When a landlord wishes to evict a tenant from his property, he can do so by serving a notice under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. However, the landlord may be prevented from serving a section 21 notice if he hasn’t correctly secured the tenant’s deposit in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme (as discussed in our earlier blog here) or provided the tenant with specific prescribed information.
The latter is the issue that arose in the recent case of Gardner v McCusker. The Claimant let a property for a 6 months fixed term to the Defendant, who paid a £600 initial deposit. The Claimant secured the deposit and provided the Defendant with the relevant prescribed information under section 213 of the Housing Act 2004.
In 2010 the fixed term tenancy expired, leading to a statutory periodic tenancy. The landlord then served a section 21 notice in March 2013 requiring the tenants to vacate the property, however the tenant argued that the notice was not valid as the landlord had not provided the tenant with the relevant prescribed information upon the commencement of the new statutory periodic tenancy.
The landlord, meanwhile, claimed that the fixed term tenancy had rolled over into the statutory periodic tenancy, therefore the prescribed information would also ‘roll over’ and there would be no need for it to be provided again.
The court held that the statutory periodic tenancy was technically a new tenancy and therefore the landlord had a duty to provide the tenant with the prescribed information again. This rendered the section 21 notice invalid, and the court ordered the landlord to pay the tenant damages of twice the amount of deposit paid. This case supports the seminal decision of Superstrike Ltd v Rodrigues and means that a landlord will not be able to serve a section 21 notice if he has not provided the tenant with the relevant prescribed information within 30 days of the expiry of the fixed term.
When attempting to serve a section 21 notice it is always sensible to take the advice of a solicitor. Our team of lawyers here at Aston Bond are experienced in dealing with section 21 notices. Come down to our offices at Windsor Crown House, Slough, SL1 2DX today for some advice or alternatively give us a call on 01753 486 777.
Aston Bond are holding a Landlord and Tenant seminar in late September, if you wish to attend please send your details to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in contact.
Amarjit Atwal, Paralegal