Landlord and Tenant Law
Landlord and tenant issues covers an extensive range of concerns and disputes.
Popular are ‘assured shorthold tenancy agreements’ under the Housing Act 1988 consisting of landlords wishing to evict tenants using the section 21 or section 8 procedure. There are various additional pre-conditions now to serving a valid section 21 notice under the new procedure for tenancy entered into after October 2015, including statutory periodic tenancies which arose on or after 1st October 2015.
Main Sections of Landlord and Tenant Law
Using the section 21, a landlord must serve notice giving the tenant at least two months notice of the landlord’s intention in wanting to require possession of the property. The landlord must also have the relevant prescribed information, if applicable, for the section 21 to be valid and before going to court. Section 8 notices however are for breaches of a tenancy contained under Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 with a common area being for rent arrears.
For tenants, the main concern is getting their landlords to comply with their repair obligations, along with getting tenant’s deposits returned and compensation for a landlord’s failure to protect a tenant’s deposit under section 214 of the Housing Act 2004 and as amended.
Another popular area is business tenancies between landlords and tenants, mainly where a landlord does not wish to renew a business tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. In this instance, the tenant has the right, so long as the tenant is protected by the 1954 Act to request a new tenancy.
The usual method for a landlord to terminate a tenancy protected by the 1954 Act is to provide, in prescribed form, notice under section 25 of the 1954 Act. Where a landlord has not taken any steps to terminate the tenancy, the tenant can provide notice, in prescribed form, if the circumstances are considered right to do so under section 26 of the 1954 Act.
After which the tenant can make an application to the County Court for a new business tenancy. This must be done before the end date of the tenancy, otherwise, the tenant will lose the protection under the 1954 Act.
Should you have any landlord and tenant matters then please feel free to contact me and arrange a free consultation, I and the team can then see if we are able to help.
David has an LL.B (Hons) degree in law. He was voted one of the UK’s most influential aspiring lawyers. He is also directly involved in the protection of workers’ rights as respected Union Rep for Usdaw, and he is the Non-Executive Legal Director for the Humber Taxi Association.
Frequently Asked Questions
My landlord has not protected my deposit?
Your landlord has 30 days to protect your deposit from receipt of your deposit. Your landlord must comply with the initial requirements of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme by giving you and any relevant person (meaning someone who pays the deposit on the tenant’s behalf, which includes local housing authorities) certain prescribed information about the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, the deposit and the AST.
There are potentially significant penalties if a landlord fails to comply with the requirements of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, in particular, you can make an application to the court to order the repayment of your deposit, and compensation under s.214 of the Housing Act 2014 (as amended) which is three times the value of the deposit, or for the landlord to comply with the requirements of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. During the time that the deposit is not protected, the landlord may be prevent from recovering possession of the property with a section 21.
What is the 'prescribed infomation' for a valid new s.21 notice?
The ideal situation for a valid section 21 notice to be effective is you need to make sure that you have complied with:
- The Tenancy Deposit Scheme,
- Energy Performance certificate,
- Gas safe certificate, and
- The How to Rent guide,
Can I retract a notice to quit to exercise a break clause in an assured shorthold tenancy before expiry of the notice?
This scenario was addressed by the Court of Appeal in Fareham Borough Council v Miller. Although this was a case involving a landlord’s notice to quit, there is no reason why the same principle, in that a notice to quit, once served, cannot be revoked.
Fareham Borough Council v Miller is widely understood to apply equally to a tenant’s notice to quit. Therefore, if a tenant serves a notice to quit and then changes their mind, they cannot revoke it. All they can seek to do is agree a new tenancy with the landlord to begin after their current one has ended.
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