If you gave your tenant notice on or after the 26 March 2020, the notice period must be at least three months. This is because of emergency law changes due to coronavirus.
When do I use a Section 21 notice?
Potentially a more flexible tool, this enables you to give a tenant notice without relying on any of the usual grounds for possession.
But to use it, you must make sure you have fulfilled certain criteria as a landlord before the tenant moved into your property, including:
- Being in line with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme rules including providing prescribed information to the tenant;
- Providing your tenant with the gas safety and energy performance certificates;
- Meeting your rights and responsibilities as a landlord by giving the tenant certain AST prescribed information like the ‘How to Rent Guide’.
How much notice do I need to give my tenants?
With a Section 21 notice, it’s normally two months but longer if you have a ‘contractual’ periodic tenancy.
What if my tenant tries to give me back the keys and walk away?
When a tenant who can’t pay the rent moves out, many landlords think that they have no choice but to accept the tenancy is over. In fact, this isn’t the case.
If a tenant hands back the keys, make it clear that you are not agreeing to end the tenancy but are merely accepting the keys to keep the property secure
There is no obligation on landlords to mitigate their losses if a tenant moves out mid-term. You are within your rights to leave the property empty and bring a claim for unpaid rent against the tenants – and their guarantors – either after the fixed term has come to an end or after they have successfully re-let the property, or at any time before then.
Get in touch
For further advice, please contact Richard Darbinian, James Murray or James Taylor who are all highly experienced lawyers in Wards Solicitors’ acclaimed Property Disputes Team.
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