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Section 21 notice

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412 views 3 replies latest reply: 30 December 2015
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Tenant

I moved into said property on 11th June 2015, private rental through an agent. Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement for a period of twelve months subject to clause… if at any time on or after expiry of the tenth month the Landlord/Tenant wishes to terminate the Tenancy… will serve in writing not less than two month’s notice… to expire no earlier tha the end of the twelth month.  However.  in Special or Additional Clauses there is During the first 24 months the rent will be fixed at said price.  This because original request and verbal agreement was that I wanted a minimum of 24 months contract.  Agent has agreed this is correct, in writing.  I am a single mum with 3 children (16, 15, 10).  Eldest is taking GCSEs this year, second next year.  I wanted security, stability and consistency for at least 2 years and wanted to avoid unnecessary removal costs during this time.  The house, whilst a lovely building, has been ‘bodged’ in many ways and lots of things didn’t work, so I have had to ask for them to be repaired.  Landlord’s perspective was ‘it’s functional’  Agent has told me reason for Section 21 is because landlord doesn’t like tenant, won’t accept there is anything wrong with their house and doesn’t want to spend any money on it!  I have asked for compensation at least to cover removal costs considering above. Where do I stand please? And is there any action I can take? Thanks

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Administrator

Hi Diana

There is a new process now which prevents revenge evictions – where a landlord is removing a tenant because of requests for repairs – but this only protects tenants with tenancies signed on or after 1 October this year.

Check that the section 21 has been correctly issued – the only way you could defeat the process is if the notice was served at the wrong time or in the wrong way. It can only come to an end after the fixed term (this is usually six months so the last day of the notice would have to be the last day of the fixed term). If your fixed term is for a longer period of time (what does it say in the contract?) then the landlord would not be able to use a section 21 notice yet.

In order for the notice to be effective the landlord must also have protected your deposit and provided you with the Prescibed Information on where it is protected (within 28 days) – if that wasn’t done then the section 21 procedure can’t be used. Unfortunately, unless there is a problem with the notice or the landlord is in breach of contract I’m not sure you’d be able to get any compensation. However, for any future tenancies you’ll have the revenge eviction protection.

I’m not a lawyer so if you want some legal advice then Citizens Advice or a law centre might be helpful.

Alex

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Tenant

Thank you Alex.  The last day of the notice is the last day of the 12 months fixed term…it does sound like all is in order re the Section 21 as it would appear the clause in the TA is a break clause.  It’s just so disappointing and frustrating as there are no grounds (legal reasons) for landlord’s repossesion (they’re still in US and not planning on returning as far as I gather) and this is retaliatory eviction as they don’t want to spend any money on the house to repair the faults with it. For example the en-suite shower hasn’t worked properly since we moved in and they didn’t want to fix it. However recently when the weather went cold some of the radiators didn’t work properly – they refused to get the boiler replaced, even though I had opportunity of grant – and then the Agent over-rode and insisted the shower was replaced, saying they would take full responsiblity with landlord.  As the Fixed Term TA was dated 11th June 2015 I guess I have little grounds but to appeal to the landlord’s better nature in agreeing to a minimum of 24 months initially.  If they don’t want to pay for repairs to their own house though there is little hope they will agree to compensation!

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Tenant

Hi Diana,

A S21 is not a notice to quit – it simply is notice that the landlord can go to the Court to order an eviction.

If you keep paying the rent in line with your  contract and you have children under the age of 16, it is very unlikely that a British court would order your forcible eviction. Without this, the landlord would have no right to enter the property or seize it. It would also be expensive for the landlord. If you keep paying the rent, it is unlikely that he will do anything.

You will not have to move in the middle of GCSEs.

Ignore the S21, but do not tell the landlord of your intention to stay until June next year. Then tell him that you intend to stay for another year.

As your landlord, he is still obliged to undertake repairs.

Keep records of all correspondence with the landlord and agent.

Remember that you are entitled to change the locks and do not have to give the agent or landlord a copy.

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