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Beware The Sword Of Damocles


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#1 Te Mata

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 05:24 AM

I wanted to bring your attention to a deceptive practice being used by Landlords the cheat tenants out of their statutory right to two months notice. It has been dubbed the Sword of Damocles, as under this regime, the LL can ask you to leave at any time without notice.

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
2/ Leave

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.


#2 sossij

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 07:44 AM

I wanted to bring your attention to a deceptive practice being used by Landlords the cheat tenants out of their statutory right to two months notice. It has been dubbed the Sword of Damocles, as under this regime, the LL can ask you to leave at any time without notice.

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
2/ Leave

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


Yikes! Thanks for the heads up wayneL. Landlords, nearly as bad as banks!

#3 FrozenOut

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 07:48 AM

My landlord is sound as a pound, called him about my bed being uncomfortable and told him what I wanted and was only two happy to replace it.

One chunky brown leather bedstead and pocket sprung mattress coming my way in 2 weeks time.

:D

Edited by FrozenOut, 30 June 2007 - 07:48 AM.

Dear Lord, Jesus, Buddah, Allah or can I just call you Joe?
I've got a lot of things to tell you and some things I gotta know,
I'm tired of hearing talk about this world's about to end,
If we can die together then why can't we all be friends?
I gotta know!
Hey, I gotta know!
So Mister can you tell me, gotta know!
Baby can you tell me, gotta know!
Whoooooooa oh oh I gotta know!
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I gotta know!
Baby can you help me, gotta know!
I gotta know!

#4 Ologhai Jones

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 07:53 AM

For the S21 to be valid, does it require the tenant's signature?

#5 Te Mata

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 08:02 AM

For the S21 to be valid, does it require the tenant's signature?

No.

But LLs often get T to sign. I think there needs to be evidence that it was served. i.e. registered mail or a witness etc., but will double check that one.

#6 Te Mata

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 08:04 AM

My landlord is sound as a pound, called him about my bed being uncomfortable and told him what I wanted and was only two happy to replace it.

One chunky brown leather bedstead and pocket sprung mattress coming my way in 2 weeks time.

:D

Yes, there are some very good landlords. This Sword of Damocles is even controversial among them with many recognizing it as dishonest. Many will not do this at all.

#7 Livininabox

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 08:10 AM

My landlord is sound as a pound, called him about my bed being uncomfortable and told him what I wanted and was only two happy to replace it.

One chunky brown leather bedstead and pocket sprung mattress coming my way in 2 weeks time.

:D


Will he make you cocoa & tuck you in at night?

#8 FrozenOut

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 08:21 AM

Will he make you cocoa & tuck you in at night?



Not so sure about that, but originally I called him and said I had no qualms in paying for it all and he said, no he should pay, a real nice fella but this is probably due to him being in the game a long time, certainly not one of these new breeds of "Landlord"
Dear Lord, Jesus, Buddah, Allah or can I just call you Joe?
I've got a lot of things to tell you and some things I gotta know,
I'm tired of hearing talk about this world's about to end,
If we can die together then why can't we all be friends?
I gotta know!
Hey, I gotta know!
So Mister can you tell me, gotta know!
Baby can you tell me, gotta know!
Whoooooooa oh oh I gotta know!
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I gotta know!
Baby can you help me, gotta know!
I gotta know!

#9 BigAl

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 09:53 AM

I run half of my properties myself, with a letting agent for the other half. I have since found out that the LA issues the s21 at the start of the tenancies also. I can see that they do it to benefit me, but I don't agree with it. It's not very comforting for the tenant to be told "here is the 6 month security you are looking for, but here's the notice to get out. But don't worry, I won't be enforcing it". I will be creating new leases shortly so it won't be a problem.

#10 Te Mata

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 03:45 PM

For the S21 to be valid, does it require the tenant's signature?

This all I've been able to find.

http://www.letlink.c...ld-tenancy.html
Service Of Notice:

A section 21 notice may be served by post or in person. The courts will recognise the day of postal service as the day on which the letter would normally have arrived. We suggest that the sending of the notice is witnessed by a colleague. When using postal service, it is recommended that the notice be sent by either registered or recorded delivery and that a minimum of three working days is allowed for the notice to arrive.



#11 Wad

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 04:35 PM

I run half of my properties myself, with a letting agent for the other half. I have since found out that the LA issues the s21 at the start of the tenancies also. I can see that they do it to benefit me, but I don't agree with it. It's not very comforting for the tenant to be told "here is the 6 month security you are looking for, but here's the notice to get out. But don't worry, I won't be enforcing it". I will be creating new leases shortly so it won't be a problem.


I have been a tenant for many years and have had S21 served on me at the start of tenancy's by agents on several occassions. As I have always signed fixed term agreements I never had a problem with it. In fact, I do not see why it is a problem for anyone.

What is deceitful - maybe I missed something? Surely a S21 simply says at the end of the tenancy term (that has been agreed with the LL already) the LL would like to get the property back.

Edited by Wad, 30 June 2007 - 04:36 PM.


#12 bambam

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 05:26 PM

With an s21 notice you can get 'accelerated possession' I believe??

How long does this take, from posting the form to the court, to having the eviction order?

1 month?

More? Less?

#13 Guest_Cletus VanDamme_*

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 06:12 PM

The joys of renting eh?

Though it's cheaper than buying at the moment, it would take a hell of a lot to get me to go back to renting. It's a pretty miserable (and stressful) experience.

#14 bambam

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 06:18 PM

The joys of renting eh?

Though it's cheaper than buying at the moment, it would take a hell of a lot to get me to go back to renting. It's a pretty miserable (and stressful) experience.


Hmm, how much exactly?

I went to look at a house last year, 30s detached in Surrey. 525,000.

Today looked at the house next door, up for rent, 1500/month. Identical property, although the rental one was slightly better, in that the extension was slightly bigger.

By my reckoning, excluding any HPI in the mean time, the 525,000 works out 31,500/year Interest/Only (@6%, which is pretty good these days)

And the rent, 18,000 a year.

13,500 a year saving.

And HPC-proof....

Presumably true value of the house would be somewhere around 300,000 based on current yields?

#15 Te Mata

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 07:48 AM

.

Edited by wayneL, 01 July 2007 - 07:58 AM.





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