Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 details the recovery of possession on expiry or termination of Assured Shorthold Tenancy, i.e. how a landlord exercises his legal rights to obtain his property back at the finish of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.
The key sections are;
Section 21, Sub Section 1 deals with the rights of the landlord under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy to recover possession of their dwelling-house let on the tenancy, on or after the coming to an end of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy which was for a fixed term.
Section 21, Sub Section 1 (a) applies specifically when the Assured Shorthold Tenancy has come to an end and no further assured tenancy is in existence, other than an assured shorthold periodic tenancy.
Section 21, Sub Section 1 (b) stipulates that the landlord gives to the tenant not less than two months’ notice in writing stating that he requires possession of the dwelling-house.
The Section 21 1 b – Fixed Term Notice applies to a fixed term Assured Shorthold Tenancy where notice for possession is served during the fixed term. Notice under this condition can be served on a tenant at any time during the fixed term of the tenancy but not before the fixed term begins, as long as the tenant is given a minimum of 2 months notice. This is applicable, even if the 2 months notice ends after the Assured Shorthold Tenancy has expired.
For example, if the Section 21 Notice is served on the final day of the Tenancy Agreement, the tenant will not have to hand over possession of the property until 2 months after the date that the notice was served or until the date written on the notice, if it is more than 2 months away. It should be remembered that where the tenant is in the original 6 months of the tenancy, then the Section 21 Notice may not expire before the end of that 6 months.
Section 21, Sub Section 2 simply states that a notice may be given before or on the day on which the tenancy comes to an end.
Section 21, Sub Section 4 (a) covers the repossession of a dwelling-house let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy which is now a periodic tenancy. By virtue of this section, the Section 21 4 a Notice, is the notice served during a periodic tenancy (i.e. after the fixed term has ended) and the date of expiry must be “the last day of a period of the tenancy”. This means the day on which the notice expires must be the final day of a period of the tenancy.
The period of a tenancy depends on how often the rent is paid. Thus, if the rent is paid monthly, then the period of the tenancy is one month. In order to find out what day is the last day of the period in an individual tenancy, landlords will need to refer to the original fixed term tenancy. The periodic tenancy begins immediately after the fixed term expires.
Next Article – Serving A Section 21 Notice
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