For most landlords, the only tenancy they will ever need is an assured shorthold tenancy. This is the standard, and it is rare to find yourself in a situation where you would have a different type of tenancy.
So most landlords become familiar with notices under section 21 or section 8 but rarely need to use anything else.
This week’s call was not about an assured shorthold tenancy, however the landlord didn’t know this at first.
Initially the landlord called us up to check the dates on his section 21 notice as he was not sure whether the tenancy was part of the new rules. As it happened, he rang us at the outset of the tenancy and the information he provided made us direct him towards a different kind of tenancy.
Where a landlord lives in the property, but doesn’t share living space, it cannot be a lodger’s agreement, but it’s also not an assured shorthold tenancy.
Instead it would be a non-assured tenancy. As a tenancy that is not part of the Housing Act 1988, this type of tenancy cannot seek possession under section 21 or section 8 of the Act but is covered by protection from eviction (meaning you have to get possession through the court if they stay past a notice).
Instead, landlords are required to serve a notice to quit instead to terminate the tenancy.
This landlord lived on the top floor of a building that had been converted into flats. The tenants lived in the flat directly below and had generally been a little too fond of late night parties for the landlord’s liking.
Having put up with it for six months, the landlord was keen to serve a notice under section 21 to bring the tenancy to an end as early as possible.
When he rang though, we made it clear to him that he needed to serve a notice to quit instead, providing the specific wording and the dates he’d need to bring the tenancy to an end.
Unlike the section 8 notice, or the new section 21 notice, a notice to quit does not come in a prescribed form, so landlords may write their own.
However, it is essential that they contain the prescribed wording to be valid. We have a standard form available on request though so we emailed a copy of it over to the landlord.
We explained that unlike a section 21 notice, a notice to quit is usually only four weeks or a month long (but can be longer if you take rent quarterly for example).
It also has to expire on the day before the rent is due, just like a tenant’s notice.
As the tenant paid monthly on the 14th of every month, we told the landlord the notice should be served by hand with a witness to the property before the 12th July to expire on the 13th August.
Happy to discover he had a shorter notice, the landlord thanked us and went off to serve his notice.
Rupinder Aujla, LAT manager, said: “We’re always happy to provide assistance to our members, even on tenancies that are outside the norm.
“If you’re ever in any doubt as to what type of tenancy you have please call LAT and we’ll be happy to set you on the right path.”