Issuing a Section 21 on the start of a tenancy – Readers Question

by Readers Question

9:08 AM, 11th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Issuing a Section 21 on the start of a tenancy – Readers Question

Make Text Bigger
Issuing a Section 21 on the start of a tenancy – Readers Question

I have often read that Landlords issue a Section 21 notice at the start of a tenancy.

My Question is what are the advantages of doing this, and are there any drawbacks that I should be aware of?

What happens if the AST ends and then rolls on to a Periodic tenancy and after a few more months and I require possession. Do I then give the tenant a written letter to say they have to vacate in 1 month which is the same amount of notice they have to give me, or do I then have to issue another Sec 21 giving 2 months notice again?

I have recently done this on a new 6 month AST and the tenant was not happy. Although I enclosed a letter saying this had become a standard practice with Landlords and I still wanted a long term tenancy, they assumed I wanted possession.

Any advice and guidance from readers will be gratefully received.

Recardo section21



Comments

Tessa Shepperson

12:24 PM, 11th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Hi Recardo

It is a often a good idea to serve the s21notice towards the start of the tenancy as that guards against forgetting to serve it later!

However I would not recommend that you serve it on the same day that your tenant signs the tenancy agreement. He might then say that you gave it to him before he signed - which could mean it is invalid. There is no case law that I know of on this issue, but it is as well to be careful about these things.

So serve it the day after.

You can issue proceedings at any time after the notice has expired and the fixed term ended. However if it is some time since the notice was served it would be polite to let the tenant know what you are doing, and perhaps give him a (short) period of time to vacate before you issue court proceedings.

You do not have to issue another s21 notice unless you give a new tenancy agreement to the tenant (which will end the original one).

Note that I have special services for landlords wanting to evict tenants on my Landlord Law site, including my do it yourself eviction guide http://www.landlordlaw.co.uk/eviction: .

Neil Patterson

15:58 PM, 11th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Thanks Tessa excellent advice as always.

I can imagine a tenant being concerned, but as ever in life communication is the key to put peoples mind at rest and understand each other.

Ray Davison

16:49 PM, 11th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Tessa Shepperson" at "11/07/2013 - 12:24":

Hi Tessa and thanks. I have a question re the early service of a S21. Assuming I serve a S21 in month 1 of a six month AST, at 6 months it goes periodic and then a 8 months the tenant leaves without notice stating he is complying with my S21! Is he correct in his actions and if not how do I advise him otherwise?

Martin Eyre

16:49 PM, 11th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Hi,
Please excuse my ignorance, but what is the advantage of issuing a section 21?

Maurice Kifford

17:30 PM, 11th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Hi Tessa. A recent incident occurred involving a friend of mine who owns a letting agency. He tells me it was standard practice for him to issue a S21 notice at the commencement of the tenancy. His thinking was that it allows the landlord an early exit from the tenancy should things not work out with the tenancy. In 99.9% of all cases the AST simply rolled over to become a Statutory Assured Tenancy.

However, the day came when out of the blue an existing tenant walked into his office 6 months after signing an AST, and handed back the keys. The agent was taken aback and told the tenant that he was expected to give one months notice and not simply leave the property. The tenant of course responded that, as he had previously been given notice under the S21 notice that it was on the landlords instruction that he was vacating and therefore it was not an obligation for him to give any notice. I expect the tenant is probably right.

So, this is a likely pitfall of the early S21. Presumably if both parties are happy to continue then a new AST would need to be set up complete with a new tenancy deposit registration.

On that basis, I would rather use S21 only if it is required.

andrew townshend

17:30 PM, 11th July 2013
About 5 years ago

wise if your tenant turns out to be a badun, but not a good start with a goodun, that you would like to keep.

Ray Davison

17:47 PM, 11th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Maurice Kifford" at "11/07/2013 - 17:30":

Maurice,
A tenant can leave on the last day of a tenancy without giving notice anyway as he has completed his fixed term contract. He is not obliged to give notice whatever the tenancy agreement says! But as soon as he goes one day over he is required to give notice - unless of course the circumstances I refer to above apply and the reasoning is correct. We await Tessa's response on this to see if it correct.

Tessa Shepperson

17:58 PM, 11th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Serving a section 21 notice does not mean that the tenant is entitled to leave whenever he likes without giving notice.

It will really depend on the circumstances and I suggest that if you are serving the notice as a precautionary measure and don't require the tenant to leave on the last day of the notice, you tell them this. And make it clear that if they do leave when the tenancy is periodic, you will require the normal one months notice period (assuming the periodic is a monthly one).

I gave some guidance to tenants here http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2013/05/16/three-misunderstanding-about-tenants-rights-when-a-section-notice-is-served-on-them/

Antony Richards

20:06 PM, 11th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Unless you know that you will want possession at the end of the term, serving S21 at the commencement of the tenancy is an appalling idea. Any professional landlord wants a long term tenant. Why alienate the tenant within 48 hours of them moving in??

Whilst there is no time limit on a S21 (at the moment), if I was acting for the tenant I would argue that if the landlord was not intending to enforce the S21, then it becomes so uncertain as to invalidate it. It has not happened yet but this will rear its head one day.

HB Welcome

22:38 PM, 11th July 2013
About 5 years ago

@Antony Richards

" Why alienate the tenant within 48 hours of them moving in??"

Because the eviction process is no longer fit for purpose. Section 8 is a joke so landlords do what they can to protect themselves.
Unfortunately the system protects bad tenants to the detriment of the vast majority of good tenants.
(But you knew that already didn't you?)

"if I was acting for the tenant I would argue that if the landlord was not intending to enforce the S21, then it becomes so uncertain as to invalidate it."

Argue all you want, you wouldn't get anywhere with it.

1 2 3

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Variation of lease to rectify adverse possession?

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More