Rent payment after S21 ends

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    Rent payment after S21 ends

    Hi all,

    We were served a Section 21 which ended yesterday, 20th, and we are in the process of seeking alternate accommodation. Due to the nature of the rental market at present, we are still in the house as we haven't found anywhere else (I did have a thread on the actual notice itself last week).

    I do have a question around rent payment after this date - firstly; a month and a half ago it was agreed that I changed the rent payment date from the 21st month to the 1st, i.e. paying the regular payment c.10 days later, as I'd changed employer and the day of the month they paid me had changed to the last day of the month. LA agreed after speaking to LL and I thought no more of it. Fast forward a month to June 22nd and LA emailed to ask why I hadn't paid rent. After going back through the conversation that we had, the quote from her was "that's fine, I'll tell (LL) that you'll pay on the first as it will be the last payment anyway so that's fine". At this point, it was our intention as well as LL/LA that we would be out on or before the 21st at expiry of S21.

    Fast forward to now and due to not finding a place, we are still in-situ, and today I got an email from another member of staff at the LA demanding rent payment within 24hrs, possibly slightly because both them and the LL are irked at us staying beyond expiry of S21. She says it was agreed as a temporary measure (not to my understanding it wasn't, but still) due to end of S21, but I was under the impression the switch was as permanent as needed due to change of salary payment date.

    Now, two questions here if you don't mind - firstly, where do I stand on the payment date as the tenancy agreement does say 21st as this was the start date when we initially moved in, however I do have the email trail backing up my conversation, albeit perhaps showing a bit of a miscommunication?

    Secondly, and more generally; what is the situation regarding paying rent after S21 expiry? I'm aware I pay rent, obviously, I don't expect anything for free, but do I just pay in full, in advance, as previously and hope that when we move out whatever balance is left owing to me is refunded by LA/LL? No reason to distrust them, by the way, just hadn't thought of it until now. Would be a bit of a pain in the backside paying a full month's rent, then moving at short notice a week or two later, and having to chase a considerable amount by way of return?

    Thanks in advance.

    Edited to add: Should LA get difficult about rent payment date, I do have the fact up my sleeve that, technically, they haven't yet served me a valid S21 notice as the date was wrong initially, and when re-issuing they merely changed the date on the original notice.

    #2
    There's a practical element to the first question.
    Even if the agreement was "temporary" and you now start to pay your rent 10 days late.
    What's the landlord going to do about it - serve you notice?

    As long as you pay what you owe, 10 days isn't the end of the world, and it's a bit unreasonable of the agent/landlord to expect you to be particularly helpful when they've a) served you notice and b) made a real mess of it so far.

    And the second question is a bit more complex.
    The law relating to section 21 notices intends that any rent paid in advance is returned when the tenancy ends mid period as the result of a s21 notice.
    There's a formula for working the repayment out (s21c Housing Act 1988).

    There are only two issues with this, one is that as far as I can determine no one but the sad grey people who post on this kind of forum know that the law even exists and the other is that it's one of the less well constructed pieces of legislation in existance.
    It applies when "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" and no one knows what that means (including me).
    If you leave in a couple of weeks and surrender the tenancy does that happen "as a result" of the section notice or not?
    And, given that the section 21 notice isn't valid. can anything happen as a result of it.

    So your landlord/agent aren't likely to consider a rebate is needed, and I don't think the law is going to help much.

    Your tenancy agreement probably requires you to pay a month's rent in advance and doesn't mention anything about rebates.

    Given that you're paying your rent 10 days into the rental period, there's a reasonable chance that, when you pay it, you'll know more or less exactly when you're moving out, so you could simply pay up to that date.

    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
      Thank you, very helpful. They really have made a bit of a mess of it, and if I were someone who was trying to be a pain in the proverbial then I could make it very difficult for them and the landlord, but I'm genuinely not. The only reason we are still here is that we cannot find anywhere else, but we have had it confirmed this week that our priority level has been increased with the local authority so hopefully if all else fails, that will be our route out.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
        ..... it's one of the less well constructed pieces of legislation in existance.
        It applies when "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" and no one knows what that means (including me).
        I'd interpret that to mean if the tenancy ends (the bailifs chuck you out) before the end of a monthly period?
        Or possibly, but less likely, if you leave following the end date of the s21 notice but before the end of a monthly period?
        (both assuming it's monthly periodic).

        As said it's not clearly written - but that's where lawyers make their money, arguing about unclear legislation.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Bob Biscuits View Post
          confirmed this week that our priority level has been increased with the local authority so hopefully if all else fails, that will be our route out.
          If you are relying on local authority hosing, then it is likely that they will expect you to stay at least until there is a court order for possession, and possibly until bailiffs arrive. And that you will incur costs for the landlord's court action and the bailiff.

          Comment


            #6
            Yes, hopefully it won't go that far as the council aren't aware that our S21 is not valid, and if/when it gets as far as court I will tell the court/letting agent that fact and it will buy us another few months, hopefully in which time we will find somewhere.

            Comment

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