Rental notice periods - what does '2 months' mean?

(8 Posts)
zoomaroundtheloom Wed 27-May-15 13:52:47

We are tenants on a month-to-month rolling tenancy. In Scotland, if that's relevant. So our tenancy goes from the 10th of one month to the 10th of the next. Contract says that either party has to give the other a minimum of 2 months to end the tenancy. Question: Is this 2 months from a tenancy date (so the 10th of whatever month), or just 2 months from whenever notice is received?

Background: Our landlord recently decided to sell the property. Annoying, but OK - we were planning to move this summer anyway because of a new job. She wanted us to stay in it until it was sold, though. OK, fine, we allowed photos and viewings and showed people round, etc. We did ask if she would agree to guarantee us staying until August, but she wasn't willing to do that. She did say that she'd ask buyers if they would be okay with an August date but the final decision would be up to them.

Once we got past the 10th of May without getting notice, we breathed a sigh of relief and put in our own notice to end the tenancy on the 9th of August. Landlord received it but didn't comment.

Landlord has now accepted an offer, from buyers who want to move in in July (not sure what date). She's asked that they move this to August to accommodate our 'wish to stay' until then, but it seems very clear from what she's said that she sees this as doing us a favour - and if they say no, she will expect us to be out in July.

She hasn't given us formal notice at any point, or given us a set date to move out even informally. (We think she might believe she has given us 'notice' by telling us she'd be selling at some point.)

We don't want to leave on bad terms with the landlord, let alone muck up her sale - but on the other hand, we are not willing to move out before the end of our notice period unless we have to!

avocadogreen Wed 27-May-15 13:56:24

Check your contract but as far as I'm aware it is 2 months from the date you pay rent, i.e for you, the 10th of the month. So, the earliestt she could give you notice is the 10th June, to leave by 10th August.

zoomaroundtheloom Wed 27-May-15 14:05:45

Yes, that was my impression too - that's definitely the way it's worked for everywhere I've rented before. But our contract isn't 100% clear on this, it just says "no less than 2 months written notice".

Landlord has proved herself a bit clueless on tenancy law before, which doesn't help with things!

specialsubject Wed 27-May-15 14:09:52

it does indeed matter that it is Scotland which is why I can't be of much help - in England your notice to her would be 1 month regardless of the contract.

but notice is in writing, not 'I'm selling up.

suggest you contact Shelter who I think operate in Scotland.

zoomaroundtheloom Wed 27-May-15 14:32:13

OK - spoke to an adviser at Shelter. We are correct, the notice period is 2 months starting from the 10th, so earliest landlord can ask us to leave by is the 10th of August.

Now, to draft a tactful email to the landlord explaining that...

wowfudge Wed 27-May-15 19:13:38

Either the landlord's solicitor has not advised her what to do or has been ignored.

alasdairhandc Thu 28-May-15 11:59:18

Above comments are correct - you don't have to go anywhere until 10th of August as you have security of tenure until that date.

Furthermore in the absence of the correct form of serving notice your Landlord is playing with fire...!

Landlords are only human as are we all and are not infallible so sometimes they get it a bit wrong. Humility and grace will go a long way when pointing out the errors. Best of luck.

lottiegarbanzo Thu 28-May-15 13:04:03

Yes good luck, stay calm. She's trying to have her cake and eat it really, having rent paid until the moment of sale but not guaranteeing acceptable notice. Most landlords would have accepted a few months with an empty house during the sale process as inevitable - risky as sales can fall through or become prolonged but, their risk. You've been extremely accommodating with viewings etc I'd try an appeal to her better nature and normal reciprocity for good deeds and kindness.

She'll be scared of losing the sale of course and probably feels helpless, especially if she's inexperienced in these things. She needs to take responsibility and be a bit assertive with her solicitor.

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