LL and I can't agree on what a fixed term is

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    LL and I can't agree on what a fixed term is

    Information for starters:


    Q1 – Where is the rented property located (England / Wales / Scotland / N Ireland)? England

    Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this e.g. sole tenant / multiple tenant / room only? Sole

    Q3 – What date did current TA start dd/mm/yy? 01.02.2018

    Q4 – How long was initial fixed term (6/12/24 months / other)? 12 months

    Q5 – Does the TA state that rent is due weekly? / 4-weekly? / per calendar month (if so, on what same date each month)? 1st of each calendar month

    Q6 – Did the TA require a tenant damage deposit to be paid? If so, on what date was this paid (dd/mm/yy)? I believe 28.01.2018

    Q7 – If your query relates to a notice for repossession from the landlord (a Section 8 or Section 21 notice) or a tenants's notice to quit to the landlord, please provide the exact date the notice was sent/received (dd/mm/yy). I gave notice on 20.01.19

    Q8 – Does the landlord live in the same property as the tenant? No


    Ok, hopefully I've answered that all correctly and someone can help clarify a few things! I'm sorry if this is long please bear with me.

    I signed what I believe is a 12 month TA with a term from 01/02/18 with the last day being 31/01/2019. In the TA it states (and the LL highlighted in yellow) that was when the tenancy begins and ends. It goes on to say that if neither party has brought the tenancy to an end ON or BEFORE the natural expiry date then a new month to month tenancy would be created. There is also no notice period to speak of in the TA itself. Literally none. Nothing. Nada.

    Because of my work commitments I notified my LL that I would be ending the tenancy at the end of what i believe is a fixed period and vacating on the 31st of Jan as per the dates on the TA.
    He has told me that I need to give 30 days notice because I'm on a rolling contract and that he needed time to sort the deposit etc out. This rang a few alarm bells. Why would you need to "sort out" my deposit. If its been paid into a protection scheme (which I've not received any evidence it has been. I also searched the 3 databases and I can't find myself in there) then it could just be repaid through that once the keys have been handed over, no?

    Forgive my ignorance but from the research I've done and the little bit that I am hopefully understanding correctly-ish, this does seem like a fixed term, that, as according to the housing act, becomes periodic if I DON'T vacate before midnight on 31st Jan. In this case I wouldn't need to give 30 days notice as there is an effluxion of time and I can freely leave at the end of it without notice if I choose (even though short, I have given some) and without any further liability for rent on my part.

    He also wants to do viewings this weekend but I am away working. I am apprehensive about this as all of my valuables are still in the property and there was no inventory/damage assessment formally done and signed at the beginning of the tenancy, and i'm also worried that because of this disagreement they're going to use any excuse to try to not give my deposit back and I don't trust that no damage will occur in my absence.

    SO, that's where things stand at the moment. I have emailed and asked for proof that my deposit was put into a protection scheme as the details and relevant literature weren't provided to me within the first 30 days (or indeed 11 and 3/4 months). I had already asked a few days ago but LL seems to have graciously skipped over that request.

    Am I in the wrong here? I'm more than willing to admit if I am but I just don't feel that I am. I've paid my rent on time and in full every month. I've never caused any disturbances or damages i just want to be treated the way I feel legally I am supposed to be treated and this feels like my LL is either trying it on or is ignorant, to some respect, of the law.

    I would be grateful of any help as this is genuinely stressing me out.

    #2
    Based on what you've said, you're right.
    You can leave at the end of the fixed term.

    It's possible the tenancy agreement says that you're required to give notice, but the landlord will find that next to impossible to enforce.
    We'd need to see the exact wording to be sure, but your description sounds fairly standard.

    You can decline viewings if you wish (again, your tenancy agreement may commit you to allowing them, but the notice and dates have to be reasonable - and your wish to be there is reasonable).

    If the deposit wasn't protected or the prescribed information supplied within 30 days of receipt, the landlord has messed up and isn't in the best of positions to argue about anything.
    You can use the shelter web site for links to see if the deposit is protected - there are only three schemes that are allowed to protect a deposit.
    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
      As above post 2.

      Legally, if your very first tenancy for the property was from 1 / 2 / 18 than this is your first "fixed contract".
      You are entitled to just walk out on the 31st Jan 2019, hand the keys back, and request your deposit back ( less any damages )

      You have been kind enough to tell the landlord that you are leaving.
      Landlord cannot force you to rent his property provided you vacate before the 1st Feb.
      Try 12 month leasing a car ( long term rental ) and see if they insist you are forced to rent it for longer. And they won't if you return it before the end date of the contract.

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you so much for the advice this has put my mind at ease a lot more. I'm still awaiting his response to my email but if he continues to try to fight me then I'll stand my ground if the law is behind me on this. For reference I've uploaded the entirety of the contents of the TA barring personal info of course.

        If anyone has any alternate views on this please feel free to share them. But from the advice that's been given I'm feeling pretty confident.
        Again, thanks a lot!

        Comment


          #5
          The tenancy ends at the end of January and there's nothing the landlord can do to stop you leaving on or before then.
          The tenancy will then end at midnight.

          Suggest the landlord takes some legal advice rather than argue pointlessly.
          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


            #6
            You dont need to 'stand your ground'/argue, simply vacate before the end of the fixed period, and return keys to agent (get a signature for them) or video yourself posting them through landlords letterbox.
            Leave the flat clean, free of rubbish and include everything that is on the check in report/inventory.... If there isnt one (signed) then the LL will really struggle to argue for any deductions.
            And if the deposit still isnt protected then "A court can order your landlord to pay you compensation of between 1 and 3 times the amount of your deposit.".

            Confirm in writing to the agent/landlord that you do NOT agree to the viewings if you are not comfortable with them.. Specifiy certain dates/times that you do agree to viewings (eg Tuesdays between 7 and 9pm) so your not being wholly unreasonable..
            Do you have a friend/partner that could camp in the place and tell them to get lost if they do turn up? Or leave it a right mess, dont flush etc... (obviously it will be clean when you move out)

            Comment


              #7
              As above: And take loads of photos of the place, ideally with witness or timestamped .

              Sorry you ended up with this disgrace of an ignorant clown.
              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


                #8
                Meant to say that.
                Take a MILLION photos with datetime stamp and an independent witness (not family/partner). Record everything.

                Comment


                  #9
                  You'd be better off paying a check out clerk to do a full condition report.

                  Deposit company adjudicators don't like photos and hate lots of photos.
                  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


                    #10
                    1. That agreement clearly states that the fixed term ends when you believe it does.
                    2. The agreement looks like it was drafted before deposit protection legislation became law.
                      My guess is that the LL has not been keeping up to date with legal changes.
                    3. If there was no agreed inventory at the start of the tenancy, then the LL is going to find it difficult to make a case for any deductions to a deposit protection scheme or a court.
                    4. A deposit does not have to be held by a scheme; it can be held by the LL and registered with an insurance-based scheme.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I am puzzling over this one. It is a classic case of someone not knowing what they are doing and creating confusion. We can say for certain that clauses 1 and 4 together amount to an agreement for a fixed term of one year. But what does clause 5 do? We can say for sure that together clauses 1, 4 and 5 do not amount to an agreement for a fixed term which continues as periodic. So what does clause 5 do? Is it intended to be a statement of what will happen happen anyway? Is it intended to be a conditional agreement for a new tenancy? If it is, is there anything about it which makes it void?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                        So what does clause 5 do? Is it intended to be a statement of what will happen happen anyway? Is it intended to be a conditional agreement for a new tenancy? If it is, is there anything about it which makes it void?
                        Whatever it does, it does not seem to be relevant to the current situation.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by MdeB View Post

                          Whatever it does, it does not seem to be relevant to the current situation.
                          The question is whether we have two separate agreements in one document.

                          Comment

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