Here is a question to the blog clinic from Steve who is a landlord.
A section 21 notice was served on my tenants to coincide with the end of the tennacy but they didn’t move out on the day requested. Their rent is mostly paid my the Local Authority and the tenants would not be rehoused if they voluntarily left.
A possession order (required before LA would take acton) has not yet been sought as my managing agents could not be sure I would be able to reclaim costs and the tenants were actively looking for somewhere else to live.
They have done so but only given 4 days notice which means there is a high probability of a period with the property empty. The legal advice they have been given is that they are not required to give any notice due to the section 21. Is this correct?
Is there any cost recovery / penalty clause for the tenants not moving when they were required?
Landlords do not really have any power to force tenants to leave at a time of their choosing. The only time a tenant can be forced to leave is by a court bailiff after a court order for possession has been obtained.
So the question is, can landlords claim rent in lieu of notice?
If they move out shortly before the end of the fixed term the answer is “no”. However if they move out when they are a periodic tenancy, the strict answer is “yes”. They need to give (assuming they pay rent monthly) a minimum of one months notice, ending at the end of a period of the tenancy.
So if their fixed term ended on 5th June, their periodic tenancy will run from the 6th day in the month to the 5th. So they will need to give notice ending on the next 5th day in the month after one month.
I don’t think that the fact that the landlord has served a section 21 notice will change this. A s21 notice does not end the tenancy. It is just a notice which entitles the landlord to claim an order for possession at court.