Tenacity required to avoid tenancy disputes

15th December 2013

It is the time of year when money is stretched, and tenants may be tempted to overlook rent and put it to the bottom of the list of priorities.

Dispute resolution solicitor Martin de Ridder, a partner with Ansons LLP, regularly advises landlords that “putting up with persistent late payment from tenants is not only frustrating but does not make financial sense. At what point should you decide that the best course of action is to terminate their tenancy and find more reliable tenants?”

Determining whether the tenancy can be terminated and understanding which notice to serve can be complicated. Martin de Ridder says that it is always wise to seek independent legal advice from an experienced landlord and tenant lawyer before taking action or you may find yourself in the middle of a costly dispute.

Your solicitor will carefully consider your specific circumstances, go over the paperwork and advise whether you have entered into an assured shorthold tenancy agreement . This type of tenancy can be terminated after the fixed term has expired providing that 2 months’ notice has been given to the tenant. This is known as a section 21 notice. It has to be in a prescribed form and it must be served within a certain time to be valid.

If the tenant has remained in occupation of the property after the fixed term has expired, the tenancy will have become a statutory periodic tenancy. This can be terminated by giving 2 months’ notice before or on the day on which the tenancy comes to an end. The start and end date of a statutory periodic tenancy is determined by ascertaining when rent is paid.

There can be much uncertainty about when the periodic tenancy arises, so prudent landlords often put alternatives in the notice for determining the date of termination.

This is a complex area of law and landlords should exercise caution and seek legal advice on the rules surrounding giving notice to tenants. Tenants who have been served with notice should also take legal advice as they may be able to prevent their landlord from evicting them if the proper procedure has not been followed.

Ansons Solicitors dispute resolution team specialises in landlord and tenant disputes and can assist both landlords and tenants in protecting their property rights.

For further information, please contact Martin de Ridder at Ansons Solicitors LLP, on 01543 466 660 or email Offices in Cannock and Lichfield, Staffordshire.