Forcing a 2 year AST and cash upfront

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    Forcing a 2 year AST and cash upfront

    Hi, I'm new here and hopefully you guys can give me an answer asap as I am about to sign a AST for a flat tomorrow.

    I have just received the AST from Foxtons in London and it states that the term is for 2 years. There is no mention of a break after 6 months or even 12. Is this allowed or can I insit there is a break after at least 12 months?

    I also don't move into the property for 6 weeks as stated in the AST but they are asking for 1 month rent + 6 weeks deposit payable tomorrow with the signing of the lease. Is this fair or should I just be able to pay a "holding"deposit?

    Appreciate any guidance.

    #2
    An AST can be for any period upto 3 years.

    There is no obligation or right to have a break clause in an AST agreement - this is something you have to negotiate if you want it.
    If the agent or LL won't give you what you want, go elsewhere - there's plenty of choice.

    I wouldn't pay Foxtons everything they ask for.
    We all know Foxtons operate at the edges of legality and perhaps cross the line as to what is lawful, but in any case, I wouldn't part with so much money so far in advance of the tenancy to an agent or landlord.

    I would just pay them the whole deposit or offer just a holding deposit if they will accept that.
    Make sure you are clear on what terms the holding deposit is paid, held and refundable if it is refundable. Ask what deductions can be made and in what circumstances. This should all be in writing. If not, walk away.

    Have your references been cleared yet?

    Comment


      #3
      Great information thank you.

      No I haven't given them my references. So far I think they've run a credit check and they've pulled an old address off a file held about me somewhere which I didn't give them and put it on the AST.

      Comment


        #4
        I could accept a 2 year term with a 12 month break and I could pay the 6 weeks deposit I suppose and hold back the 4 weeks rent but it says on the Foxtons form ""Foxtons required cleared funds on the signing of the agreement".

        Theses "funds" are 6 weeks deposit and 4 weeks rent.

        Are they likely to refuse? Seems like they just want 2 years commission.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by SEB View Post
          An AST can be for any period up to 3 years.
          1. Actually, there's NO upper limit at all!

          BUT

          2. A letting for > 3yrs. must be in writing, or else it's VOID.

          3. A letting for > 7yrs. must be:
          a. by Deed, not just in writing; and
          b. registered at HMLR;
          or else it's VOID.
          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

          Comment


            #6
            Doesn't a tenancy > 3 years have to be by deed also? I've always throught so, and a tenancy for > 7 years can make the tenant responsible for repairs.
            The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

            Comment


              #7
              A letting for more than three years created otherwise than by deed is void as to the creation of a legal estate, (see sections 52 and 54 of the law of Property Act 1925) but may create an equitable lease under the rule in Walsh v Lonsdale.

              A lease for a term exceeding seven years not registered at HM Land Registry within two months becomes void as regards the creation of a legal estate, but operates as a contract to create such a lease. (See section 7 (2) (b) of the Land Registration Act 2002.)

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                Doesn't a tenancy > 3 years have to be by deed also?
                No. See s.53(1)(a) and s.54 of Law of Property Act 1925.
                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by arambol View Post
                  I could accept a 2 year term with a 12 month break and I could pay the 6 weeks deposit I suppose and hold back the 4 weeks rent but it says on the Foxtons form ""Foxtons required cleared funds on the signing of the agreement".

                  Theses "funds" are 6 weeks deposit and 4 weeks rent.

                  Are they likely to refuse? Seems like they just want 2 years commission.
                  Try and see.

                  Foxtons can ask for anything they like, doesn't mean that they'll get it, or that its acceptable practice. Many tenants don't know their options and rights and consequently tossers like Foxtons get away with a lot of this kind of thing, by being bolshy, bullying and even threatening.

                  They tried to rope me into their "service" and their style of wooing me was nothing short of objectionable and very aggressive. They charge landlords £320 for a tenancy agreement! - there is not actual real cost for this.
                  They also demand lengthy exclusive marketing time and require the landlord to pay them commission even if the LL finds tenants him/herself.

                  I am now making a hand gesture to such demands, the origins of which are from the battle of Agincourt.

                  There's a ton of property out there and a lot of agents looking for tenants - why would you accept this kind of treatment from probably the worse agent in the UK?

                  If you really like this property, you can offer them just 1 month's deposit for now, with the balance on moving in (bank transfer, cash or bankers draft). Explain that you are not comfortable parting with so much cash so far in advance, especially seeing as Foxtons have financial troubles.

                  If they refuse your offer, I would go elsewhere. You may find Foxtons a hassle during your tenancy too, if the LL is using them for management.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Ok, I spoke to the branch manager and negotiated a break clause after 12 months which I'm happy with.

                    They have also agreed to accept the deposit (6 weeks rent) now and wait till near the start of the tenancy for the 1st months rent.

                    They are charging me £320 for the tenancy agreement. I didn't know that they also charge the landlord ie: £640 in total in their pockets just for the paperwork?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by arambol View Post
                      They are charging me £320 for the tenancy agreement.
                      Why? You aren't their client, so they're not carrying-out any work for you as client. Let L pay all of costs.
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        They classify it as their "admin fee" so maybe I misunderstood...... but the only real admin is the tenancy agreement isn't it

                        Maybe it's the cost of processing my references. I will check.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by arambol View Post
                          They classify it as their "admin fee" so maybe I misunderstood...... but the only real admin is the tenancy agreement isn't it

                          Maybe it's the cost of processing my references. I will check.
                          Some agents do charge both the L and T.

                          I had a Agent Who was charging Me 10% / month to manage the property and also charging £50 to tenant.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by arambol View Post
                            They classify it as their "admin fee" so maybe I misunderstood...... but the only real admin is the tenancy agreement isn't it

                            Maybe it's the cost of processing my references. I will check.

                            Again, unless you really like the property I would refuse to pay such exploitative charges for basically nothing.
                            The cost for referencing is about 30-40 quid. If they want, they can charge a tenner for administrating the referencing process.
                            The 320 figure is what Foxtons charge for the tenancy agreement to the landlord. Why would you want to pay this?
                            Don't pay it my friend.

                            In any case, the tenancy agreement is a pre-prepared document that sits in their computer system with blank spaces for the tenant names, landlord name, property details and tenancy terms and rent.
                            These details are added for each tenancy and take no more than 5 minutes to do.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Here's more evidence of how Foxtons are messed up as an agency and doing a disservice and showing total disrespect to both landlords and tenants - and they couldn't give a hoot.

                              http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ad.php?t=13816

                              If they are behaving unreasonably NOW with you, are you sure you want to hook up with them? Do you think they will become angels once your tenancy starts?
                              I would advise you to think what you are thinking of doing, carefully, before you jump in for a 1 year tenancy.

                              Comment

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