Agents insisting on a years AST renewal when I'd like Periodic tenancy. Options...?

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    Agents insisting on a years AST renewal when I'd like Periodic tenancy. Options...?

    Hi all,

    My current fixed AST finishes on the 9th December for a house in south London. A letter from my letting agents came on 13th November (dated the 10th November) informing me of the end of the fixed term, and that my landlord would be happy to offer a further fixed term of 12 months at the same rent.

    I have been renting the property since December 2013, paid the rent on time every month, kept it in good condition, and informed the landlord through the letting agents of any problems that have occurred in the house. I have also previously been on a periodic rolling tenancy in the house, after one of the yearly contracts had expired.

    I have recently sold my house in Leicester and am currently viewing, looking to buy when I find somewhere. For this reason, I would like to go on a periodic tenancy, although would be happy to give the landlord 2 months’ notice (the contract states one month). I’ve asked the letting agents whether I could go on a periodic tenancy giving the landlady 2 months’ notice, or 6 month contracts with a 3 month break clause, and have stressed I would be happy to pay the £120 fee involved each time for a renewal.

    They have come back with an email saying ‘sign the 12 months or leave on the 9th December’. I would obviously prefer not to do this, as not only is this now short notice to move, I don’t want to be tied into another year should I find somewhere to buy.

    Also, I have the contacts of the landlady (well, her contact details from around 2 years ago, which she offered to me) and have had a good relationship previously (she gave me a £200 monthly rent deduction for 5 months when my partner died). I would like to leave on good terms.

    I have a housemate (who is probably more flexible on moving dates than I am), but isn’t ready to move straight away.
    So I have 2 main questions: -
    1. Should I ignore the emails and letters from the letting agent, go onto the periodic tenancy, continue paying the rent as is, and expect the wrath of an s21?
    2. Should I contact the landlady directly to ask if there could be more of a comprise (I have a feeling the LAs haven't contacted her about this), but don’t want to appear hassley?
    I realise there are lots of threads on similar to this, but I have been searching on this site for a while, and would really appreciate some definitive advice. The emails from the letting agents have been quite aggressive, and I’m getting very stressed out.


    #2
    Yes, of course contact your landlady. Agent is just after a nice secure income stream.

    This story might interest you: https://forums.landlordzone.co.uk/fo...tenants/page3=

    Comment


      #3
      Yes, I saw that one; horrible. I just would just be wary of contacting the landlady if she too would like a 12 month renewal. The agents presented themselves as a 'good old fashioned fair letting agent' but have been proven increasingly awful!

      Comment


        #4
        Are you on a joint tenancy with your housemate, or do you have seperate contract?

        Contact the landlady directly, you may be suprised to find out that she has no idea what her agent is doing. I'll be suprised if she prefer a perfectly good tenant leaving mid-December just because they won't sign another fixed term.

        Don't sign a 12 months fixed term if you can't commit to it. Let it go into SPT as you're aware it is your legal right to. You don't have to offer any compromise. The notice period during a SPT is govern by law and not what's in your contract. You are of course free to give more if you like.
        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


          #5
          Originally posted by KTC View Post
          Are you on a joint tenancy with your housemate, or do you have seperate contract?

          Contact the landlady directly, you may be suprised to find out that she has no idea what her agent is doing. I'll be suprised if she prefer a perfectly good tenant leaving mid-December just because they won't sign another fixed term.

          Don't sign a 12 months fixed term if you can't commit to it. Let it go into SPT as you're aware it is your legal right to. You don't have to offer any compromise. The notice period during a SPT is govern by law and not what's in your contract. You are of course free to give more if you like.
          Hi - thanks for your reply.

          I am the 'lead tenant' on the contract but both my housemate and myself signed last year's contract which finishes on 9th December.

          Comment


            #6
            Then it's not so simple.... Any new contract requires both of you to agree, or one of you leaving and the other signing one by themselve (or with someone new). If either you or your housemate stay beyond the fixed term, then a SPT will arise with both of you liable as joint tenants. If and once it goes SPT, either one of you can serve a notice to quit that will end the tenancy for both on expiry.
            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


              #7
              I think as long as I keep my housemate informed of what is happening then she is fine. Presuming I buy somewhere soonish, it would take a good couple of months for even a smooth mortgage to go through...? We have both agreed that we don't want to sign for 12 more months. She is being made redundant at the end of year, and is currently going for interviews all over London, so also wants to keep her options more open.

              Comment


                #8
                In one sense the situation is relatively simple.

                If you don't agree to sign a new agreement and don't move out on or before 9th December, your tenancy automatically becomes a new periodic tenancy.
                The minimum notice that the agent (and/or landlord) can give is two months.
                The notice served would almost certainly be a section 21 notice - and you would be perfectly entitled to stay in the property which would force the landlord to either tolerate that or take you to court (the agent can serve notice without the landlord knowing, but can't represent them in court).

                Assuming they take the most speedy action and serve notice tomorrow (just to give the worst case), the earliest that notice could expire is 16th January (if they pushed the notice through the door).
                If they wait until the end of the tenancy it would be 9th February.

                I don't have any figures, but suspect that the majority of section 21 notices served are not valid in some way.

                It would take them several weeks to get a court hearing.
                Even assuming that they get the notice right, you'd have a few weeks more before you had to actually leave*.

                By which time I would have thought you'd be sorted or close to it.
                So the agent's threats are pretty meaningless.

                And that assumes that the landlord would want to turf out a good rent-paying tenant to have to advertise for someone else and have a few weeks without rent.
                Which seems unlikely.

                Definitely talk to the landlady direct.

                And if the agent's tone is aggressive, simply tell them to sod off and get back in touch when they are able to talk to a customer in a more appropriate manner - "sign the 12 months or leave on the 9th December" is simply not the two options you have and pretending that they are is either ignorance of misleading.

                And mention their behaviour to the landlord.

                *This process would cost you between £300 and £400 if you lost the case.
                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
                  Thank you for the reply above, which does put my mind at rest a little. I have now spoken to the landlady (I rang and she rang back, so didn't feel bad about calling her).

                  She didn't seem to know what a periodic tenancy was. I told her I would be happy to let it continue as a periodic tenancy and give two months notice when me and my flatmate left. She is going to have a think and talk to the Letting Agents tomorrow.

                  She seemed amenable to some form of compromise, so hoping that she'll let it go onto a rolling contract. She was talking about going in and doing the place up to sell after I'd left (so I'm presuming she isn't too worried about voids...?) Will let you know what happens!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    On a monthly periodic (rent payable monthly) you only need to give at least a month's notice, ending on an end-of-period day.

                    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...riodic_tenancy
                    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                      On a monthly periodic (rent payable monthly) you only need to give at least a month's notice, ending on an end-of-period day.

                      https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...riodic_tenancy
                      Yeah the OP said in the first post they know it’s only a month but would be happy to give 2 months to help the LL out

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hi yes, I would be happy as gesture of goodwill to the landlady (who has been fine throughout) to give two months notice. Neither me or my housemate are too worried about a 1-2 month overlap, what we would object to is being liable for 6-7 months worth of rent when we aren't there.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          One further thought, I have the landlady's email address. Should I start ccing her on communications with the Letting Agent, particularly as I suspect they are not telling us what they are telling her?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Be aware if the soon to be redundant joint flatmate wants to vacate after 9th Dec, it will terminate T for all on expiry - poss before you want to vacate.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by mariner View Post
                              Be aware if the soon to be redundant joint flatmate wants to vacate after 9th Dec, it will terminate T for all on expiry - poss before you want to vacate.
                              Minor clarification: If flatmate wants to vacate and gives valid notice to quit...

                              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                              Comment

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