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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Question regarding end of AST I am a landlord and the tennants

Resolved Question:

Question regarding end of AST
I am a landlord and the tennants are on a 12 months AST, coming to an end on 14 August 2014. On the 24 June 2014 I have emailed them saying that we do not intend to extend the contract, as we are returning home, and we will need to arrange the picking up of the keys etc. The tenant responded saying that they will find a suitable date for moving out and let us know. They came back today saying they spoke with their lawyer and that we need to serve them with Section 21 notice.
As a side note, the tenants have been with their rent in arrears - over the past 3 montsh they have mised about £480 in total on their payments.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.


 

Alex Watts :

Sadly you do need to serve a Section 21 notice.

Alex Watts :

I can also say that If they signed a tenancy agreement on 14th August 2013 and that is their billing period, a Section 21 notice to quit gives them 2 months notice from the date of the next billing period

Alex Watts :

For example, if you had given notice BY 14th June 2014 then the 2 months would have started then and they would have needed to leave by 14th August.

Alex Watts :

However as you gave notice on 24th June, it does not take effect until 14th July, which means they would have to leave by 14th September.

Alex Watts :

However you do need to serve a section 21 notice

Alex Watts :

A template can be found here:

Alex Watts :

https://www.makeurmove.co.uk/page/Free-Section-21-Notice

Alex Watts :

And

Alex Watts :

http://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/how-to-fill-in-a-section-21-notice/

Customer:

This the email I have given them, this would not serve as notice under Section 21?

Customer:

Sent: Tuesday, 24 June, 2014 9:42:26 PM
Subject: rental contract



 





Hi Jade




 




Hope all is well. I just wanted to get in touch to let you know that we will be returning to England at the end of August and therefore we will not be renewing the rental contract for our*****Road property, when it expires on the 14 August 2014.




 




I hope this does not create too much of an issue for you and I am sorry if you wanted to stay longer. Either myself or my husband will come to London for the keys and to ensure all is in order before we return your deposit.




 




Do let me know if you have any questions.




 




All the best




R



Alex Watts :

Does it say it is a Section 21 notice

Alex Watts :

However you can serve a Section 8 notice in terms of the arrears

Customer:

Well, no, but it was acknowledges by the tenant

Alex Watts :

If they are paying late all the time or are 2 months in arrears then you can serve a notice and seek possession.

Customer:

Here is their initial answer

Alex Watts :

Even if the email was acknowleged by the tenant it is not a section 21 notice as required by law

Alex Watts :

You need to serve a proper Section 21 notice, you are required to give them at least 2 months notice

Customer:

On 1 Jul 2014, at 18:22, Jade wrote:


Hello,

Apologies for the late reply. I have been working on a major project which has taken me out the office on most days. My email address is working fine (I think you’ve had the wrong email address – YYYYYYY)

My phone (YYYYYY) is broken and my replacement has been lost, best form of communication at the moment is via email (I am on another placement week commencing 7th July – 18th July, where I may have less access to my emails)

Since my account was tapped into in March I have been manually adding in the rent each month not sure how that has happened I will add £480 as soon as.

As soon as I have a move out date I will let you know, it’s obviously not an easy task to arrange especially as the children have really settled into the area and school.


Jade

Alex Watts :

In law they are obliged to have 2 months from the next billing date the notice was served

Alex Watts :

You have not complied with that

Customer:

I see. And can a Section 21 notice be served by email?

Alex Watts :

It can yes as long as it complies with the wording AND you can confirm it has been received

Alex Watts :

Otherwise 1st class post

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Yes please - is the option of Section 8 giving me better chances?

Alex Watts :

Not reallyt

Alex Watts :

They are at the end of the agreement so a S.21 is fine

Alex Watts :

You just have to sit tight for 2 months

Customer:

Trouble is that I am an international civil servant, and I am returning home at the end of Aug. If they don't move out I woun't have a place to stay

Alex Watts :

If you tried to issue for arrears it would take 6 weeks to even get a Court date and that is after you allow them 4 weeks to remedy, so there is 10 weeks before you even get to Court

Alex Watts :

Problem is you have not complied with the law

Customer:

Sorry about typos, unfamiliar keyboard :)

Alex Watts :

You need 2 months notice prior to the rental date

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else?

Customer:

One other thing, the contract is supposed to end on Aug 14,

Customer:

Shouldn't the tenants leave unless the contract is extended? how can they stay after that period?

Alex Watts :

No

Alex Watts :

It turns into a periodic monthly rolling tenancy

Alex Watts :

So no, not unless you served a S.21 earlier

Alex Watts :

I am sorry but I have to tell you the legal position

Customer:

That's OK. What do I need to do after serving the S21 notice - If I send it to them tomorrow, when it will kick in?

Alex Watts :

Sadly you need to stay in a hotel or friends from August because the notice was defective.

Alex Watts :

If you serve it tomorrow it takes effect from 14th July

Alex Watts :

They have to be out by 14th September

Alex Watts :

Can I help with anything else for you?

Customer:

Yes, after serving the notice, what do I need to do?

Alex Watts :

Nothing

Alex Watts :

They just need to move out

Customer:

And if they don't?

Alex Watts :

You issue proceedings for possession

Alex Watts :

https://www.possessionclaim.gov.uk/

Customer:

What I am trying to understand is how long I might need to be on temporary accomodation?

Alex Watts :

Depends if they move out

Alex Watts :

If they do middle September

Alex Watts :

If they dont they could drag it out for another 2 months

Customer:

Also if they keep running behind with their rent after serving notice under Section21, what can I do?

Alex Watts :

Section 8 notice and then if they dont pay up within 28 days you can issue proceedings for possession

Alex Watts :

Via the link above

Customer:

and if they don't move out, what happens to their deposit?

Alex Watts :

You can ask the Judge for an Order it is paid to you

Customer:

Sorry but just to be clear - let's say I have issued notice under 21. After that they don't pay the full rent, I issue another notice under 8? Does it bring any benefits?

Alex Watts :

Not really, just different grounds for possession

Alex Watts :

Section 8 is for when early in the term

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else?

Customer:

Between the two grounds for possession, is there one that is treated with more weght or priority by the court?

Alex Watts :

Not really

Alex Watts :

They have either breached the lease or stayed beyond their term

Alex Watts :

Either way a Judge is likely to give possession

Customer:

One more thing - to serve the notice, which is the best way, to give it in person, or signed for letter or other?

Alex Watts :

1st class not recorded but get proof of posting.

Alex Watts :

Or drop it through the door yourself

Alex Watts :

does that help?

Customer:

If I drop it through the door myself, can it be proven?

Alex Watts :

If there is any doubt you provide a statement to the Court saying you have done so

Alex Watts :

Its not an issue

Customer:

I see. Thank you.

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question might I invite you to rate my answrr

Alex Watts :

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Alex Watts :

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Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Customer:

I had a look at the template, it states

Customer:

which you hold as tenants on the (Date): 08/07/2014

Customer:

This date is the current date, or which one should it be please?

Alex Watts :

Current date

Customer:

Sorry but I am not suer I understand then the next sentence in the notice

Customer:

I/We as your landlord give you notice by virtue of Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 that I/we require possession of the dwelling house known as: (Address)


 


which you hold as tenants on the (Date): 08/07/2014


Or at the end of the period of your tenancy which will end next after the expiration of two months from the date of service of this notice

Alex Watts :

They are tenants as of today

Alex Watts :

Which is why it is todays date

Customer:

but why does it say OR after that?

Customer:

Essentially what I am asking is what is the date I should put on the section 21 notice in order to be in sync with my contract dates?

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