Getting Rid Of 'Last Day Of Period' From Section 21

On 1 October 2015, section 35 of the Deregulation Act 2015 began. 

Where section 21 is served concerning a tenancy in England and that tenancy was granted on or after 1 October 2015 (see later), the section 21 notice will, in most cases, need to be a straight two months notice (plus an additional recommended four days for service). 

Section 21(4)(a) is the type of section 21 notice served when the tenancy is periodic. The relatively recent case Spencer v Taylor means that where the tenancy went statutory periodic after a fixed term had ended, there was no need to make the expiry of the notice ‘the last day of a period of the tenancy’. 

However, that case only applied to a statutory periodic tenancy. It didn’t apply to a contractual periodic tenancy after a fixed term (like the Guild tenancy agreements) nor to a periodic tenancy from the outset, for example, a verbal tenancy. 

This new section 35 changes this and essentially makes the Spencer rule apply in all cases. 

Section 21 Housing Act 1988 will have a new sub-section 4ZA added which reads-

“(4ZA) In the case of a dwelling-house in England, subsection (4)(a) above has effect with the omission of the requirement for the date specified in the notice to be the last day of a period of the tenancy.”

As a result, section 21(4)(a) notices will not need to expire on any particular date when served in connection with a tenancy granted on or after 1 October 2015 (see later). All section 21(1)(b) notices (which are served during the fixed term) have no requirement to expire on any particular date. 

This makes serving a section 21 notice much easier. 

There is also to be a prescribed form which is discussed in another article. It is worthy of note that section 21(4)(b) will remain, which provides -

that the date specified in the notice under paragraph (a) above is not earlier than the earliest day on which, apart from section 5(1) above, the tenancy could be brought to an end by a notice to quit given by the landlord on the same date as the notice under paragraph (a) above.

This has the effect that where the rent is quarterly (for example), the notice will have to be at least three months to expiry, rounded up to at least the day before the next rent is due. A six-monthly rental would require at least six months’ notice (rounded up to the next day before the rent is due). 

This is quite an unusual situation because for the first time we can think of in some time, the position of the landlord is better than the tenants! 

A tenant’s notice must continue to be at least a month (on monthly rent) and expire either the day before the rent is due or on the day the rent is due. Any other date will render the notice invalid (unless the landlord chooses to accept the invalid notice, which they can).

Effective Dates

Subject to the next paragraph, none of the rules discussed in this article apply to an assured shorthold tenancy granted before 1 October 2015 nor to any statutory periodic tenancy arising on or after 1 October 2015 where the original tenancy was granted before 1 October 2015.

From 1 October 2018, the rules discussed in this article will apply to ALL assured shorthold tenancies in England including any that were granted before 1 October 2015 (or went statutory periodic).

View Related Handbook Page

Landlord Wants Tenant to Leave

Learn the correct procedures for ending a rental agreement and ensuring compliance with housing laws.