If the landlord, or landlord's agents serve a section 21 notice on the tenant, which forces the tenant to leave the property, the tenant must be repaid any rent paid for the rental period that they were not at the property. The formula used is R x D/P where:
- R is the rent paid
- D is the number of days for which the tenant was not in occupation of the property
- P is the number of whole days that rent was paid
Facts: Mr A has an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) for 12 months, with rent being paid monthly (eg £1,000) in advance on the 1st of the month for that month (ie the rental period is for the whole month). The tenancy includes a break clause of 6 months. Mr A's landlord served a section 21 notice, with the expiry date falling in the middle of the month (eg 15th of the month). Mr A complies with the section 21 notice and vacates the property on the 15th. Mr A is entitled to a refund of the portion of the rent that was paid for the whole month because he paid a month's rent, but was evicted partway through the rental period.
Answer: Using the above formula with January as an example month, the calculation would be £1000 x (16/31) = £516.13. This means that the landlord would need to refund Mr A a total of £516.13 of the rent paid for the month as Mr A was evicted and left midway through the month.
Facts: Mrs B has an AST for six months, with no break clause. The section 21 notice cannot be served until after four months into the tenancy from the original start date. If the tenancy started on the 1 January, notice cannot be served any earlier than 1 May. If notice is served on 2 May, and the tenant refuses to leave, possession proceedings cannot commence until 2 months later, being 2 July. If the landlord went to court and got a possession order for the 21 July, then the tenant would have to leave on that date by order of the court. If the tenant pays rent in advance for the whole rental period for July, they would need to be refunded a portion of the prepaid rent.
Answer: Using the above formula with rent being £1,500, the month is July and the date the tenant left being 21 July, the calculation would be £1,500 x (10/31) = £483.87. As Mrs B wasn't in occupation of the property for 10 days of the month, they will need to be refunded a portion of the rent they paid.