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Notice from Tenant

  • Tenant Notice - Where a tenant provides a notice to leave a property, a landlord may be tempted to rely on this notice,  thereby obviating the requirement to provide a counter notice e.g. a section 21 or section 8 notice to quit s.21 NTQ.
  • Landlords and agents should always provide their own additional notices, irrespective of a tenants apparent intentions.
  • It is fairly common for tenants to change their minds perhaps following a change in circumstances and a tenant's need to remain.
  • Landlords may be happy to retain their tenants, however, imagine the situation whereby a landlord in reliance on the tenant's unenforceable notice, agrees a new tenancy, back to back with the current tenancy.
  • In the absence of serving a s.21 notice, the current tenant is likely legally entitled to remain under a periodic tenancy - leaving the landlord to explain to the disappointed, even devastated, new tenants that they cannot move in as expected!
  • If this was unforeseeable the landlord might escape being sued, however, failure to provide a counternotice accepting the departing tenant's notice makes this scenario outcome reasonably foreseeable and thus actionable in court for negligence.  The disappointed tenants could successfully claim damages against the negligent landlord.
  • If however, this tenant has already been issued with a section 21 notice the landlord might reasonably rely on the tenants departing on the due date in accordance with the AST termination date and supporting notice-to-quit documentation.
  • Should the tenant nevertheless remain the landlord could not evict (unenforceable) without a court order for possession (which could take time potentially leaving the new tenants homeless).  The disappointed tenants in this case could not rely on negligence to support aclaim for damages.  Same situation, but subtle difference in outcome!  Here the departing tenant is responsible for remaining, not their innocent landlord, who acted diligently to secure possession.

See also

  • negligence: reasonably foreseeable outcome; but for; consequences; negligence; damages: Rylands v Fletcher
  • Put on Notice - made aware of the situation
  • Act of another
Published: 29 November 2021 Last Updated: 29 November 2021