Letting lock-up garage: rent and remedies

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    Letting lock-up garage: rent and remedies

    I was intrigued to read in another post about existing agreements standing despite a change of landlord. Would the same be true of a lock up garage?
    I have rented the same lockup garage for the past 32 years. The landlord has recently sold the block of 10 garages at auction and I have just received paperwork from the new landlord stating that the rental is now subject to 17.5% VAT which bring the rent up to £15.00 per week. Also included was a form of Tenancy Agreement, both copies of which I have been asked to sign and return. In this agreement, I must apparently agree to " a deposit of £150.00 is required which is only refundable subject to all other clauses being met and upon our inspection," etc., etc. I could perhaps understand this being demanded of a new tenant, but would a "sitting tenant" be obliged to pay this? There has not been a formal tenancy agreement before, although I did once have a rent book. The managing agents have changed several times over the years and the rent is now paid by standing order. I assume that I should quickly enumerate the shortcomings of the "property" in case I am deemed responsible and lose my deposit (that's if I pay it!). Many thanks for any advice.

    #2
    1. Your tenancy agreement is common-law contractual, not protected by any of the various Acts.
    2. It continues to operate, as periodic tenancy, unless and until either party brings it to an end- presumably complying with termination procedures in it.
    3. Do not sign anything yet, do not pay deposit, do not pay VAT [unlesss new L waives exemption, at least], but do continue paying exactly what amount you have been paying.
    4. Take detailed legal advice to protect your position.
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

    Comment


      #3
      Lock-up garage: Notice to Quit

      Hi folks,

      I've just joined and this is my first post on here. I've put in it this thread, since the other on Residential Letting didn't seem appropriate.

      We need to give notice to someone who is renting a lock-up garage from us. They've stopped paying the rent.

      Irrespective of the process of trying to get the rent from them (though advice on that would be nice) I just want to know how much notice I have to give and in what form. I'm sure it wouldn't be the 2 months as for an AST.

      All advice will be gratefully received.

      Thanks.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by kalico View Post
        Hi folks,

        I've just joined and this is my first post on here. I've put in it this thread, since the other on Residential Letting didn't seem appropriate.

        We need to give notice to someone who is renting a lock-up garage from us. They've stopped paying the rent.

        Irrespective of the process of trying to get the rent from them (though advice on that would be nice) I just want to know how much notice I have to give and in what form. I'm sure it wouldn't be the 2 months as for an AST.

        All advice will be gratefully received.

        Thanks.
        What sort of lease/tenancy/licence does garage tenant currently have? Is it in writing?
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
          What sort of lease/tenancy/licence does garage tenant currently have? Is it in writing?
          I'm afraid I don't know. This is for a friend of mine who got the garage when they took a lease on a shop. They let someone take the garage and I can bet my last penny that he didn't bother to get anything in writing.

          Foolish I know, but in the same way that a tenancy automatically is an AST if nothing given in writing, then I had hoped there may be something similar with a non-residential let.

          Cheers

          Comment


            #6
            We cannot tell how to terminate something until we know what it is, I regret. Your friend received rent, so is there nothing at all in writing- not even correspondence? Anyway, it's certainly not an AST (because not a dwellinghouse used as main residence) and there are no statutory rules. In the absence of any evidence at all, one could guess that it's covered by Common Law contractual rules; these hinge on frequency of rent payments. Does friend hold a lease for shop + garage?
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks for this Jeffrey.

              There is nothing at all in writing, but I do know that they received rent monthly, so I guess they should give a months notice.

              I have found some info on the net suggesting that if it was occupied under licence rather than lease, then there is little or no notice required. But in the absence of paperwork, I would guess it could be considered a lease and therefore the frequency of payments would determine I suppose.

              Thanks for your advice.

              Comment


                #8
                I would send a letter by recorded delivery:
                • Enclose a statement of rent paid and arrears.
                • Inform them that they have 14 days to pay the arrears.
                • Give them one month's notice of the end of the agreement and remind that they will not be permitted access to the garage after such date.
                • Remind them that you intend to collect all unpaid rent by any legal means available.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Letting lock-up garages: what form of Agreement?

                  Hi, i am new to this forum and are hoping you may be able to help me,i have just bought 2 lock-up garages and intend to rent them out, I have 2 people that want to rent them but need an appropriate rental agreement, any advice would be apprieciated thank you Paul

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Arrears on lock-up garage; what are landlord's rights?

                    Hi everyone,

                    This is my first post here, and my apologies for it being rather long.

                    I have a lock up garage which is rented out, but the tenant is very far behind on his rent - a year's worth of arrears have been built up.

                    In the first six months of the garage tenancy the rent was paid every month, although payment would often be late by a week or two. However, the rent then stopped and it has been unpaid now for a year.

                    Contacting the tenant has been hard - the only successful way has been by e-mail. Whilst any correspindence was ignored for a period, I did get a couple of replies from the tenant, apologising for the delay in responding and that he would very much want to keep the garage. He promised to pay the outstanding amounts if I would provide my bank details (despite many requests from me, the tenant never did set up a standing order). The tenant would afterwards simply not pay.

                    As a last resort, I sent a letter saying that if rent arrears were not cleared by a certain date then I would consider terminating the agreement or seeking legal advice. I received a response from the tenant saying he had lost his job a few months back and would pay the entire rent arrears the following month (over £1,000) when he got paid from his new job which he'd been at for a few weeks. He insisted he wanted to keep renting the garage. I insisted on a post-dated cheque so that I could at least hold onto it until he was paid. The tenant agreed, but I never did receive the cheque or hear anything again.

                    The rent arrears have now built up to £1,300. I really would like to just evict the tenant, but I don't want to just wave goodbye to the rent arrears if there is any chance I could get the unpaid rent back. I have a basic tenancy agreement, which does not state any notice period or conditions. It only really details the monthly rent, the due date every month and the deposit amount (which was 2-months rent). I don't think AST applies.

                    I would be very glad to hear from anyone that could help and/or has had similar problems themselves. I am desperate, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

                    Many thanks in adavance!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I do not think AST applies to letting of garages!

                      If the tenancy is on a monthly basis, then you will need to give a month's notice to get possession. Send the termination notice to vacate the garage by recorded post.

                      Insofar as the rent arrears are concerned, demand this and make it clear that if payment is not made within a certain period then you will refer the matter to the Small Claims Court and recover your costs.Remind him that this may lead to him having a County Court Judgement, in the case of non-payment following the Court ruling. This will make it very difficult for him to get finance in the future.

                      Better still, why not check his credit histort first? He may already have CCJ's in which case, is it worth pursing him? That is a value judgement you will have to make.

                      Good luck.
                      Kikuyu

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by kikuyu View Post
                        I do not think AST applies to letting of garages!

                        If the tenancy is on a monthly basis, then you will need to give a month's notice to get possession. Send the termination notice to vacate the garage by recorded post.

                        Insofar as the rent arrears are concerned, demand this and make it clear that if payment is not made within a certain period then you will refer the matter to the Small Claims Court and recover your costs.Remind him that this may lead to him having a County Court Judgement, in the case of non-payment following the Court ruling. This will make it very difficult for him to get finance in the future.

                        Better still, why not check his credit histort first? He may already have CCJ's in which case, is it worth pursing him? That is a value judgement you will have to make.
                        Yes, all true. T has no statutory protection at all- the postion is governed only by:
                        a any Tenancy Agreement; and
                        b. common-law contract rules.
                        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Many thanks for your replies, Kikuyu and Jeffrey. They are very useful and very much appreciated.

                          I have some subsequent questions, if I may?

                          1) Should I demand the rent arrears as you suggested prior to issuing a termination notice or should this be covered in the same letter? I ask because I am concerned that if I terminate the contract with the tenant, would this invalidate my right to pursing the rent arrears (i.e. could I still pursue it through the courts after the tenancy has ended?)

                          2) Is there a standard legal notice that I should send? I have seen on other posts about Section 8s, etc, but I'm not sure if these would apply to non-AST contracts.

                          Quite frankly I feel like I'm being taken for a ride (I'm pretty sure of it actually). I have threatened to terminate the contract and/or seek legal advice before if he didn't pay the rent due. But he's not taken it seriously at all and probably thinks he can get away with it all. I am therefore wondering whether employing a solicitor to serve notice and demand the rent arrears as suggested would be a better tactic than doing it myself, as this is likely to scare him into thinking I am very serious and prompt him into paying.

                          Kikuyu, I take your point about doing a credit search before doing this to check if there are any CCJs outstanding on him already. I think this is sensible and I will do this.

                          Thank you again for taking the time to respond!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            As a garage tenancy is outside the Housing Act 1988, the AST procedures/Notices do not apply. If you want to serve a Notice, use a common-law Notice To Quit. You can lodge a Court claim for forfeiture and rent arrears combined (also including your legal/Court costs).
                            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              what is in the garage? - you can serve notice to say that at the end of a certain period you will sell to cover rent arrears (providing you have access)
                              Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                              Comment

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