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View Full Version : L served Notice to Quit, effective at once, but no s.21



alangwd
01-02-2008, 08:57 AM
Hi all,

I have been given notice to quit without a reason. My LL says I have a 2 month statutory period in which to move.

I previously posted about the condition of the property last year, http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=8546&highlight=rent+book

The LL has nearly completed all the repairs to the property that the Council ordered him to. I now feel that he is evicting me because of this and that he can move another tenant in and charge them more for doing what should have been done before I moved in, that is making the property habitable.

In his letter of 'Notice to Quit' he says the deposit will be paid one month after I vacate the property, does he have a legal right to withhold the deposit?

pcwilkins
01-02-2008, 09:01 AM
In his letter of 'Notice to Quit' he says the deposit will be paid one month after I vacate the property, does he have a legal right to withhold the deposit?

Only to make good any damage that you've caused (other than fair wear and tear). Or possibly to cover any unpaid rent.

Peter

alangwd
01-02-2008, 09:04 AM
Thanks for the quick reply PCwilkins.

The property is in far better condition now to when I moved in. I have put shelving up in the kitchen and one of the bedrooms of which I will take down and fill in any holes.

alangwd
01-02-2008, 09:08 AM
One other question I have just thought of is: Can the LL give me Notice to Quit without any reason?

johnboy
01-02-2008, 09:13 AM
Via a section 21 yes

alangwd
01-02-2008, 09:21 AM
In the letter there is no mention of a section 21.
The letter read as follows:

"
Notice to Quit

I regret to inform you that your tenancy agreement for the above property has been terminated with immediate effect and that you are required to vacte the property.

You have the statutory right to remain in the property for at least two months from the date of this notice however rent would be payable up to and including the day we take actual possession. i would take this opportunity to remind you that there is currently no tenancy apgreement in force and that your tenure is on a periodic basis. I look forward to your prompt co-operation in this regard and trust that formal action will not become necessary

You rdeposit will be refunded within one month form when you vacate the property for which we will require a forwarding address."

Imp
01-02-2008, 09:34 AM
You could wind him up.

How about a letter along the lines of

Your letter of ........ does meet the statutory requirements of a notice to quit, and I therefore will not be acting on it. I will take this opportunity to remind you that there is a tenancy agreement in force. I look forward to your co-operation in this matter and trust that I will have no need to take formal action.

You are also reminded that attempting to enforce an eviction through any means other than a court order is a criminal offence which can carry a prison sentence. If you do attempt to illegally evict me I will not hesitate to contact the relevant authorities.

Yours sincerely

etc.


Sending it a week or so before he expects you to move out to cause him the most grief.

I'm not a lawyer, so don't just take my suggestions at face value. I am often wrong.

alangwd
01-02-2008, 09:51 AM
Thanks Imp, the only tenancy agreement I have is the original one which ran out in June 2006.

You say "enforce an eviction through any means other than a court order is a criminal offence which can carry a prison sentence"

Is this correct?

jeffrey
01-02-2008, 10:01 AM
Thanks Imp, the only tenancy agreement I have is the original one which ran out in June 2006.

You say "enforce an eviction through any means other than a court order is a criminal offence which can carry a prison sentence"

Is this correct?
Yes. Unless the statutory procedures (s.8 or s.21 of Housing Act 1988, for an AST) are followed, L breaches Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

alangwd
01-02-2008, 10:18 AM
Thanks for the confirmation Jeffrey.

jeffrey
01-02-2008, 10:41 AM
AND they're wrong in stating that there is no current Tenancy Agreement.
There is; it's a statutory periodic tenancy, under s.5(2) of the Housing Act 1988.

alangwd
01-02-2008, 10:46 AM
Again thank you Jeffrey for jogging my mind, I do remember something about this from my earlier post now you mention it.

alangwd
01-02-2008, 10:57 AM
You could wind him up.

How about a letter along the lines of

Your letter of ........ does meet the statutory requirements of a notice to quit, and I therefore will not be acting on it. I will take this opportunity to remind you that there is a tenancy agreement in force.


Re-reading your post Imp, I have emboldened 'does meet', should that say 'does not meet' due to the LL not including any reference to s21?

Imp
01-02-2008, 10:59 AM
Your letter of ........ does not meet the statutory requirements

Re-reading the proposed letter, I noticed I missed out an important not

alangwd
01-02-2008, 11:12 AM
Thanks Imp, very much appreciate all the time you and everybody else has given me!

alangwd
01-02-2008, 12:33 PM
I have drafted an amended letter from the information you have all given me. Would this be in order for me to send to my LL?

"Your letter (hand delivered) of 31st January 2008 does not meet the statutory requirements of a notice to quit, and I therefore will not be acting on it. I will take this opportunity to remind you that there is a tenancy agreement under the statutory periodic tenancy s.5 (2) of the Housing Act 1988 in force. I look forward to your co-operation in this matter and trust that I will have no need to take formal action.

You are also reminded that attempting to enforce an eviction through any means other than a court order is a criminal offence, under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, which can carry a prison sentence. If you do attempt to illegally evict me I will not hesitate to contact the relevant authorities".

jeffrey
01-02-2008, 12:41 PM
I have drafted an amended letter from the information you have all given me. Would this be in order for me to send to my LL?

"Your letter (hand delivered) of 31st January 2008 does not meet the statutory requirements of a notice to quit, and I therefore will not be acting on it. I will take this opportunity to remind you that there is a tenancy agreement under the statutory periodic tenancy s.5 (2) of the Housing Act 1988 in force. I look forward to your co-operation in this matter and trust that I will have no need to take formal action.

You are also reminded that attempting to enforce an eviction through any means other than a court order is a criminal offence, under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, which can carry a prison sentence. If you do attempt to illegally evict me I will not hesitate to contact the relevant authorities".
Yes. It sounds businesslike and informed.

alangwd
01-02-2008, 12:53 PM
Thanks Jeffrey much appreciate your valuable time in helping me on this matter.

fallenlord
01-02-2008, 12:55 PM
Can you please keep us informed of your landlords response to this? Looks like it could be rather interesting...

alangwd
01-02-2008, 13:04 PM
Can you please keep us informed of your landlords response to this? Looks like it could be rather interesting...

Will do fallenlord. As soon as I find somewhere else to live I intend sending the letter to my LL just for the devilment :D

Surrey
01-02-2008, 22:24 PM
I notice you aren't planning to act on the second part of Imp's letter, namely to leave posting your letter until a week before the moving out date that your landlord has given you.

The point being made is, the landlord cannot succeed in a court action with the letter he sent you (assuming there is no other reference to the Housing Act and Section 21). In order for him to be able to take court action, he would have to issue a proper Section 21 notice. If you alert him NOW to the fact that his notice isn't worth the paper it's written on, he'll be able to fix the error sooner. If you don't let him know for another couple of months (actually, you don't need to let him know AT ALL, he'd find out soon enough when it got to court) then you have additional time in the property.

Naughty perhaps, but the landlord really should know the basics, and how to get your property back has to be one of the most basic basics, in my view!

Oh, just had a thought.

As you're on a periodic, you ARE liable for rent for an entire period, so if your rent period is from, say 15th of the month to 14th of the following month, if you are going to move out, you should have your last day in the property as 14th of a month and pay rent up to that date. Also note that if you move out at the very next end of a period even if it's less than a month from now, the landlord would be hard-pressed to get any additional money out of you, considering the wording of the letter he has sent you.

And another thing: if he tries to hang onto your deposit if you move out when he says (i.e. immediately) then you would have a very strong case to get it back if he decided not to give it back.

Bel
02-02-2008, 15:39 PM
Dont suppose the LL has already served an s21 notice (eg at beginning of tenancy) and this letter warns that he now intends to invoke his rights to apply immediately to the courts; hence no notice needed?

Its probably not the case, but just thought to mention it.

alangwd
03-02-2008, 16:21 PM
My intention is to deliver the letter around a week before I give notice that I am leaving. I am hoping to view another property next week.

With all the hassle and time the LL took over getting the property [especially the kitchen] repaired I have already asked him for compensation. I am still awaiting a response from him on this. Should I send a seperate letter requesting compensation or should I add it to the letter I have posted here?

A quick history of why I asked for compensation:
November LL takes out kitchen, workmen return to install one cabinet 1st week December. Nowhere to prepare food as the kitchen is un-hygenic and there was Health & Safery issues. After several visits from his workmen just to do half an hours work to an hours work I still have no kitchen to work in over Christmas. Second week January I had a heated discussion with LL over condition and time it is taken to replace kitchen. At this point I requested compensation from him, no reply from LL. I have had to take time off work since November to January, on numerous occassions for his workmen to gain access to do this work. My employer was starting to question on how much time I was having off. I have had to throw away quite a lot of food over the two month period it took to fit the kitchen. I would have thought one week would have been enough time to fit a kitchen not two months??? In all this time my LL asked me on several occassions if I knew trades people that could do this or that work to help him complete the repairs. This I would have thought the LL would have had in place himself, even the housing Inspector questioned this.

My question is this:
Am I justified in asking for compensation?

Bell
There has not been a s.21 served on me only the letter I posted here.

Bel
04-02-2008, 00:01 AM
Sounds like you should have compensation, but you may have to take him to court if he won't listen. Is it worth it?

You made yourself available to let his workmen in? You didnt have to do that. He should arrange that himself.

Ericthelobster
04-02-2008, 07:41 AM
If you alert him NOW to the fact that his notice isn't worth the paper it's written on, he'll be able to fix the error sooner. If you don't let him know for another couple of months (actually, you don't need to let him know AT ALL, he'd find out soon enough when it got to court) then you have additional time in the property.That was my thought too... it'll be ages yet until the court date - for which he'll have shelled out 150 quid for a wasted court hearing! - and then he has to issue a proper S21, which gives you 2 months from the next rent due date following the court hearing (if he gets his act together then, that is)...

alangwd
04-02-2008, 18:34 PM
One other thing I have been thinking about, his letter is dated 31st January and states with immediate effect. My rent is due on the 20th of each month and is paid by Standing Order. Does this mean I have until 31st March or the 20th March? If it means until 31st March that is 11 days over my normal rent period, would I have to adjust my payments for the additional 11 days?

Ericthelobster
04-02-2008, 19:35 PM
One other thing I have been thinking about, his letter is dated 31st January and states with immediate effect. My rent is due on the 20th of each month and is paid by Standing Order. Does this mean I have until 31st March or the 20th March? If it means until 31st March that is 11 days over my normal rent period, would I have to adjust my payments for the additional 11 days?Well it's all a bit academic since his letter of notice is wrong in so many aspects - for starters you can't just end a tenancy with immediate effect. Also, he'd have to give you 2 months' notice from a rent day, so even if he was giving you notice now in the proper prescribed form, you'd have until 31 March.

So don't worry about it!

Surrey
04-02-2008, 21:45 PM
One other thing I have been thinking about, his letter is dated 31st January and states with immediate effect. My rent is due on the 20th of each month and is paid by Standing Order. Does this mean I have until 31st March or the 20th March? If it means until 31st March that is 11 days over my normal rent period, would I have to adjust my payments for the additional 11 days?

This could have a different twist, because his letter has given you reason to believe that you need to actually move out immediately.

So, if you decide to just up and leave, he would have GREAT difficulty getting any judgment against you for unpaid rent, as long as you pay up to your actual last day - that's even if you don't tell him you're going and just hand him back the keys on your way out the door!

He has SO shot himself in the foot with that letter!

alangwd
05-02-2008, 18:18 PM
He has SO shot himself in the foot with that letter!

I do hope you are right Surrey. If I do decide to take him to court over this would I win?

jeffrey
05-02-2008, 19:16 PM
I do hope you are right Surrey. If I do decide to take him to court over this would I win?
I'm not so sure.
Re-read first and second paragraphs of L's letter; your statutory rights are affirmed in para. 2, contradicting the "immediate" in para. 1.

alangwd
06-02-2008, 15:39 PM
Thanks Jeffrey, I see what you mean.

alangwd
07-02-2008, 18:29 PM
This could be an interesting meeting.

I have received a letter from the housing inspector arranging a meeting at the property between the LL, the inspector and myself to ensure the LL has completed all the repairs. I know he has not done this.

I have a further question regarding my deposit:
Knowing what my LL is like I think he will retain my deposit for one reason or another. Therefore would I be able to just leave and allow him to keep the deposit without paying the last months rent?

Ericthelobster
07-02-2008, 19:16 PM
Knowing what my LL is like I think he will retain my deposit for one reason or another. Therefore would I be able to just leave and allow him to keep the deposit without paying the last months rent?Well you'll probably be breaking the T&Cs of your tenancy agreement if you do so, and it's a practice which really gets up the noses of LLs everywhere; but having said that there's not a whole lot the LL can go about it apart from not giving you a decent reference (which doesn't sound like it will be an issue for you) and potentially taking legal action against you to recover costs of damage to the property which he'd otherwise have deducted from the deposit.

alangwd
07-02-2008, 19:47 PM
Thanks Ericthelobster, believe me the property is in a better condition now than when I moved in. That is not totally down to the LL having to do certain repairs.

I really should have known that one day he would do this to me as a friend of mine was a tenant of his and he got the same treatment from the LL.

alangwd
08-02-2008, 18:50 PM
The latest letter I received today from my LL reads as follows:

"Delivered by hand

Dear Mr. *******

I refer to my letter dated 31st January.

I would be obliged if you could confirm when the property will be vacated. This information is required in order to assist the Estate Agent appointed to oversee the sale of the property.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours Sincerely,


*Please note the date on our previous letter should have read 31st January 08 instead of 31st January 07. This in now way affects your statutory rights to remain in the property for a period of two months from 31st January.

If he is intending to sell, I think I may make an offer for the property as long as he has a Hip's conducted and the price is reasonable. Through living here for over 2 years I know what I would need done, new electrics, new central heating, double glazing, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, new bathroom and some alterations to the layout of the property.