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Iffy notice to quit?


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I signed an AST agreement for a furnished flat to run for one year from 3 July 2004. My rent is paid by HB since at that time I was on Income Support - I am now on Pension Credit plus lower rate DLA.

 

When the lease expired I asked the landlord for a renewal, but he said they didn't do that, and it would just continue automatically. I have to say I was surprised that the Council continued to pay HB in the absence of any agreement.

 

He rang me on 24 January to tell me that he was selling up (he has one other flat plus his own property) and moving to Spain. On 26 January I received a handwritten notice to quit, dated 23 January but sent second class with no proof of delivery.

 

He says he would like me to leave by 23 February, but it is my understanding that he has to serve me a s21 notice giving me two months, which at this stage would be no later than 2 May.

 

Am I correct in these assumptions?

 

We have had a pleasant relationship since I moved in, and he has never had occasion to be displeased with any aspect of my tenancy. I don't want to become awkward, because obviously it could affect any reference for which he will be asked. However I do have problems because of my illness and the fact that just about all private landlords and letting agents in this area are dead-set against people whose rent is paid by HB.

 

Any advice will be most welcome, and thank you in advance.

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- Yes it must be 2 months, so the notice is invalid and must be served again.

 

- The situation with the tenancy is standard, you do not need a renewal, you are on a Statutory Periodic Tenancy.

 

- The handwritten notice is fine(although invalid for other reasons). An S21 is not a prescribed form, therefore as long as the information contained within is OK, the form and format of the notice/delivery is unimportant.

 

- No proof of delivery is required for a S21. Just proof of sending, which can be acquired from the PO when sending. However, second class postage is not sufficient in this case. To be valid, he would have had to send the notice the day before the dating of the notice, first class.

 

- If your rental day is the 3rd(which I am guessing it is), then the notice must expire on the 2nd of a month.

 

Three reasons why this notice is invalid, I can see him getting it wrong time and again!! Look forward to a potential long time of still being legally resident in the property if you so desired!!

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Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

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Thank you for the confirmation. I am quite sure that the landlord thought that when the AST expired so did any obligations on his part as to notice etc, so the news is going to come as something of a shock.

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Bogwart,just to add:

 

1.I agree totally with Mr.Shed regarding the notices etc.

 

2.Regarding any reference for renting a further property is concerned,simply put aside your receipts/bank statements to show the new potential landlord/agent regarding your rent payments.

 

3.Therefore no reference would be required as provided you have paid your rent promptly and had no arrears these receipts/statements are references in their own right.

 

Anyway,I hope you this information/suggestions useful.

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MrShed: Thank you for your further advice. In his letter the landlord hasn't, as such, given me notice to quit. He confirms our telephone conversation and says that "I am informing you that we are selling the above flat when it becomes vacant". In the next paragraph he says "If possible we would like the flat to be vacated by 28 February 2007". He also adds that if there is a problem with this we can discuss things with s view to extending this date.

 

I don't want to drag things out any longer than I have to. I have been unable to look for alternative accommodation for the past week because of a further outbreak of a disease I have, and moving itself is going to be a nightmare, but those are my problems. The landlord and his wife are decent people and naturally I accept that they have a perfect right to dispose of their property as they see fit. Four years ago I was conned out of property worth in excess of £350k, but I hae always played straight with other people.

 

The landlord doesn't yet know about these complications. Do you think I should tell him? It would certainly provide an incentive for him to help. :)

 

Mr Nightmare: Thanks for your advice. The problem with your suggestion is that the rent (or £650 out of £675pcm) is paid by the Council as Housing Benefit. Local letting agents have a very poor opinion of people on HB, and the three to whom I have so far spoken are unimpressed by the fact that I am 60 - i.e. a bit past the age where people have all-night parties and do moonlight flits.

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  • 1 month later...

The saga continues. The landlord spent most of February in Spain, and turned up unannounced yesterday. I told him that he was supposed to give 24 hours notice, but I didn't see any point in denying him entrance.

 

He does at least seem to have done a very minimum re-reading of the AST we signed, and acknowledges that he must give me two months notice. However the notion that this notice must be served first class, and that he must have proof of posting, is not something he's prepared to accept, and furthermore the fact that the date of determination must be the day of the month before the date of the the AST is equally without merit for him.

 

He rang me yesterday afternoon to say he had good news, he'd talked with the Housing Advice people, and they would be only too happy to help me. Now, I would have to say that the Housing people for this borough are certainly helpful people, and the big reason for this is that they run things themselves. I lived in LB Westminster before, who subcontracted stuff to Capita, and as with everything else Capita get their greasy little mitts on it was a disaster from start to finish.

 

What does concern me is that he said he'd told them his name, my address and my name. Are they supposed to be given that information by a person who is not the tenant?

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