It has come to our attention that some landlord and tenant advisors are suggesting to agents and landlords that tenancies which convert to ASTs on 1 October 2010 will not be able to be terminated under s21 of the Housing Act 1988 until 6 months after that date, ie not before 1 April 2011.
This is simply not correct and is based on a misunderstanding of the wording of section 21.
S21(5) states that a possession order cannot be made until “six months after the beginning of the tenancy”. The error is assuming that tenancies which convert to ASTs on 1 October start from that date. Tenancies which have converted on 1 October are not new tenancies starting from that date. They are new tenancies from their original date of inception which have simply fallen under the statutory control of the Housing Act 1988 from 1 October. Therefore the 6 months for the purpose of s21(5) starts from the original start date of the tenancy and not from 1 October.