Section 21 notice: does an incorrect tenant name make it invalid

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    Section 21 notice: does an incorrect tenant name make it invalid

    This may be a rather obvious question but I’m after some clarification as I have googled incorrect names on section 21 in some detail but am yet to find a definitive answer (most articles seem to be about incorrect dates).

    First up:

    Q1 – Rented property is in England

    Q2 – Multiple tenants (both myself and partner on tenancy agreement)

    Q3 – Tenancy agreement began on 31st May 2014

    Q4 – Fixed Term AST until 30th May 2015

    Q5 – Rent is payable on the 31st of each month (PCM)

    Q6 – Tenant deposit paid – received by DPS on 1st June 2014 (we have DPS deposit confirmation email)

    Q7 – Section 21 dated and received on 21st November. Date to vacate property is 30th January 2015

    Q8 – Landlord does not live in the property.

    Our landlord is selling the property. We have a six month break clause which stipulates 2 months notice either side.

    We had forewarning about this a few weeks from the letting agent who advised that we would be given notice effective from end of November and that we had to leave the property on 30th January.

    Section 21 was received on the 21st. Dates all look fine except that the section 21 contains my name but instead of my partners name, it includes a completely different name/person.

    I emailed the letting agent the next day to let them know that the names were incorrect however, since then we have not heard anything. Therefor am I right in presuming that the section 21 is invalid and we do not have to leave the property on 30th January as the next applicable date that they can serve notice is end of December?

    Thanks all.

    #2
    It will be invalid, as the Sec 21 must be sent to the "tenant". In the case of a joint tenancy, the "tenant" is made up of both tenants.

    A Sec 21 does not end your tenancy, so even when you receive a valid one, you don't "have" to leave.
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      First and important point is that even if the notice is valid there is no obligation to leave on or before the date of expiry. A section 21 notice does not end a tenancy. It is no more than the first step in obtaining possession.

      As to whether the notice is invalidated by the insertion of the wrong name is a bit of a tricky one. There is no set form for a section 21 notice and all that is required is compliance with the section. Neither section 21(1) nor section 21(4) actually requires the tenant to be named in the notice. The requirement is simply to give the tenant notice. If there is no need to name the tenant at all it would seem that a notice with the wrong name is valid. The only question is whether the tenant was misled. With one name correct that is going to be difficult to argue. There is however no telling what a court would say. A sensible agent would serve a fresh notice.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
        Neither section 21(1) nor section 21(4) actually requires the tenant to be named in the notice. The requirement is simply to give the tenant notice. If there is no need to name the tenant at all it would seem that a notice with the wrong name is valid.
        I could understand that a notice would still be valid without mentioning any name but just the 'tenant'.
        However, IMHO, a completely wrong name would mean that the notice was not given to the tenant.
        In addition, I believe that there are precedents that the notice must be given to all joint-tenants, so one completely wrong name with one correct name might still cause trouble.

        So probably a case of "it depends on what the court makes of it"...

        Comment

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