Commitment For a 3-Year Let

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    Commitment For a 3-Year Let

    I have just found some tenants who want to rent my property. They have asked if I will remove some of the furniture (two beds, two wardrobes, dining room chairs). As I have nowhere to store the furniture then I would have to throw it away and then I would also have to replace it when these tenants move out.

    I am thinking of agreeing to this as they have said they would intend to stay for a minimum of 3 years. I would consider it worthwhile if I knew I had guaranteed tenants for 3 years (no void periods and no hassle finding new tenants in that time).

    My concern is what kind of commitment can I get that they will stay for at least 3 years?

    * Can an AST be for a minimum term of 3 years?

    * Could I add a clause to the contract stating that if they do not stay for 3 years then they would have to pay an extra amount?

    Thanks for any advice/suggestions.

    #2
    You can have an AST for three years, yes, but it is a bit of a two-edged sword. You need to be very sure that they are the sort of Ts you want for three years.

    And how can they be sure that their circumstances will not change in the next three years? Are they committed to the area - do they have stable employment?

    I hope for your sake that they are model tenants, but might it be an idea to offer a three year tenancy contract with a break clause at 6 or 12 months... just in case?

    You do not need a special clause saying that if they move out early (except by agreement), they will still be liable for rent - that is a contractural requirement.
    '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
      Thank you for your reply. Yes, I see what you mean about the risks of having an agreement for 3 years. Regarding the clause, I meant because it will be costing me to get rid of the furniture and then to buy new furniture when these tenants move out, could I put a clause stating that if they do not renew the contract after the first year then they agree to pay me an agreed sum towards the cost of removing the furniture and its replacement when they move out?

      As they have said they intend to stay for a minimum of 3 years (they have two small children and want a stable environment for them) then I would agree to remove the furniture but it would turn out to be very expensive for me if they then turn round and say they are moving after a year.

      What I would like to do is have a contract for a year and put in a clause saying they will compensate me a certain amount re the furniture if they choose not to renew the contract for another year.

      Is that feasible and legal?

      Comment


        #4
        If they are truly committed for 3 years, then you can have a 3 year AST, with break clauses that are only available to you.

        Comment


          #5
          Really? That's interesting, I didn't know that, I always assumed a break clause was mutual. So how do I do that - just put it in as a clause that the landlord can terminate the contract after a given time?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by ABC123 View Post
            Really? That's interesting, I didn't know that, I always assumed a break clause was mutual. So how do I do that - just put it in as a clause that the landlord can terminate the contract after a given time?
            Yes, but have it professionally drafted (pref. by your solicitor). Several recent LZ threads turned on cackhanded DiY drafting errors in break clauses.
            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 Snorkerz View Post
              If they are truly committed for 3 years, then you can have a 3 year AST, with break clauses that are only available to you.
              A break clause that is not bilateral would fail in court as being unfair if only the landlord can supposedly break the contract.
              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


                #8
                Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                A break clause that is not bilateral would fail in court as being unfair if only the landlord can supposedly break the contract.
                Even an unfair term is still legally binding unless and until a court strikes it out under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.
                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).

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