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Question

Housing Benefit and Universal Credit (England) | Landlord Wants Tenant to Leave (England)

Notice to Tenant who has disappeared and his partner and children who remain in the property

28 Feb 2017 | 1 comment

Dear Sir,
Through a letting agent, a couple with 3 children have rented my house since November 2010 and the man is the only name on the tenancy agreement. The man has disappeared and for the last 3 months, the lady’s parents have been paying the rent while she has been applying to the council to get housing benefit. I wish to sell my property and therefore want the house vacant. Please can you advise how I should do this. I don’t know where the man resides. As payment is being made by the parents/the lady who hold no contract, can I dismiss the letting agents without penalty? Thank you.

Answer

1 Comment

  1. guildy

    From what you describe, it sounds to us like you have granted a verbal tenancy to the lady because the parents appear to be paying as agent for the lady. This is further confirmed by the fact the lady believes this to be the relationship because if there was no such relationship, she couldn’t apply for housing benefit. In order to receive housing benefit there needs to be a liability to pay rent (which in essence is what defines a tenancy along with occupation).

    Therefore, in our view, a section 21 notice (2 months notice) would need serving on the lady.

    As the property is in England, you will need to ensure an EPC, gas safety and the “how to rent guide” is served first. Furthermore, the section 21 can’t be served for the first four months of the tenancy so you will need to wait at least another month.

    Please see this series of articles which explains the requirements for tenancies from 1 October 2015 including the above mentioned.

    Please use this wizard for the section 21 notice.

    In respect of the letting agent, you will need to check the terms of the agreement between you and the agent to ascertain what notice must be given.

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