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I am renting a house in the UK.

  • My contract is for a year, started in December last year and will expire in December 2015.
  • In the tenancy agreement says Landlord can cancel the contract with 2 months notice period and I can with one month.
  • I have paid every month with no problem. Last payment was this morning.

I had an argument with my Landlord 1 week ago because he doesn't want to fix some defects in the house. To be more accurate he says he wants to do it but is delaying it. (First time we reported the problems was in March and still not fixed.)

After the argument I have decided to move to another place of course. I am looking for houses now. But several days later she came home and gave me this letter in hand.

My questions are:

  1. Does it mean that she wants to use her right to cancel the contract after 2 months? It looks like that to me but I am not 100% sure.
  2. What does it mean "after 16/11/2015"? After can mean anything... even end of contract in December.
  3. Is this a legal document or just something she made up?
  4. What happens if I want to leave the house later because I don't find alternative?

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  • It is a legal document, but I don't see an issue with it if you have already moved on. – Terry Sep 15 '15 at 8:16
  • I didn't moved on yet. I am planning to move it. In fact I am looking for houses now. I made it clear in the question. – nonone Sep 15 '15 at 8:23
  • What is the wording of the lease itself regarding the 2-month cancellation option? I'm unclear as to whether that applies during the 12-month period or after (e.g. if the lease automatically renews on a bimonthly basis after the 12-month period) – Pat W. Sep 15 '15 at 13:08
  • It is a legal document, only problem you may have now is finding another home within that time frame. Even though you decided to leave anyway but it was on your own time. Now you're on her time. This really sucks. – LOSTinNEWYORK Sep 15 '15 at 20:04
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Inferring from the question, it appears that:

  • The tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.
  • The tenancy agreement started on 16 December 2014.
  • The initial fixed term was for 12 months.

(Please comment below if any of this is incorrect).

A Section 21 order gives notice that, unless the tenant leaves by the date given in the document, the landlord will begin legal proceedings against the tenant, in order to obtain a court order forcing the tenant to leave.

To answer the OP's questions:

  1. Does it mean that she wants to use her right to cancel the contract after 2 months? It looks like that to me but I am not 100% sure.

Yes - but if this is before the end of the fixed term (which I'm assuming is 15 December) there must be a clause in the tenancy agreement (normally called a "break clause") allowing the fixed term to be terminated early.

If there is no break clause, then you cannot be asked to leave before the end of the fixed term.

  1. What does it mean "after 16/11/2015"? After can mean anything... even end of contract in December.

Yes. The landlord would like you to leave before the date shown - but if you don't, the landlord can begin legal proceedings any time after that.

  1. Is this a legal document or just something she made up?

It is a legal document. Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 allows a landlord to ask a tenant to leave without having to give a reason.

The landlord must meet certain conditions in order for the notice to be valid.

  1. What happens if I want to leave the house later because I don't find alternative?

You'll need to discuss that with the landlord.

However, if you don't leave by the end of the fixed term, you are entitled to stay (and pay rent!) until a court (not the landlord) orders your eviction.

EDIT: This website goes into a lot more detail about the whole Section 21 procedure.

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I read this a little differently. She wants you out by the 16th, but she is saying that if you can't you must be out before 12/1. Assuming you moved in on first, you will get to the end of that rental term after 11/16...so when the term ends after the 2 months. So if she gave you it on the 11th, she'd like you out either by the 16th of November or shortly thereafter at the day before rent is due...11/30/2015...if you pay on the first. That's what the alternative date is (at least two months after service before end of fixed term). She would probably negotiate with you if you need another month (IDK how bad the fight was) unless living conditions are uncomfortable. But yes, she has exercised her 2 month notice and I bet you there's a local law that says you can't force out a tenant mid-term when it's hard to begin a new rental.

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    On that last point: not as such; however, my understanding is that it can take a few weeks to get court, and the judge has discretion as to when the court order takes effect, so is able to take any hardships into account. – Steve Melnikoff Sep 21 '15 at 22:19
  • What do you mean, not as such>? Yes, a judge can give you more time, however, what you've got is just a notice to quit...it's not a legal eviction. You could stay and make her evict you (or tell her you need more time and if she will not allow it than tell her that is your intent) and just keep paying her or if she won't accept the money than put it aside, because you will need to pay it and show she wouldn't take it so you put it aside. – gracey209 Sep 21 '15 at 22:29
  • Sorry; I was referring specifically to the "local law" about evicting when there's hardship. In other words, I'm not aware of any statute about that, but the judge's discretion takes its place in this instance. – Steve Melnikoff Sep 21 '15 at 22:41
  • Oh, right. The judge always has discretion in eviction matter. So, if you can't leave and she won't agree, you just stay and put the money in a separate account earmarked for rent. Tell her she can evict you or continue to take rent until she secures an eviction. Then, if she get's to court before you're gone, you just tell the court you've been unable to secure housing and you have the rent put aside, she just wouldn't accept it. The judge would probably want monthly status reports but would ultimately give a reasonable time to secure a place ( can't have a house built), but a few months ok. – gracey209 Sep 21 '15 at 23:14
  • I've have more to say on this, so I've continued this discussion over in the chat room. – Steve Melnikoff Sep 22 '15 at 8:51

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