Friday, 30 April 2010

Common Law Requirements Vs Housing Act Requirements

One of the Landlord insurance providers that works with sent the following message out at the end of April.

It has recently come to light that landlords may be having problems evicting tenants who pay rental in advance.

It is essential under statute (Housing Act 1988 section 5 and 21) and common law that should your tenant/s pay rental in advance as per the referencing decision, failure to secure a guarantor, or tenancy agreement, that they are given notice to quit applicable to the period paid in advance.

I.e. If your tenant/s has/have paid 6 months rent in advance as stated in the tenancy agreement, they require 6 months notice to vacate. This can be served at the beginning of the six month tenancy to expire on the last day of the term of the six month tenancy.

Should the tenants CHOOSE to pay 6 months’ rent in advance and it is not a requirement of the referencing undertaken, insurance policy or tenancy agreement (i.e a clause of the agreement), the standard notice to vacate would suffice.

Ultimately if the rental is paid weekly/monthly then the usual notice period applies. If the rent is paid in advance for 6 months every 6 months then that is the "period of the tenancy" and as such the notice period would be the last day of the period of the tenancy i.e. 6 months; due to the effect of Section 21 (4). The same applies for 12 months in advance etc.

It is essential that independent legal advice is sought should you have any queries regarding this.

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