Instructing a Notice at the end of the Lease

25 Jan 2017

I WROTE A BLOG AT LEAST A YEAR AGO, HIGHLIGHTING THE PROBLEMS FACED BY LANDLORDS WHEN INSTRUCTNG A NOTICE TO BE SERVED, BE IT FOR VACANT POSSESION (CURRENTLY THE MOST USED TYPE OF NOTICE) OR A DIFFERENT TYPE OF NOTICE ON DIFFERENT GROUNDS. MOST LANDLORDS WILL THINK THAT COME THE END OF THE NOTUCE DATE THEY WILL GET THEIR PROPERTY RETURNED TO THEM AND IN 99% OF CASES THE SYSTEM WORKS.

But, what if your tenant doesn’t go? what if advice they are given is to stay? This is still a problem anda growing problem in some areas and dependent on the shortage of properties in certain local authorities this will depend on whether or not Landlords are affected. Increasingly we are seeing this as a growing problem. (It should be noted that it is normally when tenant are in receipt of benefit).

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The law states that a tenant has the right to stay in the property past the end date of the notice, in fact they can stay until further court action is taken by the landlord to remove the tenant.

Without wanting to scare people, most tenants leave. If however the tenant has been given advice to stay, and this is most often by the local authority if the tenant is looking to be rehomed or by a housing charity, the full detail may not be passed to the tenant; should the landlord choose to take this action against the tenant due to the fact that they have remained in the property with advice, it is the tenant and not the local authority that the action will be taken against and importantly, the landlord will be well within his/her rights to claim costs for this action against the tenant (this would be around £500).

I have however yet to find a tenant who has been told to remain in a property by the local authority, who understands or has been told by the local authority that this action will be taken against them and that costs will be against them. They have simply been told they have a right to stay in the property – a very gray answer.

I understand that there is a shortage of properties to move tenants to and that local authorities are under heavy pressure however when a landlord is following the correct process, desgined to allow them to take possession of their property back, then it seems unfair that it is the landlord who is penalised for following correct procedures, and further losing out. A sale can be dependent on a tenant moving out and vacant possession or the landlord may be due to move back into the property. I have known it to take several months past the initial end notice date before the tenant actually moves out. And again without frightnening people, it is knowing what to do to speed this up that is important. Only unfortunately due to experience, do we know now how to most effectively handle this situation and fully understand it.

It shouldn’t happen but it does! If you need advice, don’t hesitate to contact Fineholm.



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