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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My landlord gave me three months notice of her requiring possession.

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My landlord gave me three months notice of her requiring possession. This is one month before the end of our fixed term. I have found a new property and would like to move out one month sooner than the three month notice i.e. two months after receiving the landlord's notice. My current landlord is now expecting me to pay the final third month rent. Can she do this?
Hi,

Is this an assured shorthold tenancy?

When does the fixed term end?

What date did you receive the notice from the landlord?

Was it a section 21 Housing Act notice that you received?

When does the notice state that the landlord requires possession?

Tom
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is this an assured shorthold tenancy? YES

When does the fixed term end? 31/5/13

What date did you receive the notice from the landlord? 24/1/13

Was it a section 21 Housing Act notice that you received? YES

When does the notice state that the landlord requires possession? 1/5/13

Hi

Thanks for your patience.

If the notice is a section 21 notice and not a section 8 notice then the notice is defective. A landlord can only issue a s21 notice to get possession at the end of the fixed term. Therefore if your fixed term expires on 31/5/2013 but the notice states that possession is required on 1/5/13 then it is requiring possession earlier than the fixed term which is not possible under s21.

However, this does not affect your liability in respect of the obligation to pay rent under the tenancy until the fixed term expires and you vacate. You are still under a contractual obligation to pay this rent even though the landlord has served a notice.

If I were you I would do nothing until about two or three weeks before you wish to leave the property. I would then inform the landlord that the notice is defective for the above reason and state that if they wish to have possession then they must serve another notice correctly. This means that they would have to give a further two months notice with such notice to expire at the end of a rent period.

This means that she would be facing being stuck with you for longer that she wants. You should at the point say that you would be willing to move out a month earlier so that she doesn’t have to serve notice again and invite her to execute a Surrender of Tenancy in which you both agree in writing that as of the date you vacate a month earlier than the expiry of the fixed term your responsibilities to each other under the tenancy cease.



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Kind regards,


Tom
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Tom - sorry, just a further clarification. I see when our lease was last renewed in May 2012, a two month break clause was added for either party. The lease was still fixed term, as I indicated above. Does this change the notice form required (21 vs 8)?


 


Also, for the last year, a summer house (included in the lease) has been unusable due to black mould on one wall where water does not drain properly. The landlord has not repaired it as the quotes for remediation work are too costly. Do we have any recourse for compensation of rent?

Hi,

If there is a break clause in the agreement and the landlord is using the break clause to terminate then it does not need to be a s21 or s8 because they are simply using the break clause rather than legislation to termiante.

If this is the case then the landlord's notice is effective and you coudl not ask for it to be re-served.

You may be able to claim for loss of utility if the tenancy included the summerhouse and I woudl attempt to use this as leverage to vacate earlier.

Tom

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