n5b form rejected by court as s21 deemed invalid - can anyone help?

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  • n5b form rejected by court as s21 deemed invalid - can anyone help?

    Hi Guys

    Hoping someone can help.

    AST ended on 12 November. s21 issued on 15 September to expire after 18th November. Hand delivered to house on 15 September at 9.01am & posted thru letterbox. Took a witness with me, got them to sign the witness statement - notice serving form off this site. Also posted by first class post from 2 different post offices on 15th.

    My ast states 'if any notice is sent by post it is deemed to have been served 48 hours after it was posted'.

    Put on the n5b form were it states it was served by: 's21 notice was served by landlord (Miss X) on the tenant (Miss Y) at the rental address through the letterbox. A witness to this serving was present at the time (Mr Z). A witness statement signed by Mr Z is attached (Marked C1). Also the notice was served from 2 different post offices, by first class post. Certificates of posting attached (marked C1). These are deemed served in accordance with section 2.3 of the tenancy agreement.'

    Just phoned the court now and the receptionist has said the s21 is deemed invalid as the ast expired on the 12 November, the s21 was dated 15 September for expiry on 18 November therefore it is defective.

    Can anyone advise on the error, as I thought all seemed fine.

  • #2
    If the notice was deemed invalid because of the expiry date, I would point out to the court that a s.21 notice served during the fixed term under s.21(1) does not have to expire at the end of a tenancy period (only notices served in a periodic tenancy under s.21(4) must follow this rule).

    In the circumstances it might have been easier to have the notice expire on the 12 november, though (provided it was served early enough).

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for your response jjlandlord - never though of it from that angle. I wouldn't mind but the receptionist quoted it was invalid under s21b so you would think the judge would know.

      I thought it was rejected more because they had ignored the witness statement for some reason (perhaps because I just pushed it through the letterbox??), and were relying solely on postal dates?

      How do point your point out to the court - is it in writing only?

      How successful have people been when they have done this is getting the judge to change his mind?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by nessa View Post
        AST ended on 12 November. s21 issued on 15 September to expire after 18th November. ...


        ...Just phoned the court now and the receptionist has said the s21 is deemed invalid as the ast expired on the 12 November, the s21 was dated 15 September for expiry on 18 November therefore it is defective.
        Can anyone advise on the error, as I thought all seemed fine.
        I don't see the logic of the explanation - "therefore it is defective" - why "therefore"? Also, it's irrelevant that the s.21 was dated 15th September - it's the date of service which matters.

        The notice was served during the fixed term, it gave not less than two months, and expired after the end of the fixed term, therefore it's not defective (or not because of the date it was served or expired).

        (It's pretty far fetched, but the only possible explanation I can come up with which might fit is that the court didn't accept the service by hand (for reasons unknown) and also failed to accept that the notice posted on Thursday 15th September 2011 would be deemed served 48 hours later (as per contract) because it was a Saturday, and instead deemed it served two business days later, which would be Monday 19th September, and also didn't include the date of deemed service in the notice period, making the notice period 20th September - 18th November inclusive, just short of two months).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by nessa View Post
          Thanks for your response jjlandlord - never though of it from that angle. I wouldn't mind but the receptionist quoted it was invalid under s21b so you would think the judge would know.
          It's s.21(1)(b).

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by westminster View Post
            failed to accept that the notice posted on Thursday 15th September 2011 would be deemed served 48 hours later (as per contract) because it was a Saturday, and instead deemed it served two business days later, which would be Monday 19th September, and also didn't include the date of deemed service in the notice period, making the notice period 20th September - 18th November inclusive, just short of two months).
            That'd make more sense indeed as a reason to reject it.

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            • #7
              Thanks guys for taking time out to respond.

              Where do I go from here, would you suggest?

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              • #8
                With regards to weekend scenario. If a contract was to start on 01/01/2010 and end on 31/06/2010 if a section 21(4)(a) was therefore served if the expiry of 31st of a month (day before rent is due) fell on a weekend will a judge deem this invalid? Thus, will another month's notice have to be given to ensure the day before rent is due is not on the weekend?

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                • #9
                  I had exactly the same scenario about a month ago. I was given a date to attend court on my returned N24 form (General form of Judgment or Order) I turned up at court explained the situation same as outlined above by jjlandlord and received an apology and my order for possession. District Judge blamed the Deputy District Judge for not knowing that there are two procedures, fixed term and periodic. Go figure

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                  • #10
                    Thanks Alan - that has made me feel much better.

                    Have not had the letter from the court as yet - the lady I spoke to on the phone today told me in would go out in todays post so hoping the Christmas post is forgiving(!), it will get to me tomorrow. The receptionist was reading from her online notes so am not sure the letter will tell me anything more, but she never mentioned a court date. All she said was if I was unhappy(!)and disagreed to write a letter to the court for the judge to look at the forms again.

                    Not sure what to do.

                    Does anyone think its worth doing this?
                    If so, any ideas what the format of the letter should be?
                    Anyone done this and had success?

                    Apologies for all the questions.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bubble View Post
                      With regards to weekend scenario. If a contract was to start on 01/01/2010 and end on 31/06/2010 if a section 21(4)(a) was therefore served if the expiry of 31st of a month (day before rent is due) fell on a weekend will a judge deem this invalid? Thus, will another month's notice have to be given to ensure the day before rent is due is not on the weekend?
                      There's no problem with a notice expiring at the weekend. It's the date of service which might be at issue.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
                        That'd make more sense indeed as a reason to reject it.
                        But still rather far fetched, to suppose that the court would not accept service by hand, on a weekday, with a witness...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nessa View Post
                          The receptionist was reading from her online notes so am not sure the letter will tell me anything more, but she never mentioned a court date. All she said was if I was unhappy(!)and disagreed to write a letter to the court for the judge to look at the forms again.

                          Not sure what to do.

                          Does anyone think its worth doing this?
                          If so, any ideas what the format of the letter should be?
                          Yes, it's worth a go, and there is no format that the letter has to comply with.

                          Do as the woman said and write a letter asking the judge to look your claim again. State the reasons why your notice complies with s.21(1)(b) - i.e. that it gave the tenant not less than two months' notice (because it was served by hand on 15th September and expired 'after 18th November' - notice period therefore 16th Sept - 18th Nov inclusive), and that it also expired after the end of the fixed term.

                          Here's a link to s.21 if you want to quote it (s.21(1) only) in the letter...

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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Many thanks for your advice Westminster - a huge help as always!

                            Just received the letter from the court. It reads

                            Claim struck out - The s21 is defective. Tenancy expires on 12 Nov, notice served 15 Sep,expiring 18 Nov, therefore defective.

                            So its just as the receptionist advised, and gives me little clue as to what the problem is.

                            My gut feeling is that the judge has mistaken it for a s21(4), as it makes no mention that hand delivery/witness statement is unacceptable......???

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The letter from the court differs slightly to what you wrote before, insofar as it says the notice was served (not dated) 15th Sept. Makes it even more mysterious as to what the judge thinks is wrong, if he accepts that the notice was served that day.

                              One can only suppose that the judge may be inexperienced in this particular field.

                              Nevertheless, no point in trying to second guess what the judge's reasons are when you write the letter, just explain how the notice complies with s.21(1) and ask the court to re-examine your claim.

                              Comment

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