AST's term expired, no new let, no-one's collecting our rent

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    AST's term expired, no new let, no-one's collecting our rent

    Hi,

    I'm a student and have been living in the same property along with 4 other tenants for the past 2 years. For the first year we signed an 11 month contract and paid rent as expected. The contract expired last July. We paid a deposit to secure the property again for the following year but the estate agents didn't make us sign a new contract. We all intend to move out at the end of June and as we still haven't been asked to sign a new contract for the current year or pay any rent, I am wondering where we stand legally? If they ask us to sign a contract now, do we have to sign and pay for the past 10 months? Can they take us to court for unpaid rent if none of us have signed a contract?

    Thanks for any replies!

    #2
    Originally posted by jennyweasley View Post
    Hi,

    I'm a student and have been living in the same property along with 4 other tenants for the past 2 years. For the first year we signed an 11 month contract and paid rent as expected. The contract expired last July. We paid a deposit to secure the property again for the following year but the estate agents didn't make us sign a new contract. We all intend to move out at the end of June and as we still haven't been asked to sign a new contract for the current year or pay any rent, I am wondering where we stand legally? If they ask us to sign a contract now, do we have to sign and pay for the past 10 months? Can they take us to court for unpaid rent if none of us have signed a contract?

    Thanks for any replies!
    Please confirm : you have been living in the property for one year paying rent and a further 10 months without paying any 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


      #3
      Yes that's right. We've been blessed with the world's most incompetent landlord and estate agents!

      Comment


        #4
        Exactly what I was thinking - have you not paid rent for 10 months?

        Comment


          #5
          If you live there, you owe rent. I imagine your original contract was an assured shorthold tenancy agreement? If this is the case, even if you didn't sign another contract your original contract will have become periodic (ie on a month to month basis), but you still need to pay rent....
          I imagine your LL is going to be furious when he realises how useless the LA is!

          Comment


            #6
            As post #5 says, there is a tenancy. It's a statutory periodic tenancy [s.5 of 198 Act] continuing the effect of the fixed-term tenancy. Every further month is a new one-month continuation period (assuming monthly rent during the eleven-month term). Consequently, L does have the right to demand rent since fixed term expiry, you all have an obligation to pay it once demanded, and each party has power to bring the SPT to an end. This would be:
            a. (by L) on the basis of any already-served Notice under s.21(1)(b) or- if none- by now serving a s.21(4)(a) Notice; or
            b. (by T) by giving Notice To Quit- at least one month's Notice AND running up to & inc. an SPT month end.
            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


              #7
              Originally posted by jennyweasley View Post
              Yes that's right. We've been blessed with the world's most incompetent landlord and estate agents!
              Well, legally your position is:

              (i) you owe rent for the time you have occupied the house up to the expiry of any notice you give/have given and your LL can pursue you jointly and severally for that rent
              (ii) your tenancy sounds to have become periodic after the expiry of your 12 month fixed-term contract, so you may terminate your tenancy with one month's notice to expire at the end of a rent period. Your LL could claim I suppose that you agreed to another 12 month fixed temr contract (quite common with student tenancies), so in that case, you could walk away on the last day of the 12 motnhs without notice and with no further commitment.

              The fact that you have not signed another contract is immaterial - the tenancy can be orally-granted and it clearly exists...although the fact that no rent has been offered or accepted might complicate it - I'm not sure.
              '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


                #8
                I wouldn't class yourself as blessed! I would class you as very naive! I hope you have saved this 10 months worth!

                It sounds as though you are on a periodic. Why the landlord or agent hasn't chased you for rent I do not know. But the landlord can chase you for it or take you to court I believe

                why didn't you go see the agent when you were due to renew?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by remyrobson View Post
                  I imagine your LL is going to be furious when he realises how useless the LA is!
                  Sounds as though the LL is equally useless - you would think he would have noticed the absence of rent coming into his account, wouldn't you?
                  '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


                    #10
                    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                    Sounds as though the LL is equally useless - you would think he would have noticed the absence of rent coming into his account, wouldn't you?
                    But it's L's Letting Agent whose job it is to collect rent- so that's whom L can blame.
                    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
                      Originally posted by jennyweasley View Post
                      Hi,

                      I'm a student and have been living in the same property along with 4 other tenants for the past 2 years. For the first year we signed an 11 month contract and paid rent as expected. The contract expired last July. We paid a deposit to secure the property again for the following year but the estate agents didn't make us sign a new contract. We all intend to move out at the end of June and as we still haven't been asked to sign a new contract for the current year or pay any rent, I am wondering where we stand legally? If they ask us to sign a contract now, do we have to sign and pay for the past 10 months? Can they take us to court for unpaid rent if none of us have signed a contract?

                      Thanks for any replies!
                      It would interesting to know if your parents acted as guarantors for the original tenancy, it would also be interesting to know if you put the owed rent aside for the day the landlord demanded it back (a silly question, I know!) because despite the total their incompetence a short trip by the landlrod to the small claims court would see each of you owing the full amount payable in 28 days or you will start life with a credit millstone around your neck in the form of a CCJ

                      What on earth were you thinking?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                        But it's L's Letting Agent whose job it is to collect rent- so that's whom L can blame.
                        I agree, but any LL who goes for 10 months without bothering about/noticing a shortfall of over £1000 pcm in his account is either extremely altruistic, unhinged, too rich to care or the world's worst organised person. It's not normal, is it?
                        '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


                          #13
                          thanks for the replies! and calm down guys, i've saved my rent money, i'm not a complete idiot. not sure about the rest of my housemates though!

                          also, forgot to mention this, but one of the old tenants (one of the one's that signed the 11 month contract) moved out at the end of the contract and a new tenant moved in who also hasn't been made to sign anything. can she be legally made to pay rent?

                          and yes our parents were all guarantors on the original contract.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                            I agree, but any LL who goes for 10 months without bothering about/noticing a shortfall of over £1000 pcm in his account is either extremely altruistic, unhinged, too rich to care or the world's worst organised person. It's not normal, is it?
                            I disagree. L may be extremely busy, or abroad, or in hospital/prison. There are many reasons why the non-receipt of income might not be known.
                            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


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jennyweasley View Post
                              thanks for the replies! and calm down guys, i've saved my rent money, i'm not a complete idiot. not sure about the rest of my housemates though!

                              also, forgot to mention this, but one of the old tenants (one of the one's that signed the 11 month contract) moved out at the end of the contract and a new tenant moved in who also hasn't been made to sign anything. can she be legally made to pay rent?

                              and yes our parents were all guarantors on the original contract.
                              Assuming you signed a joint tenancy contract originally, I'm afraid that legally your LL could sue any or all of you, including the one who left, jointly and severally for all the rent, if he chose so to do. In a joint contract the concept of any one person's 'share' does not exist. So if I were you I would be making sure you have the parental home addresses of your housemates and the names of their guarantors, just in case...it's not a guarantee he won't come after you personally for the whole lot, but you could sue the rest of them for it if you had to.
                              '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

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