We are often asked whether or not the service and expiry of a Section 21 Notice affects the tenant’s liability to pay rent.
The answer to this is that where a Section 21 Notice has been served, the Landlord should continue to demand and accept rent from the Tenant.
It may be worthwhile for the Landlord to remind the Tenant that although a Section 21 Notice has been served rent should continue to be paid.
If the Tenant does not vacate on the date specified in the Notice, or the subsequent possession order made by the Court, the tenancy will come to an end when the Order for possession is executed (which means when bailiffs attend the property to perform the eviction) and possession is delivered up. Until that date, the Tenant continues to be liable to pay rent.
Any confusion around this point probably derives from a confusion between the act of serving a Section 21 Notice and any attempt to “forfeit” the tenancy agreement. A Landlord is entitled to forfeit a Lease in specific circumstances where the Tenant has breached the terms of the Lease. A Section 21 Notice is different. In serving a Section 21 Notice the Landlord is exercising his statutory right to end the tenancy. The Landlord is not attempting to forfeit the Lease. In cases of forfeiture the acceptance of rent after a breach of the Lease may be deemed to waive that breach and prevent the Landlord from forfeiting. No such concerns exist in Section 21 cases where the Tenant continues to be liable to pay rent up until possession of the property is obtained.
The other side of the same coin is that the Landlord’s obligations to the Tenant continue after the service of a Section 21 Notice. We know therefore that all of the Landlord’s covenants must continue to be observed, including the obligation to repair the property, up until possession of the property is delivered up.
For more information and advice please contact Will Oakes on 01206 239764.