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Suppose Alice lets a room to Bob, under a written contract that is incorrectly labelled as a lodger's agreement, however, Alice does not live in the property, thus automatically rendering Bob an assured shorthold tenant.

The initial fixed term was a month, after which it rolled into a statutory periodic AST.

2 weeks ago, Bob sent Alice a rather informal notice to quit by WhatsApp. He is now having difficulty finding alternative accommodation, and has asked Alice for permission to stay longer, which she has denied. Is Bob bound by his original informally served NTQ, or was it legally ineffective?

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  • Can you clarify if you're talking about s.21 and not s.8, please
    – user35069
    Commented Jun 16, 2022 at 16:31
  • Sorry if this wasn't clear, but I was actually talking about neither, as s21 and s8 are both notices served by a LL to a tenant. In this case I am referring to notice to quit by a tenant presently intending to vacate in a month's time. Commented Jun 16, 2022 at 16:51
  • Bob is the tenant, Alice the landlord. Commented Jun 16, 2022 at 16:51
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    Okay, the reference to NTQ confused me but I've got it now!
    – user35069
    Commented Jun 16, 2022 at 17:13
  • Glad to hear. And yeah, Valid methods of Service of s21 & s8s has been thoroughly covered in a previous question. In short eg s21 must be on a form 6a and cannot be as informal as a candidly worded message. Whether the proper form can be served electronically or not depends on whether tenant has consented in writing to receive notices electronically. Commented Jun 16, 2022 at 17:17

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I've been unable to find a definitive answer on this. However, the consensus where this has been debated elsewhere on the web seems to be:

  • If the tenancy agreement states how notices should be served (e.g. in writing or via e-mail, to specified addresses), then you should use those methods.
  • In theory, if you send a notice via WhatsApp, and the landlord replies in a manner which clearly and unambiguously indicates that they have accepted your notice as valid, then it is valid.
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