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Urgent help needed for Private Tenancy Issue thats turned very ugly very quickly

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Hi all I’m sorry to go ahead & just ask for advice on first visit but I have had one awful day that’s ended with the Police involved & being Friday night with nowhere open till Monday I could really do with some help?


So I live in a private rented property, tenancy commenced 15th Oct 2012 and at the end of the 6 months agreement we continued month to month as per the original tenancy agreement. Rent was to be paid on 15th of each month, again as per the tenancy agreement.


My rent has been on time, and no issues. However Landlady came to visit on Monday 17th Feb 2014 to give notice, however she gave me a hand written note on a scrap of paper without mine or her surname, no letter dated no reference to section 21 giving me six weeks notice. I.e. Myself to move out by 31st March 2014 (She is returning to live at said property ie where I rent off her currently).


OK so I have been told this was illegal and she has to give 2 months also reference section 21 in the letter etc etc.


However I believed her to have recently split with her partner & when I mentioned that I needed a legal document & not a scrap of paper she seemed perplexed!


As I knew she had a definite move date in mind and I was now in conversation with local council to see if they could assist me they needed a definite section 21 notice to quit.


So to mitigate time on both our behalf’s & knowing she really didn’t understand what I was talking about I said I would write up a section 21 for her and put all the legal correct info on it! And bring it to her for her to sign. (Big mistake).


The section 21 that I prepared without all the flim flam stated that I would need to vacate by 15th May 2014. I had worked very hard researching the legalities and as far as I can tell with the 2 months notice required by law and ensuring the tenancy finishes on the final day ie rolling months on the 15th this was correct.


After dropping a copy off with the council I received a call from the landlady stating that she wanted me out by the 31st March as she had nowhere else to go! I advised her that I was trying my best to find alternative accommodation however the council would not accept a notice to quit that wasn’t proper ie had a short illegal notice period! She called back a few minutes later saying she wasn’t happy and I advised her that I would return her signed copy and we would rip them up and she could provide me with her own official section 21 notice.


We met at a local large branch coffee chain and her, and her mother and young daughter where there and whilst we disagreed on the 31st march issue and why exactly she needed to give proper legal notice to me and this wasn’t my doing or my choice it was required by law. I could tell none of this was getting through! I was then berated for trying to make a woman with 2 kids homeless. I ripped up the paperwork and left!


A short time later the partner ex partner (I do not know now) of the landlady called me & made physical threats of violence towards me. I should have said earlier I am male but am in no way interested in physical confrontations with anyone let alone when all I was trying to do was expedite this whole procedure and mitigate anytime dilly dallying whilst she tries to make up her illegal section 21 notice.


I placed a call to the police (On their non emergency line) to report this and was given a reference number.


On arriving home The partner was outside the car telling me to get out & we’d “have a chat” I drove away and called the police and when they arrived at my property I returned to discuss what had happened, the partner had left the area.


Just after the Police left my property they advised not to answer the door to either the landlady or the partner & report anything else.


I am sure this was sent prior to them being contacted by the police but they have asked via txt if they can visit my property on Monday 24th February and discuss the end of my tenancy!


I do not want them anywhere near me until I have found alternative accommodation do I have to let them in on Monday? Should I txt back and request that due to today’s events I would prefer all communication be via letter, and I will do the same? That Monday is inconvenient until I have had legal advice? Should I just ignore them until I get legal advice but I do not want them turning up at my door?


Are my calculations indeed right?


Guys any help or advice over the weekend would be greatly appreciated, I am a nervous wreck now waiting for the next episode & all I was ever trying to do was assist her with something she clearly did not grasp and get what I needed from her to give to my local council. thanks for reading.

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Hi king12345 Everywhere I have read shelter gov website etc also the council & online calculators states that once tenancy goes into periodic ie short hold 6 months has lapsed and no new tenancy has replaced it then for a section 21 then the period is 2 months but I'm only reading what they say? Cheers

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Hi just to reiterate I was fully intent on attempting to vacate by her date ie 31st march regardless & my only reason for requesting a correct section 21 in the first place was to move things along without delay & the council needed one in order to maybe assist my search. I was writing her an official notice according to what I perceive is the law rather than (and I suspect this is what she thinks) when I wanted to stay till :)

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Tenants doing Landlords work - whatever next?



Current advice would be that your self-written s21 is not valid. In a SPT both s21 & T NTQ must be served by end of 1 tenancy period to expire at end of next rel T period (min 2 month for LL, min 1 month for T) though there is a recent Court of Appeal ruling that suggests a s21b format can be used instead of s21a, so only 2 clear rent periods reqd from any date, thus overturning 25 yrs of acknowledged practice. This decision could yet be appealed to the Supreme Court (as could Superstrike) and may not have percolated down to all CC Judges.

Your T commenced 15 Oct 2012 (no end date specified?) and we assume it was for a 6 month fixed term with rent due pcm.

So the FT ended 14 Mar 13, with SPT created on 15 Mar 13, so your T period runs from 15th to following 14th each month.

So using LLs scrappy s21, it was handed to you on 17 Feb, but not lawfully served unti 14 Mar and would expire on 14 May

If your DIY effort is otherwise valid and was exchanged by 14 Mar, it will have the same expiry date (14 May), even then that is only the date after which LL can seek Court repo order. Wanting property back to live in is irrelevant for s21 other than persuade Judge only to give you the min 14 days to vacate, once the order is granted.



I wouldn't discount meeting with LL, but at a time/date of your choosing, (explanation later) in presence of a witness.

You could ask for a PC to attend, in civvies, as you fear a potential breach of the peace may occur, based on your previous contacts with LL & family.


The other way a T can be legally terminated is by LL accepting Ts offer of early surrender. Normally it is the T who has to pay LL for consent but in your case vice versa. LL cannot get you out legally before 14 May at earliest and prob not before end of May via Court repo order. Choose a date when you are willing to vacate, eg 14 Apr and offer to surrender T on that date for cash equivalent of eg 2 months rent + full deposit, payable on signikng a Deed of Surrender on leaving date. Thus you have time to find new place etc.

LL saves on Court fees and risk of having her s21 note declared invalid.

Not sure Council will be impressed with your DIY s21, otherwise all Ts will be providing s21s for rehousing - poss fraudulently



Never thought I would hear myself (LL) telling T how to extract money from another LL, but your OP if true brings all LLs into disrepute.

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Hi Mariner thanks for that

So using LLs scrappy s21, it was handed to you on 17 Feb, but not lawfully served unti 14 Mar and would expire on 14 May

The original STA states tenancy commenced 12pm on the 15th October 2014 so I had assumed that the expiry date would be 11.59am on the 15th however at least were talking 24 hours discrepancy not a month and a half.


For a bit more background here is the original notice handed to me on the 17th. I still do not wish to be derogatory however it may explain why I felt the need to do the LL's work for them.




Here is the notice I drafted for the LL to speed things along, this is the unsigned version now as all signed versions where destroyed during that the second visit yesterday.



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Hi king 12345


I'm sure Mally73 will be more than pleased.


I'd say vindicated more than pleased as the situations still pretty naff


I was so shocked at how quickly it turned from not great ie myself being given notice to somewhere I was happy, to live. To being berated & physically threatened within in the space of a couple of hours and, for trying to help.

Edited by Mally73
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Regarding the text message I received yesterday evening after the days events asking for a visit to the property on Monday 24th Feb 2014 I was thinking of replying with something like this via text message to prevent any confrontation at the property if I ignore them;


(LL name), due to yours & (partners name) escalation of events and behaviours on 21st February 2014. You have left me with no option other than to request all communication be done via letter, preferably via recorded delivery & I will do the same. Additionally in relation to your request to enter the premises at (Property Address) on the 24th February 2014. This date is not convenient as I will be seeking legal advice prior to any future face to face meetings & Monday 24th February will not allow reasonable time to do so, again due to the events mentioned earlier I would consider this request unreasonable considering the time frame. I would also like you to note that (partners name) will not be permitted to enter the property under any circumstances whilst my tenancy at said address is still active. I will be bringing an independent 3rd party or parties to any future meetings. This will be my last contact via text or phone.


Would any of you agree this is fair & the right way to go or should I just ignore their text & get legal advice on Monday if I can get in to see anyone that is?




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I would not want to be beaten up in my property and the good news is you have to let the LL in but under very few circumstances, eg to allow him to carry out his repairing obligations [access to LL and his workmen upon at least 24 hrs written notice at a reasonable time]. Also, to inspect the condition of the property any time during the tenancy but not more frequently than about every 3-6 months [if at all].


Obviously, before moving out and handing over the keys they can inspect and take photos.


Now, they may come up with any excuse [even repairs] to want to get in to harass you to make you move out ASAP. No.


I would text them I took legal advice and the only time they can enter is the handover of the property, a witness for each party and camera to keep pictures. I asked my LL to sign that the property is in good repair and clean before handing over the keys.


There is no need for the discussion to take place at yours and a personal meeting is to be avoided at all costs.


If they have a key I would change the locks to avoid illegal eviction.


Your notice made my day [sorry but I laughed for over a minute]. At least they got one thing right: it is in writing. And they apologize twice in the notice. No clue about housing law on their side and the council is being nasty: they can not say they will not accept the notice because it is invalid. Did they say they do not accept it and can not help you?


LL has every right to file her [attached] notice with the court in her possession claim. It does not matter that it will be thrown out. This notice is every tenants' dream: you will not be evicted by the courts for sure.


So text them that you will call the police if any of them shows up at the property. It is your property by law: they need a possession order to get it back and after the physical threats you have every right to refuse entry / the idea of entry and personal contact.


It would help your case if a third party would enlighten LL about your / their rights. Eg Citizens Advice Bureau:

these visits are harassment which is a criminal offence: they can be arrested and interviewed.


To try and make you move out without a court order is harassment. There is nothing to discuss in person: it will only escalate.


Send a letter as well as a text about the above and a certificate of posting and a copy of the letter, the CAD police call out number for the incident you had: will be sufficient to call the police again if they bother you.


Harassment: a course of conduct

so if they do it again after receiving the written letter, report it to the police. As you will know, threatening others is a crimminal offence too. Communicate in writing only is very good. Do not have high expectations about getting letters from them and save every text they send. Put them on Reject on your phone: in writing only.


My professional LL [21 properties and 10 years of letting] upfront ignored the "letters / emails only" request saying he is busy to write letters and calling is easier. Yeah, but then no evidence of the bullsh*t they say and you need the police and the courts to keep them away from you who can only help based on evidence.

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Thanks very much for that info Beatrice


Did they say they do not accept it and can not help you?


Pretty much, well, that there is no guarantee that I will get any higher priority due to threat of homelessness however without a valid or legal section 21 there is no threat of homelessness I can actually see their point but was so keen to get the ball rolling I thought what the hell I'm not going to get anything official from her (LL) so I'll do it for her & get her to sign it!


Silly me :)


To try and make you move out without a court order is harassment. There is nothing to discuss in person: it will only escalate.


Totally agree thanks for highlighting it to me & that should be at the top of my agenda as the meeting in the coffee shop was awful trying to discuss law & common sense with someone who just wont listen was almost impossible. It will definitely escalate so its gonna be off the cards


I will address the text & letters to LL first thing Monday morning.


The craziest thing and I haven't mentioned it so far is that they have not protected my deposit!


So it doesn't matter what they write under a section 21 it will not be valid, however I never wanted to be somewhere in a private rental that wanted me out so if it could of happened amicably then all the better. Plus I did want references and I'm very dissapointed that now I will have 1 year & 5-7 months of tenancy without references.



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There is no guarantee that you will ever get your deposit back even if you get a court order about it to be paid back plus the 1-3 times the deposit as statutory penalty for non protection. The only way to avoid not getting the deposit back is saying in advance you need your money to deposit a new place because you got a notice so you "can not pay the last month's rent otherwise you will be homeless".


The only issue with their notice is the lack of date. And the lack of full names. Address "might be" useful as well to look decent. So I have to agree with the council not accepting it due to lack of date of service. And the rest.


You mean you are on the list to get social housing? This eviction threat won't speed that claim up. To be housed, you will have to make a homelessness housing application which is a totally different one. Issue is if you have no children living with you you won't meet all the criteria to be housed so forget the idea of the council giving you any place to stay, sorry.


I was in a similar situation when my ex locked me out and council doesn't have a duty to house you, nor a place, unless you have a priority need [eg child living with you, pregnant, vulnerable due to old age] + you have a local connection to the area [been living / working in the borough for quite a while] + statutory homeless & eligible for assistance / social security benefits.


Even if you are a family with kids, council will try to prove that you have more local connection to another borough to avoid having to house you. Third sector charity homeless shelters are full in London so another private tenancy is pretty much the only option as for now.


Unfortunately, you have speeded up the eviction process by serving yourself a Section 21. Good luck it won't be valid as deposit not protected. You have to be able to prove to court you paid a deposit and most tenancy agreements will say how much the deposit is, in which case no separate receipt needed.


Donno if their tenancy agreement is much better than the notice but most LLs just download something from the internet in which case it will be more formal and better than the notice.


Sorry to hear what happened to you. I actually got locked out because LL could not get a possession order in court after various hearings and they even attacked me so you need to be careful with these ppl.


I can see a glimmer of reference if you move out by the time they want you to move. Also, you have evidence [bank statements?] showing rent payments on time: a reference in itself. If it was cash in hand.. most LLs don't bother writing out a receipt every month.


Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 deals with local authority's homelessness duty. From post it sounds like you are a single man living on your own so no valid Section 21 or even a possession order / bailiff eviction date will make the council bat an eye lid and say we are willing to house you. Thousands of single street homeless. Way too many families in temporary homeless accommodation, in B&B, waiting to be housed so we single ppl do not stand a chance and will sleep rough like I did for a couple of days before finding new private rented accomm.


To think that the council will feel sorry for anyone and might have a place to house them even if they do not meet all the criteria: won't happen. Heard a British guy saying the council gave him a sleeping bag [as it was winter] and a key to a house for a homeless migrant family with children. Part VII:



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Beatrice so sorry to hear you have gone through what sounds like a worse experience than mine.


Your right there definitely is no guarantee I'd get my deposit back as it looks like the claims procedure is a bit hit & miss however even if I get awarded they wont pay as they have had nothing but debt letters & debt collectors & bailiffs coming to my property for their own credit issues, and it doesnt seem like they have paid them either. However I will still progress to claim now.


In relation to the council housing issue I have my daughter who stays at weekends and a court sanctioned contact & residency order that states terms to that effect. I have had a meeting with the housing options team and they are looking into this however they have said it'll probably be a no go and I'd still go down as general housing need.


But they do have in my area properties that are classed as immediate lets (Ive forgotton the exact term) basically properties that have had no bids they may be slightly more expensive but they will be still through a housing association and not private LL.


Thats good to know about the bank statements maybe being classed as a reference on their own to some extent. yeah I paid every month by internet bank transfer on time and can easily get pdfs of my statement from my archives.


"Unfortunately, you have speeded up the eviction process by serving yourself a Section 21"

The section 21 which I drafted and had her sign was destroyed less than an hour later when we met for the second time at her request so in essence the only notice I have been given was the first handwritten one. And until I receive my deposit back it will not be valid.


This experience has turned me off trying to "live" in a private rent but I have seen one that interests me we'll see how they feel about the reference situation.


I hope beatrice you found somewhere with a decent LL now?


ps I did the sleeping in the car thing myself a number of years back and its not something I relish ever doing again, I have no idea how people cope without that security of a vehicle even! so even though it was bad I know I still had somewhere where I could shut the door!

Edited by Mally73
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Apparently, by law you will have priority need for accommodation if you flee your home due to violence or threats of violence that is likely to be carried out. It is defined when it is not reasonable to remain in your accommodation so you will not be deemed intentionally homeless if above happens.


In my above post I forgot to add "not intentionally homeless" to housing eligibility criteria.


So god forbid these ppl beat you up and say they will kill you if you do not move out by a certain date and you move out to avoid further violence even though you have nowhere to stay and you become homeless: you are eligible for homeless accommodation provided you can prove the above incidents / threats of violence. So everyone, asking for a reference number when you call the police and writing it down is very important, otherwise you can not prove you made a call and what happened.


Of course it will not happen and you will find private rented housing on time. It is just good to know in which cases council has a duty to house us. "Threats of violence that is likely to be carried out": council will try to prove it was all mouth and was not likely to be carried out.


However, if there was an incident before and it involved violence, police was called, evidence was seen [eg black eye], then from then onwards any further threats of violence is "likely to be carried out" as it happened before already.


Accidentally found this legislation on my laptop so I thought I would attach it to give a fuller picture. Please have a look. It does not have to be domestic violence but anyone like wicked LLs, unfortunately.


I would not rely on council housing me even after an incident and would stay a while to sort private rented rather than be put into a stinky B&B as these places may literally smell. Carpet, etc.

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The sad thing is I was doing everything possible to leave by the albeit none valid date (31st March) up until yesterdays events (well actually two days ago now ;) )


The ball is in their court I will action a response to them on monday, seek some advice re deposit & compensation. and await what they say via letter. I guess if I'd have been braver I should have got out my car & put my hands behind my back & thought of England it might have given me kudos with the local council.


Thanks for all the advice & shared experiences

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Hi Mally


Have you spoken with the Council about this issue - Contact them and ask to speak to the section that deals with private landlords and explain what has happened and give then the crime ref no and hopefully they will also pass you onto the council antisocial behaviour team as well.


Keep a written log of everything that happens and if you feel threatened contact the police and explain whats happened and previous crime ref no (try to keep the crime ref no handy by phone).


Do everything in writing keep a copy of anything you send and always ensure you get proof of posting.

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Hi Stu007


Have you spoken with the Council about this issue


Not yet, as all of this happened late friday (21st feb) afternoon / evening so just been checking here & getting my plan of action ready for Monday 24th. I will be visiting the council as soon as I can on Monday to report what has happened



(try to keep the crime ref no handy by phone)


Its now taped to the back of my mobile so thanks would of never thought of that otherwise.


& thanks for the incident log that's really useful


Cheers stu007

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Yes, current LL is all right and rent is affordable. These days it is the JCP giving me stress and my ex but then that is life. Hoping to help other people by using the knowledge I've got through having to defend Section 8 and S21 possession procedures. Also, had to get an injunction order to get back into my flat. Tenants are just locked out while they are out and their belongings are put outside the property. Mine ones weren't so had to go to court and it is pretty quick to get it done.

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You have a dilemma?

A section 21 notice will fail because deposit not protected, however a section 8 notice on the reasons of ground 1 ( being the LL previous home and they want to move back ) would be OK and judge will have to grant repossession. This also requires two months notice.

If you leave of your volition, i.e. not going through the process, must councils will regard this as making your self intentionally homeless and they will not help.

If you have found somewhere else to rent and are willing to leave you still have to give one months notice or come to some agreement with the LL.

This can be to your advantage and you could negotiate getting deposit back now, as not protected ( illegal ) before you consider leaving! or not pay the last months rent etc. to cover the deposit.

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Thanks for that raydetinu


however a section 8 notice on the reasons of ground 1 ( being the LL previous home and they want to move back ) would be OK and judge will have to grant repossession.


I didn't even realise there was ground 1 like that in a section 8, well that is bad news, as I was hoping that would be enough to at least secure my deposit back using the non valid section 21 unprotected deposit rule.


After the recent events I doubt even if I went to court over deposit & compensation and won that I'd get any money from them as during my tenancy I've had tons of red letters debt collectors and a visit from bailiffs for them & they keep coming so I guess they are not paying anyone.


I think if I witheld any rent they'd also attempt to claim it back as monies owed to them rather than in lieu of deposit return.


Think I'll forge ahead with an LBA for deposit although I still dont understand why a Tenant should need an LBA when the LL is clearly in breach of legislation not protecting & Tenant should I guess IMHO proceed straight to action?



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I think a Judge would be 'unhappy' with complainant if LBA was not served.


You are right but obviously my opinion of Private Landlords has been sullied by recent events. People like yourself who know their business and would protect as a matter of course are let down by people like my LL who as it turns out will probably suffer no more than having to return a deposit that should have been returned anyway ie (& I'am aware this is IMHO) As the property is always clean tidy, no damage & rent was paid on time every time.


Am I right in thinking my LBA for the return of the deposit can only request that, and whilst I can threaten the up to x3 penalty award in the letter I can not ask the LL for more than the original deposit at this stage?


Dont get me wrong had things of worked out amicably as I was trying and if I got my deposit back I'd of probably never even mentioned poss penalties, but now,,,,,




Good to know a

judge may understand if I do have to withold & they pursue me for said monies.


However I was concerned over this as I had a guarantor on my original 6month AST (Oct 15th 2012) and did not want to jeopardize them getting dragged in to this mess.


I have however read somewhere that once the original AST goes into periodic and is not replaced via a new AST then the Guarantor is automatically voided.


Is this true?


Many Thanks

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