A friend of NL (who will remain nameless unless he wants to out himself in the comments) has asked if we would post a question about statutory periodic assured tenancies, in order to try and generate a bit of debate (and, perhaps, even work out the answer to this question). We’re always keen to help, so, here is the question. Comments very gratefully received, although, as ever, you get extra marks for showing your working:
Imagine, if you will, that you have an assured tenancy for a year from 19th January. The agreement provides for a monthly rent payable in advance on the 1st of every month. Upon the expiry of the fixed term, a statutory periodic tenancy arises under s.5, Housing Act 1998.
In that situation, are the monthly periods of the tenancy from the 19th to the 18th or from the 1st to the last?
Why does this matter?
It matters in at least two contexts.
One, obviously, is with regard to the requirement of section 21 (4), Housing Act 1988 that a notice requiring possession served after the end of a fixed term tenancy must require possession after a day which is the last day of one of the periods of the tenancy (although, in practice, one imagines that a notice with a “saving clause” (Lower Street Properties v Jones) would avoid this problem).
The other is in the context of a notice of rent increase under section 13, 1988 Act which is required to propose a new rent with effect from the start of a period of the tenancy starting not less than a minimum period in the future.
This latter situation is more important, since uncertainty in the period could be used to attack (and potentially invalidate) the s.13 notice and lead to an argument that rent has been demanded (and paid) which was not due.
I’ve not provided the reasoning of our correspondent, because I don’t want to influence anyone. I’m sure he’ll join in with comments though.