UNITE student accomodation: T threatened with eviction

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  • UNITE student accomodation: T threatened with eviction

    Hi

    I just want to say first that i really appreciate any advice any one is able to give me. thank you for reading this.

    well, i'm a student in sheffield about to go into my third year. anyway, i signed my tenancy agreement with the accomodation owned by UNITE a few months back, paid my deposit and everything. this agreement started just a few days ago.

    now i've got a couple of mates who are in sheffield on work placement till the end of sept. they are also students. but it's not worthwhile for them to get student accom for one month or any private accom (they couldn't for one month). so i decided to let them stay in my flat for the past few nights while i was still back at home with parents. i didnt intend to move into my accom until sometime next week.

    anyway, the manager of the accomodation found out that i was letting my mates stay there while i want present. and now the manager is demanding that i have to leave the accomodation by tomorrow. i've only had a few days notice and am panicking to find something else. i'm also feeling physically unwell because of the siatuation...

    the manager said that they will find me a replacement tenant if i leave by thursday and only keep my deposit. if i dont leave by thursday, i will have to find a replacement tenant (which includes paying rent until i find someone) and still have to leave. as you can see they are giving me no options, i lose out both way and i dont think this is fair. i honestly feel like im being bullied by the manager and other staff of the accom, who want to see me out.

    anyway, i'm a law student and don't think this can be right. can they really tell me to leave like this? can they force me out? was what i did a breach serious enough to terminate the contract?

    i'm unsure what my rights are, and i'm stuck. i'm trying to find an accomodation in sheffield without luck and have to have my things moved out by tomorrow.

    i honestly don't know what to do, and my parents are just as clueless as i am.

    i would be grateful if anyone could help me out in the situation. thank you so much for reading this.

    please let me know if you need anymore information :-)

  • #2
    Can you clarify what sort of tenancy contract you have with Unite and confirm the start date? Presumably an AST Assured Shorthold Tenancy? Have you paid over a deposit?

    Did your "mates" pay you for them staying there? Did they cause any Damage or disturbance? - how many of them stayed and for how long?

    Dont panic and dont move out - tell them you are currently taking legal advice.
    The comments given here are provided free of charge and inevitably without sight or knowledge of the full facts and are thus given in good faith but without liability and should not be relied upon as formal legal advice.

    Comment


    • #3
      Is 'UNITE':
      a. the Trades Union; or
      b. a wing of one of the Universities in Sheffield? In case 'b', either The University of Sheffield or Sheffield Hallam University, the letting is probably outside the Housing Act 1988: paragraph 8 of Schedule 1 [see below].

      8. (1) A tenancy which is granted to a person who is pursuing, or intends to pursue, a course of study provided by a specified educational institution and is so granted either by that institution or by another specified institution or body of persons.
      (2) In sub-paragraph (1) above specified means specified, or of a class specified, for the purposes of this paragraph by regulations made by the Secretary of State by statutory instrument.
      (3) A statutory instrument made in the exercise of the power conferred by sub-paragraph (2) above shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
      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


      • #4
        Jeffrey,

        UNITE is the largest supplier of Student Accommodation in the Country. They are a public company who have developed and built lots of new blocks etc specifically for the purpose. They either then directly let to the students or they provide the building to the University to them to use as Halls Of Residence to put students in. Hence my question about whether its an AST or not, which if its direct with Unite it will be.
        The comments given here are provided free of charge and inevitably without sight or knowledge of the full facts and are thus given in good faith but without liability and should not be relied upon as formal legal advice.

        Comment


        • #5
          thanks for the replies :-)

          its UNITE, a company providing student accomodation across the country.

          there is no direct mention of it being an AST in the contract however. I'm unsure myself what type of contract it is.

          I've paid a deposit.

          No my mates did not pay me. one of them was due to move out today anyway, and the other would have stayed for a few more weeks. but since i was moving back this weekend to sheffield, my accom wouldn't be able to do anything as we are allowed to have guests stay overnight (at least every student i know does this).

          they didnt cause any disturbance according to one of my flatmates. the other flatmate actually put in a noise complaint which is how the accomodation found out. however my mates and other flatmate believes this is because the new flatmate didnt like my mates when she met them...

          they had only stayed for a 3 nights, and 2 of them. also, both of them had stayed and paid for that same accomodation the year before and throughout the summer.

          they only moved to my room after their summer agreement with the accomodation ended, and this was under a week ago.

          Comment


          • #6
            the contract was directly with unite..not through my university if that helps.

            Comment


            • #7
              As I indicated in my previous posts - the question of whether the agreement is with Unite or with the University is critical - as I clarified for Jeffrey if its direct with Unite it is 99.9% likely to be an AST, if however its a standard Halls Of Residence contract with the Uni (because Unite have given the building to the Uni) then you have little protection other than what the terms of the contract state.

              As you say its with Unite then we must assume its an AST in which case they cant just throw you out with out proper notice or a court order.

              I am very surprised the agreement does not refer to it being an AST or make reference to the Housing Act - check again.

              Also, what is the term of the tenancy and what (if anything) does it say about "Protection of the Deposit" with an authorised scheme?
              The comments given here are provided free of charge and inevitably without sight or knowledge of the full facts and are thus given in good faith but without liability and should not be relied upon as formal legal advice.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by LilMe View Post
                the contract was directly with unite..not through my university if that helps.
                OK. So UNITE probably owns the block and lets direct to student tenants (i.e. rather than letting whole block to University for latter's sub-letting).
                You most likely are an Assured Shorthold Tenant. Even if you have breached the AST obligations, L cannot evict you other than with a Court Order.
                Harassment is a criminal offence.
                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
                  PRS, thanks for the reply.

                  I'm surprised too..there is nothing stating it is a AST. It is directly with Unite nothing to do with my uni. It is a fixed term until mid July next year.

                  I can't find any reference to the Housing Act either. I will try to put a copy up (without personal details) of the contract later on if I can (if thats allowed on the forum).

                  Regarding deposit, I can't find anything like that. Theres no mention of an authorised scheme.

                  jeffrey, thanks for the reply

                  the agreement also mentions the accomodation having to obtain a court order which i'm told can take months.

                  if i continue to stay in the accomodation during this period, will i still be liable to pay for the rent?

                  I feel like i am being harassed, and the shelter website also states this as an offence.

                  thanks for the replies :-)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LilMe View Post
                    the agreement also mentions the accomodation having to obtain a court order which i'm told can take months.

                    if i continue to stay in the accomodation during this period, will i still be liable to pay for the rent?
                    Yes, of course. If you affirm a continuing tenancy, it follows that your rent liability continues too.
                    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


                    • #11
                      thanks jeffrey

                      im thinking of trying to negotiate with them first. but if they cant do this, then i will wait for them to give me the correct notice and go for a court order. this also gives me more time to find a place.

                      however, in this student accomodation we pay rent in 3 installments. one in oct, then jan, then april.

                      if I stay till lets say novemeber, will I only be liable for rent for the weeks i have stayed? i'm in an agreement where i've contracted to pay the fill amount until july next year.

                      assuming in the circumstances of course that it was the landlord who ended the agreement.

                      thank you

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It would be really useful if you could post up/attach the first couple of pages from your (tenancy)agreement cos a couple of things dont really add up.......

                        And, "im thinking of trying to negotiate with them first" ...why would you want to negotiate out of an agreement which has 9 months to go and you havent yet moved into the property?
                        The comments given here are provided free of charge and inevitably without sight or knowledge of the full facts and are thus given in good faith but without liability and should not be relied upon as formal legal advice.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Unless the tenancy agreement specifically forbids you to have overnight guests then I do not see what grounds they will use for trying to evict you. It is not as if you were subletting as you received no rent from them.

                          Given the choice, would you prefer to stay in that accommodation, or would you prefer to find somewhere else?
                          '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


                          • #14
                            If you haven't yet moved in, can your visitors be considered guests before you move in?

                            As UNITE markets itself as providing secure and safe accommodation (it emphasis the security of its grounds and building and the provision of pass key entry systems etc) I wonder if there is anything in your tenancy agreement about not giving keys to other people.

                            I suspect the combination of complaints from other tenants, you not yet living there and unknown people living in your room has upset the landlord.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I had a quick look at the UNITE website and under their 'legal stuff' it gives you their contract and it is an AST. http://www.unite-students.com/unite-...onditions.page

                              They do have this clause:

                              3.15.4 require the incoming tenant to enter into an agreement with the Landlord which confirms that the incoming tenant will observe and comply with the obligations of the Tenant contained in the Tenancy Agreement.

                              The Tenant will not sublet the Room or part with possession or share occupation of the Room or any part of it under any circumstances.


                              Does anyone know if this clause would cover this situation and could they really enforce this clause? It would appear that if you abided by this clause, you couldn't even have overnight visitors!

                              Comment

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