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Deposits and Tenancy Deposit Schemes (England) | Landlord Wants Tenant to Leave (England)

Getting deposit back to the tenant in order to serve section 21 notice.

15 Jun 2017 | 6 comments

My wife has fallen foul of not knowing about protecting the tenants deposit in a scheme and so we have been told that the notice letter that we gave the tenant is void.
In order to go ahead with a section 21 notice, we must give the deposit back, which we will as its only £250. But the problem is that the tenant is unreachable. Doesn’t answer calls, doesn’t answer the door if we call round, doesn’t respond to letters and we cant put a check through the door, as she has a locked gate that we cant get through to push it through the letterbox.
Legally, where do we stand? And what would you recommend as next steps?

We do have grounds for a section 8 as well, but would rather just serve a section 21 and wait for the 2 months to elapse. However, if we cant give her the deposit back, we cant serve the notice.




  1. guildy

    There must be some mechanism for delivering the post because the post person must attend each morning to deliver the mail. Whatever the post person does with the mail is sufficient for you to do also with a hand delivery.

    If hand delivery is difficult, I see no reason why you couldn’t post the cheque using ordinary post but ensure you get a free of charge proof of postage from any post office. It is deemed that the post office delivers mail unless the tenant can prove otherwise.

    You should leave that at least 10 days to allow for both delivery and clearance of the cheque before then serving the section 21 notice.

    It’s okay if the tenant doesn’t bank the cheque but it’s a lot easier if they have done so because that argument is gone.

    If you had the bank details of your tenant you could pay it in directly too (perhaps you have them from a standing order setup form).

    After that’s been done, you can then serve the section 21 notice.

  2. S_Adsetts

    Thanks for the information. I will look to see if we can determine the tenants bank details. She pays by standing order, so we may be able to get them from the statement or failing that the bank.

    If the payment is made directly, I assume that payment is deemed complete upon confirmation from the bank? There is no further waiting to serve a section 21?

    • guildy

      That would be correct although no two things should ever be done on the same day. Asways allow midnight to pass before doing the next step as a minimum.

      • S_Adsetts

        Hi Again,
        We have returned the deposit of the tenant, in full, by bankers check. Postal tracking shows that the tenant has received and signed for the check, so I am in the process of preparing a section 21 notice.
        I am using the template from this site to ensure we cover all the legal bases properly. However, I just want to make sure that I have interpreted the information correctly from the site.

        So, our tenant normally pays rent on the 17th of the month (she has now ceased paying her rent, by the way). So if I interpret properly…….
        I will write the notice today dating as such, but I put that I am serving notice from … (lets say 4 days from now to allow for postage) so say 23rd of June, then two months is the notice, so 23rd august, then end day of notice term is 16th of September??
        We are on a “contractual periodic” assured tenancy, as there was no agreed initial term.

        Also, do we HAVE to deliver a copy by hand? or is tracked and signed for post sufficient? Or should we do both to ensure we are covered?

  3. S_Adsetts

    Sorry, another question.
    The tenancy agreement is in my wifes maiden name, do we serve in her married name and state Claire Adsetts (formally Houlden)?

  4. guildy

    Yes, I would serve in true current name. I don’t think you need the formally part. You may want to put in the court papers (if gets that far) a quick explanation for the name change. It may also be worth sending a section 48 notice changing the name of the landlord (although in fairness the landlord hasn’t actually changed). No harm can come of serving the section 48 though.

    I replied to other part by email earlier.

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