L moves out; do lodgers become T? New Agreement?

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    L moves out; do lodgers become T? New Agreement?

    I am moving out of my property at the end of this month. I currently have 3 tenants/housemates/lodgers who signed a 6 month tenancy agreement approximately a year ago. I assume these have now lapsed into monthly periodic lettings.

    The agreement does not state anywhere that it is an AST, so I believe it is not an assured tenancy. We share the bathroom, kitchen and lounge, so I feel it is an Excluded tenancy. There is also the possibility that it may be a license to occupy in which case, as I understand it - it would not automatically become an AST upon my leaving.

    I need to know how to tell whether what I created with my housemates/tenants/lodgers was an excluded tenancy or a license to occupy, and thus what these lettings will automatically become upon my leaving.

    I also need to know if I need to create a new agreement, and if so - whether I now need to protect their deposits?

    #2
    What a confusing mess.

    Are we to assume you are - or have until now been - a resident landlord in this property? Do you own 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

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      #3
      Personally, I would consult a specialist landlord & tenant solicitor, as you really need to know the occupiers' status, and the £100 or £200 it might cost to establish this would be well worth it.

      You can't force the occupiers to sign a new agreement - it may be the case that their status changes automatically when you move out, regardless of any written contract. I don't know.

      As for deposits, best to err on the side of caution and protect them with the DPS (http://www.depositprotection.com/) - it is not essential for the tenancy to be an AST to use the service. Don't forget to provide the prescribed information, keep copies, and get proof of posting.

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        #4
        Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
        What a confusing mess.

        Are we to assume you are - or have until now been - a resident landlord in this property? Do you own it?
        Hehe, I didn't realise it was *that* confusing! I figured it was a fairly standard case of a resident landlord moving out of their property.

        To answer your question - yes I do own the house, and have been a resident landlord for 4 years. From the date I purchased the property, I have been living there with 3 lodgers/tenants on separate agreements.

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          #5
          If resident L moves out, I'm not sure that each T suddenly gains rights greater than previously enjoyed.
          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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            #6
            Originally posted by westminster View Post
            Personally, I would consult a specialist landlord & tenant solicitor, as you really need to know the occupiers' status, and the £100 or £200 it might cost to establish this would be well worth it.

            You can't force the occupiers to sign a new agreement - it may be the case that their status changes automatically when you move out, regardless of any written contract. I don't know.

            As for deposits, best to err on the side of caution and protect them with the DPS - it is not essential for the tenancy to be an AST to use the service. Don't forget to provide the prescribed information, keep copies, and get proof of posting.
            Thanks for you response. I have arranged a meeting with a local solicitor. However, they are not a specialist in tenancy law, although apparently have experience of writing up agreements. I did ask them about ground one notice and they seemed unaware of it, but said they would read up on it. Made me wonder about them a little, but I suppose one can't be expected to know the *entire* legal system off the top of ones head! I have dropped off my original tenancy agreement for the solicitor to have a read over before our meeting.

            I suspect I will end up protecting their deposits, to err on the side of caution like you suggest. However I am trying to find out a bit more about the whole Standard Assured Tenancy and Ground One Notice (served prior to tenancy commencement) option. I have seen people say somewhere on a forum that "only an amateur" would create a SAT, but does not elaborate further to explain his assertion. Obviously this makes me a little cautious about this option, but the possibility of not needing to find £1800 to lock away in the TDS seems foolish to ignore.

            Comment


              #7
              Er, from where do you get the idea is an SAT?
              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 Lull View Post
                Thanks for you response. I have arranged a meeting with a local solicitor. However, they are not a specialist in tenancy law, although apparently have experience of writing up agreements. I did ask them about ground one notice and they seemed unaware of it, but said they would read up on it.
                TBH I think you are wasting your money if the solicitor is not specialist in landlord & tenant law. Worse still, he may give you wrong information.

                Try http://www.painsmith.co.uk/

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                  Er, from where do you get the idea is an SAT?
                  I don't believe that what I currently have is a SAT.

                  But I got the idea from you (in other posts) about creating a SAT for my new tenant (and existing ones?) and serving a Ground One notice prior to the beginning of the tenancy. I believe I am in a position to do this since I have lived in the property as my only residence for four years.

                  However this does seem an uncommon arrangement, and I noted one or two remarks about SAT's (on other forums, that were not elaborated upon) that made me think it may have negative repercussions further along the line.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    p.s. You should also check whether you have an HMO.

                    http://www.lodgerlandlord.co.uk/2010...y-into-an-hmo/

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by westminster View Post
                      p.s. You should also check whether you have an HMO.
                      I do have an HMO, but not one that needs to be licensed it would seem. I have always tried to fulfill the requirements for HMOs but will be double checking now with my local authority, exactly what is required of non-licensed HMOs, due to a lack of clarity in their documentation.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        For anyone who is interested, I have decided to go for the simple (but expensive in the short-term) option of creating an AST for all of my existing and new tenants. I will therefore be protecting their deposits in the DPS.

                        I couldn't find enough info about the SAT + Ground One notice option to be convinced it was a good idea - and the solicitor I saw seemed to think it was dodgy. (Although I wondered if she just didn't want the hassle!)

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