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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi there, I am a tenant and would like to terminate the

Customer Question

Hi there,

I am a tenant and would like to terminate the lease contract. My lease contract has a two year term from 5 Nov 2011 to 4 Nov 2013. The contract says that "tenant shall have the right to terminate the contract after expiry of four months of the agreement by giving two months advance noticeof tenant's intention to terminate the contract early".

I served the notice on 10 Feb 2013. The agent told me that my lease obligation ceases on 10 April 2013. I on the other hand think the lease obligation should cease on 9 April 2013.

Please could you advice which view is applicable? Many thanks.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Is the contract an AST?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


FOR JOMO1972


Yes, it is.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
If this is an AST then shouldn't the end date be the 4th of every month?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

 


If you refer to 1988 Housing Act S 21 (a) (4), could you let me know whether this clause is applicable only to landlord serving notice to tenant, or this clause is also applicable to tenant serving notice to landlord?


 


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
If you S21[4][a] here

Without prejudice to any such right as is referred to in subsection (1) above, a court shall make an order for possession of a dwelling-house let on an assured shorthold tenancy which is a periodic tenancy if the court is satisfied—
(a)that the landlord or, in the case of joint landlords, at least one of them has given to the tenant a notice [F4in writing] stating that, after a date specified in the notice, being the last day of a period of the tenancy and not earlier than two months after the date the notice was given, possession of the dwelling-house is required by virtue of this section; and


then that regulates the manner in which the landlord must give notice. He must serve a proper S21 notice.

The tenant need not do that . He just needs to give written notice.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972


 


My question was should my lease obligation end on 9 April or on 10 April. Please could you let me know what is your answer and what is the basis for this answer? Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi there,


 


Thanks for your answer to my question on S21 above.


 


My original question was should my lease obligation end on 9 April or on 10 April. Please could you let me know what is your view and what is the basis for this answer? Thank you.


 


Regards,



Erik

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I'm afraid I think there is difficulty here.

The AST that you are upon was almost certainly taken from an original 6 month AST. They have changed the duration and forgotten to change the wording.

An AST can only be brought to an end by court order or agreement of both parties. The landlord does agree here which is helpful but thats the only basis upon which you could act.

Sadly, even if you were lawfully free to give notice unilaterally, an AST can only be ended upon an end term date. So your notice on the 10 February will run from the 4th March. That will mean your notice actually should expire on the 4th May.

You are right though that it should end the day before the end term date because the 5th would be the first day of the new term.

In these circumstances its not a good idea to argue with the landlord. Its amazing that he hasn't seen this so I wouldn't give him cause to look.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thanks.


 


The landlord has already agreed on the effective date of the notice period and accept a two months notice. Would it mean that the landlord has waive his right to impose obligation to tenant to end the lease at an end term date?


 


Regards,



Erik


 


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well he could do that but he's shown no signs of it here and unless you argue with him over one day its not likely.

Equally though the landlord's agents haven't really drafted the contract properly so probably nobody will notice this.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Why would you have the observation that the contract is not drafted properly?


 


If I would like escalate the dispute, is there any non-profit organisation that I can approach with an objective to get a third party view on this?


 


Thanks again for you help.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I will be delighted to look at that but its a different question to the one you originally asked so please rate my answer.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I will. Your comments are very helpful.



If I can go back to my original question. Upon further reflection, actually I'm not sure if the contract is an AST. If it is not, would you mind let me know your view to the question, i.e. whether the lease obligation should be terminated on 9th April or 10th April? Many thanks.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I'm afraid I will have to opt out because this is becoming uneconomical for me as you have not rated.

The question is open to others now.

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