Here is a question to the blog clinic from Natasha (not her real name) who is a letting agent. She has questions about the section 21 notice expiry date:
We write tenancies for a fixed term of one year with a break at six months, which means we can serve the S21 at the end of the first four months of the tenancy to gain possession at the end of six months if the Landlord instructs us to do so.
All fine and dandy because the new S21 allows you to serve notice once the first four months are finished.
BUT I have always been told to allow two working days for service of the notice, SO, if I serve the notice two working days before the end of the first four months of the tenancy, stating that possession is required at the end of six months, will the notice be invalid because I actually served it before the end of the first four months???
Should we be serving the notice on the first day of month 5 and quote the possession date as two months and two working days after that date? If so, what happens about the extra two/three days rent??
You are quite right, as the new rules prohibit serving the section 21 notice during the first four months of the tenancy, it is not possible any more to give notice which will end on the last day of a six months fixed term – unless it is a renewal.
There is nothing anyone can do about this, it is the way things are now.
Do not serve your notice during the fourth month as this will make it invalid.
However the fact that the notice cannot end on the last day of the fixed term does not mean that the tenants cannot vacate on that day. If they stay on, this will trigger a periodic tenancy:
- If you have served a section 21 notice, then if they leave mid way through the month as a result of this, they will only be liable for a proportionate part of the rent and if they have paid rent in advance, will be entitled to a refund (Deregulation Act 2015 s40)
- If you have not served a section 21 notice then the tenant will (assuming the periodic tenancy is a monthly one) need to give one month’s notice, to end at the end of a period of the tenancy. If notice is not given, then you are entitled to rent in lieu of notice.
So if you are happy for the tenant to remain, you are better off not serving a section 21 notice.