Can either party serve one month's notice within term?

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    Can either party serve one month's notice within term?

    Hi. I am confused about the clause of one month notice.
    This is a fixed term letting agreement and the period is 6 months.
    But there is a clause of one month notice in the letting agreement as below:

    One (1) months notice should be given in writing by either the Landlord or Tenant if they wish for this contract to be terminated.

    The problem is if the tenant has the right with the one month notice to end the contract and leave early before the expiration of the letting contract (for example: leaving after three months of a six month tenancy) without any financial penalties according to the above clause.

    Many Thanks.

    #2
    Originally posted by yorkc View Post
    Hi. I am confused about the clause of one month notice.
    This is a fixed term letting agreement and the period is 6 months.
    But there is a clause of one month notice in the letting agreement as below:

    One (1) months notice should be given in writing by either the Landlord or Tenant if they wish for this contract to be terminated.

    The problem is if the tenant has the right with the one month notice to end the contract and leave early before the expiration of the letting contract (for example: leaving after three months of a six month tenancy) without any financial penalties according to the above clause.

    Many Thanks.
    Yes, that's right. What is question?
    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
      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
      Yes, that's right. What is question?
      Thanks a lot. The question is:

      So the tenant can leave early if he sends the one month notice to the landlord?

      Sorry for confirming it again.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by yorkc View Post
        Thanks a lot. The question is:

        So the tenant can leave early if he sends the one month notice to the landlord?

        Sorry for confirming it again.
        Yes, he can. L could serve a one-month notice too, although he couldn't use s.21 route to obtain possession earlier than six-month point.
        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


          #5
          OIS. Thank you!

          Comment


            #6
            I'm confused by the purpose of the clause. I thought there is no legal requirement for a tenant to give any notice of their intention to leave at the end of a fixed term contract, though its a good idea for the letting agent/landlord and tenant to communicate their intentions.

            Could it be the case that the letting agent/landlord is seeking communication in good time from the tenant whether or not they are seeking to leave at the end of the fixed term contract or want to renew it with this clause?

            What's the point of issuing a fixed term contract with a notice period anyway? I can see the point and purpose of a break-clause mid-way through an AST but how can a tenant feel secure during a fixed term tenancy if they are going to be subject to a month's notice during any of its term?

            Would appreciate clarification on this.

            Comment


              #7
              Normally neither the landlord nor the tenant can give notice to terminate the tenancy earlier than the fixed period.

              If the landlord has a badly worded contract that appears to allow the contract to end before the fixed period by giving notice, then no penalty accrues to the tenant if they give notice and quit early. It's perfectly legal and if the landlord and tenant agree then so be it.

              The landlord cannot normally terminate the fixed contract under any circumstances.

              Comment


                #8
                I am somewhat confused here ....

                I understood that regardless of what the AST says, the LL has to issue a S21 with AT LEAST 2 months notice whether it is still in the fixed term or not.

                Furthermore, I also understood that a tenant, having been issued a S21 to expire at the end of a fixed term, does not legally have to give notice if they intended to leave on the expiry date and that it is only when the term is periodic that a tenant must give one month's notice ending on a rent period and that a LL must give two months on a S21 ?


                Or have I been deluded by previous posts on here?
                Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

                Comment


                  #9
                  Pippay, I think I can see your confusion but here is a good lesson for landlords to learn when writing a contract. Make sure the terms are fair and enforceable and that you haven't given the tenant more than they are already entitled to by law (which is quite a bit, actually).

                  In the example given the landlord has given the tenant a right that they would not normally have if the term had not been included in the agreement. So the tenant could give one month's notice to terminate the contract, i.e. leave before the initial 6 months is up. This would not result in any penalty for the tenant if the landlord decided to take them to court for the remaining period of the tenancy as any judge would say "well it said in the contract he could give you notice, he gave notice, so tough luck Mr Landlord."

                  On the other hand, if the landlord wanted the tenant to move out and gave 1 month's notice but the tenant wanted to stay, there would be nothing the landlord could do to get him out any earlier than 6 months (apart from the usual non-payment-Section-8 route) as he would not be able to get a possession order from a court before 6 months was up.

                  That term means the landlord can't have his cake or eat it either!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Attilla & Pippay are both right, so is Surrey but see my little addition that needs to be put in to be factually correct
                    Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                    Pippay, I think I can see your confusion but here is a good lesson for landlords to learn when writing a contract. Make sure the terms are fair and enforceable and that you haven't given the tenant more than they are already entitled to by law (which is quite a bit, actually).

                    In the example given the landlord has given the tenant a right that they would not normally have if the term had not been included in the agreement. So the tenant could give one month's notice to terminate the contract, i.e. leave before the initial 6 months is up. This would not result in any penalty for the tenant if the landlord decided to take them to court for the remaining period of the tenancy as any judge would say "well it said in the contract he could give you notice, he gave notice, so tough luck Mr Landlord."

                    On the other hand, if the landlord wanted the tenant to move out and gave 1 month's notice but the tenant wanted to stay, there would be nothing the landlord could do to get him out any earlier than 6 months (apart from the usual non-payment-Section-8 route) as he would not be able to get a possession order from a court before 6 months was up. This is where it goes wrong, as the landlord would not be able to evict the tenant at the end of 6 months by serving one months' Notice - I know you know this but the way it reads omits the necessity of the correct service of a S.21 Notice in order for this to occur!

                    That term means the landlord can't have his cake or eat it either!
                    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


                      #11
                      According to the request, I post the relevant clauses of the letting agreement as below:

                      --------------------------------------
                      1a. The Landlord shall let and the Tenant shall take the property situated at and known as: ( the address of the property) (hereinafter called "the Property" with the furniture fixtures and effects now in and upon the property hereby agreed to be demised and more particularly specified in the inventory annexed hereto and signed by or on behalf of the parties hereto. This tenancy is for a term from the 27/11/06 - 28/05/07 at a calendar monthly rental of 500 pounds or the duration of the said term to be payable to the Landlord's Agents or such other individual or Firm appointed by the Landlord's Agent by one single Standing Order to be made on the first of every month, the first payment to be made on the signing hereof.Where this agreement is created or extended for a period in excess of 12 months then it is agreed that the rent shall be reviewed annually in an upward direction only in the line with the prevailing Retail Prices Index. It is agreed that any renewal or extension to this Tenancy will be conducted throug (the agent's name).

                      1b. The Tenant agrees that if the Tenant intends to vacate the Premises on the expiry of the conractural Term (or any extension or renewal thereafter), the Tenant must serve notice in writing upon the Landlord not less than thirty days (30 days) prior to the expiration of the Tenancy.

                      ...

                      15. The Tenant accepts that if in whole or in part any term provision or covenant of this Agreement shall be held by a Court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid void or unenforceable such decision shall not affect the nature of the Agreement as a whole or the validity of the remaining terms provisions and covenants of the Agreement which shall remain in full force and effect and shall in no way be effected impaired or invalidated.

                      16. One (1) months notice should be given in writing by either the Landlord or Tenant if they wish for this contract to be terminated. This letter should be sent to (the agent's name and his address), Signed and dated as appropriate.

                      --------------------------------
                      The end of the contract

                      The letting agreement is provided by the letting agent.
                      Regardless of the purpose of the clause, the fact is that the tenant gave the one month notice and will leave on 28/02/07.

                      Many thanks for the above kind opinions.
                      Last edited by yorkc; 31-01-2007, 16:51 PM.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Is it suitable that the tenant served the one month notice by special delivery or not?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Just made me mad

                          Originally posted by yorkc View Post
                          According to the request, I post the relevant clauses of the letting agreement as below:

                          --------------------------------------
                          1a. The Landlord shall let and the Tenant shall take the property situated at and known as: ( the address of the property) (hereinafter called "the Property" with the furniture fixtures and effects now in and upon the property hereby agreed to be demised and more particularly specified in the inventory annexed hereto and signed by or on behalf of the parties hereto. This tenancy is for a term from the 27/11/06 - 28/05/07 at a calendar monthly rental of 500 pounds or the duration of the said term to be payable to the Landlord's Agents or such other individual or Firm appointed by the Landlord's Agent by one single Standing Order to be made on the first of every month, the first payment to be made on the signing hereof.Where this agreement is created or extended for a period in excess of 12 months then it is agreed that the rent shall be reviewed annually in an upward direction only in the line with the prevailing Retail Prices Index. It is agreed that any renewal or extension to this Tenancy will be conducted throug (the agent's name).

                          1b. The Tenant agrees that if the Tenant intends to vacate the Premises on the expiry of the conractural Term (or any extension or renewal thereafter), the Tenant must serve notice in writing upon the Landlord not less than thirty days (30 days) prior to the expiration of the Tenancy.

                          ...

                          15. The Tenant accepts that if in whole or in part any term provision or covenant of this Agreement shall be held by a Court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid void or unenforceable such decision shall not affect the nature of the Agreement as a whole or the validity of the remaining terms provisions and covenants of the Agreement which shall remain in full force and effect and shall in no way be effected impaired or invalidated.

                          16. One (1) months notice should be given in writing by either the Landlord or Tenant if they wish for this contract to be terminated. This letter should be sent to (the agent's name and his address), Signed and dated as appropriate.

                          --------------------------------
                          The end of the contract

                          The letting agreement is provided by the letting agent.
                          Regardless of the purpose of the clause, the fact is that the tenant gave the one month notice and will leave on 28/02/07.

                          Many thanks for the above kind opinions.
                          The landlord does not think that the clause 16 is a break clause and think the clause of 16 links to another clause of 1b (please see the above).
                          So the landlord insists that the tenant should continue the letting contract till the expiration of the fixed term.

                          Is the landlord's thought right?

                          If not, what should the tenant do? Leave early anyway or not?

                          Thank you for your help in advance.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Clause 16 is clearly separate from clause 1(b) and does not cross-refer or incorporate it. Obviously L considered it essential to include both, so they are independent provisions A Notice under cl.16 is just that, whatever the clause's description, so L is wrong in thinking that T is inevitably bound until fixed term expires.
                            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

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