Section 21

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  • I've drafted a letter. Shall I post it or can I PM it to anyone?

    Thanks!
  • frankleefranklee Forumite
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    I've drafted a letter. Shall I post it or can I PM it to anyone?

    If you make it anonymous by taking out all the names and address details I think it would be better to post it. Several heads being better than one.
  • jamesdjamesd Forumite
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    littlesaint, what the agent has said is the best you're going to get. Do remember that if you sign a new tenancy agreement you're liable for the duration of the agreement. Do be sure to keep good notes as well as any emails and replies you get, in the event that the landlady does want the place back and starts eviction proceedings. Showing good faith on your part is of value.

    Tenants on a statutory periodic tenancy - the one you get into automatically after the end of the fixed period of an AST if a section 21 hasn't been served - aren't squatters. That sort of crazy view of the situation may explain why a section 21 was issued but it's still crazy.
  • Guy_MontagGuy_Montag Forumite
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    franklee wrote:
    Well it's just speculation but I'd guess so. As I said I really don't know the details. The summary is here:

    http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/docs/lc297_summary.pdf

    See page 6, section 1.34:

    "Under the principle of "use it or lose it", if the possession notice is not followed up by actual proceedings within six months, the notice lapses. (The period is four months where possession is sought on the notice-only ground.) Contract-holders should not be kept in a state of uncertainty for unreasonably long periods."
    Reading this, it seems that the reason for limiting the duration of S21s is that tenants should not be in a state of uncertainty. It strikes me that the courts might take a dim view to a LL issuing regular & frequent S21s to get round this. Hard to know really.
    "Mrs. Pench, you've won the car contest, would you like a triumph spitfire or 3000 in cash?" He smiled.
    Mrs. Pench took the money. "What will you do with it all? Not that it's any of my business," he giggled.
    "I think I'll become an alcoholic," said Betty.
  • Guy_Montag wrote:
    Reading this, it seems that the reason for limiting the duration of S21s is that tenants should not be in a state of uncertainty. It strikes me that the courts might take a dim view to a LL issuing regular & frequent S21s to get round this. Hard to know really.

    I have the same feeling.
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  • frankleefranklee Forumite
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    Guy_Montag wrote:
    Reading this, it seems that the reason for limiting the duration of S21s is that tenants should not be in a state of uncertainty. It strikes me that the courts might take a dim view to a LL issuing regular & frequent S21s to get round this. Hard to know really.

    Seems reasonable.

    I might go further and suggest this limit is a deliberate attempt to block the existing "Sword of Damocles" loophole which does leave the tenant in a state of uncertainty. But loopholes are sometimes quite hard to close, so maybe they haven't got it quite finished - yet.

    Which makes me wonder if, given half a reasonable defence, the courts might take a dim view of the current "Sword of Damocles"? Perhaps they do and all we need is...
    prudryden wrote:
    I have the same feeling.

    ... a bit of case law? :j
  • TigletTiglet Forumite
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    ...she said, they just wanted to prepare the paperwork for the new tenancy agreement, it wasn't an ideal situation but it wasn't a problem.

    Then I told her: "What we are worried about is this (show her s21), from what I've heard, this means that the landlady could regain posession of the flat on 10th of March and we will have to move out."

    The letting agent said: "...You won't have to move out on the 10th of March, you would get two months notice. And that's just the worst case scenario, if she doesn't want to continue letting the flat....If she wanted us to move out we'd get two months notice."

    This sounds like the first thing they've said that definitely undermines the s21 notice. I hope you can get this confirmed in writing.

    So I said: "You mean that if she comes back tomorrow wanting the flat back, we will have until the 13th May?"
    "No", she corrected me. "It's 12th Feb today so you'd have until 13th April."

    This is wrong. The person you were speaking to didn't understand the situation properly. Yes, a s21 notice gives you two months, but it has to expire on the day that rent is due. As yours is due on the 11th, that's the day your tenancy will eventually end, on the 11th day of whichever month is two complete months from the date of the s21. So, for example, if you get a s21 any time between 11th February and 10th March, it will expire on 11th May.
    "So we don't have to start looking for alternative accomodation?"
    She said we didn't.

    For my money, this definitely counts in your favour. The LA are not just agents for the LL; they are a business that stands to make money out of finding you accommodation. They are turning down that chance because they genuinely believe that you don't need to move out. You are not using your notice period to find somewhere else to live because your LL's agents have said that you don't need to.

    I hope you can get as much of this as possible confirmed in writing (by all means post your proposed letter here if you want), but I think the very fact that you've posted these comments on this forum is proof that you believed that you could stay put, and that the LA led you to believe that.

    Once again, good luck!
  • This is what I emailed the LA yesterday. I will follow up with a letter...

    "I am writing to follow up our conversation earlier today, regarding the tenancy at .... I would like to confirm in writing the arrangements we discussed earlier.

    As it stands, all three tenants would still like to renew our AST. At the time I spoke to you this morning, there was still no word from the landlady.

    As I explained to you this morning, we would like assurances that we can remain in the property from 10th March 2007. A section 21 notice was issued at the start of our tenancy. This states that the landlady requires repossession after 10th March.

    However, the arrangements we discussed today suggest that the section 21 will not be activated and we can remain in the property after 10th March.

    From what I understand of our conversation this morning, the current situation is this:

    a. If the landlady agrees to extension before 10th March, we will be issued with a new AST.

    b. If the landlady agrees to an extension after that date, we will be issued with an AST backdated to the 10th March.

    c. If the landlady rules out a new tenancy we have two months notice, from the date of the landlady’s instruction.

    This morning you described c. as the worst case scenario. As I understand it, if the landlady came back tomorrow (13th February) and asked us to leave, we would have two months notice. This takes us up to 12th April.

    As you will understand, we would like the security of written confirmation that we can remain in the property after 10th March. If the landlady intends to activate the section 21 notice, this would effectively mean we would have to start looking for a new flat immediately.

    Therefore, we would be grateful if you could confirm, in writing, that the section 21 notice will be revoked, so we are secure in the knowledge that we would have at least two months notice if the landlady decides she would like possession of the flat.

    I will follow up this email with a letter.

    Yours sincerely,"
  • TigletTiglet Forumite
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    You have made it clear to the agents here that they have led you to believe that you will have at least two months' notice even if the LL gets in touch. I think that, if that's not the case, they would need to say so in writing, and do it pretty quickly. If they don't, then I think you'll be fine.
  • Sent that email about this time yesterday. Still waiting for a reply from the letting agent. Will keep you posted on progress.
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