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My tenancy expired at the end of December 2012, at the end of November 2012 I was issued a section 21 with a view to vacating by the end of January 2013. I informed the landlord that I would leave on or before that date. They are also aware that I currently have no income and am in the process of applying for benefits. However, today I received a section 8 notice via a solicitor so I am a little confused. I understand that I am over 2 months in arrears and this relates to the section 8, but it is also worded in such a way as though I am refusing to vacate the property which is definitely not the case and I have been very clear about this. Any advice greatly appreciated.

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If you decided not to leave at the end of January then LL would have the option of using the accelerated possession process (which relates to the Section 21 notice) to get you out. I understand that this is quicker than the Section 8 procedure, so there doesn't seem to be much point to it other than to earn the solicitor a few bob.

 

It is possible that the Landlord has rent protection insurance, and that the insurance company are insisting on such notice being given.

 

Alternatively, maybe the landlord is irritated and stressed by the loss/lack of rent and is not behaving completely rationally. You appear to suggest that the lack of rationality on the part of the LL is uncalled for, but you do also say that you are only "in the process of" applying for benefits which seems to be a bit late given you are two months behind on the rent.

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There is a clause in the landlord's mortgage that states they cannot rent the property to anyone on benefits so we could not apply until we knew we were leaving the property and as I'm sure you are aware these claims take ages, especially with Christmas falling in the middle of everything! I am really seeking some advice with regard to the section 8, with regard to the fact that I will be vacating before the date on the section 21, so will there be any further repercussions? Obviously i will have to try to come to some arrangement regarding the arrears, but will I have to go to court etc?

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The s8 notice is for the rent arrears - it's a sensible option for the LL to undertake. If you choose not to leave at the end of Jan when the s21 expires, the LL has covered this likelihood and will be able to move to court much quicker with the expiry of the s8 (2 weeks following service of the notice) - which means he may get a hearing date much sooner than if he waits for the expiry of the s21.

 

In addition to that, if he wants to use the accelerated procedure for the s21, he can't claim the rent arrears at the same hearing. By serving the s8, he can.

 

You don't have to attend court, but it would be better if you did.

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