Section 21 (1), paying off rent arrears and bizarre claims from guarantor.

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autolychus
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In the last few days before an AST became a rolling periodic tenancy, we served a Section 21 (1) Notice on a tenant who had been causing us difficulties from early in the tenancy: late rent, late access for Gas Safety Check, failure to communicate. Since then, rent arrears have grown and we made it clear we were willing to work with her whilst reserving the right to apply for a Possession Order. We have written letters, emails and even visited the property - (with notice)to discuss matters - we received a text 30 minutes before the due time, cancelling our visit.
We also approached the guarantor who claimed a) he no longer was in touch with the tenant, b) he was out of work and could not pay and c) the tenant was going to provide him with proof she had bought the property and that the tenant's solicitor confirmed this ( we checked with the Land Registry and no attempted sale had been made). We are not sure who is misleading whom here.
The tenant told us she had applied for Housing Benefit and offered to pay off some of the arrears. As she had previously told us bank payments would be made that never were, we asked her to agree to a specific timetable, in which case we said we would postpone applying for a Possession Order. She did not reply, but instead paid according to her original suggestion (close to our suggestion, but not the same). We told her we would be applying for the Order.
Now she is claiming we agreed to her offer and that she has received legal advice that she can contest the Possession Order. She is also alleging we have broken our word to her and have refused to address various matters. We have continued to adhere to tenancy terms, e.g. arranging for repairs to be done.
A member of the RLA Team, told us that there might be a problem getting a Possession Order as we had received more or less what we had asked for regarding the tenant beginning to pay off rent arrears. We thought that serving a Section 21 (1) meant we would definitely get a Possession Order, although we expect the tenant would plead extreme hardship. Please could somebody clarify the legal position? Thank you very much.
19/02/2016 17:47

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