Help Please - Section 21 Date Clarification

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    Help Please - Section 21 Date Clarification

    Dear All,

    A new user on this forum in search of some advice!


    I purchased a house recently with sitting tenants and I am currently going through the process of having them evicted via Section 21. I have instructed solicitors to prepare and serve the Section 21 on my behalf but want to check the dates are correct.

    1) Solicitors will be posting the Section 21 notice today (30th July) and have advised the date notice is valid from will be 2nd August given the postage time. With the current COVID notice period of 4 months, the solicitor has put a date of 29th November on the Section 21 notice under section 2 of the Form 6A.

    I'm conscious if we get the dates incorrect it will cause issues. What would be the best dates to ensure we issue the full 4 months notice and prevent the tenant or a solicitor acting on her behalf from claiming the notice is invalid?

    I requested them to change the date to 2nd December to give 4 full calendar months but solicitor has advised "amendments to letter in respect of date ending 4 months period would also render the Notice invalid. Please note the section 21 notice must begin and end on a Monday after rent due date if its not a Monday." and has left the date as 29th August.

    When I count the number of days starting from 2nd August to and including 29th November this is a total of 120 days - therefore the notice should be valid right?

    Is this correct?


    2) On the tenancy agreement dating from 2009 obtained from seller the tenants surname was different and they later added an entry under the original name with the new name. I have a copy of the tenant's passport confirming current name. Does the Section 21 notice need to include the old name or just the current name of the tenant per their passport?

    Many thanks in advance to all!

    Thanks,
    777-300er

    #2
    If your solicitor is going to process the claim, they're going to have to explain/own any errors in what they do, so I'd either let them do their job or go with someone else.

    I am not a solicitor. But I share your concerns about the dates.
    If the letter is posted today (before 4:30PM I think), it will be deemed served on 3rd August (not the second) because 2 full working days are required.
    So I think that's less than 4 months and can't believe a solicitor would think any different.
    I'd have personally dated the notice 3rd (or maybe 4th) December.

    It may not matter that much, because the current thinking is that the four month term will drop to two months in September or October, so you'll probably serve new notice then.

    The solicitor is not correct that a letter sent with the notice with different dates would make the notice invalid.
    It might confuse the tenant, but notice is notice and a letter that accompanies it, isn't notice.

    The sentence about Mondays and rent due dates is, essentially, nonsense.
    Section 21 notices haven't had to end on rend due dates for some years now, and the idea that Monday's matter has never been a feature of a s21 notice as far as I know.

    If you have bought a property with the intention of serving notice on the tenants, presumably you know that everything that is necessary for the service of a valid notice was done and can demonstrate that - that's usually more tricky than the dates.
    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
      When do tenants say they 1st moved in please? Not vendor, not agent, not solicitor but tenant please

      If early enough no s21 anyway.
      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
        Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately tenants are refusing to speak to us, but I believe they moved in around 2009.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
          The sentence about Mondays and rent due dates is, essentially, nonsense.
          Unless there is something stating this in the tenancy agreement?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by MdeB View Post

            Unless there is something stating this in the tenancy agreement?
            jpkeates is correct, a notice posted 1st class on the 30th July 21 is deemed served on the 3rd August 21 because 31st and 1st are not working days. The PD point 10.1 of Part 6 is very clear.

            Unless as the above says, the solicitor is using a different method, I.e. personal service which is possible, or, the terms and method of service are laid out in the tenancy agreement, as contractual terms of service then take precedence, however the statutory law will still require the 4 months notice.

            I cannot see how the solicitor has got the dates right either way unless effecting personal service or the agreement allows email service.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
              Unless as the above says, the solicitor is using a different method, I.e. personal service which is possible, or, the terms and method of service are laid out in the tenancy agreement, as contractual terms of service then take precedence, however the statutory law will still require the 4 months notice.
              The contractual terms don't take precedence over the law, the terms have to comply with the legislation, although they can add extra detail (such as a method or address for service).

              If the tenancy is a periodic tenancy created by the Housing Act, any contractual terms about ending it are void.

              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
                Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
                The PD point 10.1 of Part 6 is very clear.
                "A document, other than a claim form, served within the United Kingdom in accordance with these Rules ..."

                As ever, whenever this topic comes up and CPR service rules are cited, no one ever explain why they think the CPR rules applies yet. You haven't got a court claim yet. Unless and until a claim is being issued, the CPR doesn't kick in yet.

                Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                If the tenancy is a periodic tenancy created by the Housing Act, any contractual terms about ending it are void.
                I would suggest a contractual term solely about how service of documents related to the tenancy are effected / deemed service etc. are not "void" under s5.
                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.

                I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by KTC View Post
                  As ever, whenever this topic comes up and CPR service rules are cited, no one ever explain why they think the CPR rules applies yet. You haven't got a court claim yet. Unless and until a claim is being issued, the CPR doesn't kick in yet.
                  The CPR rules don't apply, but the principle of deemed service seems to apply generally throughout the legal system.

                  It's one of those things that's generally proven by a reverse decision.
                  I've heard of notices being thrown out when a day's been allowed for postage (when there's every chance that it was delivered the morning following posting (usually more than 90% of first class mail achieves a next day delivery).
                  I've not heard of 2 work days being an issue.
                  Obviously my limited experience isn't a rule!

                  I would suggest a contractual term solely about how service of documents related to the tenancy are effected / deemed service etc. are not "void" under s5.
                  I agree, thanks for the correction/clarification!

                  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
                    In answer to when do the CPR apply - if you are contemplating a legal remedy, which you are as soon as you consider and consequently serve a s21, the CPR will apply. It naturally follows that 'legal rules' form the bedrock of our legal system and in order to achieve the desired outcome you follow them. If you don't there is a high probability that when you commence proceedings they will in all likelihood fail or at the very least have negative consequences. A good example is using form 6a, you can just send a letter or an email, but the chances are it will not be sufficient to satisfy the law in legal proceedings, but the tenant may move out anyway.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Bearing in mind the current situation, I would definitely add a few extra days.
                      If the tenant claims it was delivered late because their postman was pinged then I think they would be believed.

                      But I think that I would look for a different solicitor...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Ted.E.Bear View Post
                        Bearing in mind the current situation, I would definitely add a few extra days.
                        If the tenant claims it was delivered late because their postman was pinged then I think they would be believed.

                        But I think that I would look for a different solicitor...
                        You have missed the point. Deemed service is what is relevant when posting notice not actual service.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Deemed service is only relevant if there's no evidence of service or some dispute about service.
                          If the reality is that service was on day x, that would take precedence over the deemed date of y.

                          Evidence of that reality might be tricky in practice.
                          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


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
                            You have missed the point. Deemed service is what is relevant when posting notice not actual service.
                            "unless the contrary is proved"
                            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                            Evidence of that reality might be tricky in practice.
                            It can be tricky, but good evidence might be a Royal Mail service update announcing that there are limited deliveries taking place in that area...

                            Not that it's particularly relevant here, it doesn't really matter when an invalid notice is served.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Ted.E.Bear View Post
                              Not that it's particularly relevant here, it doesn't really matter when an invalid notice is served.
                              Excellent point!
                              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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