AST expires- is there an extension or a continuation?

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    AST expires- is there an extension or a continuation?

    Hi - I'd really like some advice on the legalities of a situation. I feel pretty ignorant over all the clauses which seem to be in existance over tenancy agreements!
    The situation is this:-
    My partner has rented a flat since 7th August 2004, as an assured shorthold tenancy. The landlord contacted him in January to tell him that he wanted to sell the flat, and unless he stayed a further 12 months he would have to leave. My partner, being on his own and faced with having to find another suitable property, found he had little choice but to agree. In addition, the landlord insisted on raising the monthly rent from £610 to £660.
    He signed a single page 'Extension of Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement':
    'Extension Term: For a term of 12 months
    Commencing on: 8th day of February 2005
    Rent: 660.00 monthly on 8th day of each month
    Termination: Notice of termination 2 (two) months notice in advance
    All other terms and conditions of the original Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement dated 7th August 2004 refer and apply'.

    Since then, I have moved down to be with him, and we have found the flat unsuitable for both of us. We have found another bigger flat, and contacted our landlord yesterday to ask him about leaving. He is insisting on two months' notice. This makes things VERY difficult, as our next landlord is not prepared to wait two months before we move in and he starts recieving rent, and rightly so as the property is currently vacant. Infact, I feel he has been reasonable to allow us a month before moving in.

    We simply cannot afford to pay rent on two properties for a month.

    (Incidentally, I let out a property myself, and when tenants have given one months notice, regardless of the date in the month I have been reasonable and accepted the notice; people buying houses, moving from one rental to another etc etc don't have the luxury of time and money, property and landlords don't wait for ever!).

    Legally, can we do anything? Can we give one months notice from 7th of May, or before then, or has my boyfirend signed his basic rights away with this extension?

    And how, as landlords, do we ever cope with finding tenants willing to move in within a short space of time, if other landlords play these tricks?! Agh!

    Please advise us!

    A huge thanks

    Lotte

    #2
    Mmmm...more info!

    You didn't day how long the fixed term was for the first AST but from what had been posted it appears to be 6 months (tell us when asking Q's please!).

    I'm a bit concerned about this "extension".

    You also go on about the landlord wanting to sell the flat unless you stay 12 months - what do you mean? Does he want to sell it or not?
    1. Is there anything to state that the rent could be increased in the original because I feel that the increase might not be valid?
    2. The landlord cannot make you give two months notice, it's an unfair term, unless you are refering to a possible break clause within the fixed term.
    3. Your agreement needs to have been written in plain English - if there's any legal jargon you can't understand then such clauses might not be valid.
    4. Did the landlord serve you with the correct S.21 Notice to bring the original agreement to an end?


    Much of what you have posted makes it seem to me you might need to take your paperwork to somebody who can look at it for you who knows what it all means. Try the CAB. It's very difficult not knowing what the AST actually states and whether its clauses can be enforced upon you. A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn't be bullied or frightened into doing anything as you have considerbale powers you probably don't realise exist.

    If you walk-away from the property its very unlikely your landlord will be able to do much about it as his paperwork needs to be watertight, and it appears anything but I would suggest.
    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.

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