Section 21 need to be re-served as solicitor adamant agent served it incorrectly

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    Section 21 need to be re-served as solicitor adamant agent served it incorrectly

    Hello everyone,

    I am inexperienced landlord. With family we have been abroad for over a year. During that time our flat was rented through letting agency to DSS tenants. Unfortunately we had to come back so our managing agent served Section 21 notice to tenants on our behalf. The notice expired on 20th January and now I have employed solicitors through my landlord insurance to proceed with the re-possession. Solicitor have advised me that notice has to be re-served as the agent hasn't included landlords name and address on the document. However, managing agent is adamant that the notice was served as per government template which is naturally accessible to everyone.

    So on one side I have solicitor saying that Section 21 has to be re-served because it isn't correct and on the other side I have my managing agent confident that the notice is legally correct.

    Now maybe this isn't a big of an issue but it is for me. Now I have possibly 2 months added to my "awaiting" time and neither insurance nor agent won't pay for my extended accommodation.

    Any thoughts would much appreciated.

    Thank you.

    Seb

    #2
    Presumably your address is abroad isn't it?

    Then agent would have correctly given their address. I can't even see a problem with agent's address if you were living here.

    The form your agent would have sent is this: https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...n_property.pdf

    As you can see, it asks for the address of the person signing it.

    Sack your solicitor and do the work yourself.

    Comment


      #3
      Agents can serve section 21 notice on your behalf.
      Any advice I give is my opinion and experience, I am as you also learning.

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you for your quick replies.

        My solicitor is aware that there is no section for landlord's address however this is what she states in the email to my agent:

        "On the third page of the notice, it refers to the landlord's name and address. No box has been included here on the presumption that a landlord will serve their own notice and list their details below. However, it has been noted that you served the notice. As such, your details have been included for the signatory but on such occasions where a landlord is not serving the notice themselves, their details should be inserted where 'name address of landlord' is stated. This has not been done.

        When serving a Section 21 notice the landlord's name should be stated so as to make clear who is seeking possession. It may be something that should seem obvious but if a judge can find any excuse not to award possession, from our experience, they will!

        I, therefore, consider it too big a risk to proceed on this current notice and would strongly advise that the Section 21 notice be re-served. I have advised the insurers of the same."


        I can sack or go privately with them which means I have to pay for something I am insured for.

        Thanks.

        Seb

        Comment


          #5
          I cannot see it is necessary to sack the solicitor on this issue.

          When I looked at the form I felt like crying out in a loud Victor Meldrew voice: "I don't believe it!"

          The form requires you to do a double take and consider what is required and no form issued by the goverment should do that. Section 4 is headed: "Name and address of landlord", but when you get to the part to fill in it says "Address of signatory/signatories" having provided that an agent may sign. Given the way the form is laid out I think is is the agent who has to be right, but the solicitor has at least spotted that the form is not entirely satisfactory.

          Comment


            #6
            The above crossed with krishen's last post.

            I fear the solicitor is being over-cautious. The definitive version of the form is in the Statutory Instrument and can be found here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2.../schedule/made I think it has to be the case that only the clearly indicated blanks have to be filled in.

            Comment


              #7
              Must the form even be filled as it asks? Is filling it so as to comply with the requirements of s.21 enough?

              For example, it states that all joint-landlords must sign or have the agreement of the others but s.21 states that any joint-landlord may just give notice.

              Comment


                #8
                I'm beginning to wonder if the idea is that the solicitor says that the agent's form was done incorrectly, in order to motivate you to dispense with the insurer's solicitor, and so save any insurance payout.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have forwarded my concerns to Which? Legal adviser which I am member of. Let see if they have different view on the matter. I will update you on their reply.

                  Thanks.

                  Seb

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
                    Must the form even be filled as it asks? Is filling it so as to comply with the requirements of s.21 enough?

                    For example, it states that all joint-landlords must sign or have the agreement of the others but s.21 states that any joint-landlord may just give notice.
                    The form of notice has to take precedence. Sub-sections (1) and (4) say who may give the notice and in fact do not say anything about signing at all. Sub-section (8) allows the Secretary of State to prescribe the form and he could have provided that the form had to be counter-signed by a commissioner for oaths.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The solicitor is right to be cautious - they are technically wrong, but (I suspect) practically right.
                      A judge might do something weird (and they do), but equally might not.

                      On the other hand, their advice is suspect on the "we didn't tell you to do this" basis.
                      I'd ask them specifically what you should do, on the basis that following their advice is likely to cost you a lot of money - and the advice is actually wrong.
                      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The solicitor is giving the OP their opinion & interpretation, namely that they "strongly advise" the LL not to proceed on the section already served and to serve a new one. The LL is free to ignore the advice, but that's probably in breach of the terms of the insurance who's paying for the solicitor, so the LL is reduced to proceeding on their own without the solicitor or paying the solicitor themselves.
                        I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                        I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Does your insurance cover negligence by your agent? If it does, tell the solicitor you want to sue the agent for negligence.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                            The form of notice has to take precedence. Sub-sections (1) and (4) say who may give the notice and in fact do not say anything about signing at all. Sub-section (8) allows the Secretary of State to prescribe the form and he could have provided that the form had to be counter-signed by a commissioner for oaths.
                            Are you saying that the form is a right shamble?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I discuss options with my solicitor but even if I go private with them she said she would advice me the same. In the end I am not sure what I am fighting for now. Just looked into my insurance coverage of accomodation and its excess is about £5250 so it looks like I am on my own regardless of the path I take.
                              As it was acurately noticed here the Section 21 form in its original form has no space for details requested by my solicitor so I need to symphatise with the agent in this instance. However I feel that agent misled me from the start about not telling me the issues connected to DSS tennants, caring about their profit only, deleying with the notice as well as advising me to wait with the eviction after notice has expired but rushing me to go forward with it month after.

                              Maybe my best option is to go through High Court to get possession order quicker. I know it may be more costly but in total it actually may be cheaper. Don't know much about this so need to do some research. Advice from you guys will be much appreciated.

                              Thank you.
                              Seb

                              Comment

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