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Ending a Tenancy (England) | England | Tenant Moves Out (England)

Tenant leaves property without notice

8 Sep 2020 | 1 comment

I served a tenant on periodic rental, notice to leave the property, this notice expires on the 11th of October 2020.

The tenant emailed me last night saying they had left and keys through letterbox etc. My question is that even though I served notice, is there a statutory requirement for them to give notice to leave? Or do they still need to give the notice contained within their AST, or any other notice?

Thanks in advance.



1 Comment

  1. guildy

    As yet, this question hasn’t been formally answered by the courts.

    On the one hand, a section 21 notice doesn’t end the tenancy and only allows a landlord to then go to court so it could be that the requirement to give notice by the tenant continues.

    However, we believe that would be a very difficult persuasion given we’ve asked a tenant to leave and they have!

    Imagine the court hearing:

    Judge: why are you here today? How can I help?
    Me: I gave the tenant a notice to leave and they left.
    Judge: ??

    Our view is that it could be the situation that once a landlord serves a notice the landlord has also impliedly agreed to accept a surrender without notice from the tenant.

    This seems to be also confirmed by the rent apportionment rules which says if a tenant leaves “as a result of a section 21 notice” and have paid some rent in advance for a period after they have left, the landlord has to return any overpaid rent apportioned daily. Although that legislation doesn’t specifically say a tenant must or must not give notice, it does provide for a procedure where a tenant leaves as a result of the notice.

    Beyond that, we will have to wait for a court to decide.

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