Verbal notice to quit statutory periodic tenancy claimed by one of joint tenants

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    Verbal notice to quit statutory periodic tenancy claimed by one of joint tenants

    Hi all,

    I haven't found a thread on this although I'm surprised about that because surely this must have happened before...

    I'm currently suing two ex joint tenants for property damage and one of them now told me they apparently issued a verbal notice to quit with three weeks' notice to my letting agents back in 2019, so they believe that the statutory periodic tenancy ended one or max two months after their notice to quit so they have nothing to do with the claim anymore. To be fair to them they did move out back then but the agents told me no notice to quit was handed in in writing.

    Now from reading the Shelter website it seems that a unilateral notice to quit by one of joint tenants is possible and would end the tenancy for all, but that it needs to be in writing.

    Does that mean that the tenant's verbal notice is null and void, or could it be deemed relevant?

    Many thanks for any thoughts!

    #2
    Does the tenancy agreement permit notices to be served verbally. I very much doubt it.

    Normally in writing, to address "for the service of notices" (without which no rent is due to you).

    Tenants may be viewing
    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...

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      #3
      Of course I should have mentioned it - the tenancy agreement requires written notice to be served. Thanks for pointing that out.

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        #4
        Not sure what you're really asking here. All this "is the notice valid", the only question in a damages claim is, did they cause the damage? Was it willful or negligent? If the answer to both is yes, that's your claim.

        That said, to my knowledge verbal notice is not valid if the agreement provides for written notice, further, what evidence do they have that they issued this notice?

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          #5
          What's the problem if Ts have vacated and you now have vacanrt possession?








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            #6
            Well, I'm sorry but I thought it's obvious. The former tenant claims they're not responsible for the damage because they left the property more than a year ago.

            They say because they gave a valid verbal notice to quit, their joint tenancy agreement ended and that by continuingtto accept rent I then entered into a new agreement with the sole remaining tenant, so only the sole remaining tenant is responsible for any damage.

            The way they worded this makes it obvious that they received some sort of pseudo legal advice... but all I can find about notices to quit seems to require them to be in writing, so their whole argument would collapse on the first point.

            So I want to make sure that I don't overlook anything obvious. For me it's clear that they have remained in the original tenancy agreement as joint tenants and are therefore jointly liable for any damage.

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              #7
              Originally posted by mariner View Post
              What's the problem if Ts have vacated and you now have vacanrt possession?
              It's about damage to the property.

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                #8
                Take them both jointly to court. LBA today
                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...

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                  #9
                  What is the assessed damage? vs costof recovery?

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                    Take them both jointly to court. LBA today
                    We're already in court, that's their defence

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by mariner View Post
                      What is the assessed damage? vs costof recovery?
                      With all due respect: What's got that to do with whether their verbal notice to quit (if it existed) was valid?

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                        Does the tenancy agreement permit notices to be served verbally.
                        It would not matter if it did as statute requires a notice to quit a dwelling to be in writing (section 5 Protection from Eviction Act 1977).

                        However, whilst the law sets out clear ways in which tenancies can be bought to an end, it recognises that in practice things can get messy because the requirements the law sets out may not be followed correctly or at all. Accordingly, when the situation requires, equity rides to the rescue. Whilst a landlord is not under any obligation to tell a tenant if his notice is invalid, if he is going to rely on the notice being invalid I think he really needs to be telling the tenant early on. There has to come a point where it is unconscionable to allow the tenant to continue to believe his obligations have come to an end. I am inclined to think that after a period which exceeds 7 months the departing tenant is entitled to assume the tenancy has come to an end if the landlord has not suggested otherwise.

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                          #13
                          Good point Lawcruncher, I was thinking about that too. The letting agents told the tenant that he can't end the tenancy like this because the remaining tenant would not have been able to afford the rent and also on his own would have needed a guarantor. So they were well aware that their notice to quit was not accepted by the landlord.

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                            #14
                            I am afraid the agent has confused the issue - no surprise there - by giving the departing tenant incorrect information as to why his notice was invalid. If the notice had been in writing and otherwise in order the reasons given would not apply. There is no saying what a judge would make of it all.

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                              #15
                              Yes that's true. To be fair the agents pointed out that if they were to serve notice properly then both tenants would have to move out unless the guarantor agreement could be set up. The departing tenant didn't want to force out the second tenant but he also didn't want to become a guarantor. Which I guess is why nothing ever came after the verbal notice to quit. Until now where the tenant claims his tenancy agreement ended. Good to know that there is a statutory requirement to serve written notice, this should kill this argument. I just wonder where the tenant got his legal advice from because it sounds like a far fetched claim to overlook...

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