Section 21 Notices;
Taylor –v- Spencer (2013)
This case provides important clarification on the dates specified within a Section 21 Notice.
The Landlord entered two dates for the expiry of the notice which conflicted with each other and relied upon the words “at the end of your period of tenancy which will end after the expiration of two months from the service upon you of this notice”.
The Court of Appeal held that despite this the three conditions of Section 21 were satisfied; the fixed term had come to an end, no further shorthold tenancy had come into existence and two months’ notice had been given.
‘the reasonable reader of a notice would understand that one date is the primary date and the other date is a fall back”.
However, Taylor –v- Spencer highlights only one example of the type of error that can be made on a notice for possession. There are other factors to consider when serving a valid notice; Is there a deposit? Has it been secured? Is the property a house of multiple occupation? Is the content of the notice correct?
Always make sure the notice is right.
What to do with a Deposit once the fixed term ends;
Superstrike Ltd –v- Marino Rodrigues (2013)
In line with Section 213 of the Housing Act 2004, Landlords must ensure that on receipt of a deposit, it is secured in a deposit scheme and that the tenant is provided with prescribed information of both the scheme and the deposit.
The Court of Appeal decided in Superstrike, that once the fixed term comes to an end and the tenant holds over into a periodic tenancy, it is an entirely new tenancy.
In which case the Landlord also had to provide the prescribed information to the tenant at the start of the periodic tenancy.
‘the landlord did receive a deposit....on 8 January 2007, and it therefore came under the obligations set out in Section 213.....Not having complied with those obligations, it was not entitled to serve a notice under section 21 in June 2011.”
So, what do the cases mean for Landlords?
Although it has been made easier for Landlords, there are other factors to consider, in the hope of serving a valid notice.
In essence, it is important to get it right from the very start.
If the notice is defective at the point of drafting, the tenant is entitled to remain at the property, any order for possession can be overturned and a new Section 21 Notice may have to be served. This in turn causes significant delay to the Landlord and additional cost.
At Kitsons we are experienced in drafting valid Notices and conducting proceedings for possession. We will not hesitate to fight your corner all the way to trial if appropriate. We are also happy to assist if you have drafted a Notice without our help and require our assistance for the drafting and issuing of Court proceedings.
If you want expert advice on Residential Landlord and Tenant matters, please contact:
James Cross - 01803 206203
Rhoda Honey – 01803 206218
The property litigation team are also experienced in dealing with possession relating to commercial properties, so please get in touch.
This publication is distributed by Kitsons LLP for general information only and is not intended to constitute professional advice. Specific professional advice should be obtained before acting on any of the information contained herein. Whilst Kitsons LLP is confident of the accuracy of the information in this leaflet at the date of publication, no duty of care is assumed to any direct or indirect recipient and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy.