A Noticeable Change

The Court of Appeal has recently decided that provided a periodic Assured Shorthold Tenancy commenced as a fixed term, a Landlord is only required to give two months’ notice under section 21(1) of the Housing Act 1988 and need not worry about the rigours of using the correct word and the correct date under section 21(4).

“Whilst to obtain a possession order for residential property a landlord must follow the requirements as set out in section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, those requirements, which have been strictly followed by District Judges, now appear to have been relaxed by the Court of Appeal following the case of Spencer v Taylor” so says Liam O’Shea, a Director at Astle Paterson.

Liam continues that “Landlords have encountered District Judge’s across England & Wales deciding that their Notice seeking possession of the property as served under section 21 is invalid.   Landlords will no doubt be comforted by the decision of Spencer v Taylor which appears to confirm that provided a periodic AST commenced as a fixed term, the only requirement is to give a ‘simple’ two months’ notice under section 21(1) – rather than the more complex notice of a notice under section 21(4).

A few words of caution; first it is not known whether the tenant in the case will seek to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal and, secondly, it is currently unclear how readily District Judges will follow the guidance laid down by Spencer v Taylor.

It is therefore important that before you serve notices on your tenant you seek legal advice.”

Liam O’Shea of Astle Paterson specialises in the law of Landlord & Tenant and carries out work on behalf of Landlords throughout Burton upon Trent and the surrounding areas – please contact him on 01283 531366 or by email at

Should you wish to read the Judgment of Spencer v Taylor [2013] EWCA Civ 1600 then please click here.

Back to News

More News from Liam

Landlord deposit scheme advice – How to avoid getting caught out!

Table of Contents Landlord deposit scheme rulesSebastiampillai v ParrExpert legal advice for LandlordsWant more Landlord advice? It has long been ...

Read More
Section 21 eviction – potentially major Gas Safety Certificate appeal incoming

Table of Contents Section 21 eviction under the current rulesThe pivotal case of Trecarrell House Limited v RouncefieldExpert legal advice ...

Read More
Tenant Fees Act 2019 – What are the changes?

To help landlords understand the implications of the Tenant Fees Act 2019, we’ve summarised the key changes that it brings, ...

Read More
Section 21 changes – The end of no-fault evictions?

Many landlords are in need of sound legal advice following the recently proposed section 21 changes; read our brief and ...

Read More
How to serve a valid section 21 notice on your tenant

Table of Contents What is a Section 21 Notice?When can I serve a Section 21 notice to Quit?Ensure the tenants ...

Read More
Video: Landlord & tenant law, your commonly asked legal questions answered

Watch our video on landlord & tenant law. Our leading expert on landlord services is here to give advice on ...

Read More
Connect with Astle Paterson


Book an Appointment
Book an appointment
Burton on Trent Uttoxeter
Astle Paterson Accreditations

Business & Commercial   •   Conveyancing   •   Family   •   Litigation   •   Wills, Inheritance Tax & Probate   •   Employment