Change of Landlord and s21

by Readers Question

11:14 AM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

Change of Landlord and s21

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Change of Landlord and s21

I have just bought a house with an existing tenant. The tenancy was for a fixed term of 1 year beginning on 13 February 2013, and so the tenant has been holding over since February this year. The original landlord served a s21(1)(b) at the start of the tenancy. Change of Landlord and s21

I am wondering if I can rely on that s21 as I am not the landlord named on it, or in the tenancy agreement to which it relates. Do I need to serve a new notice and how do I transfer the tenancy to me as landlord in order to do this? Conveyancing solicitors on both sides have been absolutely hopeless.

If I do have to serve a new notice, should I rely on Spencer v Taylor and use s21(1)(b)?

A last question, where can I obtain a template for a rent authority letter?

The seller’s solicitor promised to provide one on completion but hasn’t yet done so, and the rent is due in a few days. The seller, who has fallen out with his solicitor, is prepared to sign such a letter.

Very grateful for any help!

Thanks in advance

Penelope



Comments

Tessa Shepperson

11:56 AM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

You need to formally notify your tenant that you are now the landlord and that all rent should now be paid to you. We have a letter you could use on Landlord Law.

You can use the s21 notice already served but make sure that you are able to prove service. It may be safer to serve a new one.

Whether or not you can rely on the Spencer v. Taylor case and serve a s21(1) notice will depend on whether the periodic tenancy is statutory or if it is there because of a clause in the tenancy agreement (when it will be a contractual periodic). So you need to take a look at the tenancy agreement.

Romain Garcin

12:17 PM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

The tenancy has been transferred (assigned) to you when the purchase of the property completed.
You should serve various notices to the tenant at that point in order to notify him of the assignment and to notify him of the new payment instructions, as mentioned by Tessa.

Regarding using the existing notice, I would add that you should also check that the deposit has been dealt with correctly, though (hopefully) that's something you did as part of your due diligence before buying the property.

As for a new notice, I do not think that whether the current periodic tenancy is statutory or contractual is key re. Spencer v. Taylor.
The key is that it was preceded by a fixed term tenancy. So IMHO the only grey area is the scenario whereby a single tenancy starts with a fixed term and _continues_ periodically.
In any case, you do need to check the tenancy agreement, indeed.

Penelope Poore

12:22 PM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

Thanks so much. That is really helpful. Very grateful.

Joe Bloggs

13:15 PM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

am i missing something? can the LL really rely on a s21 notice that has long expired? i.e.:
'I have just bought a house with an existing tenant. The tenancy was for a fixed term of 1 year beginning on 13 February 2013, and so the tenant has been holding over since February this year. The original landlord served a s21(1)(b) at the start of the tenancy.'

Michael Barnes

13:32 PM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Joe Bloggs" at "12/11/2014 - 13:15":

S21 notices do not expire.

However, there are mutterings of some MPs wanting to change that (possibly part of Sarah Teather's upcoming Tenancies (Reform) Bill that has not yet been published; second reading in Commons on 28 November 2014).

Tessa Shepperson

13:35 PM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Barnes" at "12/11/2014 - 13:32":

Yes, unlike s8 notices (which have a 'life' of 12 months) s21 notices will normally only be ended if you give the tenant a new tenancy agreement.

If this area of law is re-visited it is almost certain that this will change, but at present this is the law.

Joe Bloggs

13:36 PM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

thanks. assumed that a tenancy going onto periodic would nullify the original s.21. whats the point then of serving a notice during the periodic?

Tessa Shepperson

13:38 PM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

What is the point of serving any s21 notice? To evict the tenant.

If you serve a s21 notice during the fixed term, if cannot be used until the fixed term has ended - when the tenancy will become periodic. So if that ended the s21, you would never be able to use it at all!

Michael Barnes

13:40 PM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain " at "12/11/2014 - 12:17":

IMHO the only grey area is the scenario whereby a single tenancy starts with a fixed term and _continues_ periodically.

I think you mean without?

I agree that 21(1)(a) of 1988 act does not distinguish between Statutory and Contractual periodic tenancies; it only requires that there was a fixed term [21(1)].

Romain Garcin

14:10 PM, 12th November 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Barnes" at "12/11/2014 - 13:40":

Hi Michael,

No, I did mean 'with'. Some tenancy agreements create such tenancies.

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