Is Tenancy Agreement valid and is s.21 Notice?

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    Is Tenancy Agreement valid and is s.21 Notice?

    Hi,
    Sorry if you have answered these questions before but I couldn't find the answers from reading old threads. (There are several questions but I will try and keep it short)
    1. I have and AST agreement dated 21st November 2010 for 6 months. The agreement is between me and the landlord (although I rented through and agent they are not named on agreement); however the TA is not signed by the LL only by the Agent who signed against where it says LL ? Is this right? Does this mean my agreement is valid or not?
    2. After confront the agent about not having received Electric Certificate, Deposit paperwork, Oil Heating certs etc and some outstanding repairs I received instead of the paperwork a section 21 notice. There are 2 problems that I can see with this...
    a. the notice is dated 21st December giving notice to 21st January 2011 and requiring possession after 21st January 2001 (typo error probably but??) this was posted by 2nd class mail on 24th November 2010.... therefore not 2 months notice? Am I right in assuming that this notice would not stand up in Court?
    b. the Section 21 notice is from the agent not the LL; goes back to my concerns about Tenancy Agreement signatories - would appreciate some advice please
    3. I have checked (per older posts on here) and my deposit has not been protected. When I asked the agent why he said it was rent it was "2 months rent in advance" however, he still asked for rent in the second month and my receipt clearly says "deposit". If I've understood other threads on here correctly (and there is every possibility that I haven't) this would mean that a Court could not order possession on S21 and I would be entitled to 3 x the deposit as compensation???
    4. The Energy Certificate / Survey??? (sorry again dont really understand this) was carried out 3 months after I moved in and I have not had a copy. I thought I should have had that at the begining of the Tenancy?? Please correct me if I'm wrong
    5. There are a number of repair issues in the property which I was not aware of at the begining of the tenancy - ie.heating not working, damp etc which have only cometo light as the weather has changed for the worse.

    Sorry, I just reread the above and I must sound like I am trying to find a loop hope out of Possession Proceedings; I'm not .... I want to move however; since moving into the property 4 months ago I have had (wait for it) 469 phone calls from the Agent!!!! These have ranged from ringing me 3 weeks before rent due to remind me, then 2 weeks, 13 days, 12 days etc; to tell me to put bins out, to accuse me of growing drugs at the property (I should laugh really as I even kill weeds) , to inform me that I had changed the locks (I hadn't I'd swopped front door with back door locks as someone told me they saw the LL coming and going); and how would they know I had changed locks unless they tried them?? hmmm. They have rung my boss to tell him to remind me rent due, bins need to go out, locks changed etc.

    The heating at the property is oil and I can not get oil delivered as the LL constructed a "lean-to" across the driveway (cutting off access to the garage) and giving no access to oild tank. (there is no planning permission for this construction and it does not meet building regulations) Also the boiler does not fire up anyway.

    I have always paid my rent on time in cash; the only exception being when it fell due on a Sunday and I paid it on the Monday morning at 10.45am. On this morning I received 43 phone calls from the Agents threatening to come to the house, change locks, go to my work etc. I asked to rent by Direct Debit but the Agent will not accept that he needs to set this up with his bank that I can not do it (he will not give me bank details to arrange a Standing Order instead).

    I have spoken to several of this Agents ex tenants and like me they all feel that he is simply a bully who is solely after his money and doesn't really care about the properties or tenants. I would contact the LL but I only have his name on TA no other details; although I have now submitted a Land Registry search to see if this can be sorted amicably.

    Again, sorry for this being long winded but I would really appreciate some advice; I refuse to be another victim of a bully who thinks he is above the law. I'm a single, disabled parent and this situation has left me feeling that I can't leave the house or answer the phone. I can't afford to pay the huge fees that Solicitors are demanding so would like to get as much info before booking an appointment.

    I have also just found out that the Agent received a jail term a few years ago for fraud in relation to rental properties and fraudulent mortgages but trying to find out more info. This makes me so angry as I have been renting for 30 plus years and have never encountered anything like this.

    #2
    2a should read 21st November sorry

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by kittikat View Post
      1. I have and AST agreement dated 21st November 2010 for 6 months. The agreement is between me and the landlord (although I rented through and agent they are not named on agreement); however the TA is not signed by the LL only by the Agent who signed against where it says LL ? Is this right? Does this mean my agreement is valid or not?
      That's fine, the Agent is he landlords legal representative - ALL tenancy agreements should be between the landlord and tenant, not the agent.
      2. After confront the agent about not having received Electric Certificate, Deposit paperwork, Oil Heating certs etc and some outstanding repairs I received instead of the paperwork a section 21 notice. There are 2 problems that I can see with this...
      a. the notice is dated 21st December giving notice to 21st January 2011 and requiring possession after 21st January 2001 (typo error probably but??) this was posted by 2nd class mail on 24th November 2010.... therefore not 2 months notice? Am I right in assuming that this notice would not stand up in Court?
      Qquite right, the landlord would have to provide proof of service to the court - however, check there is no 'get out of jail free' text along the lines of - or 2 months after the date of service if service is delayed
      b. the Section 21 notice is from the agent not the LL; goes back to my concerns about Tenancy Agreement signatories - would appreciate some advice please
      IANAL but I would say that would make it invalid
      3. I have checked (per older posts on here) and my deposit has not been protected. When I asked the agent why he said it was rent it was "2 months rent in advance" however, he still asked for rent in the second month and my receipt clearly says "deposit". If I've understood other threads on here correctly (and there is every possibility that I haven't) this would mean that a Court could not order possession on S21
      Yes
      and I would be entitled to 3 x the deposit as compensation???
      Maybe - but probably not. Such a claim is fraught with risk and possible expense, and all but the most stupid of landlord/agents could wriggle out of it. This may help. http://www.tenancyanswers.ucoz.com/index/my_deposit_isn_t_protected/0-4
      4. The Energy Certificate / Survey??? (sorry again dont really understand this) was carried out 3 months after I moved in and I have not had a copy. I thought I should have had that at the begining of the Tenancy?? Please correct me if I'm wrong
      It should have been done before the property was marketed. You are entitled to see it - but there is no obligation on the landlord to physically force a copy on you - if you don't ask, you don't get. Report the landlord to the councils EHO about it if you want to - but all that will happen is he'll get a slap on the wrist.
      5. There are a number of repair issues in the property which I was not aware of at the begining of the tenancy - ie.heating not working, damp etc which have only cometo light as the weather has changed for the worse.
      http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad..._doing_repairs

      I'll write more soon

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by kittikat View Post
        Sorry, I just reread the above and I must sound like I am trying to find a loop hope out of Possession Proceedings; I'm not .... I want to move however; since moving into the property 4 months ago I have had (wait for it) 469 phone calls from the Agent!!!! These have ranged from ringing me 3 weeks before rent due to remind me, then 2 weeks, 13 days, 12 days etc; to tell me to put bins out, to accuse me of growing drugs at the property (I should laugh really as I even kill weeds) ,
        Have they nothing better to do - sounds like possible harassment
        to inform me that I had changed the locks (I hadn't I'd swopped front door with back door locks as someone told me they saw the LL coming and going); and how would they know I had changed locks unless they tried them?? hmmm.
        So what? You are allowed to.
        They have rung my boss to tell him to remind me rent due, bins need to go out, locks changed etc.
        Sounds more like harassment by the minute
        The heating at the property is oil and I can not get oil delivered as the LL constructed a "lean-to" across the driveway (cutting off access to the garage) and giving no access to oild tank. (there is no planning permission for this construction and it does not meet building regulations) Also the boiler does not fire up anyway.
        Landlord is obliged to keep heating in working order (Section 11, 1985 Landlord & Tenant Act) and I would guess that you could argue it is no longer in working order.
        I have always paid my rent on time in cash; the only exception being when it fell due on a Sunday and I paid it on the Monday morning at 10.45am. On this morning I received 43 phone calls from the Agents threatening to come to the house, change locks, go to my work etc.
        Agent has NO RIGHT to enter your property without your express permission except in extreme circumstances, these are not extreme circumstances.
        I asked to rent by Direct Debit but the Agent will not accept that he needs to set this up with his bank that I can not do it (he will not give me bank details to arrange a Standing Order instead).
        TBH, landlord has no obligation to accept payment by DD or SO, If I remember correctly, cash is the only non-refusable payment method.
        I have spoken to several of this Agents ex tenants and like me they all feel that he is simply a bully who is solely after his money and doesn't really care about the properties or tenants. I would contact the LL but I only have his name on TA no other details; although I have now submitted a Land Registry search to see if this can be sorted amicably.
        If you ask the agent IN WRITING for the landlords details, he has to give it by law within 21 days, failure to do so is a CRIMINAL offence with a fine of up to £2,500 - Section 1, 1985 Landlord & Tenant Act.
        I can't afford to pay the huge fees that Solicitors are demanding so would like to get as much info before booking an appointment.
        Most High-St solicitors know very little about landlord & tenant law, so you would need to employ specialists if you are to avoid wasting your money. Eventually, you will be evicted - although it may take a few attempts before the agents get everything right. If you can let us know what end result you would like, we may be able to offer suggestions F.O.C.
        I have also just found out that the Agent received a jail term a few years ago for fraud in relation to rental properties and fraudulent mortgages but trying to find out more info.
        Sadly irrelevant, the agent does not have to have ANY qualifications, checks, experience or professional memberships to start up in business.

        Comment


          #5
          S21 is invalid in any event as you're still within the fixed term of the contract.. or am i missing something?
          [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you both.

            Snorkerz the end result that I am after basically is finding somewhere else to live and getting my deposit back (although I am tempted just not to pay last months rent and take the loss on the rest). I hate bullies; which in my opinion is what this agent is and like all bullies whether in a playground, work or elsewhere they need to be stopped.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
              S21 is invalid in any event as you're still within the fixed term of the contract.. or am i missing something?
              Not so.
              L can serve under s.21(1)(b) as soon as the fixed term has begun. However, no s.21 possession ordered can take effect during the fixed term.
              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
                Nightmare LA; could really do with pointing in right direction please

                Sorry if I go over old ground but I got great advice etc after my last post about my LL/LA; however things have got a bit worse and I'm pulling my hair out now not knowing what to do having been told to rule out the shotgun, shovel and wasteland idea; so I thought I'd pick your brains again if you don't mind.

                I got a letter from local Council yesterday stating "we have been informed by your Landlord that your rent is in excess of 8 weeks in arrears and are therefore suspending payment of your Housing Benefit..." I'm nearly three months in advance with my rent!! I went to Council with copies of receipts etc and they have agreed to continue to pay me. I asked what action they would be taking against the LL and they replied "none"; how can this be right? They have basically lied about me; claiming I am not paying rent etc; is this not defamation of charactor? I have also been informed that the LA has also informed Credit Agencies that I have "substantial rent arrears" I have written to Equifax and Experian with copies of receipts but will this still have an effect on my credit rating?

                It transpires that I have been paying rent to LA but they have not been paying LL. Could the LL issue a Section 8 notice due to this? Could I use the receipts as a defence in Court? The LL is saying that as no rent paid he is now in arrears with mortgage and being threatened with repossession; I was led to believe by LA that there was no mortgage on the property that it was held in Trust from an Estate. There is nothing in my AST to say that there is a mortgage on the property. Previously I rented a house for 16 years that was subject to a buy to let mortgage and there was definately a term in the TA that stated that possession would be sort if the mortgage fell into arrears; in fact I am sure that I received a Notice to that effect on taking out the tenancy.

                Basically; a member on here very helpfully gave me details of my local Councils department that deals with problem landlords and they have been fantastic apart from saying that they can not step in as my problems are not with the actually owner of the property but with his agent; surely the LL should change Agent if they are causing such problems? Now my question is; where do I turn now? I am actually terrified to leave my home unattended as I am well aware that the LA is trying to get locks changed and is just waiting for property to be empty. I'm epileptic and stress brings on attacks; which are very frequent now, especially given the now very threatening from calls from the Agent. I've done nothing wrong so really am confused. I pay my rent, I don't annoy neighbours, I keep property in good,clean condition. HELP!!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Just checked my e-mails and there is one from Letting Agent..... it goes along the lines of that deposit was not protected and therefore will be seen as rent in advance and no rent due this month and that they want me to start a new AST as a matter of urgency. I'm suspicious; what have I missed?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Well the guilty party here is clearly the LA. I would contact the LL directly, explain that the LA is causing problems and offer to send him proof that you have paid rent. Contact the Council as well and try to get them to talk to the LL on your behalf. Suggest to the LL that you're happy to sign a new AST, but only if he changes LA. I would be very cautious about signing anything right now. An AST will automatically convert into a statutory periodic tenancy on expiry so you cannot be asked to leave without at least a month's notice (I believe). I'm not an expert on SPTs, but I'm sure someone else will help you more with that point.

                    Remember, no-one can throw you out of the house without a court order to that effect. It is a criminal offence to do otherwise or to harass a tenant with the aim of trying to get them to leave. The LA's conduct is utterly despicable and comes very close to being criminal. If they do attempt to change the locks, call the police immediately. If they harass you further then point out that you won't hesitate to get the police involved.
                    Disclaimer:

                    The above represents my own opinion, derived from personal knowledge and should not be relied upon as definitive or accurate advice. It is offered free of charge and may contain errors or omissions or be an inaccurate opinion of the law. I accept no liability for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relying on the above.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      There are posts about dodgy LA's all the time. I would suspend payment to LA asap and contact LL directly, there have been numerous cases recently of LA's effectively taking money from tenants holding it then effectively stealing money closing company. As long as you're instructed to pay LA by your LL then the letting agency acts as an agent for your LL not you, if they choose no to pay money it is not your fault any S8 would fail.
                      [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Rent: Yes, landlord can take you to court for rent arrears if the agent hasn't passed the rent on, BUT your receipts from his agent would be a total defence.

                        I would advise you to read the following pages regarding eviction: http://www.tenancyanswers.ucoz.com/i...g_evicted/0-21
                        and more importantly, illegal eviction: http://www.tenancyanswers.ucoz.com/i..._eviction/0-22

                        If you have proof that the deposit was paid as a deposit, I would insist that the deposit is now protected. I would also liaise with the landlord - does he know his agents are dodgy? Do you have your landlords details? If you ask in writing, the agent HAS to provide them, it is a criminal offence not to do so.

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