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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I ask if you have exclusive possession of the property please and the term of the tenancy in question?
I have exclusive possession of the property. Term: 1 year, expire 8th June 2014
Many thanks. The landlord appears to have used an incorrect precedent. None of the Acts referred to would apply. A tenancy is determine in English law based on the facts rather than what a tenancy calls itself. Where a tenancy calls itself something different or in this case a wholly inappropriate tenancy is used a court will disregard such provisions that are incompatible with English law. The Housing Act is the legislation that determines the typie of tenancy here and this act provides that in these circumstances whatever your tenancy agreement claims to be, it is an assured shorthold tenancy agreement.
You will have all the usual rights of an AST - security of tenure for the fixed term and a right to two months notice to leave and so on.
It will bind the landlord. If you wish to leave you can leave at any time before the end of the fixed period or afterwards subject to one months notice.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?
Ok that makes sense.
One more question: what if the landlord service notice on the property but uses English law to do so. What are the legal ramifications of that? Because it now has the legal entity of a AST the notice is valid, or because the agreement is Northern Irish the notice is invalid (provided that the information on the notice is correct)?
The agreement cannot be governed by Northern Irish law however much the landlord may wish (though I suspect it is accidental rather than intentional). This because the Housing Act says it cannot be so governed. The Housing Act requires the landlord to comply with s21 of the Housing Act to end the tenancy - namely give two months notice and provide notice in the statutory form required. If he does not do so the notice would be invalid - NI provisions in the tenancy agreement would not be effective and are overruled by the Housing Act.
Providing he serves a valid s21 notice this would be valid in English law.
Are you happy with the information I have provided to you above or is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?
how long does the s21 notice be, aka how many weeks notice needs to be given? The notice that was given was 2 weeks
you mentioned 2 months, in which case would the 2 weeks be invalid?
He must give you 2 months clear notice to leave and if he serves the notice after the end of the fixed term there is an additional requirement that the date for leaving must be the day before rent is payable. He must also serve the notice using a statutory prescribed s21 format. Any deviation to this and the notice is invalid. Many landlord get the dates wrong if serving after the fixed term.
2 weeks is insufficient. 2 months is the minimum though landlords can give more if they wish.
and if the notice of possession is invalid, that makes the subsequent court hearing also invalid?
If the notice is invalid then you could defend any possession claim and it will be struck out for invalid notice and the landlord would have to reserve a correct notice, wait and then resubmit new possession proceedings if you refused to leave.
ok thanks for your help.
A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.
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