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two month notice on a monthly periodic tenancy agreement.

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705 views 1 replies latest reply: 16 December 2016

Good afternoon all,

I’m wondering if anyone can provide any advice, and I apologise if the backstory is somewhat long winded.

My girlfriend and I signed a 12 month tenancy agreement in March 2015, when this finished in March ’16 our LL and letting agency attempted negotiate another agreement for a further 12 months. At this stage we were planning on buying a place of our own and would have preferred for the agreement to lapse and continue as a periodic tenancy agreement to give us the freedom should we find a new property. After to and fro’ing, the LL and agency finally agreed to let the agreement commence periodically providing that we agree to give a two month notice when we decided to leave, the email with their request follows:

“i have  now spoken with the landlord, and she is happy for the current fixed term agreement to fall onto a periodic arrangement from 21/03/2016 , however would be  grateful if you could provide  two months notice rather than one”.

Knowing full well that we couldn’t really know how our property search was due to unfold we replied with the following email to their request:

“That’s great thank you. We will keep you in the loop with any progress and give ample notice to the landlords.”

Fast track to December and we are about to complete on our property this coming Monday, we only found out earlier this week and therefore handed in our statutory one month notice straight away (as required in our original 12 month tenancy agreement). Bearing in mind our periodic rental period starts on the 21st and ends on the 20th, this meant that our agreement would end in around five and a half weeks, what we would class as ‘ample notice’. However, both the LL and LA have stated that this is not sufficient and as we ‘have agreed’ to a 2 month notice period we would need to cease on the 20th Feb.

I know this is somewhat of a grey area and besides having spoken to two seperate solicitors (both have agreed with us for differing reasons, such as the email is too vague to base an agreement on and that a 2 month notice requires a 2 monthly periodic tenancy agreement) our lettings agency will not give up, so I was wondering if anyone could provide any further advice?

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Nobody here is a lawyer, but the two solicitors are right:

1st – This email cannot constitute as an agreement into a two month notice period – the landlord said they will be “greatful” to receive a two month notice, not that it is a requirement; you never actually agreed in your response to giving a two month notice before leaving. 

2nd – The default conditions of a tenancy lapsing from fixed into periodic require tenants to give a one month notice. If the landlord were to enforce a two month notice rule, they would have needed to draft a new tenancy agreement and have you sign it. 

So, all in all, you can do this and if the landlord goes to court, it shouldn’t be able to hold. 

The landlord / agent is going to try and give you hell on the deposit, charges, etc. You should be prepared to fight with your teeth about them.

Ultimately though, you should be able to walk out relatively dry with a bit of stress piled up. 

Hope this helps. 

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