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Section 21 Notices: How do I calculate the 2 month period when a fixed term tenancy becomes a periodic tenancy?

19/12/2014

When a fixed term tenancy expires and a tenant remains in occupation pursuant to a statutory periodic tenancy (i.e. week to week, month to month or quarter to quarter etc) the tenancy can be brought to an end by the landlord serving at least 2 months’ written notice.

Almost a year on from Spencer v Taylor and many landlords are still finding that their claims for possession are being dismissed on the basis that they did not calculate the 2 month notice period correctly.

How the 2 month period is calculated, depends on the type of notice served. In practical terms, a notice under section 21(1) does not have to expire on a particular date, whereas a notice under section 21(4) must expire on the last day of a tenancy period specifying that possession is required after that day.

It should be remembered that the Court confirmed in Spencer v Taylor that a landlord can serve a notice under section 21(1) where a fixed term tenancy has expired and the tenant has remained in occupation under a statutory periodic tenancy. This means that it is no longer necessary to comply with the additional requirements of section 21(4) in these circumstances. So your notice does not need to expire on a particular date, provided the requisite 2 months are given.

A section 21(4) notice should still be used where a tenancy was periodic from the start, or where the tenancy provides for an initial fixed term, then a periodic tenancy thereafter (a contractual periodic tenancy).
For more information please contact Amrit Samra on 01789 206933 or email.

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