Section 21

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  • BobPropertyBobProperty Forumite
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    franklee wrote:
    ......Not if they have seen the agreement before hand. But what would you do if the tenant refused to sign the S21?
    Probably not sign the tenancy agreement myself or not hand it over, therefore no contract. If it has got past that point, send an S21 shortly afterwards, as suggested by others, or use a process server if it came to it.
    A house isn't a home without a cat.
    Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.
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  • BobPropertyBobProperty Forumite
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    prudryden wrote:
    .... This landlord says I like you and I want you to stay for at least a year (12mo AST). But, just in case I should change my mind, here is a notice to quit which means you have to get out at the end of the 6mo break clause, but if you don't hear from me, then I changed my mind again and you can stay for another two months, and so on and so on.....
    Firstly, I don't see how you can have a 12month AST with a 6 month break clause. Either it's a 12m AST or it's not. But that's going off topic.
    All you are doing as a landlord is issuing the S21 notice "early" in the eyes of Joe Public. Not in the eyes of the law, as you can issue it at any time during the tenancy agreement. I don't look upon it as "I changed my mind" I look upon it as I am not enforcing it at the moment. So long as the original AST is not superseded and the S21 is not withdrawn (if possible??) or superseded, then both the AST and the S21 are open ended. That's my interpretation. If case law later shows that using an "old" S21 is unenforceable then the law will put a limit on the length of time an S21 is valid. As far as I am aware that has not happened. It may be that the wording of the law making the S21 open ended was unintentional, but that is how I believe it stands at present.
    A house isn't a home without a cat.
    Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.
    I have writer's block - I can't begin to tell you about it.
    You told me again you preferred handsome men but for me you would make an exception.
    It's a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.
  • BobPropertyBobProperty Forumite
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    thesaint wrote:
    As stated by others previously, I believe that it lessens the seriousness of an S21. Once it is routinely handed out tenants will simply ignore it.
    Surely at their peril? I could say that Council Tax bills are "routinely handed out" but ignoring them is not a good idea.
    thesaint wrote:
    When my tenant receives one 4 months into his tenancy, he will talk to his mate who received one at the start of his tenancy who tells him "Ignore it, your landlord forgot to do it at the start. I got one when I moved in to my flat 18 months ago".

    Chaos ensues.
    The whole point about this is to cover the landlord from their point of view, to make it slightly easier to remove tenants they don't want. That's why I made the comment earlier about "a legal necessity to cover me (the landlord) if I needed to get them out at a later date". I also used to make it clear that if I had no problems with them (the tenant(s)) I would be happy for them to stay on. There needs to be communication between the landlord and tenant otherwise one side or the other will make assumptions and one side or the other will end the tenancy when it is unexpected by the other.
    A house isn't a home without a cat.
    Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.
    I have writer's block - I can't begin to tell you about it.
    You told me again you preferred handsome men but for me you would make an exception.
    It's a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.
  • thesaintthesaint Forumite
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    Surely at their peril? I could say that Council Tax bills are "routinely handed out" but ignoring them is not a good idea.


    The whole point about this is to cover the landlord from their point of view, to make it slightly easier to remove tenants they don't want. That's why I made the comment earlier about "a legal necessity to cover me (the landlord) if I needed to get them out at a later date". I also used to make it clear that if I had no problems with them (the tenant(s)) I would be happy for them to stay on. There needs to be communication between the landlord and tenant otherwise one side or the other will make assumptions and one side or the other will end the tenancy when it is unexpected by the other.


    Your analogy at the top is terrible, but i'll leave that.

    I think that this has come full circle, You would have 4 months to issue an S21, how would you be covered better than I if I issue at 4 months?

    There does need to be communication at month 4 in your instance, because it isn't clear whether they are staying or not.
    edited to add.This could be an S21 instead of a letter revoking the S21 in place.
    Well life is harsh, hug me don't reject me.
  • TigletTiglet Forumite
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    OK then, is tenancy ended if I don't enforce the S21? I don't think so.

    Yes, unless you actively do something to cancel the s21 notice.
    Originally Posted by jamesd
    What form of tenancy do you think the people have after you've terminated their AST and the initial six months have passed?

    Periodic. No questions, the initial period has ended, there is no change to the agreement therefore it becomes periodic. I don't think anyone would try to argue otherwise.
    jamesd wrote:
    After the tenancy ends, you're trespassing. Simple as that. In practice, if she does show up and wants the place, it'll probably take a month to evict you if you're still there and a judge will be annoyed that the landlady did a vanishing act and might give you a few weeks longer.

    This is the precise nature of the problem. If the landlord wants the property back, and intends to enforce the s21 notice, then the tenant is trespassing. If the landlord is happy for the tenant to stay on, and intends not to enforce the s21 notice, then the tenant still has a periodic tenancy. In other words, the legal status of the tenant's occupation of the property depends entirely on the landlord's intentions, which can change at any time, and which the tenant cannot produce in court.

    In littlesaint's case, the problem is that she has tried to find out what her landlady's intentions are, but hasn't been able to get hold of her. Legally, the landlady has already arranged for the tenancy to end in March, and she can enforce this if she wants to. However, she has failed to let anybody, including her own agent, know what her intentions are.

    That's why jamesd suggested acting as if they need to leave in March, and why I suggested that she should try to put the onus back on the landlady to confirm that she does intend to enforce the notice. Littlesaint will be trespassing after 10th March unless:
    the landlady agrees a new tenancy,
    the landlady withdraws the s21 notice, or
    a court decides that the s21 notice is invalid.

    This hardly seems fair, since the landlady has failed to confirm that she wants the property back, but it is probably the way that a court would see it. She (and anybody else in a similar position) should get expert advice as soon as possible.
  • prudrydenprudryden Forumite
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    littlesaint -

    Are you sure that you have actually been issued with an S21 in your contract? What you have written in your post only indicates to me that they have explained in the contract what an S21 is.

    Even so, the fact that the LA have written to you asking if you want to stay on may have negated the S21 by implication that it is not going to be enforced. If they are acting only as Letting Agents, then maybe they have overstepped their remit. If they are acting as Managing Agents, then I would argue that they have implied that the S21 would not be activated.
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  • BobPropertyBobProperty Forumite
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    thesaint wrote:
    Your analogy at the top is terrible, but i'll leave that.
    They are both paperwork that have a significant affect on your living in a particular dwelling? :confused:
    thesaint wrote:
    I think that this has come full circle, You would have 4 months to issue an S21, how would you be covered better than I if I issue at 4 months?......
    I'm not, so what's wrong with issuing it at month 0 instead of month 4? I can still issue it at month 4 and not enforce it too, so what's your point?
    A house isn't a home without a cat.
    Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.
    I have writer's block - I can't begin to tell you about it.
    You told me again you preferred handsome men but for me you would make an exception.
    It's a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.
  • BobPropertyBobProperty Forumite
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    Tiglet wrote:
    .....This is the precise nature of the problem. If the landlord wants the property back, and intends to enforce the s21 notice, then the tenant is trespassing. If the landlord is happy for the tenant to stay on, and intends not to enforce the s21 notice, then the tenant still has a periodic tenancy. In other words, the legal status of the tenant's occupation of the property depends entirely on the landlord's intentions, which can change at any time, and which the tenant cannot produce in court......
    This is why the S21 is called "The Sword of Damocles". It's one of the few situations in tenancy law where the landlord can "gain an edge" (or how ever you want to put it). It may well not have been intended by the legislators who wrote the law, but that's how it works in practise at present. Don't forget, the tenant can say nothing and walk on the last day of the tenancy, is that fair to the landlord?
    I suggest that a court would take the landlord's actions as a sign of their intentions, as that will be all they can go on. No action would indicate that they do not intend to enforce the S21, court action for possession would indicate the opposite. I can see what people are arguing on here, and it would, I think, be possible to make a case out that if a landlord doesn't enforce an S21 within a reasonable time (that's so English Law isn't it?) that it should be considered that the S21 has lapsed. But, as I have already pointed out, there is currently no time limit on S21s.
    A house isn't a home without a cat.
    Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.
    I have writer's block - I can't begin to tell you about it.
    You told me again you preferred handsome men but for me you would make an exception.
    It's a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.
  • thesaintthesaint Forumite
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    They are both paperwork that have a significant affect on your living in a particular dwelling? :confused:


    I'm not, so what's wrong with issuing it at month 0 instead of month 4? I can still issue it at month 4 and not enforce it too, so what's your point?


    Sorry to confuse you, I believe that it is a bad analogy because it is very clear whether you have to pay council tax or not.
    Issuing an S21 at the start is not so clear(in my opinion).



    There is nothing wrong doing it your way, I asked the question because of what you said earlier.
    The whole point about this is to cover the landlord from their point of view, to make it slightly easier to remove tenants they don't want. That's why I made the comment earlier about "a legal necessity to cover me (the landlord) if I needed to get them out at a later date".



    I am not saying that my way is best, I am honestly here to learn a bit more. I just want to know the answer to the above quote.
    Well life is harsh, hug me don't reject me.
  • Hi Pru,

    In answering your questions, I hope I will clarify a little more about the situation.
    prudryden wrote:
    Are you sure that you have actually been issued with an S21 in your contract?

    After starting the other thread I went back to our contract and found a separate piece of paper, which appears to be a s21. It is served to all three tenants, with the address of our property, and has a signature, presumably the landlady's. The address she is using is the letting agents as a C/O (alarm bells!), with the C/O also used in the contract. It also contains the date March 10, and at the bottom is the three clauses I mentioned on my previous post. Unfortunately, I can't remember any more than that. Will give a better description later.
    prudryden wrote:
    Even so, the fact that the LA have written to you asking if you want to stay on may have negated the S21 by implication that it is not going to be enforced. If they are acting only as Letting Agents, then maybe they have overstepped their remit. If they are acting as Managing Agents, then I would argue that they have implied that the S21 would not be activated.

    Interesting. They are the managing agents, because the landlady is living abroad. We have never spoke to the landlady or been in touch with her. We don't have any contact details either. She uses the letting agency as a C/O address. The witness on her contract was someone in Scarborough weirdly enough.

    Thanks for the advice Tiglet, it sounds like a sensible approach and I will speak to my flatmates about it. You are probably right that the LAs are !!!!ed off and we should keep on their good side. Does the fact we cannot get in touch with the landlady harm our chances of using that approach?
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