Can accompanying letter make s.21 Notice invalid?

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    Can accompanying letter make s.21 Notice invalid?

    Hi

    I've just started a new tenacy and surprise surprise within 5 days I have received an S21 from the agency The letter with it says:

    "This notice confirms the current end date of your current Tenancy Agreement but does not necessarily mean the Tenancy Agreement will / will not be extended"

    Doesn't this statement make the S21 invalid? Can they really send me a notice requiring prossession but attach a letter saying I may or may not be able to stay? Plus isn't telling me that it just "confirms the current end date" a tad underplaying it and misleading to people who don't know better??? Arghhh, I hate agents that dish out S21s willy nilly.

    #2
    Originally posted by Tenantzone View Post
    "This notice confirms the current end date of your current Tenancy Agreement but does not necessarily mean the Tenancy Agreement will / will not be extended"
    1. "This notice confirms the current end date of your current Tenancy Agreement"
    Besides using 'current' twice, with consequent confusion, the wording is wrong. A s.21 Notice is not there to 'confirm' any such thing; it tells T on what date L is entitled to vacant possession.

    2. "...but does not necessarily mean [that] the Tenancy Agreement will/will not be extended"
    This is itself meaningless: double negation, confusing oblique mark, and - as the Tenancy Agreement must be either extended or not extended- the Notice MUST 'necessarily' mean one or the other!
    What on earth did the Agency intend? Perhaps it meant "...but leaves open the possibility of extending the tenancy after the fixed term expires", although that's not what it says.
    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
      Simple answer - yes it does invalidate the notice, as the notice must be served with full intention of carrying it out.
      Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks guys, as I thought. Is there anything I could / should do about this?

        The one year tenancy also has a break clause requiring myself or the LL to give 6 weeks notice after the first 6 months. Doesn't a LL have to give 2 months notice?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by MrShed View Post
          Simple answer - yes it does invalidate the notice, as the notice must be served with full intention of carrying it out.
          I disagree on reason for invalidation. L's intention is not a legal requirement, provided that the Notice complies with s.21.
          HOWEVER, I do think it invalid by reason of uncertainty- see my prior post.
          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


            #6
            Originally posted by Tenantzone View Post
            The one year tenancy also has a break clause requiring myself or the LL to give 6 weeks notice after the first 6 months. Doesn't a LL have to give 2 months notice?
            Yes and no.
            The two-month notice requirement arises under s.21 Notice from L. It cannot operate until end of term at earliest- even if valid.
            L CAN use contractual break clause, alternatively. In that case, six weeks' notice is what L would need to give.
            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


              #7
              I disagree Jeffrey, but cannot remember what bit of the statutes it was in - it does explicitly state it somewhere - I think!
              Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Tenantzone View Post
                Thanks guys, as I thought. Is there anything I could / should do about this?
                Absolutely, you should contact the agency immediately and notify them that their S21 is not valid, so if they ever want to enforce it on you the judge will throw it out, so please can they send you a new and valid one?





                Alternatively, maybe you should just keep schtum.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I knew the Sword of Damocles method of serving S21 notices was fairly common but this is the first time I've come across an agent stupid enough to put the hint the S21 may not be meant in writing! It's priceless.

                  As for what to do, write a complaint to Shelter and your MP as you are one of the few fortunate to have written proof of this practise. Normally the hint is done verbally so the tenant is left without proof that they were denied proper notice.

                  Make sure you keep the letter safe!

                  Ironically the agent's tricks have left the landlord worse off than if he served notice properly when he eventually decides he actually wants you to leave as trying to use an invalid notice will just waste time.

                  Brilliant Ericthelobster:
                  ~~~~~

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Jeffrey I KNEW I had it somewhere!!!

                    I would like to quote Paul F:

                    A S.21 Notice MUST be "unequivocal" and "without reservation" i.e. unconditional, so as soon as you start entering into negotiations about a further tenancy, or conditional withdrawal of the Notice then you are effectively withdrawing it anyway. The tenant might use the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 to defend a S.21 Notice in that the landlord can't say "I want possession" and then on the other hand say "but I might not"
                    Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by MrShed View Post
                      Jeffrey I KNEW I had it somewhere!!!

                      I would like to quote Paul F:
                      But did Paul cite any authority source for implying all this "unconditional intention" stuff?
                      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


                        #12
                        I think not doing so could constitute harrassment under the Protection from Eviction act. This was certainly Pauls argument.
                        Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by MrShed View Post
                          ...not doing so could constitute harrassment under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977...
                          I doubt it. That Act is targeted at L unlawfully depriving T of a right to lawful occupation. Serving a s.21 Notice, even if the Notice is unclear, cannot breach the 1977 Act.
                          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


                            #14
                            I agree it is not clear cut. The argument is that leaving a Section 21 notice hanging over someones head for a prolonged period of time in effect erodes the rights of the tenant, as it removes the right to receive 2 months notice. This is the basis. I fully agree that you could be 100% correct, or on the flip side myself and Paul could be - we will never know until it is tested in court. I shouldnt have stated my point quite so catergorically
                            Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by MrShed View Post
                              I agree it is not clear cut. The argument is that leaving a Section 21 notice hanging over someones head for a prolonged period of time in effect erodes the rights of the tenant, as it removes the right to receive 2 months notice. This is the basis. I fully agree that you could be 100% correct, or on the flip side myself and Paul could be - we will never know until it is tested in court. I shouldnt have stated my point quite so catergorically
                              Of course a s.21 Notice erodes T's rights. That is its entire [lawful] purpose.
                              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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