Firstly, the most certain way for a LL to evict you is by issuing you with a section 21 notice requiring possession of the house you're living in. It is a no fault notice which means that the LL doesn't need any reason to issue it. The notice must be issued at least two months before the LL wants you to leave with the following provisos:
*It cannot expire (that means its time to move out) during a fixed term lease
*It cannot expire in the first six months of a tenancy
*Anytime negotiations are entered into regarding extending the lease, the s21 is invalidated and the LL must issue a new s21 notice giving you a further 2 months notice to evict you. (But in court, the onus of proof is on the tenant so get any negotiations in writing)
It looks something like this: http://www.letlink.c...ion/S21_1_B.pdf
This is all above board when used within the spirit of the law and gives the tenant at least two months to find alternative accommodation.
Where the s21 becomes the Sword of Damocles is when the LL issues you with an s21 notice RIGHT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE TENANCY, to expire at the end of your fixed term. This is even when you have taken the tenancy under the understanding that it is a long term arrangement.
If you question the notice, the LL will say something like "it's just for insurance purposes" or "its just paperwork don't worry about it" or "if we get on well together we'll just ignore it" or some soothing fob off like that.
But in reality, once the fixed term expires, you have no right to notice as YOU HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED IT. The landlord can go to court at anytime for an immediate eviction order. They rely on the tenant being either not aware of its implications or unaware they have even been served a possession notice.
There are two instance where this is invalidated
1/ when you sign another fixed term lease
2/ when you negotiate to extend the lease, even if it is to say the lease will lapse into a periodic tenancy.
The danger point for the tenant is
1/ at the expiry of the fixed term before signing a new fixed term. The LL can change his mind and ask you to leave immediately
2/ when the fixed term expires and the tenancy is periodic. The LL can change his mind and ask you to leave immediately at any time.
How to protect yourself and maintain your right to two months notice:
As stated, the s21 is invalidated whenever you both start negotiating to extend the terms of the lease, whether its for a new lease or simply for the lease to continue on a month to month basis (periodic). However you need to prove this should the landlord immediately apply to the court for a possession order.
If you have been served a Sword of Damocles s21 and the intention of both you and the LL is to stay on past the fixed term, you must contact the landlord and start discussions about staying on two months before your fixed term expires, but it must be in writing from the LL, do ensure you insist on this to be done in writing.
If the LL won't play ball, immediately look for alternative accommodation for when your fixed term expires, because from then on, you have no right of notice.
So to be clear, either:
1/ Get negotiations in writing two month before fixed term expires, or
An important point; if you are living under an expired s21, you can vacate at any time without giving notice, because you have already received notice to leave.
I believe the Sword of Damocles is dishonest, deceitful and sneaky and relies on tenants ignorance of the law to be in place.
Good argument on this here: http://www.landlordz...read.php?t=6803
Edited by wayneL, 30 June 2007 - 05:43 AM.