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St.Ives

Ast Aggreement Notice Period

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Can someone give me a definitive answer on this as there seems to be conflicting views on this question?

I have been renting for four years now and the tenancy has changed over from the fixed six month period to a month to month rolling contract. I always assumed that the notice period would be one month either way as it is a monthly rolling contract. I have just given the letting agency one months notice and been informed that the contact actually states I have to give two months notice. I have looked at the contract and this is indeed correct.

I know I should have read the contract and brought this up earlier but it does strike me as a bit unfair. There are not many landlords that would wait two months for a new tenant and it seems to me another way of screwing more money out of the tenant (along with agency fees at the start of the contract and the £25 the agency is charging me for referencing).

Is this actually legally binding? There seems to be some people who believe that The Housing Act states that the tenant only needs to give one months notice and as this is Statute law it supercedes the AST contract (contract law). Anyone know for sure?

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The Housing Act 1988 does not actually say that a tenant on a statutory periodic assured tenancy only needs to give a month's notice. What it says (see section 5(3)(e)) is that, when a statutory periodic assured tenancy arises following the coming to an end of a fixed term assured tenancy, the periodic tenancy is on the same terms as the fixed term tenancy "except that any term which makes provision for determination by the landlord or the tenant shall not have effect while the tenancy remains an assured tenancy". Apart from that, the Act has nothing to say about how a tenant may bring a statutory periodic assured tenancy to an end. That means that the general law applies. With respect to residential tenancies the law provides that, subject to a minimum notice period of four weeks, a notice to quit needs to expire at the end of a period of the tenancy and the minimum period of notice is equal to a period of the tenancy. Accordingly the minimum periods of notice are:

Weekly tenancy = four weeks

Four weekly tenancy = four weeks

Monthly tenancy = a month

Quarterly tenancy = a quarter

The periods of a statutory periodic tenancy are determined by the frequency with which rent was payable immediately before the fixed term came to an end (see section 5(3)(d))

So, so long as your tenancy is a statutory periodic assured tenancy anything the tenancy agreement says about giving notice to end the tenancy does not apply. I put "statutory" in italics because if the periodic tenancy is contractual (which it will be if the tenancy agreement provides for the fixed term to continue as a periodic tenancy) the terms in the tenancy agreement as to notice apply. I put "assured" in italics because if the tenancy ceases to be assured (which, amongst other things, it will if the tenant cease to occupy the property as his only or principal home) the terms in the tenancy agreement as to notice apply.

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. I put "statutory" in italics because if the periodic tenancy is contractual (which it will be if the tenancy agreement provides for the fixed term to continue as a periodic tenancy) the terms in the tenancy agreement as to notice apply.

That's interesting.

I always thought that the clauses in some AST's saying "after the end of the term the contract becomes periodic with a notice period..." was just a superfluous statement of the law (or designed to confuse tenants that the old notice periods still applied) Seems i was mistaken.

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That's interesting.

I always thought that the clauses in some AST's saying "after the end of the term the contract becomes periodic with a notice period..." was just a superfluous statement of the law (or designed to confuse tenants that the old notice periods still applied) Seems i was mistaken.

It depends on what the tenancy agreement says and perhaps on where it says it.

...for a term of 6 months continuing as a monthly periodic tenancy

...for a term of six months and thereafter from month to month

...for a term of six months and then continuing until ended by a month's notice

All the above do create a fixed term followed by a contractual periodic tenancy.

...for a term of six months after which the tenancy will become a statutory periodic tenancy

...for a term of six months [and then later in the agreement] When the fixed term ends the tenancy will become periodic subject to two months' notice

None of the above create a fixed term followed by a contractual periodic tenancy.

I think that the tenant should only need to look in one place to see if his tenancy is going to continue as a periodic tenancy. In case of doubt any ambiguity should be resolved in favour of the tenant.

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