Are you a landlord with a problem tenant that has breached their contract?
If so, then this article will give you a full rundown of your rights to issue a section 146 notice. We’ll cover what the S146 notice is, how best to deliver it to your tenant, and what your options are should they not comply.
Property law can be difficult to navigate when you’re not guided using sound legal advice. We hope that this article will help you should you find yourself in a situation where an S146 notice is required.
What is a Section 146 Notice?
This is a notice that comes from section 146 of the property law act 1925. If a tenant breaches the conditions of their tenancy contract then the landlord has the right to issue them an S146 notice. This is also known as a notice of forfeiture against a leaseholder.
It is the tenant’s responsibility to address this notice or they run the risk of their lease being terminated early. The notice must specify the breach and also if the breach can be amended by the tenant. Compensation can be stipulated at any time by the landlord for the breach of contract.
When Can a Section 146 Notice Be Served?
If any conditions of the tenancy agreement are breached, then that’s when an S146 notice can be issued. The only condition excluded from this is non-payment of rent, unless the amount owed is over £350 and/or includes rent that has been unpaid for 3 years.
In the agreement there must be conditions set out that cannot be broken by the tenant. This is also referred to as the covenant. The contract must state also that the landlord has the right to forfeiture should the covenant (contract) be breached.
Some examples of when the covenant has been breached include:
- Property damage
- Alterations to property (not approved by landlord)
- Noise complaints
- Sub-letting parts of the property without the consent of the landlord
How Much Time a Tenant Has When Issued With a Section 146 Notice
As a landlord, you must give tenants a reasonable time to remedy any breaches they have made in their covenant. This is usually a matter of weeks but this totally depends on a case-by-case basis.
Some breaches will require longer than others, such as damages and repairs to the property. If the landlord has requested compensation then note that some tenants may need more time than others to gather the appropriate funds.
If a landlord is unsure of how much time to give a tenant then they will usually consult a solicitor.
How to Serve a Section 146 Notice
There are different ways landlords can serve their tenants a section 146 notice. They can either do this themselves or allow their solicitor to serve it on their behalf.
When a section 146 notice has been served, it is vital that there is proof of delivery so that any discrepancies can be avoided.
Here’s more information on the different ways S146 notices can be served:
- Deliver it yourself – landlords can deliver the notice in an envelope to the tenant if they wish to do so. Just ensure you address the envelope to your tenant appropriately. The notice is then served on the day the tenant receives the envelope from the landlord.
- Leave it at the address – the landlord may serve the notice in an addressed envelope and post it through their tenant’s letterbox. Service of notice will commence 3 days after posting the notice.
- Email – if the landlord prefers to send the notice via email then that is also possible. Notice will commence on the day the email is sent, as long as it is sent before 4.30 pm. If it is sent after this time then the notice will start the day after.
- Solicitors can send it – landlords may feel uncomfortable sending an S146 notice to their tenants for a number of reasons. In this case, they can confer the details with an appropriate solicitor who can then send it on their behalf.
When the notice has been successfully served the landlord needs to ensure that the tenant is fully aware of the breach and understands what they must do next.
What to Do if a Tenant Does Not Comply With An S146 Notice
It’s very important first and foremost that the tenant has indeed received their section 146 notice. If they have confirmed they received it then the landlord can forfeit the tenancy due to the breaches not being remedied.
For the landlord to terminate the tenancy, the landlord must proceed by going through the county court. There is no alternative route. In this instance, the tenant may apply for relief from the order.
If the tenant does not agree with the notice served to them then they have the right to dispute it which usually involves serving a counter-notice. When this happens the tenant stalls the forfeiture of the initial contract as they have issued a legal challenge. It is then up to the courts as to what the next course of action is.
Brown Turner Ross: Your Choice of Tenant Eviction Solicitor
We hope that you found this article informative and useful, and that you now understand the details of the section 146 notice.
If you’re a landlord and any of this information resonates with you then please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of friendly and professional legal experts would be happy to assist you.