Will my Letting Agents Section 21 be valid?

Will my Letting Agents Section 21 be valid?

12:17 PM, 12th August 2013, About 8 years ago 33

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My letting agent served a section 21 notice soon after the tenant moved in, but only told him verbally a few months before the date on it, that he needed to be finding somewhere else to move to – rather than sending him a letter requiring possession! Will my Letting Agents Section 21 be valid?

Would I be right in thinking that if the tenants doesn’t go, and he is now past that date, and says he hasn’t seen anwhere else he likes (and gets some income support!) that that section 21 is worth diddly squat!

Thanks

Juliet



Comments

by Mary Latham

11:00 AM, 13th August 2013, About 8 years ago

This is a very interesting case and one that I have often warned landlords about. We cannot assume that a tenant will vacate at the end of a contract and it is always risky signing up a new tenant before the existing tenant has made his intentions clear - given notice/surrendered the tenancy in writing/email.

I have known landlords who have taken a short (3 months) let to fill the void over the summer in a student property only to find that the tenant will not leave and the landlord can do nothing until the tenant has been in place for 6 months - despite the fact that the contract (ast) was only for 3 months the law protects the tenant for 6 months. In this case the landlord is in breach of contract to the new tenants and must find them somewhere acceptable to live or compensate them.

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by Romain Garcin

11:20 AM, 13th August 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Steve Masters" at "13/08/2013 - 10:14":

Steve, yes you're wrong 😉

As said a s.21 notice is not a notice to quit and has no impact on the tenancy. Thus however the rent is due it remains so and the landlord accepting it is of no significance.
In addition, a s.21 notice served during a fixed term tenancy remains valid for the following Statutory Periodic Tenancy (this is a specific exception formally stated in s.21).
At the same time, there is nothing a landlord can do to prevent the SPT from being created: It is automatic by law and therefore whether the landlord agrees to it or not is irrelevant.

As I mentioned earlier, for A(S)Ts, the case whereby the tenant stays without permission basically only occurs if the tenant stays after his own notice to quit expires because that notice to quit does end the tenancy. When this happens, the landlord must indeed be careful not to create a new tenancy by e.g. accepting rent.
My understanding is that accepting any payment (even in arrear) while the (ex-)tenant remains in possession of the property is a risk.

by Steve Masters

11:21 AM, 13th August 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mary Latham" at "13/08/2013 - 11:00":

"... the landlord can do nothing until the tenant has been in place for 6 months ..."

It is my understanding that an s21 can be issued and expire in the first six months, but the case can't go to court until six months after the start of the tenancy.


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