Tenancy agreement of less than 6 months.

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I am in court for a possession hearing tomorrow morning for a tenant whom I gave a 1 month fixed term to 6 months ago. All parties were in agreement to the length of the fixed term - they had no previous renting history, had to borrow the money for the first month's rent and deposit and had no proof of any income other than that they were applying for housing benefit.

I feel I was rather naiive in hindsight (not like me to be soft) but they had just come out of the army (a "nice young family")and I felt they were in a bit of a catch 22 situation and thought I'd give them a chance. I offered to give them 1 month to get their rent payments up and running and then issue a 6 month agreement when they had "proved" themselves.

Anyway, after much to-ing and fro-ing they got the HB payments sorted out leaving a 60pcm top-up. This has never been paid and now totals 300. I issued a S21 notice about 3 months ago and it has got to the point of a hearing which is tommorrow (by which time they have been in the property for exactly 6 months to the day). The letter from the court says that a hearing has been called because "the court is not satisfied that the claimant is entitled to use the accelerated procedure". I'm sure this is because of the 1 month fixed term. I am more concerned now however as the tenant's husband has started working and the HB payments have stopped as of 16th July (they have not paid any rent however). They now owe over 800.

Does anyone have any idea of the best way to appproach this matter in court? I know it's a bit short notice but I only joined today and have just found this forum.

Sorry to be so long-winded about it!

Thanks in advance for any advice.

22/08/2007 00:00

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