Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
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    Default Being asked to leave, after tenancy has expired

    Hi,

    We (2 of us sharing) had a short-assured tenancy for 6 months with a private landlord (started October 05). We had told the landlord we wished to extend the lease for another 18 months. This was never done - hence we have been living in the property without a tenancy agreement.

    At the start of June 06, the landlord wrote to use giving us one months notice to quit the property by 1st July 06. This was just a plain written letter, and did not have a 'section 33' notice along with it.

    Am I right in thinking that the landlord should have given us 2 months notice?

    The original tenency agrement stated that 2 months notice was required. Although the original agreement has expired, do i still have any other rights to be given 2 months notice?

    I should add this tenancy is in scotland.

    Many thanks in advance for any help.

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  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder installspark Informative installspark Informative installspark's Avatar

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    Default Re: Being asked to leave, after tenancy has expired

    Firstly, at the expiration of your original Assured Shorthold Tenancy the tenancy became a Periodic Tenancy

    A periodic tenancy automatically follows the fixed-term if the parties do nothing (i.e., do not signicon another agreement) and the tenancy will be on the same basis as the original agreement, with all the same clauses and conditions being operative.

    The period of the tenancy will depend upon the rent payment schedule: if the rent was paid monthly under the original fixed term, this will become a monthly periodic tenancy, or a weekly periodic tenancy if this was the payment schedule.
    This generally follows the same conditions as detailed in the original tenancy agreement with one important difference. A Periodic tenancy is renewed at the end of each rent period unless notice of termination has been given by either party. This notice has to be given so that it is effective at the end of a rent period.

    If you are giving notice then it must be served at least 4 weeks or 1 calendar month, depending upon the rent period.

    The landlord must still give notice under S21 Housing Act 1988 of 2 months

    Notice by Landlord

    To end a shorthold tenancy the landlord must give at least two months' notice under Section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act. For notices - see Agreements & Forms

    The notice cannot take effect for at least six months or until the original agreed term has expired.

    Where the tenancy has become a periodic one the notice given must expire on the last day of a rent period. For example, if a monthly periodic tenancy rent day is the 20th of the month, the two month notice period must end on the 19th of the month in question.

    There is nothing to say you cannot give more than two months' notice. Therefore a landlord could service a two month Section 21 notice soon after the granting of a six month term to take effect at the end of that term.
    The above quotes come from the landlord zone website here

    There is also a link to the Notices on this site. If your landlord has not served notice in the correct format or time period then I doubt that they will be able to get a possession order as correct notice to quit has not been served.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Being asked to leave, after tenancy has expired

    Thank you for your comprehensive reply installspark.

    I have been to citizens advice as well now and they have confirmed the same. They produced a page for me which reads:

    "If the termination date of the tenancy passes and the landlord has failed to serve a valid Notice to Quit or offer a new tenancy agreement then the tenancy adreement will be automatically renewed (know as 'tacit relocation') for it's original period or one year, whichever is less."

    "If the tenancy agreement is automatically renewed, all the conditions in the agreement continue to apply. If the landlord wants to end the agreement s/he will have to wait until the end of the extended period. If s/he fails to give notice at the end of the extended period the agreement will once again be automatically renewed. This can continue indefinetly"


    I am currently studying for final exams which finish next Thursday. This leaves me 2 days to find somewhere else to live. I have explained this to the landlord, and originally requested that I leave some belongings in a room for two weeks until I locate somewhere else to stay. He had originally agreed to this, but has since insisted that we are out of the property by the 1st July 06.

    Reflecting on the situation I feel it is so unfair the landlord has given only one months notice and today I told him my rights to have 2 months notice and said that I did not want to cause bother for him, but I intended to stay on in the flat until I find somewhere else to live.

    His response to this was that he would be here on the 1st of July to change the locks. What can I do now? Should I go to the police?


  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder installspark Informative installspark Informative installspark's Avatar

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    Default Re: Being asked to leave, after tenancy has expired

    Will you be leaving after your finals and finding somewhere else to live?

    If so then I would send a letter by Special Delivery to your landlord stating theat you are giving him/her 1 months notice of termination to end at the expiry of a rent period. Also state in the letter that as they have failed to give the correct amount of Notice to quit as per the Housing Act, should they enter the property tp change the locks then this could be classed as trespass and a breach of the tenancy agreement. Make the landlord aware that should this occur you will employ the servcies of a locksmith to gain entry back into the property and the cost will be charged to them. As a breach of contract has occurred threaten to sue the landlord through the county courticon but remember to keep notes of dates, letters etc

    Remember the landlord requires a posession order to evict you. I doubt a court would look favourably on granting a possession order where the coreect procedures have not been followed.

    I dislike landlords like this.


  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder blackrain Novitiate blackrain's Avatar

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    Default Re: Being asked to leave, after tenancy has expired

    You can drag an eviction out for up to 3 months. Not that I'm recommending you do that of course......

    Barclays - settled and about to claim charges since then!
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    Basic Account Holder debsstainforth Novitiate

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    Default Re: Being asked to leave, after tenancy has expired

    If your landlord turns up and changes the locks in these circumstances he would be committing a criminal offence under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

    Basically he needs to give you proper notice under s21(4) Housing Act 1988 (as amended) - ie because you are not in the fixed term of a tenancy - you have a statutory periodic assured shorthold tenancy, he has to serve the 2 months notice in the correct form (as set out in s21(4)) and it is quite specific.

    Further the notice even when it's served properly which it has to be, does not end your tenancy, it lets you know that after this time if you are still there he can apply to court to end your tenancy. Only the court can 'determine' (end) a tenancy (or you can through tenant's notice, but landlords notice cannot).

    If he tries to kick you out or even threatens it you should contact your local authority and ask for the Tenancy Relations Officer (usually in the housing advice department). They prosecute landlords for this type of stuff. First they'll have a gentle word with him or write a letter on your behalf.

    3 more points - if the landlord is getting sh**ty you should make sure you get the place clean and repair any damage and take photos before you go- the price of a disposable camera could get you your deposit back.

    Also if landlord turns up trying to change locks you should ring the police but they won't be trained enough to know that it's a criminal offence they might try to say it's civil - so download the PfEA off the net or have an ODPM factsheet / advice from the TRO to hand. In any case the police will act to prevent a breach of the peace.

    Lastly you could just ring him and suggest he get advice 'cos his solicitor will warn him off his stated course of action straight away.

    Good luck.


  7. #7
    Basic Account Holder deemacperth Informative deemacperth Informative deemacperth Informative deemacperth's Avatar

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    Default Re: Being asked to leave, after tenancy has expired

    I know some tenancies that have you sign the notice to quit at the start of the tenancy, but dated for the correct date that the tenancy ends, but the fact remains that he cannot come in and change your locks whilst you are not there.

    I own a couple of flats in Scotland and have an agency looking after them because the legal pitfalls that you can get embroiled in are unbelivable.

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    Disclaimer - By giving advice, I am not putting myself across as a legal expert. Always seek professional advice.
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