You will be aware it was always thought the landlord should use the S21 Notice under 21(4)(a) once the fixed term had expired. The notice had to expire at the end of a rent period. The case Spencer V Taylor 2013 decided that a landlord could use a section 21 notice under S21 (1)(b) (which only requires a 2 months’ notice period and does not need to expire on any particular day) , at any time, not just within the fixed period, as long as the AST had a fixed period to begin with.
On the 24th July 2014 permission to appeal in the Supreme Court was refused because of the lack of an arguable point of law. Therefore the Court of Appeal decision stands:
“Where an assured Shorthold tenancy has had a fixed term and a statutory periodic tenancy has arisen, there is no requirement to use a section 21 (4)(a) notice, or have a date of expiry at the end of a period of the tenancy. A section 21 (1)(b) notice with two clear months’ notice is adequate.”
Therefore, if a tenancy has at some stage had a fixed term then a notice which complies with s21(1)(b) will be an acceptable means of termination either being served during a fixed or periodic part of the tenancy. A notice under s21(4)(a) is only for tenancies that were periodic from the outset and have always been so. Therefore for most tenancies the s21(4)(a) notice is now irrelevant as almost all of them have at some stage have included a fixed term.
However, “Where a tenancy was periodic from the start, or where the tenancy provides for an initial fixed term, then a periodic tenancy thereafter (a contractual periodic) a s.21(4)(a) notice will still be required.”