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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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, my landlord's rental agency gave me S.21 notice to vacate

Customer Question

Hi, my landlord's rental agency gave me S.21 notice to vacate his rented property on 27 Jan , he gave me 2 months notice as per the rental agreement i.e 29 Mar. I have founded and rented another property from this week, 23rd of feb. I arranged to handover the house/keys with the agent on Monday 2 March. I realised today that I had already paid a full months rent - only used 2 weeks of it - so called the agent to refund me the £400 'overpayment' for the 2 weeks of unused rent. They have said to me I am liable for rent until the end of the 29 March so in fact will owe them another £500!! Is this correct please as the landlord wants to move back into the house, gave me a S.21, so I have left as soon as possible. Seems like they want there cake and eat it?!! Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
I am really sorry but they are absolutely right. You are liable until the end of the S21 notice period.
You could have served notice earlier if you had wanted to but you did not. It is no more complicated than that really. You are liable up until the notice period ends because the property is available to you.
Of course, if the landlord moves in the day after you move out then you could argue that the loss has been mitigated and you should be entitled to an overpayment refund. That has not happened at this stage.
This the same principle as going away on holiday while you are in an AST. You are not using the property while you are on holiday but are still liable for rent because it is available for you.
I'm very sorry but that is your position.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jo, thanks for the quick response. However, as I have a handover appointment with the agent on Monday to give back the keys, surely this is confirmation that I in turn have given notice? Thanks Tony

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No.
Notice would be in writing.
In any event, even if you gave notice on Monday it would not begin until the next rent date and would last one month so would not expire until 29 March anyway.
If you had given notice on the day he served the S21 notice in writing then you would have been able to leave without liability after a month from that date.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jo, one week after I was given notice, I found another property and that was when I arranged the handover. It was agreed over the phone, but surely that constitutes my giving notice? Thanks Tony

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No. Notice would be in writing.
In any event, if it was one week after the S21 notice was served then it would not activate until the next rent date and would last one month so would not expire until 29 March anyway.

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