Agreement unsigned (or inadequately signed): void?

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    #16
    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
    The fact that the AST is unsigned does not mean there was no tenancy; T has clearly paid a deposit, paid rent and occupied the property. That should not be an issue, especially as T has been supplied with the written TA. An AST can be an oral agreement, if push comes to shove. The salient issue is that you say you did not protect T's deposit.That was very unwise.

    This means that you risk T suing you for 3x the deposit which is the penalty for non-compliance.

    You have 4 options :

    1 fight them for the final month's rent and risk them suing you for non-protection of deposit;
    2 protect their deposit immediately and supply them with prescribed info as you should have done 5 months ago (although this is not a foolproof way of avoiding the penalty, it has worked for some LLs so far), then pursue them for the last month's rent;
    3 cut your losses, return their deposit immediately and wave goodbye to the lost rent;
    4 return the deposit and still pursue the rent.

    Returning the deposit in full means they cannot then sue you for not protecting it; hanging onto the unprotected deposit in lieu of the missing rent is not an option.
    Does this all still apply if the tenancy was before 2007 when deposit protection became law?

    Comment


      #17
      Originally posted by Road Runner View Post
      Does this all still apply if the tenancy was before 2007 when deposit protection became law?
      No, unless the tenancy has since been renewed by means of a new AST (as opposed to being allowe dto become periodic).

      Oxtailsoup has given us to understand that this tenancy began five months ago, however.
      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
        No, unless the tenancy has since been renewed by means of a new AST (as opposed to being allowe dto become periodic).

        Oxtailsoup has given us to understand that this tenancy began five months ago, however.
        Thank you....Apologies though as I was asking for my own purpose, selfish I know to do that on someone else's post but I have a tenant who has been in situ since 2006 and wondered how it all works with that. I am new here and am trawling thru other posts to see if I can find some answers. Nobody has replied to my thread yet. Cheers.

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          #19
          Agreement unsigned (or inadequately signed): void?

          hi, im new to this forum and have been reading some of the threads, got a bit of a problem i thought someone might be able to give some advice on.

          im renting a 4 bed flat with mates with a joing tennancy agreement. 2 of the tennants havent paid the rent upto date, theres about 2 grand outstanding in total which one of the lads have agreed to pay 1grand off in 3 weeks once his student loan comes in but were still short 1k in the short term which we cannot pay at the moment.

          the landlady has threatened to take court action and came around the flat on friday going nuts after letting herself in and giving no indication of the visit prior. shes threatening us all saying we are all liable for the outstaning amount

          weve had a look at the joing tennancy agreement and only 2 of the tennants have signed it. also it has not been signed by the landlady or the letting agent on her behalf and no witness sig either. would this make the agreement void?? any idea where we stand in the matter?

          thanks in advance
          mick

          Comment


            #20
            Lack of signature does not make it void. Even an oral AST is valid (even though certainly not to be recommended).
            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


              #21
              Originally posted by mickmclardy View Post
              hi, im new to this forum and have been reading some of the threads, got a bit of a problem i thought someone might be able to give some advice on.

              im renting a 4 bed flat with mates with a joing tennancy agreement. 2 of the tennants havent paid the rent upto date, theres about 2 grand outstanding in total which one of the lads have agreed to pay 1grand off in 3 weeks once his student loan comes in but were still short 1k in the short term which we cannot pay at the moment.

              the landlady has threatened to take court action and came around the flat on friday going nuts after letting herself in and giving no indication of the visit prior. shes threatening us all saying we are all liable for the outstaning amount

              weve had a look at the joing tennancy agreement and only 2 of the tennants have signed it. also it has not been signed by the landlady or the letting agent on her behalf and no witness sig either. would this make the agreement void?? any idea where we stand in the matter?

              thanks in advance
              mick
              Good try, but no. A tenancy agreement does not have to be written - it could be granted as an oral agreement - and the fact that you have moved in, lived there, paid some rent and presumably a deposit, all point fairly conclusively to the fact that you are all joint tenants and that you are all jointly liable for the whole rent.

              She should not have come into the property without asking first, and you have the right to ask her not to do so.

              But you need to pay the rent.
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

              Comment


                #22
                Originally posted by mickmclardy View Post
                weve had a look at the joing tennancy agreement and only 2 of the tennants have signed it. also it has not been signed by the landlady or the letting agent on her behalf and no witness sig either. would this make the agreement void?? any idea where we stand in the matter?
                Hi

                Well, if I were you I would start by trying to establish clearly the legal status of you and the other occupiers. On the face of it there was, from what you say, an intention to create a joint tenancy. More than likely, that intention was carried through and you are each jointly and severally liable for the rent in full.

                Or alternatively, perhaps you each have individual tenancies; a long shot I would guess, but possibly worth looking at.

                So, it might be worth you giving a little more detail on why you think it is a joint tenancy along with some further details such as, do you pay your rents separately; did you all move in and start paying on the same day, or separate days; did you apply for the accommodation jointly or were you brought together by the landlord; why has the agreement not been signed; do you each have separate rooms and do you have locks on your rooms? Is there any other information you think might be relevant?

                Preston

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                  Lack of signature does not make it void. Even an oral AST is valid (even though certainly not to be recommended).
                  the thing is i wasnt aware of it being a joint agreement, fair enough i havent signed or read the tenancy agreement but we all paid our deposits seperately, and pay seperately each month (i have paid all of my rent every month and on time) the only reason i found out that it was a joint contract was since this matter arose (careless i know). i didnt even agree oraly that the agreement would be joint. i certainly cant afford to pay the other flat mates rent and am scared theyl send threatening letters to my guarentor (parents) who i know also cant afford to be paying for this. is it likely this would go to court and myself or guarentor will have to fork out this cash?

                  the agreement states its joint and were all liable, with regards to the rooms we all have seperate rooms with locks and pay the rent seperately. and we came to the flat together not brought in seperately by the agent.

                  thanks

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Were you one of the two tenants that signed the agreement and with regard to your guarantor, have they signed a deed of guarantee? If so, does it refer to a joint tenancy or just to you?

                    Preston

                    Comment


                      #25
                      also just out of interest. with 1 grand outstanding on the rent and the tennant currently seeking work and looking to pay it back asap does anyone know if it would it be worth the land ladys time and money to take four of us to court with the cost of legal fees?

                      thanks

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by Preston View Post
                        Were you one of the two tenants that signed the agreement and with regard to your guarantor, have they signed a deed of guarantee? If so, does it refer to a joint tenancy or just to you?

                        Preston

                        i am one of the tennants who hasnt signed the agreement, my parent signed a deed of guarentee which refers to me an not a join tenency.

                        cheers

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Before this gets trundled off to court, invite LL over, sit down and explain position, propose a sensible timeframe to pay off arrears, assure her that it wont happen again and i think you will find that she will be perfectly happy with this ?

                          Then make sure you stick to the agreement.

                          This is not uncommon territory for any seasoned LL. As long as the rent is paid and the prop looked after most of us are very reasonable creatures who understand that we all have cash flow crisis from time to time.
                          A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                          W.Churchill

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                            #28
                            Originally posted by mickmclardy View Post
                            i am one of the tennants who hasnt signed the agreement, my parent signed a deed of guarentee which refers to me an not a join tenency.

                            cheers
                            So, you didn't know it was intended (on the landlady's part) to be a joint tenancy when you agreed to take up the accommodation; you have paid your deposit separately; you pay your rent separately; you have your own room (of which you appear to have exclusive possession) and share other facilties; your parents have signed a guarantor's letter referring only to your letting and not to a joint tenancy; and you havent signed any agreement, let alone a joint tenancy.

                            Well, it may have started as a long shot, but its sounding pretty much like a sole tenancy to me - or at the very least its an argument worth persuing and I doubt whether, on the basis of the evidence you have presented so far, that the landlady would be able to prove the contrary should the matter be considered by a court.

                            If you are a sole tenant, you are responsible only for your rent and not for any apparently owed by any putative joint tenants.

                            Preston

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by Preston View Post
                              So, you didn't know it was intended (on the landlady's part) to be a joint tenancy when you agreed to take up the accommodation; you have paid your deposit separately; you pay your rent separately; you have your own room (of which you appear to have exclusive possession) and share other facilties; your parents have signed a guarantor's letter referring only to your letting and not to a joint tenancy; and you havent signed any agreement, let alone a joint tenancy.

                              Well, it may have started as a long shot, but its sounding pretty much like a sole tenancy to me - or at the very least its an argument worth persuing and I doubt whether, on the basis of the evidence you have presented so far, that the landlady would be able to prove the contrary should the matter be considered by a court.

                              If you are a sole tenant, you are responsible only for your rent and not for any apparently owed by any putative joint tenants.

                              Preston
                              I think we should be fine its not like the 2 unpaid tennants are doing a runner they both know what theyve got outstanding and are making an effort to come up with the money to foot the outstanding. hopefully shes just using scare tactics to try and get the money and wont actually take us to court. if she does as long as my parents dont have to get involved as the guarentor they signed only covers me as a sole tennant then im not too worried.

                              gonna pop into the agent and have a word with regards to the agreement tommorow morning and see what they have to say. thanks for the comments!

                              mick

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Originally posted by mickmclardy View Post
                                I wasn't aware of it being a joint agreement, fair enough I haven't signed or read the tenancy agreement
                                Originally posted by mickmclardy View Post
                                i am one of the tenants who hasn't signed the agreement, my parent signed a deed of guarentee which refers to me and not a joint tenancy.
                                These are the troubling bits: not only did you not sign the AST, you did not read it either.
                                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

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