How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask F E Smith Your Own Question
F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12376
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
Type Your Law Question Here...
F E Smith is online now

My tenants yearly tenancy expires in June, however I did not

This answer was rated:

Hello,My tenants yearly tenancy expires in June, however I did not supply them with a gas certificate, EPC or the governments right to rent document before they moved in, even though all the documents are up to date. (They do have the latest EPC and gas certificate now though).I have let them know I will not be renewing the contract for another year but am happy for them to stay until September 2019 (In 5 months time, 3 months after there current contract expires).If once there current yearly contract ends I supply a new monthly rolling contract along with the EPC, Gas certificate and Right to rent documents will I be able to issue a valid section 21 notice? Their deposit is already protected.Many thanks
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: I have spoken on the phone and followed up with an email.
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: London
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no thank you

Good afternoon. I will assist with your question but need more info - also be aware this is an email not chat service and therefore maybe delayed in replying.

why did you not give those documents at the beginning of tenancy?

have you protected the deposit?

how long after they moved in did you supply those documents?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Hello,I was unaware they they needed to be given a copy too before moving in. They have the latest gas certificate from September 2018 and the rest of the documents were given January this year.If they wish to stay till September and I hand over all the documents and get them to sign they have received them. Along with signing a contract saying we have agreed for a 3month extension would that make serving the section 21 valid?Would I have to send the section 21 in July for the 2 month notice?The deposit has been protected correctly.many thankssimone

As you appreciate, ignorance of the law is no defence.

If they raise your non-compliance of your statutory obligations as a defence to your section 21 notice, it is highly likely that your notice will be defective unless all the statutory obligations have been complied with.

The way the court looks at this is that you cannot breach your own obligations and then selectively try to rely on the statute to enforce your rights.

Whether this becomes a problem for you or not really depends on whether the tenants play nicely when it comes to move out in September or whether they decide to be awkward.

I am assuming that you protected the deposit within the first 30 days of receiving it because although it may be protected now, if you didn’t do that, whilst you can still serve a section 21 notice, they still have a claim for compensation for failure to protect.

More section 21 notices are defective than are ever correct and the most common defect is that they don’t give enough notice because the landlord gives just two months. Two months is fine provided it covers two calendar months and includes two rental periods so it may need to be longer than two months.

You cannot serve a section 21 notice within the first 4 months of the tenancy and therefore I would suggest that you gave a section 21 notice at the end of the fourth month giving a notice period to expire in September. The notice cannot be defective then for not being long enough.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please take a moment to look at the top right-hand corner of the page and rate my service by clicking one of the stars at the top of the screen.

It's important that you use the rating service because that gives me credit.

It doesn't just give me a pat on the head! It's what gets me paid!!

There is also an experts incentive scheme whereby the more 5 star ratings I get I do actually get a pat on the head!

All you need to do is press Submit.

Thank you.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you for your reply.So to clarify, if at the end of this tenancy agreement in June (if they don't leave) we sign a new 6 month contract, and I provide all the correct documents ahead of signing, after 4 months I can serve a section 21 notice and this will be valid?Many thanks

That’s correct provided the notice period covers two months and two rental periods. If the rental is due on the first of the month, that’s easy to solve because it’s just two months rental. It becomes problematical if the rental is paid on any day other than the first of the month.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Ok Great,So in my contract rent is paid on the 16th of every month, with the new contract commencing at 09:00 June 16th and would end 16th December 09:00. Would this mean I would serve the section 21 notice on the 17th October for them to vacate the property on the 17th of December?Many thanks

That doesn’t give two months. I would give notice on 17 October for them to vacate on 2nd of January.

You then have 2 rental periods +2 full calendar months, November and December.

F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
I see!Understood, thank you very much for all your help.Best wishes