What Notice do I need to serve on L, to terminate?

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  • What Notice do I need to serve on L, to terminate?

    Hi,

    I've been renting my flat for a year. The initial contract was due to expire today, but in december a new contract has been agreed with the Landlord, which is basically a new 2 year fixed term contract, replacing the initial one, that spans from 26/01/08 (when I first moved in the flat) to 25/01/10.

    As far as I know, the contract is not an AST, but an unnamed kind of contract: the first page just states "an agreement between [landlord] and [tenant] for a tenancy of [address] for the period [begining to end date] at a rental of [price] per calendar month". For this reason I'm not sure if there is any law that would apply on top of what's stated in the contract.

    I am now in the process of looking for a new flat, and have potentially found one yesterday, so I'm asking myself questions about the notice that I have to give my landlord.

    The contract states that "The Landlord hereby agrees that the Tenant shall have the right to terminate this agreement by giving to the landlord or his agent not less than one months advance notice in writing no earlier than 26/07/2008 of his intention to do so such notice to be delivered to the Landlord or his agent or sent by registered post or recorded delivery to the premises of the Landlords agent."

    What I am wondering is: if for example I serve notice on the 5th of february, does that mean that the contract will end on the 5th of march, or does it have to end one the day when the rent is due, which would be the 25th of march?

    I also wonder how to deliver the notice: my LL has a store just below my flat, so the simplest would be to just give him the notice. However, I am concerned about how to get a proof of me giving him the notice, in case he contests this at a future date. Should I bring two copies of the notice, and ask him to sign one for me? Or should I instead send it via a recorded letter, whose receipt would serve as proof?

    Finally, is there some kind of standard letter or form that I should use for the notice, or should I just write a letter along the lines of "I hereby give you notice that I will be terminating the renting agreement on [date] and vacate the premisses by this date"?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  • #2
    Originally posted by evalf View Post
    I've been renting my flat for a year. The initial contract was due to expire today, but in december a new contract has been agreed with the Landlord, which is basically a new 2 year fixed term contract, replacing the initial one, that spans from 26/01/08 (when I first moved in the flat) to 25/01/10.

    As far as I know, the contract is not an AST, but an unnamed kind of contract.
    To be an AST, the Letting Agreement does not need labelling as such.
    S.1 of the Housing Act 1988 (and Schedule 1) state what can or cannot be an Assured Tenancy.
    S.19A (and Schedule 2A) state which ATs are ASTs.

    1. Assured tenancies.
    (1) A tenancy under which a dwelling-house is let as a separate dwelling is for the purposes of this Act an assured tenancy if and so long as:
    (a) the tenant or, as the case may be, each of the joint tenants is an individual; and
    (b) the tenant or, as the case may be, at least one of the joint tenants occupies the dwelling-house as his only or principal home; and
    (c) the tenancy is not one which, by virtue of subsection (2) or subsection (6) below, cannot be an assured tenancy.



    (2) Subject to subsection (3) below, if and so long as a tenancy falls within any paragraph in Part I of Schedule 1 to this Act, it cannot be an assured tenancy...
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Jeffrey, and thank you for your answer.

      I've had a read of the sections you mentioned of the Housing Act on the IOSU website, and it seems that my contract is indeed an AST (as far as I understand the legal texts).

      I have not been able to locate, however, the parts of the Housing Act that specify the details of the notice I have to give to my landlord. It is still unclear to me if my tenancy will end exactly one month after I've given the notice, or one month + x days after the notice, so that it coincides with the day I have to pay the rent. Could you please clarify that point?

      I would also greatly appreciate answers about the way I have to deliver the notice, and any tips on how to write it. Finally, the contract states that I can give it either to the Landlord or the agency. However, I was wondering if it was maybe a common practice to send it to both.

      Thanks again for your help!

      Comment


      • #4
        If I understand you dilemma correctly!

        You don't have to serve any Notice to end the fixed term which is tomorrow, and it then becomes periodic if you haven't signed a new tenancy. There is no prescribed form of Notice, a letter will do, but the Notice then has to end at the end of a rental period and you must serve a minimum of one month's Notice if you stay beyond the fixed term. You can serve it personally or by recorded delivery.

        If you therefore stay beyond 26th January then the earliest you will be able to end the tenancy will be 26 March.

        If you have signed a new 2 years fixed term then you are liable for the rent for the whole term unless you can replace yourself.
        The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
          ...unless you can replace yourself.
          That sounds a useful sort of skill. Tell us more!
          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks Paul_f for your answer. However, I think I may not have been very clear regarding the new 2 year agreement that I signed: it does replace the initial agreement, but it still has the same break clause: I cannot end the agreement earlier than 26/07/2008 (which is 6 months ago, and was 6 months after the begining of the agreement), and I can end it by giving 1 month notice. So the agreement did not become periodic (at least that is my understanding) as it has a fixed term (in one year from now), and I only need to give one, and not two months notice. Or maybe there is some subtelty that I did not understand in the new agreement I signed, in which case I would be in a bad situation. Otherwise, I am still wondering if the one month notice will be exactly one month, or if it will have to coincide with the day I usually pay rent, and hence could be up to 1 month and 30 days.

            Thanks for your help!

            Comment

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