13, for the deterioration of the property, due to the damp which is being caused by the tenant. This is a discretionary ground and it is down to the judge’s decision as to whether the tenant is evicted.
Alternatively, our member can consider section 21. After checking that our member had complied with the relevant legal obligations, such as deposit protection and service of the gas safety certificate, EPC, and how to rent booklet, then we advised them they could serve a section 21 giving at least 2 months’ notice to their tenant. It is a mandatory no-fault eviction which may be more certain to evict their tenant in this case, due to the fact the arrears could be paid off and the damp is already not a 100% certainty of eviction.
After giving our member their options, and explaining what they can expect in terms of the court process should it be required if the tenant does not move out, they decided upon section 21 due to the fact they would rather not attend a court hearing and want to be confident of evicting their tenant.