Do tenants have the 'right' to a periodic tenancy?

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    Do tenants have the 'right' to a periodic tenancy?

    Hello! My partner and I are tenants. Our 12-month fixed term is due to expire at the end of October. Our LA has sent us an email stating that our LL would like to offer us a further 12-month fixed term with a slightly higher rent, and that we must pay an administrative fee to the LA. We must reply to the LA within seven days. The email also says that a precautionary notice may be served, but will be revoked if/when we sign the new contract and pay the administrative fee.

    I would be happy with the rise in rent, but I do not want another fixed term. I had hoped that after the fixed term, we would automatically go onto a periodic tenancy. Do we have a 'right' to refuse to sign for a new fixed term and to go onto a periodic tenancy? I imagine our LA completely understands the law, whereas I must say that I don't. I expect that we'll be issued with a Section 21 notice if we do not agree to sign. We were wanting to move in the short to medium term, but the rental market is a bit ruthless around here, and if we're forced to move at a specific time, we could end up in an expensive but poor-quality property - we've had quite a few issues with our current flat and are keen to take time to find somewhere in a better state of repair.

    Any advice would be appreciated. I am not 100% sure who my LL is, as I believe the ownership of the flat changed hands shortly after our tenancy began; the LA manage the property.

    Many thanks!

    #2
    You can find out who owns the property for £3 via the land registry and could contact the LL direct. LA will always say that another contract is required as it's money for old rope. The LL may genuinely want another fixed term though.
    "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

    What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you - that's a good tip. If a landlord wants to increase the rent, does a new fixed-term contract have to be signed? I'm happy with the raise in rent, although I'm fairly sure it's been driven by the LA rather than the LL. The LA claim to have spoken to the LL but I imagine this is all a very standard procedure.

      Comment


        #4
        No it doesnt. A rent increase can be agreed verbally or with the correct notice, it does not have to involve a new fixed term. And to answer your title question, you sort of have a right to a rolling tenancy but if that's not what is wanted you could find a section 21 arriving.
        "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

        What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

        Comment


          #5
          I can't see a sane LL kicking out rent paying tenants because of the lack of fixed term. As you say the LA is probably the driver.
          "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

          What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

          Comment


            #6
            Where is it you currently live (town)?

            Comment


              #7
              This is all much appreciated - many thanks. It seems as though getting in touch with the LL with an explanation of my circumstances/preferences may be the best course of action. I'm in Bristol. The LL would have no problem at all in finding other tenants if we did leave - the flat is rather expensive for what it is, and it isn't in the best condition, but it's in a very desirable area. Also, the LA/LL would like £25/month extra, but with new tenants I'm fairly sure they'd ask for £50/month extra, because that's the way this LA tend to do things!

              Comment


                #8
                There's no longer really such a thing as a "precautionary" s21 notice.
                S21 notices now become invalid six months after the expiry date - so they can't simply serve a notice and use it months later as you used to be able to.

                If they do serve a notice and actually want you to leave, there's a lot of messing about for the agent and landlord to do, which usually isn't worth the effort if you're a reasonable rent paying tenant.

                And I wouldn't assume the agent has a clue about the law - you might ask them how they propose to "revoke" their notice. They can decide not to action a s21 notice (and it will expire), but you can't revoke one.

                If you don't want to commit to 12 months or pay the agent's fee, you could offer a slightly higher rent (or even the rent they want) but with a periodic contract.
                The landlord doesn't lose the higher rent, and the only person who loses out is the agent (unless they charge a fee for a periodic tenancy).

                Unless the letting agent is the landlord, the rent increase is likely to be of less interest to them - agents typically charge a percentage monthly fee, so the additional £25 a month rent is probably worth a few pounds extra a month to them.
                Last edited by jpkeates; 20-08-2017, 16:16 PM. Reason: 3rd paragraph added.
                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


                  #9
                  This is interesting. I thought a drawback of allowing an AST to move on to a Periodic Tenancy after end of initial term was that the rental amount must stay the same. How would a LL increase rent? I ask what paperwork LL would use in this situation? Is it simply an Addendum to the original AST?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                    S21 notices now become invalid ....
                    Pedantic correction: 6 months after the notice is given, unless the notice period is required to be longer than 2 months, in which case 4 months after the notice period expired.
                    I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                    I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Landlord1206 View Post
                      This is interesting. I thought a drawback of allowing an AST to move on to a Periodic Tenancy after end of initial term was that the rental amount must stay the same. How would a LL increase rent? I ask what paperwork LL would use in this situation? Is it simply an Addendum to the original AST?
                      They can just ask you to pay more and if you agree, start paying it. Alternatively, they can serve a formal section 13 notice.
                      I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                      I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Moomin View Post
                        I am not 100% sure who my LL is, as I believe the ownership of the flat changed hands shortly after our tenancy began; the LA manage the property.
                        Your LL is (probably) who your tenancy agreement says it is, unless formal notice has been served onto you to say that it has changed. It's an offence for the old & new landlord not to serve you that notice.

                        You can also ask your agent. Formal request under section 1 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985.
                        I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                        I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by KTC View Post
                          Pedantic correction: 6 months after the notice is given, unless the notice period is required to be longer than 2 months, in which case 4 months after the notice period expired.
                          Not at all pedantic - my post was wrong (and I should have checked).
                          Thanks for the save.
                          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


                            #14
                            Thanks again for the answers you have all given. I informed my letting agent in writing that I did not wish to sign another 12-month fixed term contract and that I wished for the tenancy to become periodic. I said I was happy with the increase in rent from the date on which the contract becomes periodic. I then said that the landlord should contact me if he was not satisfied with this arrangement.

                            My LA responded that the LL does not want a periodic tenancy, only a fixed one, and that I could not discuss the issue with the LL directly because the LA manage the property and also the tenancy. They said that a break cause may be negotiated if I want more flexibility; they didn't say what the break clause would be.

                            I am unsure of how to proceed. I'm not 100% sure who my LL is. I was given the name of an LL when we signed the contract, but no address - the address given was 'care of' the LA's address. I know that the ownership of the flat has changed hands within the same family, but am I right in thinking that the owner of a property is not *necessarily* the landlord? We were not formally told of the sale of the flat but it was viewed for mortgage purposes a short while into the tenancy, and one of the contractors who came to fix the problems with the flat said that it had changed hands.

                            Again, any input is appreciated. I am worried we're about to be issued with an eviction notice and may get a bad name as tenants. This LA has almost a monopoly in the area. In our previous property with the same LA (different branch), we received the same letter, but as it was managed by the LL, we were able to contact him and express our preference for a periodic tenancy.

                            Part of me suspects the LA just want their renewal fee!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              It happens all the time. See here: https://forums.landlordzone.co.uk/fo...d-out-tenants=

                              You could always get the landlord's address from Land Registry. It sounds like you definitely need it.

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