S21 and refunds

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  • S21 and refunds

    Because the poor old OP of THIS THREAD has seen it derailed by a long but nevertheless valid debate/argument/discussion about the interpretation of law, I've started a new thread because the discussion has raised some questions I'd like answers to.

    Say I have a tenant, whose AST started on the 1st of the month and who pays monthly rent in advance on that day. Let's say the 6 month fixed term expires on the 31st of August and on that day I seek repossession through an S21 notice asking them to leave on the 31st of October. (Firstly, I hope I've got those dates right) Tenant and I have an amicable relationship and they agree to this and start looking for places to move to.

    On the 9th of October, I'm showing some potential new tenants around the property and after they've left, the tenant says, "By the way, we've found somewhere else, and we're leaving tomorrow. Are you free to do the checkout?" While that potentially gives me possession, which is after all what I'm after, a number of questions arise.
    1. Tenants don't have to give the standard AST one month's notice as they have been issued an S21, right?
    2. They've already paid rent for October so, by law, I owe them a refund of three weeks' rent, right?
    3. I was expecting three weeks' rent but will now forego this income with no compensation to me, right?
    4. I have been telling prospective tenants that they could move in at the start of November and coordinating my advertising and logistics accordingly, but I'm entitled to nothing to compensate for this inconvenience or the fact that I will almost certainly have some sort of void period as a result of this, right?
    TIA

  • #2
    1 is exactly the debate in the other thread - and the other answers arise from your answer to "1".

    Notwithstanding what the tenant is "entitled" to, you and the tenant can agree an outcome you're both happy with. The debate in the other thread is about what happens when there's no agreement between the two parties.

    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


    • #3
      Regarding 2, no, you don't have to refund: The changed law (s21C of HA 1988)
      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/50/section/21C
      states...
      21C Repayment of rent where tenancy ends before end of a period

      (1) A tenant under an assured shorthold tenancy of a dwelling-house in England is entitled to a repayment of rent from the landlord where—

      (a) as a result of the service of a notice under section 21 the tenancy is brought to an end before the end of a period of the tenancy,

      (b) the tenant has paid rent in advance for that period, and

      (c) the tenant was not in occupation of the dwelling-house for one or more whole days of that period.
      so
      i) It's not ending before end period.. and...
      ii) Tenant leaving doesn't end tenancy...

      I think there is confusion over this I regret I disagree with jpkeates:

      It's all about
      ....as a result of the service of a notice under section 21 the tenancy is brought to an end....
      The service of s21 alone does not end the tenancy: To do that and landlord (unless tenant agrees) still needs court, PO, bailiffs.. It's "as a result of..."

      & yes, I still think in theory a tenant would still need to serve notice to quit: But...
      1) No sensible landlord would argue/enforce that when he wants them out anyway... and
      2) Nope, not aware of any court case where this has been tested.
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by tatemono View Post
        but I'm entitled to nothing to compensate for this inconvenience or the fact that I will almost certainly have some sort of void period as a result of this, right?
        It's interesting the obviously differing perspectives of the landlord and the tenant in such a situation. Landlord feeling they are inconvenienced by the tenant leaving earlier than the landlord want the tenant to. How do you feel the tenant feel having to leave their home against their own plan/wishes because the landlord want it back?
        I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by KTC View Post
          How do you feel the tenant feel having to leave their home against their own plan/wishes because the landlord want it back?
          My example was hypothetical. Both parties have "plans/wishes" and, feelings aside, there are plenty of reasonable situations where a LL might want to ask a decent T to leave their home.

          We have two properties where we might have to do this in the next few years. One involves co-ownership where we don't have 100% say in what happens to the property. The other would be our actual home in the UK if we returned from overseas.

          Mind you, it might work out better for various reasons for us to actually rent ourselves. Would def. give us a look at the other side of the coin and would almost definitely be more profitable...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
            i) It's not ending before end period.. and...
            ii) Tenant leaving doesn't end tenancy...
            okay... so if I'd asked them to leave in the middle of the period, then I'd have to refund but my example had them leaving at the end so no refund due.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
              1 is exactly the debate in the other thread - and the other answers arise from your answer to "1".

              Notwithstanding what the tenant is "entitled" to, you and the tenant can agree an outcome you're both happy with. The debate in the other thread is about what happens when there's no agreement between the two parties.
              well I kind of hoped that the OP would get their thread back if it was rerouted here but I didn't realise that this really only arises where there is disagreement. Plus the debate over there shows no sign of slowing down despite the OP's plea (in post #39 that he's now confused!).

              Ah well...

              Comment


              • #8
                You're not wrong, tatemono! I have just commented, a tad sarcastically.

                It seems to be one of those nit picking arguments, hung up on minutia rather than helping the OP to resolve their issue.

                We are all guilty of doing that, me included. Maybe we should have a 'quit' word or phrase

                Comment


                • #9
                  I understand that it must be annoying when you ask a simple sounding question, and the debate goes off all over the place.
                  But the question isn't simple.

                  I don't think it helps the OP by giving them the wrong answer.
                  When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                  Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ... or too many ever so slightly different ones!

                    Maybe Pendant can be our quit word?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sounds like a winner to me.

                      If it helps, I've asked two different solicitors their take on the question, and they gave entirely different answers.
                      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That is ridiculous, isn't it?!!

                        Then again, given the current state of affairs, maybe it is simply par for the course.

                        Wasn't there a news piece in trade press recently about a new type of deposit protection insurance... that the proposed 'no fees' regs would make impossible to use?

                        I have to admit I read it, pondered it, and just gave up... it made so little sense.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Stef Cooke View Post
                          Maybe Pendant can be our quit word?
                          er... perhaps pedant would be more apropros

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry tatemono... that was a bit of a joke, I had already made that error on the other thread and jpk nit picked it up there.

                            I shall, again, go back to making necklaces

                            Comment

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