Tenant suddenly wants new fixed term tenancy

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    Tenant suddenly wants new fixed term tenancy

    Dear Forum.

    i have a friend who is also a landlord but less knowledgeable than me and so asks my advice. However his recent situation I feel could do with a little input from the forum.

    The issue is, he has tenants in his flat in England since November 2017. They had a fixed term of 12 months, that ended Nov 2018. They are European. They are a husband and wife, their child and the husbands mother. The tenant has recently asked for a new tenancy agreement to be signed. Landlord has explained to tenant that they have been on a periodic tenancy for nearly a year and he doesn't see the benefit. He's explained it is now a rolling monthly contract based on the terms of the original tenancy agreements they signed in November 2017. He has reassured him that the property is an investment and that he won't be asking them to leave as they have been good tenants.

    The tenant has replied to this saying he still wants a new tenancy agreement as his accountant needs it. His wife has recently stopped working to be a full time mother and they wish to claim income support. He's also asked for the tenancy agreement to be updated so his wife's surname is brought up to date as they married after original was signed.

    To me there is something not quite right here. Maybe I'm too cautious but would the forum have any thoughts on whether this request and reason for a new tenancy agreement is valid. Why would the tenant need a new tenancy agreement for his accountant.

    Any thoughts are appreciated.

    Ben

    #2
    Most post was eliminated after all my hard typing because I guess the word b_rothel

    You wouldn't normally establish a new long term tenancy agreement with folk on benefits without thinking about it for a long time

    Comment


      #3
      Doesn't sound right. There are too many questionable reasons. It could be that they are scared that Boris will remove their right to rent and want to maximise the time to the next check, but I don't see how the accountant, name change, or benefits fit in.

      Comment


        #4
        In my experience local housing incoming support (HB) usually requires a fixed term tenancy agreement.

        This would likely be the reason why they are asking for it, if they are good tenants I don't see a reason why not if the landlord is happy with the tenant and if there are no history of problems.

        Comment


          #5
          I wouldn't be giving them a new tenancy agreement. Sounds like a benefit swindle to me.

          Comment


            #6
            My tenant started on a 6 month fixed term tenancy, 10 years ago. Has been on SPT ever since. When HB or UC want to see the tenancy agreement, the one from 10 years ago is sent. The tenant has never been required to produce a newer version.

            Comment


              #7
              I may be adding 2 and 2 and getting 5, but I suspect that the tenant is concerned that there will be issues with benefits if there's no current tenancy agreement and the one they have has the "wrong" name for the wife.
              And, in truth, it will possibly slow things down a little.

              But there's nothing the tenant can do, other than give notice, if the landlord doesn't wish to agree.
              So I'd stick to the "no".

              All of my tenants of more than 6 months are on rolling contracts.
              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


                #8
                Originally posted by spiritdreams View Post
                In my experience local housing incoming support (HB) usually requires a fixed term tenancy agreement.

                This would likely be the reason why they are asking for it, if they are good tenants I don't see a reason why not if the landlord is happy with the tenant and if there are no history of problems.
                You cannot claim Income Support, or Housing Benefit anywhere in the UK now. (Unless you already have another benefit which included a Severe Disability Premium).

                Both of those benefits have been abolished for new claims and you have to claim Universal Credit instead.

                And no, you don't need to have any tenanacy agreement to claim UC Housing Element.
                Although it's the first thing the DWP will ask to see it is not a statutory requirement, the legislation simply says 'Appropriate evidence'.
                They will accept a letter from the LL that you are renting there and stating what the rent amount is, or other proof that you are making regular rent payments (bank statement Direct Debits for example).
                https://www.gov.uk/government/public...hecking-claims

                Of course the tenant and their 'accountant' may not understand that.

                Or as suggested they may be worried about brexit and want something in writing to say that they live here.

                Comment


                  #9
                  You may very well be right, I haven't delt with a HB tenant for years now.

                  The last time I had to the council was writing to us asking for a AST every year or risk suspending payments (We were paid HB directly from council)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I had a similar problem recently with a tenant that had been on a periodic tenancy for 6 years. She suddenly found herself in need of claiming Housing Benefit ( or whatever it is called now ). She was being told by the LA that she needed to provide a copy of a valid fixed term tenancy agreement. I had to finally contact LA myself to explain that she had a valid tenancy but it wasn't fixed term, it took some negotiation before they finally agreed her tenancy was valid!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I wouldn't be issuing them a new TA. It all sounds very iffy to me. As others have said, it might be to do with Brexit and it might be to do with a benefits fiddle.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        It's most likely they've been told they'll need to provide a current tenancy agreement, and think that they haven't got one.
                        It's an simple enough misunderstanding.
                        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


                          #13
                          Setting up a new tenancy is going to be a right pain. All that paperwork all over again, and doing the inventory might be tricky as there's bound to be wear and tear. It's not a simple case of T signing an agreement.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by spiritdreams View Post
                            The last time I had to the council was writing to us asking for a AST every year or risk suspending payments (We were paid HB directly from council)
                            Originally posted by Kape65 View Post
                            She was being told by the LA that she needed to provide a copy of a valid fixed term tenancy agreement. I had to finally contact LA myself to explain that she had a valid tenancy but it wasn't fixed term, it took some negotiation before they finally agreed her tenancy was valid!
                            It's because the have very poor training, aren't told the full rules only the basics, and so don't understand the rules that do apply (the law).
                            So they just trot out whatever they have been told and try to stick by it even when you show them proof that they are wrong.

                            It's becoming a more common problem now that UC is taking over from HB; the UC frontline staff can be very bolshie with a 'we know better than you' attitude even when talking to experienced welfare/benefits advisers. (And that's not just for housing costs).
                            You have to escalate things up to a Case Manager, and then usually to a Decision Maker, to get the law applied correctly.

                            PS. I've never had a written TA but also never had a problem claiming HB when I needed to and later setting up Direct Payments to my LL.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              My council asked for a new TA for a couple who had split up and I refused, explaining all the work that needed to be done to prepare one. The council accepted their copy of the old one. Mr T is still on the agreement, though, even though he's left.

                              Comment

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