This entry is part 2 of 12 in the series Possible defences - section 21 notices
For any tenancy granted on or after 1 October 2015 (or for all tenancies on or after 1 October 2018) this article only applies to Wales. For tenancies granted on or after 1 October 2015 in England, there is a prescribed form that must be used for a section 21 notice. Please see this article for full details.

Believe it or not, there has been a couple of cases that have reached the court of appeal deciding whether when drafting a section 21(4)(a) notice (the 2 months notice served during a periodic tenancy) the words “on”, “at” or “after” should be used when referring to the expiry date.

The word “after”

Section 21(4)(a) Housing Act 1988 reads:

(4) Without prejudice to any such right as is referred to in subsection (1) above, a court shall make an order for possession of a dwelling-house let on an assured shorthold tenancy which is a periodic tenancy if the court is satisfied—

(a) that the landlord or, in the case of joint landlords, at least one of them has given to the tenant a notice in writing stating that, after a date specified in the notice, being the last day of a period of the tenancy and not earlier than two months after the date the notice was given, possession of the dwelling-house is required by virtue of this section;

Clearly the statue requires the word “after”. This was confirmed in Fernandez v McDonald [2003] EWCA Civ 1219.

“.. the statute requires the notice to specify a date which is the last date of the period. The statute does not require the landlord to specify a date on which he requires possession. This is not a notice to quit. The landlord will not get possession without the tenants consent unless he goes to court. That is why the statute requires the landlord to state that possession is required after a date specified in the notice, being the last day of a period of the tenancy. This is not a case where the legislation permits a form to be substantially to the same effect…” [Hale LJ at paras 22 & 23]

The word “at”

Does the word “at” mean the same as “after”? This was the situation that had to be decided in ... Please login or signup to continue reading this content

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