What is the correct form of notice to use in order to terminate a contractual residential tenancy (not an assured or assured shorthold tenancy). Does the coronavirus (COVID-19) legislation (delaying possession claims) apply to contractual tenancies?

What is the correct form of notice to use in order to terminate a contractual residential tenancy (not an assured or assured shorthold tenancy). Does the coronavirus (COVID-19) legislation (delaying possession claims) apply to contractual tenancies?

A contractual residential tenancy of a property in England which falls outside of the Housing Act 1988 (ie an assured or assured shorthold tenancy) or the Rent Acts is likely to be a common law tenancy. The tenant’s rights and obligations under the tenancy will depend upon the terms agreed by the parties.

Where the contractual term of a common law tenancy has expired, the tenant’s right to possession ceases and the landlord is entitled to possession. No notice to quit is required in these circumstances. In the case of a periodic common law tenancy (whether a tenancy which was periodic from its commencement or following the expiry of the fixed term), the landlord must serve a notice to quit giving notice which is equal to a period of the tenancy (but not less than four weeks’ notice) and contain the information required by section 5 of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

If a common law tenant fails to vacate at the expiry of the fixed term or following the expiry of the notice period in any notice to quit, the landlord must obtain a possession order from the court. Such proceedings for possession should be brought under CPR 55. The previous stay on possession proceedings ended on 20 September 2020 and since then, a modified possession procedure under CPR 55 has been put in place until 28 March 2021. For further guidance on the modified procedure, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—implications for property (in particular the section entitled 'Possession claims').

Note that there is a 'truce' on enforcement of residential evictions in England and Wales until 11 January 2021 (subject to any extensions).

For further guidance, see:

• Practice Notes:

◦ A summary of types of private residential tenancies

◦ CPR 55 procedure in relation to residential common law tenancies

• Q&A: Is it correct that the Coronavirus Act 2020 does not affect the notice period required for a common law tenancy eviction and therefore the minimum period required is still four weeks?

• Commentary: 85 Notice to quit—tenancy agreement of residential property subject to the Protection from Eviction Act 1977—tenant or agent to landlord: Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents

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