Invalid section 21?

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    Invalid section 21?

    Hi,

    After 5 years quietly renting our flat, the landlord has decided to sell and gave us formal 'notice to quit'. He tells us his mortgage ends next year so he needs to sell.

    He sent the notice via email on 9th April, giving us until 8th June to leave (the date on the attached letter). It arrived in our letterbox two days later.

    We have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, fixed for 6 months, and the tenancy agreement explicitly states that it will then become a contractual periodic tenancy after this. It's in England and started on 25th September.

    We don't want to stay where we're not wanted and have been trying to find a new property to buy, but haven't yet been able to find a suitable one. So, I've been exploring our options.

    From reading around, my understanding is that:

    1) the landlord has given us short notice in his email by 1 day.
    2) In our tenancy agreement, it specifically states that notice will be given by letter through the door, in which case the landlord has given us 3 days short notice.
    3) For a contractual periodic tenancy, the notice to quit must explain that it's a section 21 notice - it does not do this.

    Can anyone tell me if this is sufficient to invalidate the notice in a judges eyes?

    As I say, we're trying to leave but feel that landlord should have given us a bit more time to do this under the circumstances

    Many thanks in advance

    Bob


    #2
    If you're planning to leave, but just need more time, I'd tell the landlord that.
    If they want you to leave and you don't, they'll have to go through a legal process that will take several months, while you will probably move out much quicker if the landlord is prepared to be flexible.

    The landlord's notice needs to comply with the terms of the tenancy agreement, it doesn't have to be a section 21 notice.
    If the tenancy agreement says that notice has to be by letter and be two month's notice, I agree that the notice isn't valid.
    But there's no point telling the landlord that now.

    But the sensible thing to do is to ask for some flexibility (it's something that landlords often forget - 2 months isn't really long enough to find somewhere else to live, get approved for it and actually move).
    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
      Many thanks for the advice. The Tenancy agreement says section 21 arrangements apply if they need to repossess the property, so I was hoping this would be an additional factor if we are forced to defend an eviction.

      We do indeed plan to ask him for more time in the hope he will be reasonable about it.

      Comment


        #4
        If you are so fond of the place, I wonder if he would give you a good discount on buying it? Is that a possibility?

        Comment


          #5
          We wondered that too, but all indications are that he wants to test the market.

          Comment


            #6
            Alternative strategy if he won't give a discount: Explain you'll stay to the bitter end of s21/court/bailiff process (likely 7-8months, see -
            https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...eviction_takes

            - or might be amenable to leaving at a date suiting him for a suitable sum plus excellent reference: I'd want £5k+ - but I'm a greedy landlord....
            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


              #7
              Originally posted by sark View Post
              Many thanks for the advice. The Tenancy agreement says section 21 arrangements apply if they need to repossess the property, so I was hoping this would be an additional factor if we are forced to defend an eviction.

              We do indeed plan to ask him for more time in the hope he will be reasonable about it.
              A valid s21 notice can only be served after a tenancy ends and becomes periodic.
              And a contractual periodic tenancy doesn't end until the contract's termination process has been satisfied.

              When that's happened, if you don't move out, a new staturory periodic tenancy arises automatically and then a s21 notice can be served (with the required 2 month's notice).
              As, from the sound of it, the landlord's notice isn't actually valid, the contractual periodic tenancy won't end and any s21 notice would be invalid.


              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


                #8
                It sounds like he's got this very wrong, which is helpful. I don't fancy my chances of getting 5k from him however...

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by sark View Post
                  We wondered that too, but all indications are that he wants to test the market.
                  Oh, well there's no reason he couldn't do that for the sake of comparison, but still sell to you. Maybe you could ask what his estate agent suggests, and make him a lower offer?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It's very easy to get notice wrong - but that only matters if everyone falls out.
                    From the sound of it, you've accepted you're going to need to move and, so, hopefully, it's just about the time scale.
                    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


                      #11
                      You do seem to have taken this quite personally, but its possible that the landlord cant get a replacement btl motgage, which is a lot tougher these days or even that he just cant manage the massively increased bureaucracy.

                      As others have suggested, I would keep quiet about the invalid notice and keep it in my back pocket while I tried to negotiate more time.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hi there Sark
                        As a Landlord I never want to fall out with my tenants and always try to be reasonable. We had to ask a tenant to leave many years ago so we could sell the property and gave them 2 months notice but also as an apology said they did not have to pay the last 2 months rent. Perhaps you can suggest this as you have been a good tenant for 5 years.
                        Recently my landlord mortgage came to the end of its term on another property and I had problems remortgaging because of the new affordability rules (not all landlords are wealthy!) and the mortgage company said I had to sell my property. This was devastating - is it worth creating more hell for your landlord when you don't know the circumstances. Can you not find another property to rent if you can not find a suitable property to buy.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                          A valid s21 notice can only be served after a tenancy ends and becomes periodic.
                          And a contractual periodic tenancy doesn't end until the contract's termination process has been satisfied.
                          What is the authority for this?

                          S21(4) HA 1988 appears (to me) to say otherwise (that the S21 notice can be served during the contractual periodic period).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by slooky View Post
                            Hi there Sark
                            Recently my landlord mortgage came to the end of its term on another property and I had problems remortgaging because of the new affordability rules (not all landlords are wealthy!) and the mortgage company said I had to sell my property. This was devastating - is it worth creating more hell for your landlord when you don't know the circumstances. .
                            Without wishing to go too much into those sorts of details, he is a wealthy person. It's a matter of convenience for him rather than affordability.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by MdeB View Post
                              S21(4) HA 1988 appears (to me) to say otherwise (that the S21 notice can be served during the contractual periodic period).
                              As it happens, the notice served hasn't been served under s(4) - because the dates are wrong - but your basic point is correct.
                              So, I'm wrong (but this notice is still not valid).
                              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

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