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Imp

Eviction Notice

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I am getting to the end of my AST contract, and in the past I have written to my landlord confirming I wish to stay on, and the contract has changed to a periodic tenancy - I give 1 months notice, the landlord gives 2.

My current landlord has just issued me with an eviction notice, but tells me verbally i can stay in the house. His reason for this is that if I don't pay my rent, he wants to evict me straight away so if he has already issued the notice he can go straight to the magistrates court and have me booted out. I always thought it was a legislative right as a tennant that i have 2 months grace to sort myself out before the landlord can throw me out of a house. By issuing this notice, the landord is trying to remove this right. From this I can only summarise he is incredibly misinformed or unbelievably corrupt. I also believe I would be technically squatting if I did stay.

I will be moving out as the landlord is rubbish, but don't like the pressure I have been put under. I have been a good tennant, but this landlord is trying to put me in a difficult position. I will be paying my last months rent, but will not have any hesitation in taking the landlord to the small claims court if he doesn't return my deposit. I know someone who got the bailifs into a landlords house to get the deposit back. That's got to be satisfying.

Any thoughts?

Imp

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My current landlord has just issued me with an eviction notice, but tells me verbally i can stay in the house. His reason for this is that if I don't pay my rent, he wants to evict me straight away so if he has already issued the notice he can go straight to the magistrates court and have me booted out. I always thought it was a legislative right as a tennant that i have 2 months grace to sort myself out before the landlord can throw me out of a house. By issuing this notice, the landord is trying to remove this right. From this I can only summarise he is incredibly misinformed or unbelievably corrupt. I also believe I would be technically squatting if I did stay.

He is not removing the right, he has given you 2 months notice, lots of landlords issue this notice (to expire at the end of the fixed term) at the beginning of the tenancy.

Imp

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"He is not removing the right, he has given you 2 months notice, lots of landlords issue this notice (to expire at the end of the fixed term) at the beginning of the tenancy."

I understand this, I don't understand how he can verbally say I can stay on after the tenancy has expired on a periodic tenancy having given me this notice, without signing another contract.

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I understand this, I don't understand how he can verbally say I can stay on after the tenancy has expired on a periodic tenancy having given me this notice, without signing another contract.

He shouldn't of and if you could prove that he did he would have to serve a new notice.

(Because; it would mean he has offered you a new tenancy at the expiry of your current notice, that new tenancy would require a new S.21 notice)

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I had a similar situtation months ago...

I came to the end of my initial 6 month contract, and wanted to stay on in a continuing

basis. I was a good tenant, on good terms with everyone and was served an eviction notice

straight away after the 6 months had ended...

Was a bit peeved as I was then, loking to purchase a property so needed to stay in the house

for maybe 2 or three months longer whilst it all happened, so was looking for a bit of goodwill.

Apparantly he wanted someone in the house on a more permanent basis and not on an ad-hoc

arrangement, so it did sour things, but he was entitled to do so under the current law, so not a

lot i could have done about it really. Shabby personal skills IMHO...

In relation to your situtaion, it sounds youre stuck between a rock and a hard place so begin to

look elsewhere asap if I were you...It says volumes about the way he/they treat people.

Edited by stevie_nottm

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Just thought I would update you on this one. Having been given the eviction notice, I started looking round for other places to live. I have found one which is in a better location, better furnished and with better decoration for less rent. A week ago the landlord's agent rang me to ask if i would be staying on at the house. I said I had been served an eviction notice and therefore had to leave. Apparantly the landlord, whose first let this is, had read in a Buy to Let guide that at the end of a tenancy a section 21 notice had to be served. She duly served this notice, and evicted me. The letting agent said that I could stay on as the landlord had not meant to evict me, just was ignorant of letting law. Does that make me the first person here to be accidentally evicted?

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Just thought I would update you on this one. Having been given the eviction notice, I started looking round for other places to live. I have found one which is in a better location, better furnished and with better decoration for less rent. A week ago the landlord's agent rang me to ask if i would be staying on at the house. I said I had been served an eviction notice and therefore had to leave. Apparantly the landlord, whose first let this is, had read in a Buy to Let guide that at the end of a tenancy a section 21 notice had to be served. She duly served this notice, and evicted me. The letting agent said that I could stay on as the landlord had not meant to evict me, just was ignorant of letting law. Does that make me the first person here to be accidentally evicted?

I'd be looking at reduced rent given the fact you've found something better.

btp

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I'd be looking at reduced rent given the fact you've found something better.

btp

Our Lettings Agent started issuing section 21 notices, as a matter of routine last year! Cause quite a bit of panic at the time. Apparently this is just what they do now. Surely it could back fire on them quite easily - as we were even looking at alternative accommodation, even got the paperwork for the local housing association.

Could we have used the fact that this notice had been issued, to help with getting a housing association house, as on paper we were being evicted?

As soon as we spoke to the agents, they assured us that we can stay if we wanted to. (Eviction noticed arrived on a Sat morning, so we could get any confirmation until the Monday)

Clangnuts

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It is common practice with many letting agents(indeed some would say good practice, myself included) to issue a Section 21 at the beginning of the tenancy to prevent delays at the end SHOULD the landlord wish to evict ASAP after the fixed term. However, if a S21 is issued in this way it should usually be explained to the tenant that this is exactly what it is for....a safety net, rather than guaranteeing to evict at the end of the fixed term. It does reduce the potential security of tenure for a tenant, but not massively, and if explained properly there is no reason for panic with tenants.

This S21 will remain valid indefinitely after the fixed term(the true indefinite time allowed has never been tested thoroughly in the courts, but there is no reason in law, or practically in the courts, why such a notice could not remain valid for many years after the fixed term has expired). However, should a new tenancy be offered, and/or a new contract signed, then the notice would become invalid. In the example explained above, as said by Mr Crunch would lead to an invalid S21, I would disagree. No new tenancy has occurred, there is nothing to say that a S21 must be acted upon at the end of the fixed term of an AST(and before a SPT has begun) for it to remain valid. Saying they can stay on is simply extending the current tenancy into a statutory periodic one, and as such the S21 would remain valid for the duration of the SPT. Had the landlord offered a new 6 month fixed term however, the notice would be invalidated.

And yes clangnuts, this could be used to assist, as you would be unintentionally homeless. However, the local council would look at all the circumstances, and would quite quickly spot the difference between an S21 issued 6 months in advance, and an S21 which has already gone to court. The council, having experience in these matters, would know that realistically in the first case there is more likely than not to be no eviction in the near future.

Edited by MrShed

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Thanks MrShed, a clear perspective from the landlord/letting agent's side.

One of my problems was I prefer to be in a periodic tenancy than a fixed term tenancy. My work moves around a lot and I move with it, sometimes at short notice.

I checked the background to this, and found that it is only reasonable to stay in a house after a section 21 notice has been issued if a new contract is signed. Without this new contract the landlord can start court proceedings to evict you without further notice. In any normal periodic tenancy you will be given 2 months notice which is normally plenty to find a new home.

If you are issuing section 21 notices at the start of each tennancy, you are removing the option of periodic tennacy, and insisting on 6 month (minimum) leases. If this happens to me again, I will just move on again because I don't like being tied down for long periods of time.

That said, if everything is great with a house I will tend to rent it for 2-4 years, which I think is a reasonable length of time for a landlord to be guaranteed of not having voids.

One more question which I think MrShed could answer. After a section 21 notice has been issued, I presume that the landlord could increase the rent in the new contract without giving the normal notice period, putting the tennants under duress to pay an increased rent for a future fixed period.

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You are welcome Imp. Just to clarify a couple of bits you posted, as either I am not understanding you, or you are not understanding me :) A currently "on file" so to speak S21 notice does NOT prevent a tenancy from going into a normal periodic tenancy. The landlord has no requirement to act upon a served S21. As a periodic tenancy is merely classed as an extension to a current tenancy, not a new tenancy in itself, the Section 21 remains valid during the periodic tenancy, and there is no requirement to sign a new minimum 6 month contract. The policy of some LA/LLs to serve the S21 at the beginning of the tenancy may make it unsuitable for some tenants, in particular those who would need at least the two months notice to leave DURING the periodic tenancy.

I will wait to see if this clarifies things for you before answering your question, as I believe you may just be slightly confused by it, as no new contract would need to be signed. However, it would never be classed legally as duress, as the landlord has a right to evict any assured shorthold tenant as long as the correct notice is given. I don't think you meant legally though, probably more just kind of feeling forced into it I guess? Bear in mind however that even if there is a current valid S21, it would still take at LEAST 2 weeks to evict if it goes to court, and so it's not as if anyone would literally be forced out immediately.

Sorry I hope I explained this clearly....so full of cold today, cant' see straight!

*EDIT*

Will try and sum it up in one sentence:D : A section 21 remains valid unless a new tenancy begins, which a periodic tenancy does not do, and a time delay between the date stated on the S21 and the date court proceedings begin do not invalidate the S21.

However you have raised two questions in my mind, which I am not entirely sure about:

- To raise the rent legally, a landlord must issue a Section 13 notice. This differs from using a new tenancy to increase the rent, as the tenant has no choice about the increase in rent, it is not a notice he must agree to. However the tenant of course can complain about the higher rent, and a S13 notice must include information of who to speak to in the council if he disagrees with the rent. However, I wonder whether a S13 notice would in fact invalidate the S21 notice? I realise this is probably beyond the scope of what you meant, but I am curious from an academic point of view.

- I have read the answer to this question(can't remember it) but, it is possible that after the S21 becomes valid, the landlord may have to accept all future rent as "mesne profits"....would also like to find this out for myself. If anyone is unsure what mesne profits are, the easiest way(although not strictly speaking the correct way) of thinking about it is that it is a payment for services provided under duress. So for example, if there is a tenant and a non-tenant in a property, you would be permitted(I think) to accept rent off the non-tenant provided you accepted it as mesne profits, without creating a tenancy with him.

Edited by MrShed

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You are welcome Imp. Just to clarify a couple of bits you posted, as either I am not understanding you, or you are not understanding me :) A currently "on file" so to speak S21 notice does NOT prevent a tenancy from going into a normal periodic tenancy. The landlord has no requirement to act upon a served S21. As a periodic tenancy is merely classed as an extension to a current tenancy, not a new tenancy in itself, the Section 21 remains valid during the periodic tenancy, and there is no requirement to sign a new minimum 6 month contract. The policy of some LA/LLs to serve the S21 at the beginning of the tenancy may make it unsuitable for some tenants, in particular those who would need at least the two months notice to leave DURING the periodic tenancy.

Our lettings agent issue the section 21 two months before the end of the TA, not at the start of the TA. Does this make any difference? It appeared that they wanted us out at the end, but verbally on the phone there was no issues, and the TA was renewed for another 12 months.

At the time there was some speculation on if the Landlord would be selling the property, as the local house prices had shot up in that year.

Clangnuts

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Bear in mind however that even if there is a current valid S21, it would still take at LEAST 2 weeks to evict if it goes to court, and so it's not as if anyone would literally be forced out immediately.

So then the tenant is permanently living with the possibility of having just 2 weeks to vacate? And you say that's not duress! Moving house is a a pain and it may be extremely inconvenient to move in this short timescale, depending on work or other commitments the tenant may have. I would not accept this from my landlord and I am surprised the courts allow it, we are supposed to have two months notice to move before the eviction process even starts.

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MrShed,

Elvis has summed up my concern exactly. The issuing of a section 21 notice at the start of the periodic tennacy effectively reduces the time I, as a tennant, have to find a new home from 2 months to 2 weeks. I would not be able to live with this level of uncertainty. It takes about 2 weeks to move into a new home if references, etc, are required. There is no time to actually look around for somewhere I would be happy living in, even for 6 months. As stated previously, 2 months is fine but 2 weeks is not.

At least I always rent in furnished accomodation. If I had my own furniture, removals companies are often booked up weeks in advance.

EDIT

My reference to changing the rent would be to get away from this 2 week notice, I would hae to sign a new AST agreement. At this point the agreement would be up for negotiation, which could result in an increased rent.

Imp

Edited by Imp

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No it is not duress. Reason being, and the reason the court allows it, is that you have had effectively at LEAST 6 months notice, as the Section 21 was issued at the beginning of the fixed term. In practice, it results in less notice, but no less notice than if a landlord had spotted something early if you see what I mean. It only reduces the notice if the landlord needs you out in a hurry suddenly, which should only happen if the tenant "acts up". Or at least that is the only reason I would use it. Another reason for the early issuing of a S21 notice is because the dates are notoriously difficult to get right, and it is easiest to do so at the beginning of the tenancy.

And Imp, yes it is a valid concern to have as a tenant. Most certainly. I am merely explaining the legal position(and perhaps the landlords position also). I must stress that I, and probably most reasonable landlords, would only invoke this immediately(i.e. not giving a prolonged period of notice/issuing a new S21) if the tenant was acting up(causing damage to the property, not paying rent etc). In which case IMO the tenant deserves what they get. However, I agree that in the hands of not so reasonable landlords, this can be a dangerous tool.

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My reference to changing the rent would be to get away from this 2 week notice, I would hae to sign a new AST agreement. At this point the agreement would be up for negotiation, which could result in an increased rent.

Imp

Yes, or get in writing the landlord stating that he no longer considers the issued S21 valid.

Our lettings agent issue the section 21 two months before the end of the TA, not at the start of the TA. Does this make any difference? It appeared that they wanted us out at the end, but verbally on the phone there was no issues, and the TA was renewed for another 12 months.

No this makes no difference. This is "historically" when a S21 should be issued. What we are discussing here is a fairly common practice to issue it earlier than this when there is no real intention(as of yet) to evict at that time.

Agreed Imp, very worthwhile. I do believe that generally rental law is very much weighted towards the tenant - and with good reason, as they can be in a very vulnerable position. However, this is one of the areas which is not, and perhaps there is an argument to readdress this balance at some point in law. However, a prudent landlord must still take advantage of this "loophole", as long as he does so in a responsible way.

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However, a prudent landlord must still take advantage of this "loophole", as long as he does so in a responsible way.

Well I'm glad you see it is a loophole. It's still not behaviour I would accept from a landlord though. If he issues me with a Section 21, then quite simply I'll leave on that date. There is no way I'd accept an informal, well you can stay on really until the LL just happens to change is mind whenever he feels like it.

The only exception would be if the LL genuinely wanted me the leave, issued the Section 21 and then changed his mind. This did happen to me recently as the LL intended to sell and then backed out and asked if I would stay on. The answer was yes but only with a 25pcm rent decrease to compensate for being mucked about and a new tenancy agreement to render the Section 21 invalid.

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Well that is entirely your choice, and obviously any tenant would have the option of leaving after this date, no-one is denying you this right. But remember, landlords can be made highly vulnerable also, and should some serious anti-social behaviour occur, or serious damage to the property, or non payment of rent, then this "loophole" allows the landlord to mitigate his damages in a timely fashion.

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Inn the S21 notice, it states that possession of the house by the landlord is required after the certain date. Assuming we are in or about to enter the periodic tennancy phase of the contract, would the issuing of the S21 notice and then letting the tennancy continue forfit the landlord's right to 1 month's notice, just as it is removing the tennant's right to 2 month's notice?

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Well that is entirely your choice, and obviously any tenant would have the option of leaving after this date, no-one is denying you this right.

Indeed so, and with no notice to the LL. This living with effectively 'no notice' cuts both ways.

But remember, landlords can be made highly vulnerable also, and should some serious anti-social behaviour occur, or serious damage to the property, or non payment of rent, then this "loophole" allows the landlord to mitigate his damages in a timely fashion.

Well it's up to you how you run your business of course, but by running it so defensively I suggest that you are going to put off the trustworthy and reliable tenants (like myself) and therefore run a grater risk of having voids at no notice and problem tenants. Those of us who care about this issue would probably be the ones who would otherwise stay on and look after the property well, rather than the fly by night troublesome sort, and we will vote with our feet and leave you for a more reasonable LL.

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Imp....yes, it would remove the need for notice from the side of the tenant.

Yes, but aren't there other implications too? For example my tenancy agreement says viewings (if the LL puts the house up for sale, or for the next tenant) are only allowed in the last two months of the tenancy. But in this 'no notice' situation the tenant, having been served the Section 21, is from then on in the last two months or less of the tenancy and therefore should allow viewings. If not then he could be out within the two weeks.

If fact the tenant loses his bargaining power, so he can't complain about repairs that haven't been done, about the landlord letting himself in without notice, etc. Any complaint from the the tenant and he could be out. I don't think any decent tenant should be prepared to accept this once they've thought it through.

As for landlords, they've already checked the tenants references and credit history, then they have the initial six month fixed term to decide if they want the tenant to stay or not. They could do an inspection after the first 3.5 months and make a decision if they think the tenant is reliable, and issue the Section 21 at that time if they actually want the tenant to leave. Hardly rocket science.

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Elvis,

This is why I moved out. If were in breach of the key terms of my tennancy, the landlord could issue a section 8 notice and start proceedings to get me out immediately. I didn't see the need for the section 21 notice. If any landlord in the future issues a section 21 notice, I would immediately move out again.

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So let me get this right. If a Section 21 notice is served, then the tenant has 2 weeks to get out? I thought this was longer. I thought it was 2 months, not 2 weeks.

Clangnuts

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • up 5%



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