McDonald and Another v Fernandez and Another: CA 19 Jul 2003

The landlord served a notice to terminate a shorthold tenancy saying that he required possession on a certain day. The tenancy had been a periodic tenancy, and the date was not the last day of a period of the tenancy.
Held: The Act was specific. What was being served was not a notice to quit but a notice specifying the last day of the tenancy, rather than the day on which possession was required. The Act differentiates between notices after a fixed term tenancy ends which can end on any day, and notices for a periodic tenancy which must expire on the last day of a period of the tenancy. The Act did not allow a notice which was only substantially to the same effect to be compliant. It was not difficult for the landlords to comply: they knew when the period ended. The consequences of non-compliance were not serious for the landlords; a defective notice could be cured later, and the landlord was not saddled with a secure tenant. The notice failed to achieve this and was invalid.
Hale LJ said: ‘But if the question is, what does the statute require, the answer is that the statute requires the notice to specify a date which is the last day of the period. The statute does not require the landlord to specify a day on which he requires possession. This is not a notice to quit. The landlord will not get possession without the tenant’s consent unless he goes to court. That is why the statute requires the landlord to state that possession is required ‘after a date specified in the notice, being the last day of a period of a tenancy’.’
Lord Justice Potter and Lady Justice Hale
[2003] EWCA Civ 1219, Times 09-Oct-2003, [2004] 1 WLR 1027
Housing Act 1988 21(4)
England and Wales
AppliedMannai Investment Co Ltd v Eagle Star Assurance HL 21-May-1997
Minor Irregularity in Break Notice Not Fatal
Leases contained clauses allowing the tenant to break the lease by serving not less than six months notice to expire on the third anniversary of the commencement date of the term of the lease. The tenant gave notice to determine the leases on 12th . .
DistinguishedRavenseft Properties Ltd v Hall; White v Chubb; similar CA 19-Dec-2001
Parties appealed decisions as whether assured shorthold tenancy notices were valid despite errors.
Held: If, notwithstanding errors or omissions, the substance of the notice was sufficiently clear to the reasonable person reading it, then the . .
CitedLower Street Properties Ltd v Jones CA 1986
The tenant complained both that her tenancy was a periodic assured tenancy acquired on succession, and that the termination notice given to her was invalid. LSP had granted an assured shorthold tenancy to C, and J was her statutory successor. The . .

Cited by:
CitedNotting Hill Housing Trust v Roomus CA 29-Mar-2006
The landlord had served a notice to quit on his tenant. The notice specified that possession would be required ‘at the end of your period of your tenancy’ It was objected that the notice was ineffective.
Held: The notice must be interpreted to . .
CitedAndrews and Another v Cunningham CA 23-Jul-2007
The elderly appellant claimed a non-shorthold assured tenancy. He had moved in in 1999, but had been given a rent book which described the tenancy as an assured tenancy. The now deceased landlord had himself occupied another flat in the building. . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 06 March 2021; Ref: scu.185549