Assured Shorthold Tenancy : Notice Requiring Possession : Fixed Term Tenancy - [LT20B] - (2 pages)
This Housing Act Notice requiring possession at the end of two months can only be used for ASTs created prior to 1st October 2015, and is to be used when the notice is served by the landlord on the tenant before or on the day when the fixed period stated in the tenancy agreement comes to an end.
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1. Prior to 1st October 2015, when the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2015, came into force, under the Housing Act 1988, as amended by the Housing Act 1996, if a landlord wanted the tenant, who had been granted an assured shorthold tenancy (AST), to leave at the end of the period stated in the tenancy agreement, the landlord was required to serve a notice under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 on his tenant. Section 21 was divided into sub-sections with different rules applying to a notice served during the fixed term of a tenancy (HA21) and notice for possession that was served during a statutory periodic tenancy (HA21A).
2. From the 1st October 2015, the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 prescribed a new form HA21*(SR) to use under sections 21(1) and 21(4) of the Housing Act 1988, for use only in England when seeking "no fault" possession of property let under an AST. Although HA21*(SR) replaces HA21 for fixed terms ASTs (under section 21(1)(b)) and HA21A for periodic tenancies (under section 21(4)(a)), practitioners should note that there is no obligation to use the HA21*(SR) for ASTs created prior to this date, although it may still be used for all ASTs.
3. Form HA21*(SR) must be served before possession action can be started. In the case of joint landlords the notice can be given by any one of them. Notice cannot be served if the tenant has lived in the property for less than 4 months, and assuming that the tenant has not broken any of the terms of the AST from the 1st October 2015 a tenant is entitled to at least of two months' notice. However, if the tenancy started on a periodic basis without any fixed term a longer notice period may be required depending on how often the rent is paid, i.e. if you pay rent quarterly at least 3 months' notice is required, or if the rent is paid half yearly or annually then at least 6 months' notice is required. Extra days should be added if the notice is to be sent by post as the notice period starts when the tenant receives the notice.
4. For ASTs created prior to 1st October, there is no obligation to use this form, however it may nevertheless be used for all ASTs.
5. For Fixed Term Tenancies prior to 1st October 2015: Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 requires that the landlord provides tenants of an AST with a minimum of two months' notice in writing that he/she wants possession of the property.
6. If you serve the notice before the end of the fixed term (including the last day of the fixed term) the notice must give a notice period of at least two months. So for example, if the fixed term starts on 15th January for a fixed term of six months (fixed term ends on 15th July), and you serve the notice on 8th June, the tenant will be entitled to remain in the property until the 8th August.
7. The notice should be dated in accordance with the provisions above. Also, a notice should not be dated to expire on or before the last day of the tenancy as this would be invalid. For example, where the tenancy was due to expire on 31st December, then the section 21 notice could be served on or before 31st October, and the notice dated to expire 'after 31st December.'
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