It has never been the intention of the legislature to deprive the landlord of his immediate right to enjoy vacant possession of the premises on 1 January 2000. In fact, by then the landlord has already suffered "delayed delivery" of the premises for 28 months, which is the duration of the transitional period from 1 September 1997 until 31 December 1999.
To insist upon the landlord giving another three months’ notice to the tenant after 31 December 1999 is at variance with the very purpose of providing for a transitional period ending on 31 December 1999.
It would mean that, the transitional period will in fact be enlarged to 31 months, instead of the 28 months specifically provided by the Control of Rent (Repeal) Act 1997. The transitional period is extended automatically by a further period of at least three months.
It is just unfortunate that the Control of Rent (Repeal) Act 1997 fails to stipulate precisely the appropriate time for the landlord to serve the three months’ notice to quit on the tenant.
Had the Bill been presented to the Bar Council for advice of the legal practitioners, who are well versed in the practical aspect of the legislation, the Bar Council believes such an uncertainty could have been averted.
This is one of the grey areas in the Control of Rent (Repeal) Act 1997. In the event of any dispute in this respect, it may well have to be resolved by judicial process. In any event, it is only fair and reasonable that the landlord be allowed to give the tenant the three months’ notice to quit some time "before" the expiry of the transitional period so as to give effect to the intent of s. 11(1) of the Control of Rent (Repeal) Act 1997 (relating to the landlord’s right to vacant possession upon the expiry of the transitional period).
To interpret otherwise would deprive the landlord of such immediate right to vacant possession conferred upon him by the statute.
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