Date error in tenancy agreement

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  • Date error in tenancy agreement

    Hello,

    I have been living in a flat since 15 September, having signed the tenancy agreement and been given the keys the day previously. On re-reading the contract recently, I noticed to my surprise that the occupancy dates are actually given as "15 October to 15 April" instead of "15 September to 15 March". Neither I (nor, apparently, my landlord) noticed this mistake at the time.

    I am now wondering about the situation this error has created. Presumably the law would regard the date on which I was granted entry to the flat as the official start of the tenancy. On the other hand, I did sign the tenancy agreement, and it does state clearly in black and white that the tenancy doesn't begin for another fortnight, and that it lasts until the middle of April!

    If, as is my intention, I leave by 15 March - i.e., at the end of 6 months in actual residence - could the landlord theoretically produce the contract and claim that I owe rent for another month? (I am sure he has no intention of doing this; all the same, I am curious to discover what the legal position would be in such a case).

  • #2
    I think - and there are plenty who would know more about this than I, that if your landlord wanted to get awquard, he could try and claim that he granted you a verbal tenancy for the first month which was then superceded by the written tenancy agreement you hold which would mean he could try and take action to claim rent until 15th April. I am sure you will discuss the matter with him now and hopefully it will be sorted out to your mutual satisfaction.

    P.P.
    Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

    Comment


    • #3
      It's your lucky day argon - you have one day rent free accommodation.

      The six monthly agreement should have read from 15th October to 14th April.
      Vic - wicked landlord
      Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
      Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

      Comment


      • #4
        While we're on about stupid date errors in tenancy agreements...

        A landlord friend of mine (ahem) who recently signed up a new tenant, realised after handing over the keys and settling them in and getting back home, that the ending date of the 6-month tenancy agreement was given as 2006, not 2007 (ie, the ending date was 6 months prior to the starting date). Oops. My friend immediately corrected and reprinted the relevant page and went back to the tenant with it; explaining the problem and changing the page in her AST - he defaced the old page and left it behind with her just so she could verify nothing else had been amended.

        Was there anything iffy about having done that - is there any way this can come back to bite me on the backside for any reason? Afterwards, I, er, he, was thinking it would have been better to have amended the page manually and both LL and tenant signed and dated the change, but does it matter now?

        Also, this tenant has a guarantor who had previously seen and initialled each page of a copy of this AST, which the LL now has on file - also with the wrong date but otherwise identical wording to the original AST. Does that matter?

        Comment


        • #5
          You're right Worldlife - it does of course say 15th October to 14th April (I had the 15th on the brain when I wrote my post). But I'm still quite perplexed. Can there be such a thing as a 1 month verbal tenancy? Wouldn't it automatically have been an AST, with a 6 month minimum term? In that case I don't see how to escape the conclusion that two overlapping 6 month tenancy periods have been set up, with different start and end dates. My question was really an attempt to discover which would have precedence from a legal standpoint - the written period or the factual one.

          Surely you(r friend) are (is) safe enough though Eric - I can't imagine anyone having much success trying to sue their landlord on the grounds that they were promised the tenancy would end before it began...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by argon View Post
            Surely you(r friend) are (is) safe enough though Eric - I can't imagine anyone having much success trying to sue their landlord on the grounds that they were promised the tenancy would end before it began...
            Well I'd think so! My concern was that maybe the whole contract/tenancy agreement could be considered null and void because of the error.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by argon View Post
              You're right Worldlife - it does of course say 15th October to 14th April (I had the 15th on the brain when I wrote my post). But I'm still quite perplexed. Can there be such a thing as a 1 month verbal tenancy? Wouldn't it automatically have been an AST, with a 6 month minimum term? In that case I don't see how to escape the conclusion that two overlapping 6 month tenancy periods have been set up, with different start and end dates. My question was really an attempt to discover which would have precedence from a legal standpoint - the written period or the factual one.<snip>
              .
              Think this extract from a post by Paul-f in Nightmare landlord might be relevant

              Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
              <snip>

              I've posted this before but if the first time you saw the tenancy agreement was on the day your aigned it to take up possession then it is in breach of the OFT unfair terms guidelines. You should have received it in advance in good time and it should have had a note attached that you should take it to the CAB or a solicitor if you need advice as to what you are signing. <snip>

              .
              It is possible therefore that the verbal agreement giving you a minimum of six months AST takes precedence. If you do decide to reject the written agreement on the basis of Paul's advice then I do foresee there might be delays and problems on the return of any deposit and Court claims may be involved.

              Is it imperative you leave the property in March rather than April?
              Vic - wicked landlord
              Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
              Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

              Comment


              • #8
                Worldlife - I would like to leave in March, but as I said before, I really don't foresee any problems with the landlord when the time comes. I only wanted to raise it as a theoretical point because the legal question had me curious.

                Thanks to all for your contributions!

                Comment

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