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Section 21 given, but also open to negotiate

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551 views 2 replies latest reply: 08 December 2014
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Tenant

Our tenancy expires on Dec. 28.  We received a Section 21 notice on Nov. 20 (through the agent, by email, and unsigned) that stated the landlord wanted possession of property by Jan 27, if terms of a renewal were not agreed upon, and asking what our intentions were.  We replied we would like to stay and asked what the new terms would be.  It is now Dec. 6 and the agent’s communications have been very vague, talking only about fair market value, and doing some improvements in return for an increase.  After many requests, no specific terms have been disclosed.

1) Is the landlord able to send a Section 21, but at the same time offer hope of renewal and drag out negotiations?

2) Does the fact that the Jan. 27 possession date lies a month after the lease expiry date, actually move us to a periodic lease, requiring a different form to be issued by the landlord for eviction?

A further complication is that the Section 21 notice, names a different landlord than the one who signed the original lease.  It is actually his wife, and we assume that ownership of the flat was transferred to her after a divorce settlement.  

3) Should we have been informed of this change of landlord?  Does the fact that we were not informed, make the Section 21 invalid?

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Administrator

Hi Barb

It’s a bit odd for a section 21 notice to be served but a new tenancy offered as the section 21 notice is giving you notice that the landlord wants to regain possession of the property from you. With the tenancy ending anyway it’s probably not really necessary (perhaps not even valid) – maybe whoever has issued it doesn’t really understand it!

In most cases, it seems that incorrect information on a section 21 notice will invalidate it.  Changes to names on tenancy agreements normally requires notice – take a look at this blog on the topic from a firm of solicitors. If the notice is actually invalid then when your tenancy officially comes to an end, if you’re still there, you’ll move into a periodic tenancy as you say – there’s more info on periodic tenancies and the notice required here. And more info from us on section 21 notices here.

Practically speaking I guess you need to understand whether you’re moving out and, if so, when. If the landlord wants you to stay too then it’s in both your interests to get things sorted. If the delay is because they’re trying to find a way to increase the rent they are entitled to do that and it’s up to you to agree or not. You could easily just leave on the last day of your tenancy agreement – perhaps that might be your bargaining chip to get things moving?  You do risk actually having to leave though so that’s a risk you’ll have to decide whether you want to take.

Hope that’s been helpful!

Alex

(ps Remember at The Tenant’s Voice we aren’t solicitors, these are just our thoughts, so please don’t rely on anything we say as having legal basis)

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Administrator

Just a couple of further thoughts, it looks from this like the section 21 notice doesn’t necessarily need to be signed to be valid. Not sure about service by email, but this provides a little clarification.

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