Evict 1 tenant from HMO who hasn't signed new lease?

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    Evict 1 tenant from HMO who hasn't signed new lease?

    Hi there,

    I've just been given a Section 21 eviction notice by my landlord which I believe is unfair / invalid. However, my situation is complicated and I'm unsure of where I stand/ my rights:

    - From Oct 2017 - Sept 2018, the property was rented to a group of 8 tenants on a 12 month joint AST.

    - One tenant moved out in Dec 2017 and I moved in, signing a Deed of Assignment to take over his part of the joint tenancy.

    - in August 2018, we gave notice as a house to end the tenancy agreement.

    - The rooms of the house were then advertised on a room by room basis on SpareRoom by the Landlord, and were filled on a room by room basis.

    - at the last minute, my new accommodation fell through. I therefore asked the landlord if I could continue to rent my current room.

    - the landlord informed me that my room had already been filled by a new tenant, but I could rent one of the other rooms which were still available.

    - I agreed to rent one of the available rooms at the advertised price. However no time periods were discussed.

    - on the last day of the original tenancy agreement, I, with the other old tenants all moved out of our rooms. I then moved in to my new room and the new tenants moved in.

    - the new tenants signed a new joint AST, however I refused as I believed some of the clauses were unfair and should be changed (e.g. the requirement for tenants to iron curtains regularly, the mandatory £50 fee at the end of tenancy, the fact it states that no more than a family of 4 could live in the property when it was a 6 bed HMO..etc.)

    - however I paid rent on time and have now paid 2x months rent in this new tenancy period.

    - however, I raised complaints to the landlords around the lack of repairs he has conducted on the house (we've only had one working shower between 8 all year) and the lack of fire safety equipment, along with multiple broken furnishings. The landlord said he would repair and sort these but hasn't yet despite originally raising these issue months ago.

    - I then threatened to go to the council if repairs aren't carried out. I also raised the issue around him breaking his HMO licence during the previous tenancy (renting to 8 despite the house only being licenced for 6) to which he then claimed we did this illegally (even though all 8 of us were on the original tenancy agreement).

    - he is now saying I need to leave and is withholding the old tenants' deposits until I do. I refused, and reiterated that we agreed I could stay and rent a new room to which he agreed.

    - he has now issued me with a section 21 notice.

    So my questions are..

    1) Do I have a case if this ended up going to court?

    2) If my previous tenancy ended, and I haven't signed the new one, am I on a periodic tenancy or an automatic AST?

    3) Could this count as retaliation eviction as this was definitely in response to me raising repairs/ HMO issues/ clause issues?

    4) Do you have any advice on how to proceed?


    Many thanks for any help/ advice in advance!


    #2
    1 - Everyone has a case. It won't go to court otherwise.
    2 - Your previous tenancy definitely ended. The new one is verbal and it is almost entirely dependent on what you both think you agreed. It probably depends on the basis they were advertised on spareroom - as that's the advert you were essentially responded to.
    3 - It sounds lik it, but if you mean as a defence the notice, no - there's a whole legal process associated with that.
    4 - I'd move. You're living in a house that isn't going to be maintained with a (now) hostile landlord.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Was your name on the new joint AST? Do you have anything in writing stating that you don't intend to be bound by this agreement? If so then it would be a periodic tenancy, otherwise the landlord might claim that you agreed it but didn't sign.

      Assuming you raised the concerns with the landlord about disrepair in writing, you would need to get the Council to inspect to see whether there are sufficient serious hazards to warrant an Improvement Notice to the landlord. If so then you may well be able to invalidate the s21 notice under the retaliatory eviction provision.

      If you have a copy of the old TA with 8 names on it and the landlords signature then inform the Council HMO team and see if you can make a claim for a rent repayment order against the landlord for the period you were in occupation.

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