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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70204
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have been issued a section 21 5 months before the end of

Customer Question

I have been issued a section 21 5 months before the end of the tenancy but there is a break clause after 6 months that we are in now. Is the S21 valid before the end of the tenancy because of the break clause or can I go to court and say I do not think it is valid yet?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
07737 654815
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What was the end date you put upon the notice?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They have given x2 months notice
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, I am so worked up I forgot my manors. Good afternoon Jo, I have been served the S21 with x2 months notice.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Does the contract say that either side can give notice after the break clause?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately it does.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
That is bad news I'm afraid.
They can rely on that to serve a S21 notice giving two months notice.
If you can't get out in that time then they cannot just turn up and change the locks. They would need a court order which does take a period of time to achieve but you would be liable for costs unfortunately.
I'm very sorry but that is your position.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would a S21 still be valid if my deposit wasn't protected to the letter of the law?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I gave my deposit to the then managing agent who put it in a scheme and let me have the details. However the landlady sacked the agent. 3 months later she asked me to sign a new tenancy, which I did and it was another 3 months before I got conformation that the deposit was now protected by her.....
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No. Until they protect your deposit they cannot serve a valid S21 notice.
But you seem to be saying the deposit is protected ? They might have done it late but they can rely on that.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
isn't the rule that it has to be protected and I have notification in 30 days?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
protected at all times I mean, and protected by the person on my tenancy not and ex business partner she sacked 6 months ago?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
That wouldn't invalidate the S21 notice as long as it was protected when they served it.
If they didn't it late then it would give you a claim in compensation although it is fair to say that those claims are not the money spinners that some people like to suggest.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh dear, I was hoping to defend the S21 saying that the letter of law had not been applied to the deposit to validate a S21. Have my deposit given back to me and then wait for another S21.....I take it you are saying that my plan won't work in a County Court?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Not if they did protect before issue of the S21 notice. Had it been the other way around it then you would have had a run.
You do still have a claim though and, of course, they don't know that the court won't order three times the sum of the deposit so might make an offer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is it better if I make this claim now as a separate matter or wait for the S21 to expire and use it as my defence?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
It is not a defence I'm afraid.
It is better to raise it now if you are going to.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, thank you Jo. I am tempted to raise it now but do you think a court would think protecting it after 6 months justifies her paying me before I leave or would I just be throwing good money after bad?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Protecting a deposit late isn't the worst sin it must be said.
If I were you though I would certainly raise it and send some letters. She doesn't know that will be the court's view and might well make offers that are worth more than you would get at court.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Jo, you have been very helpful. Shelter are advising on their website that if the deposit was protected after 30 days the landlord/lady loses the right to evict! I guess I had better start packing! Thanks again.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
They are very optimistic I'm afraid.

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