Eviction possible? changing of terms of AST unilateral

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  • Eviction possible? changing of terms of AST unilateral

    Me again:

    The facts:
    AST 1 without commencement date but with how much rent is to pay and amount of deposit
    AST 2 with commencement 18.11.2008 valid for one year. No rent no deposit, all incl. (No utilities and council tax payable by tenant)

    AST 1 has as add. clause:
    Break Clause
    The landlord may give two month notice to terminate the tenancy upon any rent due date under the terms of the tenancy.
    The start date of this contract will be determinate by flat (actual flat address) being completed and the transfer from (temporary flat address).

    AST 2 has as add. clause:
    Break clause
    Any time after two weeks of the initial fixed term of this tenancy the landlord may give one week notice to the tenant, in order to enable the tenant to move into the flat (actual flat address)

    Up to date I have no definition from either landlord or agent, what 'completed' means in this context. (There is a clause what I shall do or not do on the patio/balcony with the laundry) Nor is a commencement date agreed.
    The dates for completion of the winter gardens vary from beginning of February to from yesterday on 10 weeks. And that is only when the work is supposed to begin, not when they will be finished. (without winter garden, the flat lacks about 4-6 qm living space.)

    The landlord has given me via the agent that I pay rent for the flat under AST 2 until the flat is completed and I can move in.
    Move in the half finished flat and pay the full rent.
    Or get a refund of all monies except referencing fee and go elsewhere.
    All this shall happen within 2 weeks.
    1. Is he right or has he, as the AST 1 states a 2 month notice period, to give me 2 month notice. Does the break clause even apply?
    2. Can he change the terms of the tenancy agreement 2 (from free of charge to pay the full rent)?
    3. Is there any ground applicable to evict me from the temporary flat?


    The reason for all this is that he has not anticipated that this all will take so long (me neither).

  • #2
    If you have an AST, the LL will not be able to evict you for at least 6 months. But he is free to ask you to leave any time he wants. You just ignore his demands if it suits you.

    I'm not sure what else you are asking as your language is confusing.

    You should listen to your professional legal advisor. If you dont like the terms, then ask for them to be changed to what you think is fair or say that you will walk away. They probably do not want to loose you as a tenant.

    Gut instinct is a good indicator (sometimes)
    All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Bel View Post
      If you have an AST, the LL will not be able to evict you for at least 6 months. But he is free to ask you to leave any time he wants. You just ignore his demands if it suits you.

      I'm not sure what else you are asking as your language is confusing.

      You should listen to your professional legal advisor. If you dont like the terms, then ask for them to be changed to what you think is fair or say that you will walk away. They probably do not want to loose you as a tenant.

      Gut instinct is a good indicator (sometimes)
      Thanks Bel:
      Have you ever tried to get legal advice in London? I am self-employed and can't run every time (and that is often in this matter) away from work to seek prof. advice, when these people screw up. I do not get paid when I don't work.

      Does the landlord has to "ask or give notice" in a certain format or is a sloppy written e-mail enough?

      (I hope that the Darwin theorie in an article in the FT will come true very soon and these bottom feeder (estate agents) extinguish)

      Sorry, about the English, it's not my first language and I am already angry and disappointed by this whole situation, which is obviously not good for my language skills.

      Comment


      • #4
        You say, "AST 2 with commencement 18.11.2008 valid for one year. No rent no deposit, all incl. (No utilities and council tax payable by tenant)" If that's so, it's not an AST at all- the 'no rent' provision disapplies the Housing Act 1988.
        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


        • #5
          Could you give the free Shelter helpline a call?

          0808 800 4444

          If you have an AST, there are rules for serving the notice; see

          http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/pdf/servingS21.pdf#search="

          Can it be sent by email? Possibly; you would need to see if the AST lists methods of service deemed suitable. If it is silent, then it may be possible, if you provided the email address used to the LL as your primary email address.
          All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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          • #6
            I tried to make an appointment with Shelter (London office) but the line is always busy. Call them on the free advice line and read 20 pages on the phone? Not really an option. I really appreciate that there is free and competent advice out there, but it seems to be that it is only for jobless people or for the ones who do not care about their performance at work.

            This whole issue is beyond everything I ever heard of. Everytime I start to explain the 'story' that leads to this mess, I could tear my hair out.

            I need to know which of the agreements is valid (or both?) and what section(s) of the Housing Act is applicable in this situation. The two agreements are tied together and the 'AST 2' (for the temporary flat) was issued to 'regulate' the removal from the temporary flat to the actual flat. It has the same terms and conditions as the AST 1 only no rent, no deposit, no utility bills are payable by the tenant, the commencement date and the add. clause makes it different from AST 1.

            The landlord gives me 2 weeks to chose between one of his 3 options:
            1. Move out and find something else, get all monies refunded.
            2. Stay in the temp. flat until the actual one is completed, but pay rent.
            3. Move in the actual uncompleted flat and pay the full rent.


            There was an other option, move in a flat in the same building but the flat do not have a balcony/winter garden, either temporary again (with no concrete date when to move again) or stay there and make an AST for that flat.
            The most interesting feature is the wintergarden, so this is not an option and why again temporary with no date for finishing the winter gardens in order to move. And not to forget there are then again removal costs involved which they will not pay.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
              You say, "AST 2 with commencement 18.11.2008 valid for one year. No rent no deposit, all incl. (No utilities and council tax payable by tenant)" If that's so, it's not an AST at all- the 'no rent' provision disapplies the Housing Act 1988.
              Re-read the above. Agreement2 could be valid, if it's supported by legal consideration, but it cannot be an AST if there's no rent payable.
              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


              • #8
                Originally posted by Penny Prosperity View Post
                I tried to make an appointment with Shelter (London office) but the line is always busy. Call them on the free advice line and read 20 pages on the phone? Not really an option. I really appreciate that there is free and competent advice out there, but it seems to be that it is only for jobless people or for the ones who do not care about their performance at work.

                This whole issue is beyond everything I ever heard of. Everytime I start to explain the 'story' that leads to this mess, I could tear my hair out.

                I need to know which of the agreements is valid (or both?) and what section(s) of the Housing Act is applicable in this situation. The two agreements are tied together and the 'AST 2' (for the temporary flat) was issued to 'regulate' the removal from the temporary flat to the actual flat. It has the same terms and conditions as the AST 1 only no rent, no deposit, no utility bills are payable by the tenant, the commencement date and the add. clause makes it different from AST 1.

                The landlord gives me 2 weeks to chose between one of his 3 options:
                1. Move out and find something else, get all monies refunded.
                2. Stay in the temp. flat until the actual one is completed, but pay rent.
                3. Move in the actual uncompleted flat and pay the full rent.


                There was an other option, move in a flat in the same building but the flat do not have a balcony/winter garden, either temporary again (with no concrete date when to move again) or stay there and make an AST for that flat.
                The most interesting feature is the wintergarden, so this is not an option and why again temporary with no date for finishing the winter gardens in order to move. And not to forget there are then again removal costs involved which they will not pay.
                I understand the options. If I were you I would not do anything with these people unless I could read all the tenancy agreements in advance. Ask the agent who drafted the agreements...did they or did a lawyer? It is possible they are correctly drafted and put together, but I suspect the whole thing may have been cobbled together by the agent.

                The bottom line is do you trust these guys. What is your gut instinct? If you dont, walk away.

                What is your main concern; is it that the winter garden might not be completed for a long time, and you would still be paying the rent for a place you are not happy with?

                In that case you need to have a signed letter from them, or have an insert in the contract that the winter garden will be completed by a certain date, and agree a rent reduction in advance if this does not happen. If they are not willing to do this, walk away.
                All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                • #9
                  Hi Bel!

                  The agent 'enhanced' an ARLA AST with already mentioned clauses.

                  The problem with these people is, that they
                  a) don't answer any question or concerns I raise
                  b) the responsible agent has obviously serious problems with writing business letters in general
                  c) I have repeatedly asked for a schedule for the work which has to be done, this was never answered
                  d) If there are answers they are inconclusive or insufficient (e.g. I do not even know how much rent I am supposed to pay for the temporary flat)

                  The main problem is, that I am homeless without the temp. flat. I am looking for an other place, as I do not think that there will be anything happen anyway. They stated in an E-mail that the work on the winter gardens will be starting in 2 1/2 month. I am not so interested in when it is supposed to start, I want to know when it is finished.

                  My gut says: The developer has cash flow problems. Neither the landlord nor the agent can be trusted. I will not get any paper which commits the landlord to give a certain date for the completion of the outstanding work nor will they agree a reduction of the rent.
                  The best thing is to walk away, but not into homelessness or paying for the prison cell I live at the moment.

                  He states that he is 'not prepared for this situation' and that is his reason to give me 2 weeks time to make a decision which is anyway overdue for weeks and the circumstances leading to that mess are clearly not my fault. (and he must have known that they can't keep the schedule)

                  It would already be a help to know whether the 2 weeks 'notice' (or however you will call this) is legal.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Penny Prosperity View Post
                    Hi Bel!

                    The agent 'enhanced' an ARLA AST with already mentioned clauses.

                    The problem with these people is, that they
                    a) don't answer any question or concerns I raise
                    b) the responsible agent has obviously serious problems with writing business letters in general
                    c) I have repeatedly asked for a schedule for the work which has to be done, this was never answered
                    d) If there are answers they are inconclusive or insufficient (e.g. I do not even know how much rent I am supposed to pay for the temporary flat)

                    The main problem is, that I am homeless without the temp. flat. I am looking for an other place, as I do not think that there will be anything happen anyway. They stated in an E-mail that the work on the winter gardens will be starting in 2 1/2 month. I am not so interested in when it is supposed to start, I want to know when it is finished.

                    My gut says: The developer has cash flow problems. Neither the landlord nor the agent can be trusted. I will not get any paper which commits the landlord to give a certain date for the completion of the outstanding work nor will they agree a reduction of the rent.
                    The best thing is to walk away, but not into homelessness or paying for the prison cell I live at the moment.

                    He states that he is 'not prepared for this situation' and that is his reason to give me 2 weeks time to make a decision which is anyway overdue for weeks and the circumstances leading to that mess are clearly not my fault. (and he must have known that they can't keep the schedule)

                    It would already be a help to know whether the 2 weeks 'notice' (or however you will call this) is legal.
                    What ever you sign to you must be at least prepared to honour, or you may lose deposit money.

                    But the bottom line is, its illegal to evict anyone from their home without a court order. If you have an AST, they cannot apply for a court order for at least 6 months, unless you are in arrears of rent or your conduct is very very bad. If they try anything else to make you feel uncomfortable to leave, it is harrassment and you are protected against this by law. What ever terms of notice they put in the agreement cannot be enforced if the conditions are worse then you are entitled to by law.

                    If the bank forecloses on the property then you can find yourself without a home much quicker; for all you know they may be very close to that happening, and you will get very short notice to leave.

                    My feeling is the winter garden is not going to happen any time soon.

                    ...........................

                    Edit: By 2 weeks notice do you mean that you must make up your mind in two weeks if you want to go ahead?
                    I don't think you could expect to hold on for ever...what happens if they get a lot of people wanting to rent the place?

                    You need to look at the receipt they gave you for your money; what does it say?

                    If they have not got many people interested, then you are in a strong position to negotiate the rent down.
                    All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                    • #11
                      Hi

                      Notice has been served as per the agreement you have 7 days to vacate ,

                      Kind regards


                      That was the notice he (the agents boss) has given me. That is all nothing else added.

                      And the 2 weeks were not to make my mind up, that was the notice, he now reduced to 7 days.

                      Anyway, I am tired of all that and consult a lawyer.

                      BTW: There is only one of the uncompleted flats occupied, all the other ones are still for rent. I talked to an other agent, people are interested but without finishing the building no one is so stupid and signes a lease.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Getting legal advice as soon as possible is the best way, as your situation is so unique.

                        I have just read your other threads, and now realise that you are already in the temporary flat.

                        You do not have to vacate your flat in 7 days. They need a court order to remove you. This takes time.

                        If you have not paid rent, then the agreement may not be an AST, so the 6 month rule will not apply.

                        If you have not paid any rent yet, I can see why they want you to move quickly.

                        You are entitled to have your rent in the new flat assessed, once you are moved in, if you think that the amount is well above market rent.

                        Best of luck
                        All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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