Renewed AST with 2 month break clause?

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    Renewed AST with 2 month break clause?

    Hi, would appreciate if someone could explain a few things to me.

    I am a tenant in England who is coming to the end of a 12-month AST. I decided to renew and sign another 12-month AST that contained a 6 month break clause. The start date of this new contract has not yet come round (it starts next week)

    A week after I signed, the landlord informed the agent he's actually planning to sell the property and will be putting the property up for sale at the end of the month.

    I then asked the agency if we could instead go periodic on the old AST instead, so the landlord can get rid of me if he ends up selling it and I can also decide to leave if it gets too disruptive.

    The agency told me I couldn't continue the contract on a rolling basis as I've signed a new AST, but the landlord agreed to change the break clause on the new AST to 2 months. They've since sent me an amendment to sign for the new AST, which states either me or the landlord can give 2 months notice at any point for me to leave.

    Now I'm thoroughly confused? Is an renewed AST with a break clause for both tenant and landlord to give 2 months notice at any point a valid AST? I thought there was a minimum 6 month period in which I'm entitled to stay? Or does this only apply for the very first AST I signed a year ago?

    Sucks because it now looks like I have to pay a renewal fee for a AST that's more or less a periodic tenancy (minus the 2 months notice I have to give instead of 1). Got caught out because I was only made aware of the intent to sell after I signed the new contract.

    Why can't we ditch the new contract we signed and return to a periodic period tenancy under the old one if the old contact term hasn't ended yet?

    Thanks
    ​​​​

    #2
    If you do not agree with the amendment, then do not sign it.

    It is my understanding that LL cannot start eviction proceedings within 6 months of the start of the new tenancy. So, whilst LL can give notice to exercise the break clause at any time, the LL cannot take a S21 notice to court until after 6 months.

    It is also my understanding that on expiry of the LL break-notice, the tenancy becomes periodic.

    What are your concerns regarding LL selling?

    Comment


      #3
      The 6 months no s21 runs from the very first tenancy. Of course, no possession during the fixed term, so don't sign agreement, landlord have no option but to wait until 6 months into the upcoming tenancy assuming they served the break notice as soon as possible.
      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


        #4
        My main concerns is the disruption it may cause with viewings/whatever else is going to come with the sales process. I understand I can disallow any access of I want to but the landlord has been reasonable to me during my tenancy and I have no intentions of being a pain.

        My thoughts when asking for a periodic tenancy was so I can start looking for a new place now. I'm in London and in my experience the property search is 10x harder than in other places. I'd rather be able to keep an eye out for a suitable property from now when there's no imminent pressure to move and if I manage to find one then be able to break out of this contract easily.

        I'm happy with where I'm living at the moment but knowing I'll probably be chucked out of it within a year means I'd rather get ahead with finding a decent place to live.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by KTC View Post
          The 6 months no s21 runs from the very first tenancy. Of course, no possession during the fixed term, so don't sign agreement, landlord have no option but to wait until 6 months into the upcoming tenancy assuming they served the break notice as soon as possible.
          The feeling I'm getting from this whole thing is they want to sell the property but think it might be a long/difficult task to get a buyer in the current market. I believe they want me to stay to ensure the keep getting an income while trying to sell it. I'd rather be on the lookout for a new property now and be able to leave if I find one.

          My question was surrounding whether the amendments the agent is asking me to sign are actually valid. Thanks for clarifying that the 6 month no section 21 rule would not apply to the new tenancy.

          Comment


            #6
            You could vacate current T before end of current fixed Term without Notice, but 1 week is rec.
            As you signed a subs new TA and if do not occupy, the LL can require 2 weeks rent for Breach of Contract.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Blue727 View Post
              Thanks for clarifying that the 6 month no section 21 rule would not apply to the new tenancy.
              Just to clarify: whilst LL can issue S21 at any time, the LL cannot use that S21 to start possession proceedings before the end of 6 months (and the S21 should probably have 6 months from start of tenancy (or later) as the "possession required after" date).

              Comment


                #8
                I think I know s21 fairly well, and I'm confused by what you wrote.....

                A series of successive assured shorthold tenancies, where the later tenancies are replacement tenancy of the earlier ones.

                In England & Wales:
                • A possession order may not be made to take effect earlier than six months from the start of the very first tenancy unless it is a demoted assured shorthold tenancy.
                In England only:
                • No s21 may be given within four months from the start of the very first tenancy. The prohibition does not apply to a statutory periodic tenancy pursuant to s5 of the Housing Act 1988.
                • The notice is only valid for 6 months from when the notice was given, except in the case where notice is required to be longer than 2 months under s21(4) whereby notice is valid for 4 months from expiry of notice.
                The legislation is silent and there is no clear authorities as to whether a s21 notice may expire before the end of the fixed term in the absence of a break clause.
                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


                  #9
                  Originally posted by MdeB View Post

                  Just to clarify: whilst LL can issue S21 at any time, the LL cannot use that S21 to start possession proceedings before the end of 6 months (and the S21 should probably have 6 months from start of tenancy (or later) as the "possession required after" date).
                  I'm a little confused now because this is not the same as what KTC has replied?

                  ​​​​​​I've signed a new AST for a 12 month period at a property I've already been renting for a year. This new AST has the 2 month break clause. From what I understand of KTC's answer, the min 6 month stay until the landlord can start possession proceedings does not apply to my new tenancy as I've already been in the property for longer than 6 months. Is this correct?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Yes, provided the replacement ASTs are substantially the same (same tenant(s), landlord and property) the six months has expired.
                    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


                      #11
                      Originally posted by MdeB View Post

                      Just to clarify: ...
                      I was wrong.
                      S21(5) HA 1988 says "not within 6 months of start of initial tenancy".
                      So if there is a break clause that can be exercised before 6 months into the replacement tenancy, then a S21 notice may be enforced any time after that break notice takes effect.

                      Thank you all for teaching me.

                      Comment

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