Supreme Court upholds Court of Appeal Section 21 Judgment

In a previous article "Taylor Made Remedy to Landlord Headaches", we discussed the Court of Appeal's decision in the case of Spencer v Taylor, highlighting that the Court of Appeal had unanimously decided that when serving a Section 21 Notice during a periodic tenancy which has followed a fixed period, a landlord need only give a tenant not less than 2 months' notice in writing that he requires possession of the property.  This was significant as it had previously been understood that when serving a Section 21 Notice in such circumstances. a landlord was required to give not less than 2 months' notice in writing, that notice expiring on the end of a period of the periodic tenancy. 

Whilst the decision in Spencer v Taylor simplified matters significantly and was welcomed by landlords, some commentators queried whether it would continue to be "good law" or whether it would be subject to challenge.  These concerns were put to rest last week, when the Supreme Court refused the tenant permission to appeal, meaning that the decision of the Court of Appeal stands. 

Consequently, where a landlord has let a property under an initial fixed term, when serving a section 21 notice a landlord need simply ensure that it gives the tenant 2 months' notice in writing that the landlord requires possession of the property. Landlords must remember however, that when a section 21 notice is being served by post, at least 2 days should be allowed for the notice to arrive when calculating the date by which that the landlord requires possession.

The Rollits' Property Dispute Resolution Team, headed by Partner, Ralph Gilbert, has a wealth of experience in Section 21 Notices and assisting residential landlords in not only resolving problems that may arise from their legal disputes and obligations but also in providing proactive advice to minimise the risk of any issues arising in the first place.  If you have any contentious property related queries, please contact Ralph Gilbert, Partner and Head of the Property Dispute Resolution Group on 01482 323239 or at

Posted on: 28/07/2014

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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