Section 21 Clarification Needed PLEASE!!

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    Section 21 Clarification Needed PLEASE!!

    My partner and I have just been issued with a SECTION 21 with an accompanying letter stating that this is due to being late on the rent this month. The fact is we have never been late at all (we have bank statements to prove it!!) but after reading several threads it seems that they didn't need to give us a reason at all.

    We did, however, notice a few errors on the form:

    1. Our names are spelt incorrectly (the LL has our correct details on the original tenancy agreement)

    2. Our original tenancy agreement is with TWO names LL's....only one has signed it


    3. The "delete as appropriate" section for landlord/agent has not been deleted as appropriate!!

    Maybe these are minor things but I would like to know if it has at least been correctly served. Needless to say we have not signed it.

    CAN ANYONE ANSWER THIS FOR US PLEASE AS WE ARE DESPERATE?!

    We can only assume that because we have asked/begged for a gas safety certificate for over a year now (we have never been given one) and that the boiler looks very old. cuts out and I swear is the cause of our sickness, they want us out.

    Our gas heater too apparantly should have been checked as it was condemned when we got our CORGI reg. friend to inspect it.

    Can we withold rent until this is done? Can we have them prosecuted?

    Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated too!

    #2
    Originally posted by stallioni View Post
    My partner and I have just been issued with a SECTION 21 with an accompanying letter stating that this is due to being late on the rent this month. The fact is we have never been late at all (we have bank statements to prove it!!) but after reading several threads it seems that they didn't need to give us a reason at all.

    We did, however, notice a few errors on the form:

    1. Our names are spelt incorrectly (the LL has our correct details on the original tenancy agreement)if its clear that is just a typing error this is fine, only a problem if you are called Jones and its addressed to Smith

    2. Our original tenancy agreement is with TWO names LL's....only one has signed it again this is fine


    3. The "delete as appropriate" section for landlord/agent has not been deleted as appropriate!! This is not a problem

    Maybe these are minor things but I would like to know if it has at least been correctly served. Needless to say we have not signed it.

    CAN ANYONE ANSWER THIS FOR US PLEASE AS WE ARE DESPERATE?!

    We can only assume that because we have asked/begged for a gas safety certificate for over a year now (we have never been given one) and that the boiler looks very old. cuts out and I swear is the cause of our sickness, they want us out. you could report them to Environmental Health if you wish but do you really want to stay there if you are getting poorly? It might be worth you seeing your doctor just in case you may have carbon monoxide poisoning?

    Our gas heater too apparantly should have been checked as it was condemned when we got our CORGI reg. friend to inspect it.

    Can we withold rent until this is done? Can we have them prosecuted? they are certainly breaking the law by not having these items checked.

    Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated too!
    Hope you get the above matters sorted soon.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by stallioni View Post
      Maybe these are minor things but I would like to know if it has at least been correctly served.
      You should give us more details regarding your tenancy, inc. whether it is an AST and the dates the tenancy began, the length of the fixed term, etc.
      Idem regarding the notice: exact wording, etc.

      Comment


        #4
        It is an AST of 6 months until Jan 1st then rolling monthly. Notice given on 14th Jan with "date to be out by" of 31st March. Wording was my partners name spelt AMIE, her name is AIMEE. The notice was hand written. TY x

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by stallioni View Post
          Notice given on 14th Jan with "date to be out by" of 31st March.
          This wording would make it invalid.
          Does the notice states whether it is a section 21(1)(b) or 21(4)(a) notice? (If not too long perhaps you could just post the whole wording of the notice)
          How was it served?

          Comment


            #6
            The notice does not state if 1b or 4a....I have checked twice! Notice was served by unrecorded mail. ty.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by stallioni View Post
              The notice does not state if 1b or 4a....I have checked twice! Notice was served by unrecorded mail. ty.
              Unrecorded mail could be ok provided landlord have asked for a proof of postage.

              Anyway, in my opinion the wording of the notice (no mention of section paragraph, and "date to be out by") makes it invalid. Just to be complete: What date did the tenancy start?

              As a section 21 is not a notice to quit, it does not end the tenancy but merely allows the landlord to start court proceedings to get a possession order once notice has expired.
              So if you intend to stay, ignore the notice and pay your rent on time. Don't mention the notice is invalid to landlord, if he does apply to court you will be able to file a defence stating that it is in fact invalid.

              Comment


                #8
                The tenancy started on 2nd Feb 2010 on a 6 month AST. After this it apparantly is on a rolling contract. To be clear on the section 21 it does not state the words "date to be out by" it has the word "After" (typed) and then "31st March 2011" hand written. Again, the form does not state if it is a 1b or 4a. TY.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by stallioni View Post
                  To be clear on the section 21 it does not state the words "date to be out by" it has the word "After" (typed) and then "31st March 2011" hand written.
                  Ah that's not exactly the same, now is it? This makes the wording correct.

                  However, if the tenancy started on the 2nd Feb 2010 with a 6 month fixed term, the monthly period on the now periodic tenancy runs from the 2nd of a month until, and including, the 1st of the following month: Hence the date 31st March 2011 is wrong and makes the notice invalid.
                  Moreover, I think the absence of an explicit mention that it should be a section 21(4)(a) also makes it invalid (to be confirmed by someone else).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
                    However, if the tenancy started on the 2nd Feb 2010 with a 6 month fixed term, the monthly period on the now periodic tenancy runs from the 2nd of a month until, and including, the 1st of the following month: Hence the date 31st March 2011 is wrong and makes the notice invalid.
                    Moreover, I think the absence of an explicit mention that it should be a section 21(4)(a) also makes it invalid (to be confirmed by someone else).
                    Yup, I agree with all this. The expiry date should be "after 1st April 2011". And notices under s.21(4)(a) must state that LL requires possession by virtue of that section.

                    Therefore, the notice is invalid.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by stallioni View Post

                      Maybe these are minor things but I would like to know if it has at least been correctly served. Needless to say we have not signed it.

                      CAN ANYONE ANSWER THIS FOR US PLEASE AS WE ARE DESPERATE?!
                      You don't have to sign the notice to make it valid - but anyway, the notice is invalid due to the problems jjlandlord has pointed out, but while this may delay being evicted by a couple of months, the LL could still serve another, valid, notice and he is guaranteed a possession order if the notice is valid and correctly served. Mind you, the whole procedure takes several months from service of s.21 to the bailiff actually turning up at your door, so you'll have plenty of time to find a new place to live.

                      We can only assume that because we have asked/begged for a gas safety certificate for over a year now (we have never been given one) and that the boiler looks very old. cuts out and I swear is the cause of our sickness, they want us out.

                      Our gas heater too apparantly should have been checked as it was condemned when we got our CORGI reg. friend to inspect it.

                      Can we withold rent until this is done? Can we have them prosecuted?
                      You are not entitled to withhold rent.

                      Assuming you have already requested the gas safety certificate in writing, you can report the LL to the Health & Safety Executive or the Environmental Health Officer at the council. (I think it's the Health & Safety Executive which brings prosecutions for non-compliance).

                      If you have very good evidence that you have been adversely affected by carbon monoxide poisoning etc then you could bring a civil claim for damages, but you'd need to get expert legal advice for this. I strongly recommend you buy a carbon monoxide detector (see http://tinyurl.com/65pj386) or patch (see http://tinyurl.com/6eq9xqn).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by westminster View Post
                        ...notices under s.21(4)(a) must state that LL requires possession by virtue of that section.
                        It is yet another oddity of section 21 that the requirement to state that possession is required by virtue of the section is not needed for a section 21 (1) notice.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thank you Lawcruncher for this information, although now I am quite confused. Have spent the last four hours researching on the net and it does appear that the correct section notice identification MUST be put on the notice for it to be valid....I would not want to risk being in front of a judge if my argument does not hold water.....please can you clarity for me. ty

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by stallioni View Post
                            Thank you Lawcruncher for this information, although now I am quite confused. Have spent the last four hours researching on the net and it does appear that the correct section notice identification MUST be put on the notice for it to be valid....I would not want to risk being in front of a judge if my argument does not hold water.....please can you clarity for me. ty
                            Section 21(4)(a) does need it because it states:
                            that the landlord or, in the case of joint landlords, at least one of them has given to the tenant a notice in writing stating that, after a date specified in the notice, being the last day of a period of the tenancy and not earlier than two months after the date the notice was given, possession of the dwelling-house is required by virtue of this section; and
                            Whereas s21(1)(b) makes no such requirement:
                            the landlord or, in the case of joint landlords, at least one of them has given to the tenant not less than two months’ notice in writing stating that he requires possession of the dwelling-house.
                            As the notice was served on you after your fixed term had ended, section 21(4)(a) applies
                            (4)Without prejudice to any such right as is referred to in subsection (1) above, a court shall make an order for possession of a dwelling-house let on an assured shorthold tenancy which is a periodic tenancy if the court is satisfied

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by stallioni View Post
                              Thank you Lawcruncher for this information, although now I am quite confused. Have spent the last four hours researching on the net and it does appear that the correct section notice identification MUST be put on the notice for it to be valid....
                              There are two types of s.21 notices. Those served during the fixed term (s.21(1)(b) notices), and those served when the tenancy has become periodic (s.21(4)(a) notices). The requirements for each are different, and while the latter has to mention s.21 in the notice, the former doesn't; Lawcruncher was merely remarking on this 'oddity'.

                              Here's a link to section 21 Housing Act 1988

                              http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/50/section/21

                              which is what Snorkerz is quoting from.

                              Comment

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