Extending a fixed term aggrement

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    #16
    Originally posted by westminster View Post
    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).
    But the landlord might want to be 'greedy'? The properties currently up for £1200 pcm. It was advertised last year at £1160 pcm, which we ended up reluctantly negotiating to £1040 via the agency for a fast move in date. (next day switchover so property wasn't empty at all!) Nothing in my contract says about rental increases. Is there any way that I can make it continue at the existing rate?

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      #17
      Originally posted by decent bloke View Post
      Is there any way that I can make it continue at the existing rate?
      No, because if LL wants more rent, and you will not agree to sign a new contract at that level of rent, then LL can, ultimately, evict you - it would take at least 3-4 months if you refused to go voluntarily (during which time you would be liable for rent at the current level).

      It still wouldn't make much sense for the LL to evict a reliable tenant. Look, all you can do is tell the agent you want to negotiate a new fixed term, and see what they say...

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        #18
        Originally posted by westminster View Post
        it would take at least 3-4 months if you refused to go voluntarily (during which time you would be liable for rent at the current level).
        The landlord could raise the rent using a sec 13, negating the tenant needing to agree to a rent increase.
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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          #19
          Originally posted by thesaint View Post
          The landlord could raise the rent using a sec 13, negating the tenant needing to agree to a rent increase.
          But T can challenge any s.13 proposed increase.
          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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            #20
            Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
            But T can challenge any s.13 proposed increase.
            As I understand it, they can only challenge it by referring it to the rent assessment commitee.

            If they(Rent assessment Committee) decide it is fair, then the tenant will be liable for the new rent from the date of the proposed increase.
            The rent assessment committee can say that a higher rent than the proposed rent is fair.

            As the OP has already said that he is paying less than the market rent, I think this challenge would have few teeth.
            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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              #21
              True, although post #19 is accurate so far as it goes.
              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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                #22
                Originally posted by westminster View Post
                No, they must expire at the end of a rental period, which isn't equivalent to a rent due day.

                That's true, mea culpa.
                I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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                  #23
                  Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                  As I understand it, they can only challenge it by referring it to the rent assessment commitee.

                  If they(Rent assessment Committee) decide it is fair, then the tenant will be liable for the new rent from the date of the proposed increase.
                  The rent assessment committee can say that a higher rent than the proposed rent is fair.

                  As the OP has already said that he is paying less than the market rent, I think this challenge would have few teeth.
                  The 2010 asking price is up £5pcw compared to the 2009 asking price. I personally think they always overinflate the asking price by at least 10% to allow for negotiations. I would be willing to pay a bit more than 1040, say a 2% increase to 1060 pcm, but not a 15% increase to 1200 pcm.

                  If I can not get the price down to 1060ish pcm in negotiations (say because other new T are offering more), then the agency will still be showing people around with the intention of them moving in as early as the start of September.

                  What if a new T signs a contract, without agency realising the s.21 that they served is invalid? as it was signed before the tenancy aggrement. I am worried that I could come back after the august bank holiday to a flat occupied by strangers, using my furnishings and eating my food / drinking from the spirits cabinet!

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by decent bloke View Post
                    The 2010 asking price is up £5pcw compared to the 2009 asking price. I personally think they always overinflate the asking price by at least 10% to allow for negotiations. I would be willing to pay a bit more than 1040, say a 2% increase to 1060 pcm, but not a 15% increase to 1200 pcm.

                    If I can not get the price down to 1060ish pcm in negotiations (say because other new T are offering more), then the agency will still be showing people around with the intention of them moving in as early as the start of September.
                    In all honesty, every area is different, I can't comment properly on yours. I can tell you that I believe any legal challenge by means of a rent assessment committeee to the rent increase(once properly served) will be futile.

                    The letting agency would more than likely recommend to the landlord that you stay at a slightly lower than market rate, as if you are a good tenant, that is worth more to an agent/landlord than an unknown tenant offering a few pounds more.

                    Originally posted by decent bloke View Post

                    What if a new T signs a contract, without agency realising the s.21 that they served is invalid? as it was signed before the tenancy aggrement. I am worried that I could come back after the august bank holiday to a flat occupied by strangers, using my furnishings and eating my food / drinking from the spirits cabinet!
                    They can't do that. They need to gain vacant possession.
                    If you don't go willingly, then they need to gain a possession order etc etc.

                    This will cost you money. Better to ask them to stop marketing the property now, and negotiate for a new fixed term.
                    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                    Comment


                      #25
                      The agency can not show anyone around the property without your permission. Whilst you have a tenancy you have exclusive occupation rights.

                      If LA found a new tenant and you didn't move (as is your right) then the problem wold be between the new tenant and LA - not your issue.

                      In the extremely unlkely event your 'back from hols' scenario did happen, you would have been illegally evicted. You would probably have to find alternative short-term accommodation, but a lawyer would make it well worth your while - I have heard of 'damages' for illegal eviction running at over £1k per day.

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                        #26
                        Originally posted by decent bloke View Post

                        If I can not get the price down to 1060ish pcm in negotiations (say because other new T are offering more), then the agency will still be showing people around with the intention of them moving in as early as the start of September.
                        As previously advised, the LL must obtain a possession order from the courts if you do not move out voluntarily. This would take at least 3-4 months from start to finish (because the s.21 already served is almost certainly invalid), possibly longer. If LL tried to use the invalid s.21 as a basis for an application for possession (N.B. the s.21 itself does not end the tenancy, it just entitles the LL to apply for possession after it expires), you could challenge this and point out to the court that the s.21 was served before the tenancy began and/or before the deposit was protected/before you were provided with the prescribed information.

                        In short, there is no way they can legally move another tenant in at the start of September, unless you volunteer to surrender your tenancy.

                        What if a new T signs a contract, without agency realising the s.21 that they served is invalid? as it was signed before the tenancy aggrement. I am worried that I could come back after the august bank holiday to a flat occupied by strangers, using my furnishings and eating my food / drinking from the spirits cabinet!
                        If this happened, it would be a case of illegal eviction - this is a criminal and a civil offence. Not only could the LL be prosecuted (and face a heavy fine and custodial sentence), but you could bring a civil claim for damages against the LL. And, as snorkerz says, awards for damages can be very high.

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                          #27
                          Thanks for the advise everyone, I now know my options but am not sure how best to inform the agent of my intentions, as they want someone in at the start of September 1st, so are possibly not aware that the s.21 that they served on me before the contract is invalid.

                          Ideally I want to stay for at least another two months because I am moving job in the start of October and this would give me one months security to see what the commute is like, (congestion charge, so have to trial public transport when the school kids are back), and if it's too long then I could always move at the end of October closer to work, without the burden of having to find another tenant to move into this place.

                          What is the best time / way to inform them their s.21 is invalid and until if/when I have been given a valid notice to quit, that I do not want to be in a fixed to a 12 month contract until I have to, and that T and agent can talk about extending the contract for 6/12 months when notice from the LL ends the periodic agreement.

                          Would I make a payment at the end of this rental period as usual for next month?

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by decent bloke View Post

                            What is the best time / way to inform them their s.21 is invalid
                            Be decent, and tell them now.
                            Give them a move out date, and don't mess them around with silly cat and mouse games.
                            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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                              #29
                              thesaints comments are the decent thing to do. However....

                              You could wait until they get around to issuing court proceedings and then defend the possession claim with the fact that the s21 is invalid due to being served before the AST.

                              The landlord would then have to serve you with a fresh/correct s21 together with relevant notice. This will extend your stay, but not by much. It would also cost the landlord court fees, so may not help future references!

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