Section 21 – Wrongly Issued… amongst other problems! | The Tenants' Voice
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Section 21 - Wrongly Issued... amongst other problems!

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564 views 2 replies latest reply: 23 November 2015
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Tenant

Good Evening,

I’m hoping for a bit of advice on a bit of a problem we’re having with our current landlady. 

To cut a long story short, she wants us out at the end of the tenancy on the 28th of January. We received a Section 21 notice via email at the weekend stating that the landlord would like the property back at the end of the tenancy agreement. Our tenancy agreement states any notice should or shall be given by postal service, handed over in person or posted through the letterbox. Nowhere does it state that an email is acceptable for either us or them to give notice. 

Am i right in thinking that until the notice is delivered in the correct manner, it is null and void? Meaning that in order to give us notice to leave by the 28th of January they must deliver the notice in the correct manner by the 28th of November (2 full months?) ?? If they fail to do this does it give us any leverage with them if we went to the appropriate trade body with a formal complaint?

The other issue we have is the fact that we would like to move now, we’ve had no end of issues with the landlord along the way and we are happy to move out at the end of this month. We asked the agent about a surrender of tenancy agreement to which we got a very short “no” with no reason. As we didn’t believe the agent had communicated fairly we went direct to the landlady with the surrender of tenancy, but she has today declined it, stating that she wants to hold us to our notice. I do feel that the agent have pressured her into it as it will leave the property un rented over christmas. They claim nobody has any money this time of year so it wouldnt be let until after christmas. I’m sure that they will have no issue letting the property, its in a desirable area and is a relatively new, well kept house.

Seeing as they won’t accept the surrender, we have considered abandonment. I am under the impression that if we notify them of the abandonment and they re-let the property before the official end of our tenancy, we are only liable for the rent until the date the new tenants have moved in. Is this the case? And what is to stop them from intentionally not letting the property, or simply claiming there is nobody living in it when there is?

I have tried compromising in every way. We’ve offered to pay next months rent, but move out now, meaning they can offer the property to let immediately and potentially get double the rent for the best part of next month. Like i said, i dont think it will stick around for long. We were the first people to view it before we moved in, and we got it because we acted quickly, they had quite a few other bookings arranged after us. They have refused that offer without even asking the landlord, which i believe they arent allowed to do? 

Any answers to the above questions or input from someone who has experienced similar issues would be hugely appreciated. We really don’t know what our next move should be!

Many Thanks

Ben

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Tenant

Section 21 Notices HAVE to give you 3 months notice. An emailed version doesn’t sound like it would be legally binding. My best advice (from personal expereices) is to keep records of all correspondance. I have had two cases with previous landlords thrown out of court – without any legal representation – just by being able to proove that they acted illegally. When this happens, the landlord has to start proceedings again from scratch. Landlords often rely on the fact that tenants do not know their rights. Can’t really advise you on the other issues in your post but I wish you good luck and hope this works out in your favour. Good luck.

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Administrator

Hi Ben

I think there is some confusion over email service – I’m not a lawyer but some sources seem to indicate it’s fine, others say not. The problem is that the landlord would have to prove you had received it, which is difficult unless you have something like a read receipt.

In terms of paying rent you are contractually require to pay rent until you either give the correct notice or the landlord accepts your surrender. As far as I know that obligation doesn’t end if someone else moves in. However, you could offer to find another tenant and ask the landlord to accept a surrender conditional on that. You’d do all the legwork of finding someone else and the landlord wouldn’t have to lose rent over Christmas so their justifications for refusing you would no longer have any standing.

Alex

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