I have been served with a section 146 notice, what is this and do I need a solicitor?
A section 146 notice is served by a landlord when they consider their tenant to be in breach of the terms of the tenancy.
Other than in relation to unpaid rent (where a section 146 notice isn’t required, but sometimes served), a section 146 notice is a necessary first step in the process of recovering possession of a property. The notice must give the tenant a reasonable period of time to comply with its requirements. Should the tenant fail to comply, the landlord can take steps to terminate the tenancy, resulting in the tenant being evicted from the property.
If the tenant accept the contents of the section 146 notice but wish to avoid being evicted, they should comply with its requirements as soon as they are able. It is also sensible to engage in discussions with the landlord to let them know they are doing that. If some additional time is needed to comply, the tenant should ask the landlord, Providing the request is reasonable, they should accept your request.
If the tenant contests the contents of the section 146 notice because they do not believe they are in breach, then it would be sensible to consult with a solicitor so that a formal response can be given to the landlord. It makes sense to do this before the landlord issues proceedings seeking to evict the tenant from the property, as in the long run that is likely to save a considerable amount of money.
What are dilapidations and how can I calculate them?
Dilapidations is the technical word used to describe the repairs which need to be carried out at a property at the end of a tenancy. A tenant’s obligations in relation to dilapidations are defined by the tenancy itself, and are not always related to the condition of the property when the tenant took it on.
If you are a landlord wishing to pursue a tenant in relation to dilapidations there are certain steps you need to take before you can pursue such a claim, and it is sensible to get early legal advice on those options.
If you are a tenant who thinks a dilapidations claim may be made against them, it is important that you take steps before the end of the tenancy to complete any works which you think need to be done.
If, as a tenant, you think there is likely to be a dispute over the dilapidations, it is also important that you gather evidence prior to your departure from the property in the form of a surveyor’s report and/or photographic evidence showing the condition of it when you leave.
The tenant at the pub won’t leave, what can I do as the owner?
As the owner of the property there are a number of options available to you. You could pursue the tenant for the unpaid rent, perhaps by using County Court proceedings. You may decide that the tenant is not going to be able to pay and would rather evict them from the property and install another tenant. If that is the case, then it is important that you take legal advice early. Attempts to collect the rent may prevent you from subsequently seeking to evict the tenant for failing to pay.
When advising we also take into account why the tenant won’t leave, if, for instance, they need to be re-housed by the Local Authority, then the commencement of proceedings is usually required before the Local Authority will deem the tenant to be homeless, and agree to re-house them.
There also needs to be a realistic appraisal of the tenant. Are they failing to pay because it is a particularly poor trading period and they will make up the money at some other time, or are they a perennial non-payer who needs to be evicted?
We offer pragmatic advice on these issues, and the ways in which they can be resolved.