Wrong date on a s.21 (1) (b) notice for repossession

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    Wrong date on a s.21 (1) (b) notice for repossession

    Hi all

    I went for an assessment day recently at a local solicitors in their housing department. The assessment involved a scenario with the following legal issue -

    A lady had been issued with a s.21 (1)(b) notice for repossession because her landlord wanted to sell the house, which was under a fixed term assured shorthold tenancy. I was given some basic information about this area of law (statutes etc..) and also a copy of the tenancy agreement and the notice she had been given.

    The notice seemed to be in order, however, I noticed that the expiry date of the notice had been entered incorrectly. The notice had been made on the 11 november 2009 and it was to expire on the 15 january 2009. Obviously the landlord had made an error by putting 2009 and not 2010.

    I went on to advise that the notice is therefore invalid and that she could either tell the landlord of his mistake and let him serve correct notice or she could not tell him and wait for the court to throw the case out for making this error.

    However, I am now unsure whether what I advised is correct. Is this notice indeed invalid or have I gone and messed up my chances?

    #2
    Originally posted by brooksieking View Post
    Hi all

    I went for an assessment day recently at a local solicitors in their housing department. The assessment involved a scenario with the following legal issue -

    A lady had been issued with a s.21 (1)(b) notice for repossession because her landlord wanted to sell the house, which was under a fixed term assured shorthold tenancy. I was given some basic information about this area of law (statutes etc..) and also a copy of the tenancy agreement and the notice she had been given.

    The notice seemed to be in order, however, I noticed that the expiry date of the notice had been entered incorrectly. The notice had been made on the 11 november 2009 and it was to expire on the 15 january 2009. Obviously the landlord had made an error by putting 2009 and not 2010.

    I went on to advise that the notice is therefore invalid and that she could either tell the landlord of his mistake and let him serve correct notice or she could not tell him and wait for the court to throw the case out for making this error.

    However, I am now unsure whether what I advised is correct. Is this notice indeed invalid or have I gone and messed up my chances?
    I am sure the notice is invalid as the date is clearly wrong whether its a typing error or not. A judge would throw this out if the date were one day wrong let alone a year.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Poppy35 View Post
      I am sure the notice is invalid as the date is clearly wrong whether its a typing error or not. A judge would throw this out if the date were one day wrong let alone a year.
      Well this was my logic. Also, I just don't see why a firm would put this date in incorrectly if it would be a valid notice. That would be like trying to catch us out twice.

      Comment


        #4
        I think this may have been a double test, first to see if you spotted the error, then to assess if it was fatal. The question is whether this particular error, obviously a clerical error since no notice can expire on a date that has passed, was of such a kind that the tenant could not possibly be misled and must know the date intended - in other words does it pass the "Mannai" test. You will find a discussion here: http://www.falcon-chambers.co.uk/upl...20Articles.pdf. I have no idea if the law has moved on since the article was written. I suggest you Google "Mannai".

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
          I think this may have been a double test, first to see if you spotted the error, then to assess if it was fatal. The question is whether this particular error, obviously a clerical error since no notice can expire on a date that has passed, was of such a kind that the tenant could not possibly be misled and must know the date intended - in other words does it pass the "Mannai" test. You will find a discussion here: http://www.falcon-chambers.co.uk/upl...20Articles.pdf. I have no idea if the law has moved on since the article was written. I suggest you Google "Mannai".
          Thanks for this. I guess it pointless worrying about it now, I just wanted to know for knowledge sake. Personally, I wouldn't have been mislead by the date.

          But from drafting hypothetical contracts and agreements on the LPC, I thought that getting the correct dates and information down was paramount to the validity of any legal form. Guess only time will tell! I find out next week whether I've been successful.

          Comment


            #6
            For a lawyer getting dates right is of paramount importance and they always need to be checked and rechecked since you cannot always rely on the Mannai principle and you do not want to have to fall back on your indemnity insurance. You may draft a superb document, but you do not want your drafting to be wasted by getting your dates wrong.

            Comment


              #7
              anyone else?

              Comment


                #8
                Sorry to butt in. I have no legal training to be able to contribute to this thread but I have a question related to the section 21 expiry date.

                I have read one post on this website that for fixed term AST it would be better to serve the section 21 without an expiry date entered. Is this to avoid mistakes that could potentially cause the s21 notice to be thrown out in court (as highlighted in the case study in this thread)? Is it correct and valid to serve a s21 notice without an expiry date entered?

                If you just leave a blank space where the expiry date is, does this not leave the form or document open for the tenant to insert any date they want thereby invalidating the notice? You could argue that they have then committed fraud by doing so but you / the landlord would have to somehow prove that this was the case in court (I would have thought it would be difficult to prove).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by agoodlandlord View Post
                  I have read one post on this website that for fixed term AST it would be better to serve the section 21 without an expiry date entered.
                  No, a s.21 expiry cannot be blank.

                  If you're refering to this thread: AST expires at end of February - getting s.21 dates OK, then the conclusion was that an s.21 may have an expiry of either (a) a date, (b) a clause, or (c) a date and a saving clause.
                  The information in my posts is provided 'as is'. This is not intended to be legal advice. Legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on this information or any part of it. I will not be held responsible for loss or damage arising from errors in the information or the way in which a person uses the information on this . For more information on your query use the '' link at the top of this page. Agreements, Forms & Notices can be found .

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by brooksieking View Post
                    But from drafting hypothetical contracts and agreements on the LPC, I thought that getting the correct dates and information down was paramount to the validity of any legal form. Guess only time will tell! I find out next week whether I've been successful.
                    I guess the upshot here is that you couldn't say for sure either way whether this notice was going to fly or not; there's no 'yes' or 'no' it would be down to the individual judge on the day to decide whether or not it passed this 'Mannai' test?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by tom999 View Post
                      No, a s.21 expiry cannot be blank.

                      If you're refering to this thread: AST expires at end of February - getting s.21 dates OK, then the conclusion was that an s.21 may have an expiry of either (a) a date, (b) a clause, or (c) a date and a saving clause.
                      I read somewhere, which I cannot now find, that suggested (c) was unwise as if the formula produces a different date from the specified date then there is doubt as to which date is intended. (This contrasts with using (c) in a notice to quit which is allowed.)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        What do people here think of the Landlordzone section 21 form which is downloadable from this website?

                        Has anybody used it before and is it deemed to be correct and valid (if completed correctly)?

                        It has a section/space labelled "DATE OF EXPIRY of this notice". Is this correct? I thought some of you here have said that a s21 does nnot / can not expire.

                        After all my trouble with my existing problem tenant, really feel the need to become much more knowledgeable in the finer aspects of the various landlord and tenant acts and property law as a whole. Do any of you have any books you can recommend for somebody not from a law degree background? Or perhaps weekend courses I could go to? I am thinking I need a book on 'introduction to law' or 'law for dummies' first before moving on to 'tenancy law for dummies'.

                        Is it just me or are most of the clauses in the various related acts mainly for the benefit of the tenant? It seems that landlords really have to pull out all the stops and jump through a whole bunch of legal obstacles to evict a bad tenant! I have just spent all weekend researching what I need to do in order to rid myself of a tenant that won't pay or even respond to any form of communication. Does not seem like the balance of obstacles between tenant/landlord is fair.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by agoodlandlord View Post
                          What do people here think of the Landlordzone section 21 form which is downloadable from this website?

                          Has anybody used it before and is it deemed to be correct and valid (if completed correctly)?
                          It would be a valid notice if completed and served correctly.

                          Originally posted by agoodlandlord View Post
                          It has a section/space labelled "DATE OF EXPIRY of this notice". Is this correct? I thought some of you here have said that a s21 does nnot / can not expire.
                          Where have some of us said this?

                          Originally posted by agoodlandlord View Post
                          Do any of you have any books you can recommend for somebody not from a law degree background? Or perhaps weekend courses I could go to? I am thinking I need a book on 'introduction to law' or 'law for dummies' first before moving on to 'tenancy law for dummies'.
                          Join a LL's association (e.g. NLA or RLA); they have courses on how to set up and manage tenancies and much more; they also have a legal advice line for members; useful for completing paperwork, if you're unsure.
                          The information in my posts is provided 'as is'. This is not intended to be legal advice. Legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on this information or any part of it. I will not be held responsible for loss or damage arising from errors in the information or the way in which a person uses the information on this . For more information on your query use the '' link at the top of this page. Agreements, Forms & Notices can be found .

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Well I got through to the interview stage so must have written something right

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I am in no way sure of the legal implications, but would have thought it would depend upon the entire wording of the notice if for example it said "I hereby give you two months notice from x to expire on y" and y was obviously a typo, then would have thought the notice was still valid.

                              Comment

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