Since 1 October 2021, notice periods for section 8 notices, section 21 notices and notices to quit have reverted to those set prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. For Section 21 notices, the minimum notice period is 2 months. For Section 8 notices, this can range from 0 days – 2 months, depending on the ground for possession relied on. In the case of notices to quit for non-excluded occupiers, the usual minimum notice period is 4 weeks.
Rules of service
In addition to notice periods, care must be taken to ensure compliance with the rules of service.
In the first instance, the tenancy or licence agreement should be reviewed. This may include a clause which sets out the prescribed method for serving notices, which may or may not vary the usual rules of service. In lieu of this, the rules of service as set out in the Civil Procedure Rules Part 6 are likely to apply. These set out the various methods of service and when they are deemed served (received by) the receiving party.
In the case of notices served by first class post, these are deemed served the second working day after sending. For example, a notice sent by first class post on a Tuesday will be deemed served on the Thursday. Provided of course, neither the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday are Public or bank holidays.
As to how this affects notices, care must be taken to ensure the notice period in a section 8 notice, section 21 notice, or general notice to quit takes account of both the minimum notice period, plus the time it takes for a notice to be deemed served.
In the case of a section 21 notice, if you wanted to serve notice on a tenant to terminate their tenancy on 25 July 2022, the latest date for service by first class post would be 23 May 2022. That way, you would allow 2 months clear notice, plus 2 working days for the notice to be deemed served. If the notice were served by first class post just 1 day later, it would likely be held invalid, as the notice would be deemed served on 26 May 2022 and provide 2 months less 1 days notice.
Final thoughts and how Hanne & Co can help.
In summary, if you are a landlord who needs to terminate an assured shorthold tenancy, or common law tenancy or licence, care must be taken to ensure any notice provides the minimum notice required by statute and also accounts for the rules of service.
Hanne & Co’s Property team have extensive experience in landlords. Should you require advice on any of the matters raised above, or for any other enquiries please do get in touch and we will be happy to assist.
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