Slow burn
Possession - Section 8 and Section 21

Mr Apple
Mr Apple
17 Thanks
52 Posts
1 week ago
My tenant is a young single mum, with a young daughter. Over the last year, rent arrears built up to 6 months. The council has now stepped in, paid 3 months of the arrears and has offered to pay a further 3 months as an interest-free loan to the tenant if I agree to a minimum 6-month extension to the AST.

She had a guarantor, but they served notice to quit about a month ago, so going forward I will no longer have this as a fallback.

There have been a number of issues with the tenant - probably relating to mental health issues. For example, the property had the gas supply disconnected after the tenant called 999 to report CO poising. Subsequent testing by a gas engineer found no issues. Another example was that after a leak through the kitchen ceiling from the bathroom (tenant not using shower curtain) - I had my maintenance guy go around, and reported water leakage, but the ceiling had remained reasonably dry. Next morning the ceiling had apparently collapsed onto the floor. The maintenance guy confirmed that the rubble showed little sign of dampness and it was their view that the ceiling had been deliberately pulled down.

Communication with the tenant is proving hard. They are not available by telephone, only WhatsApp, and frequently don’t respond. So for example, the repair of the kitchen ceiling is still ongoing as each time I have an agreed slot (with the tenant) for the maintenance guy to go around, the tenant then claims to be out - and won’t allow entry.

As is always the case, the above has been a slow burn, with attempts by me to use a S21 thwarted by Covid restrictions and now S8 thwarted by the council reducing the rent arrears to 3 months.

So my thoughts are:

My tenant falls into the vulnerable category as defined by the new S21 guidance.

I’ve had enough of the tenant, the damage being caused to my property, and the annoyance of getting calls from my go-to maintenance guy and gas engineer saying they have wasted time visiting the property buy not getting in.

However Covid is still with us and an eviction using S21 is going to be a minimum of 6 months away, and I’m guessing more like 12 months away.

My thinking is now to accept the council offer, take out a 6 month AST extension, and then serve S21 shortly afterwards.

What would be your next steps?

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