PDA

View Full Version : Section 21(4)(a)



haggard
30-03-2009, 18:19 PM
LL is unhappy because it wasn't convenient for him to visit my house for an inspection on the day he requested. He has served me with a Section 21(4)(a). Clutching at straws here but it states the correct address but has the wrong postcode on it. I don't suppose this means that they have to re-do it and that I have another month here? Also, I need to get his home address from the agents as he isn't responding to me and I currently have no hot water. I know I have to put the request in writing but are they still obliged to give it to me once he has given me notice and how long do they have to reply. The letter states that if I can't leave by the given date they will charge an additional call out fee of £40 per visit. Can they do this?

jta
30-03-2009, 18:38 PM
A S21,4,a is not a notice to quit. By all means write to him and tell him it's filled out wrongly, or wait until he drags you into court and tell the judge, they just love wrongly filled forms. Keep paying the rent and sit tight. It will take them anything from three to five months to get an eviction order. Meanwhile, you can take your time to find a nicer, cheaper, property.
The agent is bound by law to give you the correct contact details for your LL.
The agent has no contract with you, just with the LL, so if anybody has to pay a 40 quid fee, it's him.

data
30-03-2009, 19:31 PM
Can someone please advise me on how to do a legal section 21 notice. The AST has expired, and now on month to month agreement. I'm using the LRA AST agreement standard contract, which does not specify a date for rent payment, but on the whole, it was paid in the last week, usually 28th of the month. I want the T out as he is a major headache. Also, he is suggesting that I can keep the deposit as a final rental payment which I DONT want to do as it leaves me without protection. What can I do? (He is a DSS tenant - can I threaten to inform the housing benefit people that this guy is not paying me the rent despite being in receipt of their housing benefit?)
Please help.

jta
30-03-2009, 19:38 PM
Can someone please advise me on how to do a legal section 21 notice. The AST has expired, and now on month to month agreement. I'm using the LRA AST agreement standard contract, which does not specify a date for rent payment, but on the whole, it was paid in the last week, usually 28th of the month. I want the T out as he is a major headache. Also, he is suggesting that I can keep the deposit as a final rental payment which I DONT want to do as it leaves me without protection. What can I do? (He is a DSS tenant - can I threaten to inform the housing benefit people that this guy is not paying me the rent despite being in receipt of their housing benefit?)
Please help.

Data. Start a new thread rather than hijack one.

data
30-03-2009, 19:42 PM
sorry about this

haggard
30-03-2009, 19:48 PM
Oh JTA you have made me so happy. What is a section 21(4)(a). It says at the top that it is 'Notice Requiring Possession' is that not the correct form to give me notice to quit? They have sent a letter with the form advising 'I write to conform that the tenancy is due to expire on 31 May (I am currently on periodic tenancy). If it is wrong I definately won't be telling them. I will let them take me to court and, like you say, I can find a nice, cheaper property.

jta
30-03-2009, 19:59 PM
A S21 is an advisory notice that the LL wishes to end the tenancy after a particular date. In your case it would have to give you two clear months of notice, and the notice would have to be up until the end of a rental period. The LL cannot even start court proceedings until that two months has gone by. It is also a 'no fault' demand, which means there will be no court costs for you (I'm fairly sure of that, but if I'm wrong, someone will say so).

haggard
30-03-2009, 20:12 PM
Does that mean that after the 2 months has expired on this they would have to serve me with a notice to quit or would they take me directly to court? Does it matter that they have put the wrong postcode down?

jta
30-03-2009, 20:53 PM
If the judge throws out the notice they will have to start over, otherwise it's just court proceedings up until they can get the bailiffs in to move you out. By that time you should have found another place. It does take three to five months. Search the threads, you'll see what I mean.

haggard
30-03-2009, 20:56 PM
It is ok. I think I understand. I have been served notice that LL wishes to apply to possess property after 31st May. Whereas a notice to quit means LL could apply for eviction after that day - this notice means LL can only apply for repossession which is completely different to an eviction order. Is that correct?

agent46
30-03-2009, 21:02 PM
Does that mean that after the 2 months has expired on this they would have to serve me with a notice to quit or would they take me directly to court? Does it matter that they have put the wrong postcode down?

A LL's notice to quit is of no effect in respect of your tenancy. Put that phrase out of your mind. So far as a LL is concerned, a periodic assured shorthold tenancy can only be ended by a court order, and a LL cannot seek a court order without having first served a s.21 notice.

Re: the incorrect address on the s.21 notice - it is unlikely that the wrong postcode would invalidate the notice.

The £40 per visit charge is probably unenforceable and, may, depending on how they attempt to use that provision, possibly amount to harrassment (ie: by making repeated, unecessary visits purely in order to rack up charges) in an attempt to force you out); see the Protection From Eviction Act 1977. Speak to the tenancy relations officer at your local authority.

LL's address: if you request the information in writing, the agent must provide you with the LL's address within 21 days. Failure to comply is a criminal offence. Also, check to see if you have received a s.48 notice which informs you where you may serve notices on the LL (it may be buried within the terms of your tenancy), because if you haven't received this information, you can withold rent until you do.

Did the LL protect your deposit and serve you with all the required information?

Please post up the date your tenancy began, and its duration, the date the notice was served and any dates which are stated on the s.21 notice.

haggard
30-03-2009, 21:10 PM
According to my tenancy agreement all notices go the LL through the agents. There is no adress for LL. I have not received anything from agents to say they have protected deposit. The council covered £1100 of the deposit and I paid £900 cash. I have told that the £900 should be protected. Is it correct that if LL goes to court for possession if I don't move out before 31st May that I won't have to pay the costs?

haggard
30-03-2009, 21:14 PM
My tenancy began on 31st August 2007. The orginal AST was for 6 months, it has been periodic since then. The notice was served today and states 'date of expiry 30/5/2009'.

agent46
30-03-2009, 21:21 PM
According to my tenancy agreement all notices go the LL through the agents. There is no adress for LL. I have not received anything from agents to say they have protected deposit. The council covered £1100 of the deposit and I paid £900 cash. I have told that the £900 should be protected. Is it correct that if LL goes to court for possession if I don't move out before 31st May that I won't have to pay the costs?

If they haven't protected or proved protection of the deposit and served the other "Prescribed Information" at the time the s.21 notice was served, then, on my reading of s.215(1) of the Housing Act 2004, the notice will be of no effect, because "no s.21 notice may be given at a time when the deposit is not being held in accordance with an authorised scheme, or the intial requirements of such a scheme (ie: the proof) have not been complied with". See also s.215(2) - "If section 213(6) (ie: prescribed info) is not complied with in relation to a deposit given in connection with a shorthold tenancy, no section 21 notice may be given in relation to the tenancy until such time as section 213(6)(a) is complied with."

My interpretation of those provisions is that a LL who has failed to protect and/or serve the proof and info must serve a new s.21 notice once they have complied with these tenancy deposit protection (TDP) requirements. It does not appear to me that complying with TDP at later date cures the defective service of the s.21 notice. In other words, I think they must start from scratch and do things in the correct order.

Re: costs - if your LL obtains possession, then unless there are exceptional circumstances or you are legally aided, then you will be liable for his court costs and legal fees.

haggard
30-03-2009, 21:27 PM
Thank you. If they have protected the deposit but haven't forwarded the information to me, does that still make the notice invalid. I think it is possible that they haven't protected the deposit because the agents weren't even aware that LL couldn't enter the property without my permission. They told Ll that if he gave 24 hours notice he could enter the property without my permission. There are a couple of other incidents where they gave incorrect information and only when I informed them it was incorrect (info from this site) did they check the information and apolgoised for the inaccuracy. Based on their lack of knowledge as letting agents I very much doubt they were on top of this.

agent46
30-03-2009, 21:32 PM
Thank you. If they have protected the deposit but haven't forwarded the information to me, does that still make the notice invalid. .

Yes, I think so. See my edited and expanded post above yours.

haggard
30-03-2009, 21:49 PM
I see it now. Thanks again. They definately haven't served proof so I could delay any court action for another month at least. I sometimes wish I wasn't a tenant that didn't pay on time and keep the house in good order. It certainly hasn't done me any favours. Without fail my rent goes out on the given date regardless of the amount I have left to feed my family etc. I wish I had an LL like some of the ones on this site

haggard
31-03-2009, 08:38 AM
If I find a property before the end of April can I leave without giving notice or do I have to stay for the full 2 months?

agent46
31-03-2009, 09:28 AM
If I find a property before the end of April can I leave without giving notice or do I have to stay for the full 2 months?

A s.21 notice does not end the tenancy, so your tenancy is continuing as normal, therefore you would need to serve notice to quit of at least one month, expiring on a rent day (either the first or last day of a rental period ie: 30th or 31st).

Arguably, because you would only be doing what the s.21 notice asked you to do, you could leave on the day of expiry of the s.21 notice without having issued a NTQ.

haggard
31-03-2009, 09:31 AM
Sorry, I have another question. I have spoken to agents about my deposit and they have said they will get back to me. I still haven't received any notification (verbally or written) that my deposit has been protected. Notice was served yesterday and the I moved into the house on 31st August 2007. Does mean that the agents will have to resubmit the notice? If they have protected the deposit (unlikely) could they give me notice again today with the details and the leaving date will still be 2 months?

agent46
31-03-2009, 09:46 AM
Sorry, I have another question. I have spoken to agents about my deposit and they have said they will get back to me. I still haven't received any notification (verbally or written) that my deposit has been protected. Notice was served yesterday and the I moved into the house on 31st August 2007. Does mean that the agents will have to resubmit the notice? If they have protected the deposit (unlikely) could they give me notice again today with the details and the leaving date will still be 2 months?

Please see post #14 in which I dealt with the s.21/TDP issue.

A s.21 notice in a periodic tenancy must be at least 2 months in duration AND end on the last day of a rent period (the 30th in your case). Therefore, if they gave you notice today, the earliest it could be expressed to expire would be 30th June.

Tactical point: if I were you, whilst you should ensure that your deposit is protected, if you are looking to buy yourself some time I wouldn't tell them just yet that the absence of TDP at the time of service invalidates their s.21 notice. Otherwise, you're just making a rod for your own back - let them take legal advice of their own, or else discover that the notice is invalid when you issue a defence to the LL's claim for possession.

haggard
31-03-2009, 10:00 AM
Thank you agent46. Excellent advice. I certainly won't mention that to them. If they realise and re-issue, at the very least I have gained myself an extra month. If they have protected it and say that they have previously forwarded me the details, will the notice stand? The letter they sent with the notice states that Jackie (who works for agency) will be dealing with the deposit. It definately sounds like they haven't protected the deposit.

agent46
31-03-2009, 11:32 AM
If they have protected it and say that they have previously forwarded me the details, will the notice stand?

Well, that all depends on whether or not the judge believes the proof and prescribed info was served.

If they claim the proof and prescribed info was served, and you suspect it wasn't, then in the course of disclosure of evidence you would be entitled to see their files and, most tellingly, their computer records which should at least show whether or not the proof and prescribed information was generated at the material time.

If their computer records show no trace of these documents being generated, then, obviously, they can't have been served (although that won't stop them claiming the prescribed info was handwritten, as far as I'm aware, the proof is in the form of a certificate that is generated online).