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Carryon Regardless

Notice by Tenant to Quit.

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I'm inviting opinions, clarified if possible.

My contract clarifies that, regardless of tenancy start dates, that following 6 months + however many days to enter into a periodic tenancy 'each tenancy period is a calendar month'.

That is, during a SPT a tenancy period commences on the 1st of any month and ends on the last day of that month. The AST details that payment of rents are for these clarified periods. Under legislation that's the important bit as a tenancy period is stated to be the period that rent is paid for, so this is agreed by all when signing the AST.

My recent example. T now in SPT texts 13th Feb "I'll be leaving at the end of the month".

I reply 20th (having been in Italy), "please use last page on tenancy pack to serve notice".

28th Feb T informs by text he has gone and posted keys through property letter box.

I visit flat 4th March and keys are in the flat as is the completed 'Notice of Tenancy Termination', as provided by me in the tenancy pack.

I have invoiced for rents till the end of March, with copy information to guarantor. I would say if I were so inclined his notice would expire at the end of April, unless I re-let.

 

Now I feel all that is compliant with legislation, and realise that T education is often required. They accepting this is another matter, so it strikes me that referring them to the Shelter website can have value. So today I've checked their, often changing, statements on this.

https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/private_renting/ending_a_periodic_tenancy

So they agree that 1 month notice. They state that it must end at the end of a tenancy period, or at the start of the next and the T can choose. This is new to me, midnight on the last day is the regular understanding. Also no surprise they state if the tenancy starts on the (10th in this case) it can end on the 10th or the 11th. In this case that would give me an extra 10 days, but I don't intend to pursue that. But it could be problem if the situation were to the T's advantage.

Also stated on their website is that merely posting keys back into the property does not constitute surrender, I concur with this view but wonder if a court would allow sympathy. Also stated is that a LL can continue to charge rent until a property is surrended correctly. On this one I have charged an absconded T 3 months extra, until I posted abandonment notices and let to the next. Most of us are aware of the risk of doing that, without damn good proof that departure can be demonstrated. Anyway that exT and G'tor make payments at £150 pm so I'm happy.

Shelter also suggest obtaining proof of them serving notice, receipt or recorded delivery. Common sense but I haven't seen that yet.

While I can appreciate that some LL's only have beautiful T's that comply ideally with requirements, those experiences won't help us sad individuals that don't enjoy such a sweet existence.

Thoughts appreciated, I like many would benefit from a recognised policy for these situations.

 

 

 

 

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My 'thoughts' as follows : -

I'm puzzled as to why you seem to want to make life difficult for yourself.

A 6 month Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) becomes a Statutory Periodic Tenancy (SPT) at the end of the fixed 6 month term automatically providing the tenant(s) remains.

So why do you feel it necessary to modify the dates of the SPT to coincide with calender months ?

Notice served by text may not be ideal but it is nevertheless notice served. If your tenant doesn't want to use the form you have provided that's their choice surely ?

I was under the impression that notice no longer has to end on a rent day. If it were me I'd have the tenant pay rent up to 13th March......one month after notice received.

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You're thinking of the revision of Oct 2015 that allows 'us' to serve 2 months, and the end of tenancy period no longer required. Not sure if this applies to tenancies started after that date, but don't recall this concession ever applied to T's.

To have multiple tenancies all with various start dates and it follows various payment dates means tracking each tenancy at various dates to see if rent has been paid. Now to standarise dates, that offers no disadvantage to either party makes sense. I only need check online once per month, in theory, to check they have 'all' paid. Reduces confusion and possible mistakes that may arise because of.

As used to be with S21's, and maybe still applicable to those started prior to Oct 15, if all tenancy periods end on the last day of a month the date of expiry will always be the end of a month. How much confusion have we read of here with people, including solicitors, screwing up these dates? My method eliminates the "is it start date or is it payment date" confusion, especially after a T has decided to alter their payment dates for their convenience.

I can't understand why you all don't do it this way.

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I'm a great believer in keeping it simple.

I've been in this business for around twenty years with numerous properties and around 100 tenancies in that time.

Never once have I found a need or an advantage to alter the 'rent payment date'.

I have a dedicated bank account for my lettings into which all tenants pay their rents and from which all the bills such as insurance, service charges and utilities etc are paid. It would be impossible for me to operate if I were to check that bank account only once per month.

What you describe is so alien to the way that I operate, that I doubt I would be able to offer any further useful input. 

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To confirm, as I attempt to do within my AST.

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/content/tenants-notice-quit 

Notice (by T)- Periodic Tenancy

" once the tenancy becomes a statutory periodic tenancy (SPT), are one month in length. "

" The Tenant’s notice must be in writing, though there is no prescribed form this must take, it must be for a minimum of one complete tenancy period,"

I would say that is arguable that a text is acceptable as "in writing", printing off and filing is an issue, and a T producing his mobile in court would hopefully be frowned on. Other than that there is clarity that notice expires  on the last day of a tenancy period (or first day of the next for some strange reason). Notice 'should' be a minimum of 1 month.

Of course we can be generous and concede a shorter period. For me this would depend on, if the tenancy has run without issue, if the communication to quit by the T was considerate, and if the T made allowance for my performing viewings so as to minimise the void. 

If a T feels it is reasonable to treat the tenancy as they would a hotel then I fall back on legislation to balance the disadvantage.

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HI Cor,

Producing a mobile phone in court to demonstrate a message/pics/video on the matter is quite normal these days.  Have done it myself and seen others do it too.  Judges all seem to go along with it.

I would enforce the 1 month notice in your case.  Hope that helps.

 

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