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Section 21(4)a Served 2months Notice, Can We Leave Earlier?

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Hi,

We've just been served with a Section 21(4)(a) notice telling us the landlord requires possession after 05/11/09. We have a viewing booked for Tues on a new property. If we like it, can we vacate our current property earlier than 05/11/09 & would we be liable for rent up to 05/11/09?

Thanks

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When does your current AST end? How much notice do you have to give (in that AST) when you want to leave (i.e. is there a break clause)?

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Hi,

We've just been served with a Section 21(4)(a) notice telling us the landlord requires possession after 05/11/09. We have a viewing booked for Tues on a new property. If we like it, can we vacate our current property earlier than 05/11/09 & would we be liable for rent up to 05/11/09?

Thanks

Unless the contract says otherwise, your notice period is one month from next rent due date. Even if that doesn't help you, if the landlord wants possession of the property, they might be happy to agree to let you leave early.

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Sorry I should have explained, our AST ended about 6 months ago & we've been on a periodic tenancy since. I'm guessing that if we have to give 1 months notice then we have to stay until 5/11/09 as we've just paid our rent so our notice wouldn't come into effect until the next rent payment at the beginning of October. We were just a bit put out at being asked to leave so were hoping we could sever our ties a bit sooner!

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I thought I'd resurrect an old thread. We are in a different position in that we have moved from an AST to a Periodic tenancy. In the letter of agreement for the Periodic with the Letting Agency, we agreed to 2 months' notice on either side. I am now thinking that we only need to give 1 month's notice (from the normal rent payment date) as this is (I think) a Statutory Periodic Tenancy, in which case naughty Letting Agency. I have asked our Solicitor and will post the answer in case it is relevant to anyone else.

Our dirty little secret is that we are buying a house having STR in 2008. I expect we'll lose money but with a bit of luck they'll inflate away all the debt...

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statute overwrites contract clause.one month is all you need to give on your side.

Thanks, my thoughts too, but will await advice from solicitor to be safe. Am actually quite cross. Either this reputable and established agency doesn't know its business, or they are pulling a fast one.

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It sounds as if the agent was pulling a fast one with the "letter of agreement for the periodic".

The periodic tenancy happens automatically, you don't need a letter to agree that or to establish terms.

It seems that the agent tried to force you into another contract in a de-facto way by this letter or getting you to agree to terms that are not the same as a periodic tenancy.

That's where your problem is. Not sure why you would sign this letter when you would move to a periodic anyway. Hope that I have got this wrong.

You need to examine the letter and see what it is exactly that you have signed, why it was needed and if it has any legality under law. I suspect not but that is the point that needs checking.

Edited by Flopsy

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It sounds as if the agent was pulling a fast one with the "letter of agreement for the periodic".

The periodic tenancy happens automatically, you don't need a letter to agree that or to establish terms.

It seems that the agent tried to force you into another contract in a de-facto way by this letter or getting you to agree to terms that are not the same as a periodic tenancy.

That's where your problem is. Not sure why you would sign this letter when you would move to a periodic anyway. Hope that I have got this wrong.

You need to examine the letter and see what it is exactly that you have signed, why it was needed and if it has any legality under law. I suspect not but that is the point that needs checking.

I signed it because our landlord was reluctant to renew on anything other than a fixed term basis, and we wanted more flexibility, so 2 months' notice seemed not so bad. But if it's not enforceable, 1 month seems even better. Will find out when the solicitor decides to reply to my email...

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Periodic tenancies can be statutory or contractual. A statutory periodic tenancy is the default when an AST ends. It is open to the parties to agree a contractual periodic tenancy. On the face of it, it seems that you have a contractual periodic tenancy, but it is impossible to say without knowing precisely what the letter said.

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Just to round this off, because I don't like to leave it hanging when poster have taken the trouble to offer advice...

My solicitor advised me to give 1 month's notice, not 2. Have done so and got some grief from LA on moral rather than legal grounds...

LA and LL have accepted 1 month's notice,

The basis of this I am told is that the 1 month is defined by statute and cannot be altered by contract.

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My solicitor advised me to give 1 month's notice, not 2. Have done so and got some grief from LA on moral rather than legal grounds...

As I said above, what notice was needed depends on what the letter said. Since I have not seen the letter I cannot say whether the solicitor's advice was correct.

LA and LL have accepted 1 month's notice

Problem solved!

The basis of this I am told is that the 1 month is defined by statute and cannot be altered by contract.

A statement that bears examination.

There is no statute that says as such that a tenant on a periodic tenant need only give one month's notice.

If you have a fixed term AST which did not include any provision for it to continue as a periodic tenancy, then any provision contained in the agreement as to the period of notice required to bring any statutory periodic tenancy to an end is of no effect so long as the tenancy continues to be an assured tenancy - see section 5 (3) (e) of the Housing Act 1988.

If when a fixed term AST comes to an end a statutory AST arises then the common law rules apply in respect of any notice to quit to be served by the tenant. Whilst the Housing Act 1988 provides for how long the periods of the tenancy will be, it does not alter the common law as to notices to quit. The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 alters the common law in respect of residential tenancies by providing for a minimum period of four weeks' notice.

The rules for serving a notice to quit in respect of a residential tenancy (other than a yearly tenancy) are as follows:

1. Subject to rules 2 and 3, the notice period is equal to a period of the tenancy and the notice must expire at the end of a period of the tenancy.

2. Subject to rule 3, the parties are free to agree the period of notice required and when the notice can expire, except that no agreement can be reached in respect of a statutory periodic tenancy arising under section 5 of the Housing Act 1988 before it actually arises.

3. The minimum period of notice is four weeks.

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