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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71040
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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We recently agreed to move from a fixed-term tenancy agreement

Customer Question

We recently agreed to move from a fixed-term tenancy agreement to a standard short-hold tenancy agreement, as we wanted to stay for more than the standard 6-months at a time. The landlord was in agreement and understood that it was our intention to stay for 18 months to avoid renewing or being forced to move in mid-school term. We have one month to go of the existing 6-month agreement before changing to the new agreement. Today, we have been given notice to move out one month after the end of the 6-month agreement. As moving mid-school term is exactly what we wished to avoid, this seems rather dishonest on the landlord's part. Is there any way that we can refuse to move at this time?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Is it in proper S21 notice form?

Does it contain the right dates?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The dates are incorrect. After the end of the current 6-month agreement, the landlord has to give us 2 months notice. They have only given 1 month, although it's 2 months from today. I will follow up with the agency on this point tomorrow.

It's a Housing Act 1988 Section 21 (4) (a) served today by hand and I signed a receipt for the letter, although I have not signed the Notice requiring possession.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.

One thing at a time if thats OK?

You say it is served in the 5th month of the AST? But it does give you 2 months notice?

Im not sure what you mean?
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Also, what were the dates of your original AST please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The original agreement was 9th August 2013 to 8th February 2014

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.

What are the dates upon their notice please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Notice dates are today - 8th January for vacant possession on 8th March

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.

I just need about 20 mins to type out an answer if thats OK?

Its good news and bad news I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK - will wait for the answer

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.

On the face of it, its seems to be that he should be using the S21[4] notice.

On your substantive point, he can give notice unfortunately. Whatever you agreed in principle I'm afraid he is free to end an AST if he wishes to do so. He doesn't need a reason to bring an AST to an end using a S21 notice. I'm afraid your circumstances are not the concern of the landlord and a properly issued S21 notice can be relied upon to evict you if necessary.

HIs dates are actually correct. He is serving notice today to being tomorrow on a term date. That must run for two months which is why it doesn't expire until March.

However, since he is serving notice during the term of the AST then it seems to me that he should have used a S21[4].

Until he does serve correct notice its completely invalid which will buy you more time at the very least.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
The only thing I should mention is a recent case called Taylor v Spencer which allows them to use a S21[1] notice but they haven't done that here.