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Eviction Notice Period

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I know this has been asked before but I would like clarification on my notice period. We began renting our house July 2nd last year on a 12 month AST, the S21 was issued when we signed the contract. After a massive row with the landlord on Saturday he has instructed the letting agent to evict us on July 2nd. Is this right? Don't I get 2 months notice from July 2nd so we have to be out by September 2nd?

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https://www.tenancyagreementservice.co.uk/section-21-notice-to-quit#section-21-notices-served-during-the-fixed-tenancy

Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 as amended by the Housing Act 1996 requires that the landlord provides tenants of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) with a minimum of two months' notice in writing, stating that possession of the property is sought. The two months starts when the tenant receives the notice not when the notice was written/posted.
A notice can be issued more than two months before the end of a tenancy but it should not be dated to expire on or before the last day of the tenancy. For example, if a Section 21 notice was issued four months before the tenancy was due to end, the notice would have to be dated after the last day of the fixed term.
If a section 21 notice is issued during the initial fixed term of a tenancy to regain possession at the end of the fixed term tenancy, then should the landlord decide to grant another fixed term, a new section 21 notice would be required to regain possession.

If the S21 notice is dated for before or on July 2nd, then you can safely ignore it and the landlord will ahve to issue another S21 which will give you two months.

Edited by Wurzel Of Highbridge

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Thanks Wurzel will check the S21 when I get home. If the S21 is dated 3rd July I still don't get 2 months notice, doesn't seem fair to me.

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I think the issue is that the s21 was issued as soon as they moved in. So they moved in 2 July 2014 and received an s21 on 3 July 2014 saying move out on 2 July 2015. This seems to be a common action by EAs to try and prevent the move to a rolling contact so fees can be collected. If they want the tenant to stay they they will say the s21 issued when you moved in was just procedural and they did not really mean it so please stay, sign a new contract and give us £100.

You're right, I completely missed that part of the OP's post. Your/Wurzel's advice seems good.

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Thanks for the advice. The S21 was issued when we moved in, I have yet to check the date. Was only given verbal notice today to move out before July 2nd, so less than 2 months notice.

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OP - a few questions.

Did you pay a deposit? If so . . .
Was the deposit protected in an approved scheme within 30 days of being received?
Were you given the Prescribed Information about the deposit scheme?
What is the expiry date of the S21?

Neither the agent nor the landlord can evict you. Only a court baliff or HCEO can evict you and only then if the landlord has obtained a possession order from a court. You don't have to leave until you are legally evicted but you may be liable for court costs.

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OP - a few questions.

Did you pay a deposit? If so . . .

Was the deposit protected in an approved scheme within 30 days of being received?

Were you given the Prescribed Information about the deposit scheme?

What is the expiry date of the S21?

Neither the agent nor the landlord can evict you. Only a court baliff or HCEO can evict you and only then if the landlord has obtained a possession order from a court. You don't have to leave until you are legally evicted but you may be liable for court costs.

The deposit is protected and within 30 days. I was given the deposit scheme info. I'm not yet sure of the S21 expiry date, I can't remember seeing it or signing it. Assuming the S21 is valid does the 2 month notice automatically start in the 10th month of the AST? This seems unfair to me as legally they could tell me to get out 1 day before the end of the tenancy and argue that I have had the S21 for 11 months 29 days.

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You have had 11 months notice - this is why it was served at the start of the tenancy.

If the landlord applies for a possession order and the S21 is valid then he will be granted possession.

You will have to leave eventually.

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Well that sucks. So tenants are completely at the mercy of landlords in this situation. Was I supposed to hope he would renew in July or start looking for somewhere in April but wait until June to give notice. It's almost as if landlords have made the rules themselves!

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To be fair, and I, not saying you want to go this route, the landlord can't actually evict you. They have no legal powers to do that. The section 21 just means if you don't go they can't start legal proceedings to get you out. So if you are looking and haven't found anywhere and don't leave then they can't just throw you out. Takes a judge to do that

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To be fair, and I, not saying you want to go this route, the landlord can't actually evict you. They have no legal powers to do that. The section 21 just means if you don't go they can't start legal proceedings to get you out. So if you are looking and haven't found anywhere and don't leave then they can't just throw you out. Takes a judge to do that

Very tempted to do that. How would I deal with paying the rent and would it affect my credit rating? We were going to leave in September anyway and don't intend to rent for a while if ever. Would I be liable for his court costs?

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Thanks Satch, good advice although I can't bring myself to go cap in hand and try to negotiate. Will probably make him think I'm moving out in july then pay another month and move in august. Would citizens advice give me legal advice?

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I think citizens advice would offer information. I'm not saying it's a nice route but it is a perfectly legal one. Staying wouldn't affect your credit rating at all, basically the judge decides you have to go, you say "yes sir" and you go.

But sensibly I'd say you are right to only look to use it to get another month, by the time they file any papers etc you will already be gone

Edit to add, definitely pay the rent, although they can't evict you personally you don't want to be the one in the wrong which not paying would be

Edited by Rozza

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When AST were introduced in the 1980's, it was mandatory to issue a S21 at the start of the tenancy. The law was changed a long time ago and now S21's are supposed to be issued at the correct time ie. 2 months notice. Either through ignorance or vindictiveness LAs still issue S21s at the start of a tenancy.

Having taken an interest in this subject for 25 years, my opinion is that a judge would now take a dim view of a landlord that verbally gave a tenant less than 2 months notice instead relying on a S21 issued at the very start of the tenancy. I would expect a judge to tell the landlord to correctly serve a new S21 before going any further. I recall there is anecdotal evidence of exactly this buried deep on this very forum. The thing is, most cases never get this far, because most tenants crumble at the first threat of the S21.

So where does this leave the OP? Well, your relationship with your LL has clearly broken down, and you probably want to leave at some point. But your LL is skating on thin ice. There is scope to leave on your own terms and a time convenient to you. Anything else, you can make a massive headache for your LL, and he knows it. You can even squeeze a good reference out of him as a condition of leaving - how else are you going to get a new tenancy?

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Well that sucks. So tenants are completely at the mercy of landlords in this situation. Was I supposed to hope he would renew in July or start looking for somewhere in April but wait until June to give notice. It's almost as if landlords have made the rules themselves!

For future reference, you can get your own back. I was served a Section 21 at the beginning of a six month tenancy, and may have given the impression we were planning to stay a long time. I then kept extremely quiet - and simply told them the day before the tenancy ended to come and get their keys citing the Section 21 telling me I had to be out.

Cue a nice void for both the landlord and the letting agent. A few of these and I suspect any landlord/letting agent would think twice about routinely doling them out.

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Quick update on this. After some research and confirmation from an online lawyer, it appears my S21 was issued incorrectly :). The S21 was issued the day before we moved in at the same time as we signed the contract. The S21 cannot be issued until the deposit is protected which happened 22 days later. Oh dear :D. The landlord is expecting me to move out on July 1st but I intend to inform the letting agent of their mistake at the end of June. They will have to issue another S21 and 2 months notice which takes us to the end of August which is when we intended to move out anyway.

How should I inform the letting agent of their mistake? A letter from myself or from a lawyer?

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Update. So the s21 was served before the deposit protected. Invalid. The s21 is also dated 1 day before the ast's date. Very invalid. We are supposed to move out on the 1st july and the letting agent has been calling the last 7 days. I have ignored the calls and delivered a letter tonight outlining our objection to the s21 and giving notice to leave at the end of august. Coincidentally the landlord and his wife have just knocked on the door demanding to know what is going on. I told them they have to give 24 hours notice and have written to the letting agent. The landlord then tried to force his way in, I told him this is breach of contract and closed the door in his face. Do I report this to the police?

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Update. So the s21 was served before the deposit protected. Invalid. The s21 is also dated 1 day before the ast's date. Very invalid. We are supposed to move out on the 1st july and the letting agent has been calling the last 7 days. I have ignored the calls and delivered a letter tonight outlining our objection to the s21 and giving notice to leave at the end of august. Coincidentally the landlord and his wife have just knocked on the door demanding to know what is going on. I told them they have to give 24 hours notice and have written to the letting agent. The landlord then tried to force his way in, I told him this is breach of contract and closed the door in his face. Do I report this to the police?

My understanding is that is a landlord tries to force his way in then that is a criminal act and so the police are exactly the people to call!

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Absolutely call the police. Totally unacceptable behaviour. Even though this happened yesterday you should still get a police report number today or tomorrow to mark his card at the very least.

Agreed - completely unacceptable. Get a police report number, and I would also suggest that you write to the agent documenting the criminal act.

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Thanks for all the advice. The letting agent called me yesterday to say the landlord agreed with my terms to leave at the end of August. I will allow one inspection and prospective tenant visits in August accompanied by the letting agent only. Obviously I will be telling any viewers what sort of landlord they will be getting. I will get a police report number but won't inform the agency as we have got what we wanted, don't want to push my luck. We were always going to leave in August anyway.

I did accidentally open a letter addressed to the landlord containing his mortgage statement. Made me wonder why he hasn't informed the bank of his change of address. Maybe he doesn't have consent to let. I know he used to live in the house. I think I should be a good citizen and inform his bank and the tax man! Must say I am quite enjoying my new hobby. The landlord obviously has no idea about the law and tenant's rights. He keeps shouting at me "this is MY house". Well he still owes £320k and as I tell him, "it's our home".

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Too many amateurs involved in buy to let. I have a good friend involved in it who I think owns several properties. He insists I vote Tory as it's the party of 'hard working' people. Both him and his wife are hard working as they both work full time but it seems pretty indefensible to support a system which can bring in basically an extra full time working wage or two to a household for minimal effort, which is obvious if he and his wife are able to do it beside their full time day jobs.

Of course if they were held to higher standards, they wouldn't find that quite so easy. It's almost like landlords (and some agencies for that matter) see complying with the law and regulations as an annoyance that gets in the way of them raking in this easy money.... How anyone can call that a 'profession' is beyond me.

Edited by moedo12

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I did accidentally open a letter addressed to the landlord containing his mortgage statement. Made me wonder why he hasn't informed the bank of his change of address. Maybe he doesn't have consent to let. I know he used to live in the house. I think I should be a good citizen and inform his bank and the tax man! Must say I am quite enjoying my new hobby.

For mis-delivered letters I write on the envelope and put back in a postbox: "Not Known At This Address: Return To Sender"

Although check your rental contract incase you are contracted to forward such mail!

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