Section 21 (4) (a) | The Tenants' Voice
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Section 21 (4) (a)

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782 views 1 replies latest reply: 05 June 2015

hi, we entered a short term lease contract last year,  16 April 2014 with a 6 month break clause (including quarterly inspections). Our current tenancy was only meant to be temporary as we were looking to buy. In Oct 2014, the agency contacted us stating the LL was issuing us with 2 months notice – couple weeks later she withdrew her notice. In February 2015 the agency requested whether we wished to continue tenancy and we agreed. A week later the LL issued notice once again. However at this point we were going abroad for most of April. The agency contacted the LL and came back stating she would give us extra month to remain in the property, which was much appreciated. And before we went on holiday it was agreed by both parties to enter a periodic contact. While on holiday I recieved probably well over 10 back and forth emails from the letting agent at the wishes of the LL. She kept changing her mind from; a periodic contract, to fixed periodioc for 6months, to notice of 2months, back to periodic, the  wanting us out by 15th June, then finally it was agreed that we would continue on periodic and need to be out of tenancy by Oct 2015. 

While still on holiday the agency emailed again stating that the LL informed them that she had been in the area, stopped by the property and was not happy with the state of the garden. I explained to the agent that due to a very cold winter and a stormy weekend before we flew out the country, it was not possible for us to cut the grass. however we would ensure that the grass was cut upon our return. Once we came back it was noted that the grass was cut in our absence and some of the LL’s items were stored in the shed. I called the agency same day and informed them of this. They laughed and stated what a nightmare the LL was and that they all cringe when they receive an email from her. My next quarterly inspection was carried out in the 2nd week of May. The LL requested pictures of the grass being cut. My husband cut the lawn from and back on 16th May 2015.  I sent the agency pictures on 19th May (3 pics, 1 from top view of window, 1 from in front of the prop and the back). I also noted once sending that mail that I was growing tired if the LL’s harassment, and constant change of mind. We have a little 2year old as well and I cannot explain how stressful a time this has been. I also informed agency that, we pay our rent on time, comply with all inspections and not once has there been a concern, yet we are not allowed to live in peace. 

2 days later the agency emailed again stating that the LL was requesting further pictures. At this point I was fuming. I called the agency stated how upset I was and they said they would see what they could do to appease the LL. Next day the agency emailed again stating the LL was insistent on further pictures. I responded by saying I would seek legal advice as. Also I relation to her being on the property while we were on holiday and she knew that! I have been so stressed out that I was ill all of last week. Exactly a week and a half since I informed agency about legal advice, I come home today to find a hand delivered section 21 (4) (a) by the front door! Which was so predictable. We have to be out by 15th August 2015.

My question: I would like to move out immediately, in fact by next weekend before next rent payment. Would we still be liable to pay rent until August?

i would appreciate some help and advice please.

thanks, CJ

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Hi Candice

Although the landlord sounds like an absolute nightmare, you need to make sure that you comply with the proper notice you need to give for the tenancy agreement or you will legally still be on the hook for the rent. Unfortunately, any uncertainty over whether you’re actually leaving will (as far as I know although I’m not a lawyer) render any previous section 21 notices invalid.

You can try and negotiate an early departure by asking the landlord to agree to surrender the tenancy on the date you want to leave but you’d need to give her a good reason to do this – I’m not sure the threat of taking action for her being at the property is enough. However, it is a breach of your quiet enjoyment so you could try it (make sure you take photos of her things that suddenly appeared in the shed as evidence that she was there).

When did your tenancy actually end? I’m slightly confused as to whether you’re currency in a periodic arrangement or fixed – if periodic then you can give notice and you could leave slightly earlier on 5th August.


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