Is my Section 21 notice valid?

I originally let my property to 1 tenant, let’s call them tenant X, last Summer for 6 months on an AST basis.

3 months into the tenancy I found out tenant X was actually living in the property with his wife, Tenant Y. I was confused at this discovery as i would have let the property to them both subsequent to satisfactory checks. Tenant X had lied to me about wanting to rent the property on his own and moved his wife in almost immediately as i found out from the neighbors they thought a couple lived there from the beginning.

Tenant X lost his job and decided not to pay rent and soured the relationship (as i was aware he had the funds to pay rent but chose not to anyway). We managed to somewhat reconcile the situation as he paid up the rental arrears and we signed a new 6 month AST, this time i included his wife on the contract as well and he paid 6 months in advance (with the clause stating it is advance payment of rent and to continue as a monthly periodic thereafter).

I decided to issue him and his wife a Section 21 notice the day after the new contract was signed, as a proactive measure to allow me to start court proceedings should i need to after the 6 month period. This section 21 notice was for 6 months and a few extra days as i was nervous about the timings.

My question is a technical one; is my section 21 notice valid given i have added Tenant X’s Wife to the contract as well now? I understand that you cannot issue a section 21 notice within the first 4 months of a new AST, but i am hoping this counts as a continued contract, given it’s the same tenant, and his wife has been living there since the beginning in secret anyway.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for any guidance.

No, it’s a new tenancy, not a replacement tenancy, so the earliest you can serve notice is day 1 of month 5. Did you make clear in the agreement that the advance rent is 6x1 monthly payments and the period of the tenancy is monthly? Did you also serve them both with all the prescribed documents? If not you may have problems.

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Thank you for taking the time to respond David122, i really appreciate it.

I thought that may be the case…it appears i have been schooled by the tenant in this circumstance (whether they intended it or not!).

Yes i did specify via a custom clause in the contract, that the 6 monthly rent installments were to be paid upfront, that this was separate to the deposit and that the contract would continue as a monthly periodic tenancy after the fixed term ended.

I did serve them both with the prescribed documents and all the other documents necessary to serve a section 21, i just missed the mark on this technicality it seems.

I think the best course of action for me is to wait until 1st October when the notice periods resume to pre-pandemic levels and issue a section 21 notice as this will now be valid since the 6 month tenancy which we signed has now come to an end (if i were to have issued it on day 1 of the 5th month i would have been swept up in the extended notice period legislation hence why i wanted to serve it at the beginning of what i mistakenly thought was a replacement tenancy).

All in all, I think its safe to say the Covid-19 measures have made things a little more difficult in my situation and many other landlords i would imagine.

Yes, I agree that’s probably best.

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