TenantsTips / Forums / Section Notices / Received Notice to Quit - need advice please on next steps

Received Notice to Quit - need advice please on next steps

Author Message

sbrown77

Saturday 24 May 2014 12:53:14 pm

Hello

I have just been issued a Notice to Quit by my landlord. The letter has arrived today, 24 May, which is also the same day that my rent is due (which has been paid automatically by standing order).

At the bottom of the notice there is the text:

"(notice to quit) on 24 May 2014 or on the day on which a complete period of your tenancy expires after the end of at least one rent period after the service of this notice"

I'm unsure what this means exactly. My understanding of a notice to quit (under Section 21) is that I should be given 2 months notice and the date should actually be the 23 May.

I'm on a rolling contract, rent period is monthly. The initial 12 month period expired about 8 months ago. The rent period on that contract was 10th of every month, and with verbal agreement we changed this to the 24th. I should also point out that the landlord has failed to protect my deposit since the start of my tenancy. (There are other complicating factors which are possibly not relevant to the issue at hand, but certainly would become relevant should the issue move to court.)

I believe if the Notice to Quit is incorrectly worded then legally it is null and void.
So my question is: What should be my next move? Should I write to the landlord informing him that his notice to quit is not valid and that I won't recognise it? Or should I wait until he goes to court for a possession order and present my case then?

Any and all advice most gratefully received.

Thank you.

PHAC66

Monday 26 May 2014 5:28:03 pm

Hello.

The first issue or anomaly that I pick up from your posting is that apparently the ‘Notice to Quit’ was issued (or arrived) on 24 May, but it has then been worded in such a manner as to advise the tenant to quit on the same day, with some further gobbledegook wording tagged on that seems designed to save the notice from being invalidated. This is clearly a very confusing notice document which, arguably, no reasonable person would understand – so this issue, on its own, should be sufficient to challenge the notice’s validity.

Your posting suggests to me that you already have a reasonably good legal knowledge of tenancy issues – you already know, for example, about the importance of rental periods, rent dates and “other complicating factors” which at some future point you hint might become relevant if the case you refer to goes to court. You also seem to be already aware (because you have made reference to this) that when a landlord fails to register the tenant’s rental deposit in one of the recognised deposit protection schemes, this invalidates the section 21 notice, and consequently, the landlord’s subsequent claim for possession at a county court will almost certainly fail.

It is therefore likely that you already know that the correct legal notice for ending an assured shorthold tenancy is the 2-month section 21 ‘Notice Requiring Possession’ and not a ‘Notice to Quit’ document, which normally provides a tenant with a lesser notice period time. A ‘Notice Requiring Possession’ and a ‘Notice to Quit’ are two completely different legal documents, and the latter type of notice cannot be used when seeking to end an assured shorthold tenancy.

I mention this latter point because it is not altogether clear from your posting that the tenancy being referred to is definitely an assured shorthold. This is the first query that must be resolved as all other advice (about the validity of a notice) follows on from having the correct initial analysis of the tenancy. There are a number of alternative types of tenancy that might be operating here – such as a common law tenancy. If this tenancy is a common law tenancy (as opposed to an assured shorthold tenancy) then a formal ‘Notice to Quit’ similar to the one that seems to be described here would indeed be the appropriate legal document for the landlord to use. This is not to say, however, that the specific ‘Notice to Quit’ being described in this posting is not open to a good legal challenge for some other reason – the date of expiry and the legally prescribed information that might or might not be included on this document would also be very important issues in determining whether this document was valid or not.

If an invalid notice is served on a tenant, they do not have to act upon it. However, the tenant needs to be sure that the notice is indeed defective, and this can only be done by seeking legal advice. Tactically, the tenant might decide that it is best to wait for the landlord to file their possession papers with the court and then wait for the court to forward copies of the possession claim to them, and then use the defence form (which the court also sends to the tenant) as the opportunity to state the reason(s) why they believe that the notice served on them was invalid. However, playing this tactical waiting game without first seeking legal advice is a little risky. This is because if the tenant defends a possession claim merely on some hunch that the notice might be defective, the court could still dismiss the defence arguments and rule in the landlord’s favour, thereby issuing the possession order and passing the landlord’s court costs on to the tenant. So, before doing anything, it is always wiser to get legal advice first!

Mac212

Monday 26 June 2017 4:51:44 pm

I have received a notice to quit today 26/6/17 I have a joint housing association fully assured tenancy with my wife. She left me on 1/4/17 and said she would sign the tenancy over to me, instead she sent a notice to vacate to the housing assoc. I receive no benefits so will be forced into private renting which I will struggle with. I currently share this house with my 22 year old son. Do I have any chance of winning an appeal against this? Thanks, Iain



ACCOUNT LOGIN