How much notice from T to L during periodic tenancy?

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  • How much notice from T to L during periodic tenancy?

    We have been renting a property since 1st of June 2008. We originally signed a 6 month agreement; we were offered another 6 month agreement in December but declined stating we would be happy with a periodic agreement.

    One of the clauses in the original agreement is that we would have to give 2 months notice should we wish to move. I've spoken to the LL and she insists it is two months notice. We have found a new house and needed to give notice, here is the relevant section from the letter i give her

    We are now on a statutory periodic tenancy as our assured short hold tenancy has ended lapsed we hereby give one months notice.

    The last day of our tenancy will be 31st July 2009. We will be available on that date after 7pm to complete a check-out inspection. We are however flexible on the date and time of the checkout.

    She was not happy and quite insistant that it is 2 months notice and she will hold us to this. She has just delivered a letter, please find relevant section below.

    I have today consulted with my solicitor who agrees that it is two months as per the contract which you signed last year. I am enclosing a copy of the page covering the termination of the contract, incase you do not have your contract to hand. 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3 state very clearly the terms under which the contract may be terminated. 7.1 states that the landlord or tenant may terminate the tenancy by giving not less than two months written notice, such notice not to expire earlier than the end of the fixed term of the tenancy and 7.2 explains very clearly that if you want to leave the property at the end of the six month period, you must give notice on the forth month of tenancy.

    If no such notice is given by either party then the contract continues under the same terms and conditions. The contract does not expire at the end of the six months if no notice is given.


    The whole first paragraph is strange as she's talking about the contract period and the last sentence just seems like utter rubbish.

  • #2
    No, she - and her solicitor - are wrong.

    As a tenant on a periodic tenancy, you only need give one month's notice to expire on the day before a rent payment day. The LL on the other hand must give two months' notice; that is probably where she has got 'two months' from.

    The bits she is quoting seem to apply to the fixed term contract anyway (still wrong, unless she is referring to the exercise of a break clause - it's not clear - T can walk away with no notice at all on the last day of a fixed term!)

    Any clause in the TA which attempts to override this statutory provision is unenforceable and can be ignored.
    '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


    • #3
      You are quite right, you need only give one month's notice. Your fixed term expired and its notice provisions do not carry through to the (new) periodic tenancy (unless agreed otherwise).

      http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/notice_to_quit.htm

      Sorry, don't know which bit of which Housing Act you need to quote - but you only need it if LL goes on to issue a claim.

      The solicitor sounds a bit hopeless if he/she doesn't know this - though it's possible LL didn't describe the situation properly over the phone, just quoted from the fixed term contract.

      Is your deposit protected in a scheme?

      Comment


      • #4
        Great minds...
        '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

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
          Great minds...
          I know, lol......you always get there before me, though!

          Comment


          • #6
            Many thanks for your quick responses everyone, sorry if you've been asked this question over and over again.

            I'll get to work penning a polite but firm reply to her, i assume the below is the relevant section of the Housing Act i need to point her to?

            Point her to Section 5 (3) (e) of the Housing Act 1988:

            http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts1988..._19880050_en_2

            (2) If an assured tenancy which is a fixed term tenancy comes to an end otherwise than by virtue of—

            (a) an order of the court, or

            (b) a surrender or other action on the part of the tenant,

            then, subject to section 7 and Chapter II below, the tenant shall be entitled to remain in possession of the dwelling-house let under that tenancy and, subject to subsection (4) below, his right to possession shall depend upon a periodic tenancy arising by virtue of this section.

            (3) The periodic tenancy referred to in subsection (2) above is one—

            (a) taking effect in possession immediately on the coming to an end of the fixed term tenancy;

            (b) deemed to have been granted by the person who was the landlord under the fixed term tenancy immediately before it came to an end to the person who was then the tenant under that tenancy;

            (c) under which the premises which are let are the same dwelling-house as was let under the fixed term tenancy;

            (d) under which the periods of the tenancy are the same as those for which rent was last payable under the fixed term tenancy; and

            (e) under which, subject to the following provisions of this Part of this Act, the other terms are the same as those of the fixed term tenancy immediately before it came to an end, except that any term which makes provision for determination by the landlord or the tenant shall not have effect while the tenancy remains an assured tenancy.

            Comment


            • #7
              The information given there is incorrect in a very important detail. A tenant's notice to quit must expire at the end of a complete period of the tenancy, not at the end of a rent period (though the two may be the same). The notice may expire on the last day of tenancy period or the first day of tenancy period.

              Example:

              A tenancy starts on 5th January 2008 and ends on 15th July 2008. The rent is payable on the 5th of the month. The statutory periodic tenancy starts on 16th July 2008. The periods of the tenancy are therefore from the 16th of the month to the 15th of the month with rent payable on the 5th of the month. The tenant may give one month's notice to quit to end the tenancy on either the 15th or the 16th of the month. A notice terminating the tenancy on any other day of the month is invalid.

              A similar observation may be made in respect of the comments on the date on which a section 21 notice expires.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you for highlighting that.

                However, it is correct to assume the distinction is not relevant in OP's case, since the tenancy period runs from 1st-31st of each month and she has given notice to expire on 31st July?
                '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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                  However, it is correct to assume the distinction is not relevant in OP's case, since the tenancy period runs from 1st-31st of each month and she has given notice to expire on 31st July?
                  Probably. A possible snagette is the wording of the notice:

                  We are now on a statutory periodic tenancy as our assured short hold tenancy has ended lapsed we hereby give one months notice.

                  The last day of our tenancy will be 31st July 2009. We will be available on that date after 7pm to complete a check-out inspection. We are however flexible on the date and time of the checkout.


                  "We hereby give one months notice" means "We hereby give one months notice from the date of this notice" and so if the notice was dated, say, 25th June, the notice will not end on 31st July. However, the words "The last day of our tenancy will be 31st July 2009" probably save it since taken over all the intention is clear.

                  When serving a notice that needs to take effect on a specified date it is wise to refer to the date rather than specifying the period of notice and, of course, you should serve the notice in good time. There is also some failsafe wording you can add that kicks in if you get the date wrong or serve the notice late; I cannot quite remember how it goes.

                  When drafting or approving notice provisions that require the notice to take effect on a specified date it should be ensured that the reference is always to "at least [period]'s notice". Otherwise you will be in the tricky position of having to serve the notice on exactly the right date

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                    There is also some failsafe wording you can add that kicks in if you get the date wrong or serve the notice late; I cannot quite remember how it goes.
                    A typical "saving clause" reads something like this:

                    “ ... on [date] or at the end of the period of the tenancy which will end next after the expiry of one month [in the case of a monthly tenancy] from the service upon you of this notice”.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                      The information given there is incorrect in a very important detail. A tenant's notice to quit must expire at the end of a complete period of the tenancy, not at the end of a rent period (though the two may be the same). The notice may expire on the last day of tenancy period or the first day of tenancy period.

                      Example:

                      A tenancy starts on 5th January 2008 and ends on 15th July 2008. The rent is payable on the 5th of the month. The statutory periodic tenancy starts on 16th July 2008. The periods of the tenancy are therefore from the 16th of the month to the 15th of the month with rent payable on the 5th of the month. The tenant may give one month's notice to quit to end the tenancy on either the 15th or the 16th of the month. A notice terminating the tenancy on any other day of the month is invalid.

                      A similar observation may be made in respect of the comments on the date on which a section 21 notice expires.
                      Specifically the last point made about the section 21 notice may be misleading for that notice.

                      Firstly in the Church Commissioners v Meya (Court of Appeal) they held the periods of the statutory periodic tenancy were the periods for which rent was "last paid" during the fixed term. Whilst the point under argument was the length of the notice, the start and end date could be implied too.

                      Secondly the comment about ending the first or last day of the period does not apply to Section 21 (McDonald v Fernandez discussed this point), it has to be the last day.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by David TFP View Post
                        Specifically the last point made about the section 21 notice may be misleading for that notice.

                        Firstly in the Church Commissioners v Meya (Court of Appeal) they held the periods of the statutory periodic tenancy were the periods for which rent was "last paid" during the fixed term. Whilst the point under argument was the length of the notice, the start and end date could be implied too.

                        Secondly the comment about ending the first or last day of the period does not apply to Section 21 (McDonald v Fernandez discussed this point), it has to be the last day.
                        That's a very good and informative post, if I may say so.

                        1. Yes. If the rent period is monthly during a fixed term tenancy, that remains true during the statutory continuation tenancy- which begins on the day after the fixed term expires, irrespective of the day of the month on which rent falls due.

                        2. Yes, again. The s.21 Notice period has to end when a tenancy period ends- not one day later.
                        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).

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                        • #13
                          I've had to put her down as my current LL on my form for the new house. I did say i would help her in finding new tennants, i think she is pushing her luck.

                          Homelet contacted me saying she isnt answering the phone, i sent her a text message advising they were having problems getting in touch with her and would she prefer to be emailed.

                          Her response is below, fair enough about the rent she is only wanting to be certain, but we've never been late with a payment yet, it's the 'booked in' comment that is annoying.


                          ‘i have 2 viewings booked in on Thursday at 1.15 & 2.15. I will call homelet as soon as your rent is in tomorrow’

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Preston View Post
                            A typical "saving clause" reads something like this:

                            “ ... on [date] or at the end of the period of the tenancy which will end next after the expiry of one month [in the case of a monthly tenancy] from the service upon you of this notice”.
                            That's it! Thank you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by djkarl View Post
                              it's the 'booked in' comment that is annoying.

                              ‘i have 2 viewings booked in on Thursday at 1.15 & 2.15. I will call homelet as soon as your rent is in tomorrow’
                              You could always tell her the times are not convenient to you, if you want to be awkward - but it is probably in your best interests to just get it all over with!!
                              Mrs Jones
                              I am not an expert - my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as fact!!

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