Two Common Mistakes by Landlords

Liam Hastings of Hastings & Co Solicitors based in Chelmsford, Essex looks at 2 common mistakes made by landlords.

Mistake No 1 – defective Section 21 notices. A novice landlord quickly learns that he or she can regain possession of his or property by serving a “Section 21” notice on the tenant and they also learn that a Section 21 notice must give the tenant a minimum two months’ notice. However, it is often missed that the notice must expire “on the last day of a rent period” ie on a specific day of the month. Therefore, the landlord must give a minimum two months’ notice which ends on the last day of a rent period. If the wrong date is put on the notice it will make the notice defective.

The notice must also be in a prescribed form giving the tenant certain information. A letter from the landlord will almost certainly not comply.

Mistake No 2 – failing to protect the tenant’s deposit. Since April 2008 landlords have been required to protect tenant’s deposits in one of the recognised tenancy deposit schemes. They must also serve a notice on the tenant giving the tenant certain information about the deposit. There are 2 potential consequences for failing to protect the deposit. Firstly, the tenant can claim compensation from the landlord up to three times the value of the deposit. Secondly, the landlord is not able to serve a Section 21 notice on the tenant.

Hastings & Co Solicitors specialise in Landlord & Tenant law. Please telephone Liam Hastings on 01245 835 305 for further advice or assistance.

Disclaimer: this blog is intended to give a brief overview of the law and does not substitute for independent legal advice.

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