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  • Legal FAQs

    Contractual periodic tenancy notice period

    I have a tenant who just up and left after the initial term, giving virtually no notice. She left no forwarding address, but answered my email advising she has no intention of paying .

    In the AST there is no termination clause. However, there is the following;

    EXPIRY date; to and including:

    19th November 2018, thereafter contractual periodic tenancy with 2 months’

    You will note the word “notice” was accidentally missed from the end of this clause, which maybe makes it ambiguous, but I believe the sentiment remains the same.

    Therefore, I would argue the tenancy became a contractual periodic tenancy with 2 months’ notice.

    Along with cleaning and minor repairs I plan to make a court application but I'm concerned how this clause might be interpreted to a judge.

    I would appreciate any insight into this?

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    If it was a fixed term AST and no continuation was negotiated then even though it could periodic the tenant can leave without notice (because the fixed term has ended)

    I doubt you'd get anywhere arguing the t has breached the contract. Put it down to experience and contact t 2 months in advance in future.

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    Had she left at the end of the fixed period, you would be correct. 

    As she left after the fixed term had ended it automatically rolls into a periodical under common law, notice must be at least one complete period of the tenancy. There is no question of it not being a periodical.

    Therefore if my clause is void she only needs to give one months notice, if my clause is valid she must give 2 months notice. But in this instance I accidentally missed the word "notice" so how might a judge look upon this, might he also consider 2 months too long anyway?


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    You cannot require a tenant to give two months notice in a periodic tenancy. Especially as the clause is not well written I doubt that a court would give you much joy on this one

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    David Smith
    Landlord & Tenant Solicitor
    Anthony Gold Solicitors

    Find me on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/dsnsmith

    All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of my firm. No comment made should be taken as legal advice and you should consult a solicitor or other legal professional for advice on your specific situation.

    David

    Thanks for your comment, I respect your opinion.

    Going forward, my default is 2 months notice on all my AST's, even if well written, do you think it will never be enforceable?

    Thanks,

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    David, this is interesting. I'm a LA, our AST's are for an initial 6 month fixed term and then become a contractual periodic tenancy with both parties able to give two months notice at any time thereafter. I was assured when I started using this TA (purchased from Training For Professionals)  approx 5 + years ago that this had stood up in court and have not experienced any issues with it. We always issue our TA before the tenants actually sign up so they have time to read/question it and we reiterate it on signing day.

    One of our LL's recently questioned the validity and so I rang the ARLA Propertymark helpline to clarify. They said if it's in the contract and both parties have signed it, it stands.

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    Consumer Marketing Authority Unfair Terms prevent s a clause that exceeds legal liabilities.   Landlords ( or Agents writing 2 months Notice required in AST's is a classic and Not uncommon example.  But as David Smith pointed out, its not enforcemable

    1 months ( if that is the rental period ) of Notice is the legal requirement which you can hold the Tenant to.  I suggest you persue damages and that rent  via MCOL.


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    Thank you Chris, Can you point me to the actual legal reference for this 1 month's notice, please? I will then go back to ARLA Propertymark''s solicitors (Dutton Gregory) and tell them the advice they gave me is incorrect.

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    A Practical Approach to Landlord and Tenant Law, by Simon Garner & Alexandra Frith Eigth Edition    page 152.

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    David, would you be kind enough to indicate the legal reference for this 1 month's notice maximum - I need to tell ARLA Propertymark the advice their solicitor gave me is incorrect? Thank you.

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    """David, would you be kind enough to indicate the legal reference for this 1 month's notice maximum - I need to tell ARLA Propertymark the advice their solicitor gave me is incorrect? Thank you.""""

    See the experts here.. (it's not maximum period, it's the minimum period that matters: 28 days expiring end/start of tenancy period (not rent day): Maximum could I guess be several years - ?? -)

    https://england.shelter.org.uk/legal/secu...it_tenants

    """  Notice period

    A NTQ must be in writing and the notice period must be at least:

        four weeks or
        if longer, equivalent to the period of the tenancy or licence (except for yearly periodic tenancies where the notice period is six months).

    A tenancy agreement may require the tenant to give a longer period of notice.

    An NTQ once served cannot be withdrawn. etc etc etc etc

      """"

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