Section 186 – Landlord’s notice in connection with end of term
428.A landlord may, before or on the last day of the fixed term, give notice that the contract-holder must give up possession on a date specified in the notice. The specified date must not in any event be less than six months after the occupation date of that contract (or, where that contract is a substitute occupation contract (see subsection (4)), the occupation date of the original contract (again, see subsection (4)). Additionally, the specified date must not be before the last day of the fixed term, and must not be less than two months after the date on which the notice is given. This section also provides for a landlord to make a possession claim on the ground of having served the notice in connection with the end of the fixed term. Under section 215, if the court is satisfied the requirements of the ground are met it must make a possession order, subject to any available defence based on the contract-holder’s human rights.
429.Therefore, regardless of the length of the fixed term period, a landlord may not make a possession claim until six months after the date on which the contract-holder became entitled to occupy the dwelling under the contract. A landlord is able to make a possession claim the day after the fixed term ends (unless the fixed term purports to be for less than six months), provided the required notice was given to the contract-holder at least two months previously.
430.Section 20 provides that this section must be incorporated without modification as a term in all fixed term standard contracts. However, subsections (2) and (4) are not incorporated into a contract which does not incorporate subsection (1) as a term (so that the landlord cannot give notice in connection with the end of the term), or is of a type listed in Schedule 9.