PLEASE HELP: Notice Period of 60 days

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    PLEASE HELP: Notice Period of 60 days

    Hi.

    My girlfriend and I currenty rent a house and have a 6 month short assured tenacy. The tenancy is due to end on the 22nd August 2007. We've just purchased a house and will be moving in over the next month.

    Our landlord is very strict (we're not allowed to put up pictures, use candles, a house inspection once a month) but that's not really the issue. I thought we had to give one month's notice to end the tenacy but it turns out that our contract says we have to give 60 days notice to quit. I know I should have looked at the contract, but I've been renting for many years now and the standard notice has always been one month's notice.

    I've quickly given our letter to quit (11 July) and in return have been told that because of the 60 days, we have to pay rent until the 8 September, which is an extra 2-3 weeks past 22nd August. I have no problem paying up to 22nd Auguest, but feel a bit miffed at having to pay beyond this. It is going to be hard paying a morgage and rent on a house we won't actually need. As I've mentioned, the landlord is incredibly inflexible. The landlord owns many properties which fill incredibly quickly, so there wouldn't be a problem finding a new tenant.

    My question is, do we have to pay rent until the 8 September or is one month's notice before the end of a fixed term tenancy sufficent in law? Any help on this matter would be most appreciated. I'm very worried.

    #2
    NO!! Your contract is until 22nd August, therefore you could just walk out on that day having given no notice whatsoever! You have however given sufficient notice that you intend to move at the end of the fixed term and your LL should be grateful for that!

    If they try to withhold any of your deposit take them to the small claims court and you will win hands down!
    GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

    Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

    Comment


      #3
      Legality of a notice period...

      Thanks for this. I'm a little confused though - why does a tenancy contract have a section about giving notice if it's not actually needed? Is a 2 month notice period for the tenant legal at all? Could it in principle be something rediculous like 4 or 5 months on a 6 month contract?

      What would you recommend I do? Do we simply leave on the 22nd August and expect our deposit back or should we write to our landlord telling him that we have given sufficient notice and do not expect to pay beyond the 22nd?

      Many thanks

      Comment


        #4
        The notice clause is usually there as once a fixed term ends it can run on into periodic, I am not a legal expert thats just my interpretation. In any event tenants only have to give 1 months notice and not two so its invalid whichever way you look at it!

        I would contact the LL and state that you are leaving at the end of the fixed term and as such you expect to receive your deposit back.

        If the LL wishes to deduct any monies for damage etc make sure they have a valid inventory which you should have signed at the start of your tenancy. Without that they can make no deductions.

        Good luck and keep us posted!
        GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

        Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

        Comment


          #5
          More confused than ever...

          It seems I've stumbled on a bit of a legal minefield! One lawyer has told me that it's one month's notice, another lawyer has told me that the contract holds and 60 days notice is required, the Shelter website says we don't have to give any notice and various other organisations are telling me all kinds of conflicting information.

          I'm visiting a local legal advice centre tomorrow to find out more but this really is making me upset. It seems a landlord could write "Notice must be given exactly 3.2323 weeks before the end of the tenancy and must be written in pigs blood on a copy of The Guardian newspaper from 2003" and it would hold up!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by MrMcCombe View Post
            It seems I've stumbled on a bit of a legal minefield! One lawyer has told me that it's one month's notice, another lawyer has told me that the contract holds and 60 days notice is required, the Shelter website says we don't have to give any notice and various other organisations are telling me all kinds of conflicting information.

            I'm visiting a local legal advice centre tomorrow to find out more but this really is making me upset. It seems a landlord could write "Notice must be given exactly 3.2323 weeks before the end of the tenancy and must be written in pigs blood on a copy of The Guardian newspaper from 2003" and it would hold up!

            If you are still within your fixed term, then you can just leave on the last day of that term, no notice required.
            If you stay even one day passed the fixed term, then you go into a SP tenancy and then you would have to provide the 60 days notice that you agreed to.

            Comment


              #7
              Many tenancies do state that notice IS reqd if the tenant intends leaving at the end of the tenancy, just as the landlord must give notice if he/she wishes the tenant to leave at the end of the tenancy.

              Mine says 30 days.

              I think we need Super-Jeffrey to clear this one up?!

              Comment


                #8
                You can leave on the last day of a fixed term with no notice if you like although it's best to give an indication of when you intend leaving.

                After that a tenant is only required to give at least 4 weeks notice in writing, no matter what a landlord tries to sneak into the contract.

                If you don't get your deposit back then sue and tell them you will put a charge over the property.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by MrMcCombe View Post
                  It seems I've stumbled on a bit of a legal minefield! One lawyer has told me that it's one month's notice, another lawyer has told me that the contract holds and 60 days notice is required, the Shelter website says we don't have to give any notice and various other organisations are telling me all kinds of conflicting information.

                  I'm visiting a local legal advice centre tomorrow to find out more but this really is making me upset. It seems a landlord could write "Notice must be given exactly 3.2323 weeks before the end of the tenancy and must be written in pigs blood on a copy of The Guardian newspaper from 2003" and it would hold up!

                  0.2323 weeks = 1.626 days = 1 day and 15.024 hrs. = 1 day, 15 hrs., 1 minute, and 26 seconds = about Monday 3.01 pm.
                  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


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                    0.2323 weeks = 1.626 days = 1 day and 15.024 hrs. = 1 day, 15 hrs., 1 minute, and 26 seconds = about Monday 3.01 pm.
                    Pot,
                    Kettle,
                    Black.
                    Now signature free.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                      0.2323 weeks = 1.626 days = 1 day and 15.024 hrs. = 1 day, 15 hrs., 1 minute, and 26 seconds = about Monday 3.01 pm.
                      Yes, But it is 3.2323 weeks, which will make it 3.01pm Monday in 3 weeks time ( subject to any change in the Earth's orbit )

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Funny, I put this to some friends and one said "What if your contract said you had to murder someone before you could give notice... what would happen then?!" I suppose I wouldn't have signed the contract in the first place, but what if I had?

                        Does the 60 day clause hold or not?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Mr C, some landlords issue a S21 as a matter of routine when they take on a new tenant. Is it possible that your landlord did this? If so, he has already given you notice to quit.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            im in agreement with colin - your current fixed term tenancy has a start date and an end date therefore your tenancy ends on this date and you dont have to give notice -although polite to do so. after initial fixed terms end it runs into a SPT - statutory periodic tenancy - and then notice to be given is as contract states.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The Office of Fair Trading have something to say about this, take a look at OFT356, it doesn't mention murdering people but it does have something to say about your earlier notice question on page 35:

                              "Notice not required for fixed term agreements

                              3.78 A tenant is not required to give notice to bring the tenancy to an end at the end of the fixed term. That is because a fixed term agreement comes to an end at the end of the fixed term, and no periodic tenancy will arise if the tenant then leaves. We appreciate that landlords will want to ensure that their properties are not left empty between tenancies, but object to terms that impose a contractual obligation on the tenant to give notice in order for the tenancy to be terminated at the end of the fixed term. This could allow the landlord to impose a substantial financial penalty on tenants who do not realise that notice is not required, by requiring them to pay rent for a period after the end of the fixed term. Terms such as this are not necessary to protect landlords from the possibility that their property will be left empty, as the law allows landlords to recover possession at the end of the fixed term by serving at least two months' notice, and they could do so where their current tenant fails to indicate when asked whether they intend to stay on. The landlord and tenant could of course still agree to a renewal of the tenancy even after such notice was served."

                              PS Please come back and tell us what the legal advice centre says.
                              ~~~~~

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