Extending a fixed term aggrement

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    Extending a fixed term aggrement

    I am coming towards the end of a 12 month fixed term rental agreement on a three bedroom flat, which expires this August bank Holiday.

    The letting agency telephoned me in July asking if I was thinking about extending the lease and I replied that I was not sure and undecided. I did not hear from them since, so wrote a letter 3 weeks ago to try and initiate negotiations to extend the lease. A few weeks ago I find out that they have already started to market the property with some viewings lined up for this week!

    I definitely want to extend the lease, before someone else puts an offer down. It appears because of my previous uncertainty in July, that they have put the property back on the market, without a definite 'No' to the contract extension from me. Where do I stand legally?

    Would it be possible to renew the contract on a rolling 1 month basis?

    As an existing tenant do I have priority over newcomers? (I have always paid rent on time, kept the property in good order and not been served any notices)

    #2
    Originally posted by decent bloke View Post

    Would it be possible to renew the contract on a rolling 1 month basis?

    As an existing tenant do I have priority over newcomers? (I have always paid rent on time, kept the property in good order and not been served any notices)
    You do not have to move out at the end of your contract. If you stay in occupation you have the benefit of an automatic 'statutory periodic tenancy'. This is a monthly tenancy on exactly the same terms as your previous one with the exception that notice periods are governed as in the statute, that is two months notice from your landlord or one month from you, both notices must end on a 'rent due' day.

    You do not have to allow the agent any viewings either, simply tell him you intend to stay.

    Do not forget that your contract is with the landlord, not with the agent. This is a common ploy that agents use to get another set of fees from both landlord and tenant, your landlord may not even be aware what is happening.

    By speaking to your landlord you should be able to set his mind at rest that you are a good long term tenant and decide between you which avenue to take, do not let the agent push you.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

    Comment


      #3
      What should have been mentioned above, is that the landlord can serve you notice to leave if he doesn't want someone in his property that can leave at a moments notice.

      Landlords generally do not want to deal with the tenants direct, which is why they employ an agent.


      A lot of members would like to think that the landlord calls all the shots, and the letting agent has no choice but to follow instructions like a soldier, but in my limited experience, it is a partnership that needs mutual agreement for it to work.

      Best thing to do, is write to the letting agent and ask for a new fixed term.
      They did the right thing in re-marketing the property.
      Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jta View Post
        You do not have to move out at the end of your contract. If you stay in occupation you have the benefit of an automatic 'statutory periodic tenancy'. This is a monthly tenancy on exactly the same terms as your previous one with the exception that notice periods are governed as in the statute, that is two months notice from your landlord or one month from you, both notices must end on a 'rent due' day.
        So if I wanted a tenant to move out at the end of a 1 year contract would I have to give him notice 2 months before the end of the year?

        Comment


          #5
          Yes, if it's an AST: s.21(1)(b) of 1988 Act.
          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


            #6
            Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
            Yes, if it's an AST: s.21(1)(b) of 1988 Act.
            My contract states 'This agreemenet creates an assured shorthold tenancy within Part 1 Chapter 11 of the Housing Act 1988. This means that when the Term expires the Landlord can recover possession as set out in section 21 of that Act unless the Lanlord gives the Tenant a notice under paragraph 2 of Schedule 2A to that Act stating that the tenancy is no longer an assured shorthold tenancy'

            Neither of these are happened, so am I ok to write to the letting agent and im the meantime telephone the landlord with my willingness to extend the lease direct?, because currently said agent have apparently not initiated contact as they were unwilling to do a one month rolling contract with 30 days minimum notice... (which is what I would ideally want instead of 12 months again!)

            Another clause of my contract says 'To allow the Landlord or anyone with his written authority to enter the Property at reasonable times of day to inspect ints condition and state of repair, if 24hr notice has been given beforehand' - does this extent to viewings?

            Thanks in advance

            Comment


              #7
              If you simply want the statutory periodic tenancy continuation, why do anything at all? It'll then just happen.
              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 jeffrey View Post
                If you simply want the statutory periodic tenancy continuation, why do anything at all? It'll then just happen.
                I noticed attached to the back of the contract is a Section 21 1 b notice between tenant (me) and landlord, dated on the first day of the contract that says the landlord requires possession of the dwelling house after the end of tenancy date. Landlord is printed as the signature, is that allowable? It is signed by me too...

                Comment


                  #9
                  It's irrelevant. An SPT arises immediately the fixed term expires. The s.21 Notice merely tells T that L intends to seek possession.
                  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


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jta View Post
                    You do not have to move out at the end of your contract. If you stay in occupation you have the benefit of an automatic 'statutory periodic tenancy'. This is a monthly tenancy on exactly the same terms as your previous one with the exception that notice periods are governed as in the statute, that is two months notice from your landlord or one month from you, both notices must end on a 'rent due' day.
                    No, they must expire at the end of a rental period, which isn't equivalent to a rent due day.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by decent bloke View Post
                      I noticed attached to the back of the contract is a Section 21 1 b notice between tenant (me) and landlord, dated on the first day of the contract that says the landlord requires possession of the dwelling house after the end of tenancy date. Landlord is printed as the signature, is that allowable? It is signed by me too...
                      The s.21 notice is invalid if served before the tenancy began. As both contract and notice are dated the same day, LL cannot prove it was served before the tenancy began.

                      Also, did you pay a deposit and is it protected in a scheme? If not, or if it was not protected before the first day of the tenancy, this would also invalidate any s.21 served before the deposit was protected.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                        The s.21 Notice merely tells T that L intends to seek possession.
                        Just so I have this clear, from a LL's point of view, the s.21 isn't a notice to quit? What else has to be done?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Thyrsis View Post
                          Just so I have this clear, from a LL's point of view, the s.21 isn't a notice to quit? What else has to be done?
                          jta did tell you, briefly, in post #2!

                          1. L tells T (by the Notice) of intention to seek possession- say, at fixed term expiry [s.21(1)(b)].
                          2. T does not vacate on fixed term expiry.
                          3. T then has an SPT.
                          4. L takes possession proceedings against T and seeks a Possession Order.
                          5. If/when the Possession Order is made, it's served on T.
                          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


                            #14
                            Originally posted by westminster View Post
                            The s.21 notice is invalid if served before the tenancy began. As both contract and notice are dated the same day, LL cannot prove it was served before the tenancy began.

                            Also, did you pay a deposit and is it protected in a scheme? If not, or if it was not protected before the first day of the tenancy, this would also invalidate any s.21 served before the deposit was protected.
                            The contract and s.21 notice both have the same date. The s.21 notice is stapled to the back of the contract, but I may have signed that first as its only one page compared to the 6-7 page contract...

                            Yes there is a deposit equivilant to 6 weeks rent, circa £1.5K. I was handed an information leaflet for tenants, printed from my|deposits.co.uk, however don't remember signing any other paperwork other than the inventory checklist about a week later. Thinking back I never got a copy of the Deposit Protection Certificate to sign, however just checked online on the mydeposits site & it comes up as protected for Aug '09 month, but does not show the date protection started. Is the s.21 still valid?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by decent bloke View Post
                              The contract and s.21 notice both have the same date. The s.21 notice is stapled to the back of the contract, but I may have signed that first as its only one page compared to the 6-7 page contract...

                              Yes there is a deposit equivilant to 6 weeks rent, circa £1.5K. I was handed an information leaflet for tenants, printed from my|deposits.co.uk, however don't remember signing any other paperwork other than the inventory checklist about a week later. Thinking back I never got a copy of the Deposit Protection Certificate to sign, however just checked online on the mydeposits site & it comes up as protected for Aug '09 month, but does not show the date protection started. Is the s.21 still valid?
                              The s.21 is not valid if it was served either before the tenancy began (and even if you did sign the notice after the contract, LL cannot prove it) OR if it was served before the deposit was protected (you do not have to sign anything for the deposit to be protected).

                              It doesn't matter hugely, as if the LL wants to end your tenancy, he can serve another, valid, s.21 notice. But I see no reason why he would want to if you want to renew your contract - it's much easier to keep you on than to find a new tenant (assuming you're a good tenant).

                              Comment

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