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SASH_Law, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2225
Experience:  LLB (Hons)
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I have a question around tenant rights/eviction notice.

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hello, I have a question around tenant rights/eviction notice.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Essex
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have sent an email to landlord to try and come to an agreement, i.e.move out temporarily if necessary
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: i have 1 month old baby and the notice expires at the end of this month. It would be very difficult to move in these circumstances. I would like to know if the notice is valid too.

Hi, I'm Lea and I have reviewed your query.

Can you attach a copy of the notice using the paperclip please?

Please bear in mind this is an email service and not a live chat so responses may not be instantaneous. I am not available for calls, but in all cases it is very likely you can be helped online.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
sorry for taking time to answer. I am just looking for the notice.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
see attached notice the landlord sent me
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
just to clarify - we never refused to move out temporarily as he says in the letter and we always cooperated with him.
in regards ***** ***** report, where they recommend that works need to be done while the property is empty - the landlord refused to provide this.
our tenancy agreement states that he can only serve us notice when the fixed term is finished (ended 27/10) - does that make this notice invalid?

The notice is invalid on the face of it, as it is not in the prescribed format required to end an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, which effectively means that the landlord has not in fact issued you a notice at all. If it had been served in the correct format, but on 21st September, it would also be invalid if your tenancy agreement stated that it couldn't be served until the term had ended - however this is unlikely as most tenancy agreements state that notice can be served to end ON the last day of the agreement, so he could serve that at month ten in a twelve month tenancy for example. Immaterial in any case as the notice is not in the correct format.

However, the issue seems to be more that the property is uninhabitable, and the landlord only wanted you to move temporarily whilst it was repaired. If your tenancy is actually over, then you are on a periodic tenancy agreement, which can be ended by proper service of notice, which in the circumstances, given the disrepair that the landlord needs to resolve, could be less than the two months referred to in your agreement if alternative accommodation has been offered.

Your landlord clearly hasn't taken any legal advice as yet, which is why he thinks he has served notice on you (when he hasn't), but when he does take advice, he'll discover he can serve notice on a mandatory ground as the property is in need of repair.

Your landlord has an obligation to keep the property in good repair and he is probably anxious for you to move so that he can ensure he is not breaching the law. You could ask him to pay your additional costs involved in leaving as compensation.

Does that help?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you.
The problem is that landlord is refusing to pay any compensation and now he is not even considering the temporary move. I have asked him to cover the electricity costs as he placed two dehumidifiers in property - he did not answer about that either.
could you elaborate on the mandatory ground - what section is that?
What are our rights with the small baby - can he still evict us?

It's section 8 - for repairs/renovation. It's still two month's notice, but the court will definitely grant the order if the landlord proves there is disrepair that needs you to vacate the property.

I imagine your landlord is refusing compensation as your tenancy agreement is over (barring the fact that it is periodic) and he knows that he can serve notice on you to leave without paying any compensation. His difficulty is that he clearly doesn't know how to serve proper notice. He should however cover the cost of the dehumidifiers as he can claim that on his insurance.

Having a child won't make any difference to his right to gain possession against you - but he hasn't served notice yet, and when he does he still can't throw you out without a possession order from the court. It could be four or five months away from now (or more!) until you have to move.

Please accept and rate positively using the five stars at the top of your page as that is how I am paid for assisting you today. Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** really helpful. If he takes the legal action and serves us a notice, does that mean we will be involved in the court process? Could you elaborate more on this process?

Happy to do that for you after you have rated.

SASH_Law and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

If he does serve you with proper notice, you are still free to move out at the end of that notice period without court action being taken against you. If you remain after the notice is up, the landlord can apply to the court for a possession order and you will need to be involved in that process and will likely have (at least) fixed costs awarded against you.

If the LL does start proceedings, he has to issue in the local county court, he can do so under a s21 (Form A6) and use the accelerated process (you will be notified but a hearing won't take place unless you request it), or under a s8 notice, for which a hearing will be listed.

All the best.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
thank you

You're welcome.

All the best.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
sorry, just one more question - do you have any idea what courts costs could be approx?

Depends - if fixed costs probably under £500, but if your contract states otherwise it could be more.