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Section 21 Notice

Landlord and Tenant

The ruling in the case of Spencer v Taylor has clarified the situation as regards Section 21 Notices where the fixed term Assured Shorthold Tenancy has expired and the Tenant is in occupation as a statutory periodic tenant.

The previous position was that once the fixed term has expired the Landlord had to serve the s21 Notice so as to give 2 months’ notice to expire on the end date of a relevant period. The relevant period was determined by the type of statutory periodic tenancy. Therefore if the Tenant paid rent monthly on the 3rd of the month, the relevant period would be a month and the Notice would have to be served to give 2 months’ notice to expire on the 2nd, being the end of the period.

This requirement gave Landlord’s considerable drafting difficulties, and where an incorrect Notice was served in cases of monthly or longer periodic tenancies, could lead to considerable delay.

The ruling in Spencer v Taylor has removed the requirement for the Notice to expire at the end of a relevant period. This should make life considerably easier for Landlords when drafting s21 Notices, and reduce the risk of Landlords needing to re-draft and re-serve Notices because they are invalid by virtue of the wrong date being specified. The requirement now for a s21 Notice is that it gives at least 2 months’ notice to the Tenant, and can simply expire 2 months from the date served, removing the requirement to specify a termination date completely.

If you would like any more information on Landlord and Tenant issues, please contact us.

Jacqueline Penfold
Jacqueline Penfold
Tina Ripley
Tina Ripley