Section 21

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  • clutton_2clutton_2 Forumite
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    i have been issuing Section 21's as part of the AST for about 4 years now and i give all my prospective tenants the AST to read several days before signing. only once in all that time has anyone asked me what it meant - even "alleged" Tenancy Support Workers" dont seem to get it. I think this discussion has been very academic.
  • clutton_2clutton_2 Forumite
    11.1K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    i have been issuing Section 21's as part of the AST for about 4 years now and i give all my prospective tenants the AST to read several days before signing. only once in all that time has anyone asked me what it meant - even "alleged" Tenancy Support Workers" dont seem to get it. I think this discussion has been very academic.
  • Thanks for your all your suggestions. I think I will go for a two pronged approach.

    The priority will be resolving this situation with the letting agents, but I will also get some advice on the s21 and letter we were issued. My plan of action is…

    1.This weekend: Talk to flatmates
    2. Monday: Ring letting agency, check situation.
    (The next step is the harder part. Would it be worth giving them a deadline, as James D mentioned or work on keeping them onside? And should we raise the s21 with them now? Tiglet suggested we should find out from them what they will do in the absence of instructions from the landlady.)
    3. We then follow up with the written request that Tiglet mentions:

    “I would send a written request to the agency, asking whether their client still wants possession after 10th March. Tell them that, given the fact that the deadline is so close, you need an answer within the week and that, if you don't get one, you will assume that the landlady no longer requires possession of the property and is happy to allow a periodic tenancy to be formed. Make sure that the letter says that you have tried to get in touch with the landlady and that neither you nor they have had any response. With any luck, you will spur them into getting her to make up her mind, and you will have your answer (possibly by default) within the week.”

    Obviously, we have had no contact with the landlady, but all the rest is relevant.

    The other option is getting the s21 withdrawn, but as mentioned, it would be unlikely and we would need advice first.

    That brings me onto the second prong. CAB perhaps? There is one at the end of the street which is open on Monday. I am also entitled to 30 mins free legal advice over the phone through my trade union.

    The things I would discuss with a legal advisor would be –
    1. whether the December letter negates the s21
    2. whether the LA have implied that the s21 will not be activated, or has been invalidated
    3. The confusion around the possession date

    What do you think?
  • prudrydenprudryden Forumite
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    After reading the letter from the LA to you, it seems as if they have also issued a disclaimer by stating that they must contact the LL for her instructions. Therefore, their letter is subject to her approval and probably doesn't negate the S21.

    You could ask the LA if they have another place to rent, as you don't really want to be left out in the cold. Try and go to their office and speak to the senior letting person. Maybe, they can make a decision without her approval.
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  • thesaintthesaint Forumite
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    clutton wrote:
    i have been issuing Section 21's as part of the AST for about 4 years now and i give all my prospective tenants the AST to read several days before signing. only once in all that time has anyone asked me what it meant - even "alleged" Tenancy Support Workers" dont seem to get it. I think this discussion has been very academic.


    Sorry you feel that way, for me it has been very informative.
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  • prudryden wrote:
    You could ask the LA if they have another place to rent, as you don't really want to be left out in the cold. Try and go to their office and speak to the senior letting person. Maybe, they can make a decision without her approval.

    Might do that on Monday, check the situation, and discuss a way forward, either finding us a way to stay on or an alternative....

    I will then follow up with a letter to make sure we have something in writing.

    Sound about right?
  • frankleefranklee Forumite
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    Now your last comment, "I think they are looking at a six months valid time." Six months from when? Date of issue or date of possession?

    I think it means the notice will be valid for six months from the date of expiry, this would give the landlord six months to commence actioning it.
    Doesn't this just risk a 6 monthly rolling "Sword of Damocles"?

    I don't know the details but yes. I would think the landlord could issue the notice every six months so that there is always one in force leaving the landlord free to to go court for possession at anytime, giving the same result as the current "Sword of Damocles".

    But at least it would be more obvious what the landlord was doing both for the tenant and the courts as the tenant would have a handful of un-actioned notices to show, it would be clear how often the landlord had cried wolf. It would however be training tenants to ignore the notices far more than now which could cause problems of the kind thesaint mentioned in post #82.
    clutton wrote:
    I think this discussion has been very academic.

    I don't think it's academic for littlesaint who has only recently realised there was an S21 issued at the start of the fixed term that's due to end on 10th March and thus doesn't know if they should leave or not. See littlesaint's posts in this very thread. It's a horrible position to be in which is why the default is that a tenant can stay on a periodic tenancy if the landlord isn't answering but only if notice hasn't been issued. Does littlesaint's landlord intend that littlesaint should leave or not? Given that the agent probably issues the notice to all tenants at the start how on earth can anyone tell? I think the agent should put an end to the speculation and tell littlesaint it is OK to stay but they haven't! I would hate to be in that position and would start looking elsewhere.
  • TigletTiglet Forumite
    401 Posts
    The things I would discuss with a legal advisor would be –
    1. whether the December letter negates the s21
    2. whether the LA have implied that the s21 will not be activated, or has been invalidated
    3. The confusion around the possession date

    What do you think?

    That seems fine. As you have different long-term aims from your flatmates, I would also consider how to cover these aspects of the situation.

    If the s21 turns out to be invalid, I would think twice about discussing it with the agents. Their primary duty is to the landlady and, if they realise that the original one is wrong, they will very likely issue a new one to cover themselves. That would mean you could no longer argue that the notice has been negated by later communications, although it will give you an extra couple of months.

    I don't think that giving the agents a deadline should prevent you from keeping them onside. If you explain in advance that you need to know where you stand, and that what you're trying to do is in their interests as well, then it shouldn't cause any problems.

    If you are going to see the CAB about this, then I would check their opening hours. I don't know if it's the same around the country but in these parts you have to arrive very early (around 8:45am - they open at 9) to book an appointment, even though they don't officially start seeing people before 10am.
  • frankleefranklee Forumite
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    Might do that on Monday, check the situation, and discuss a way forward, either finding us a way to stay on or an alternative....

    I will then follow up with a letter to make sure we have something in writing.

    Sound about right?

    littlesaint, I think all the advice you have been given is good and I am only sorry I can't add anything more to help. I do think that in view of the tight deadline you should insist the agency get off the fence and help you. Asking to speak to someone senior is the right thing I think.
  • BobPropertyBobProperty Forumite
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    clutton wrote:
    i have been issuing Section 21's as part of the AST for about 4 years now and i give all my prospective tenants the AST to read several days before signing. only once in all that time has anyone asked me what it meant - even "alleged" Tenancy Support Workers" dont seem to get it. I think this discussion has been very academic.
    Or even pedantic, but if it gets to court that's what it will be like. Everyone will be pouring over the minutest detail and trying to convince the judge of their side of the argument.
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