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Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.
I assume this is a 6 months assured shorthold tenancy agreement. When was the start date of the tenancy?
Have they served you with a notice seeking possession on the basis that the tenancy has expired. ie a s21 notice.
As your tenancy started on or after October 2016 there are a number of procedural steps your landlord must have complied with before a s21 notice can be valid
- your deposit must be in a deposit guarantee scheme and you must have been notified
- you must have received a gas safety certificate dated within 12 months
-you must have been given a copy of the gov't booklet "How to rent",
-you must have received an energy performance certificate.
If any of these things have not been done then a S21 notice even if it is in the right form will be invalid and any possession proceedings based on it will fail if you point out the problem to the court.
If these requirements have been met then all they have to do to get the property back is serve a s21 notice in the right form giving at least 2 months notice. They can use the accelerated possession proceedings to get possession quickly.
No I am afraid that if they follow the correct procedure there is no defence.
There is no time limit for when the EPC must be served but it can be argued that it must have been served before the s21 notice. So how did they serve them? If they sent them in the same envelope together then I think you may have a defence.
If hey served the EPC and then the S21 probably not.
The Act is very unclear and this is all new law which has yet been litigated.
Let them bring proceedings and when the court serves the summons and particulars put your defence on the defence form.
You should be aware that it is not certain you will succeed, but you do have an argument. If you lose you will need to pay the landlords legal costs.
However, all you can do here is gain time (a few months). Once the landlord realises his mistake all he has to do is re-serve the s 21 notice and then start proceedings which you would have no defence.