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I arrived in the UK 2 weeks ago. I received a text from my landlord giving me 1 month to leave my studio due to building renovations. I moved in just two weeks ago so he obviously knew it. This is an ATS fixed term, 3 months with no break clause.

When we signed the contract, we also signed a notice requiring possession with end date the end date of the contract (in 3 months). I did not care since I will leave the UK in any case after my three months.

But can he really ask me to leave in a month?

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The landlord is probably in breach of the contract (obviously I haven't read every word of it), and the usual remedy if there was a lawsuit would be the moving costs and increased rent you were obligated to pay as a result of the breach, plus attorneys' fees and costs (if any).

You might want to try to negotiate some concession from the landlord in the shadow of your legal rights, knowing that you don't have the staying power to actually litigate the issue which means you would probably have to take some concession from your rights for settlement purposes.

It would probably not be prudent to try to stay in light of the imminent construction, even if you have a legal right to do so. The conflict that would engender, the time consumed by litigation, and the reduced quality of your living experience wouldn't justify it.

At a minimum, no penalty should be charged and you should be released from any obligation under this lease.

Also, by all means, once you are out, disclose the bad treatment you received in social media.

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    Assuming this is an assured shorthold tenancy, neither the landlord's original notice, nor the text message, are likely to be valid, so I'd suggest that the tenant is not obliged to do anything. Though, as you say, staying in a property while building work is going on is not ideal, the landlord is required to either minimise the disruption, or provide alternative accommodation. However, given what he's done so far, one can speculate that he's either ignorant of the law, or trying to take advantage of a tenant who'll be gone in 3 months anyway. – Steve Melnikoff Nov 7 '17 at 9:26
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Just to clarify, by "ATS", do you mean AST = assured shorthold tenancy?

Assuming so: no, the landlord can't ask you to leave on one month's notice, for three reasons:

  1. Any request to leave must be on the official form. A text doesn't count.

  2. Regarding the earlier notice: assuming the notice you acknowledged* was a section 21, it requires the landlord to give you at least 2 months' notice.

  3. But regardless, a section 21 notice cannot take effect in the first 6 months of an AST, even if the fixed term is shorter than this.

There are a number of requirements that the landlord must meet in order for a section 21 notice to be valid. It sounds like he's already broken at least 2 of them. (See also here.)

(* Tenants aren't required to sign section 21 notices, so your signature can only indicate that you received it, nothing more.)

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