Buying house and landlord is being difficult about end of tenancy

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Buying house and landlord is being difficult about end of tenancy

    Hi,

    My wife and I started an AST for 12 months in October 2010 with a 6 month break. In February, our landlord served us a section 21 notice for us to leave by 1st April.

    One of those months we were away on our honeymoon so he agreed to extend it to the 1st May. While away we decided to buy a house so explained this to him. He agreed to extend our tenancy until 1st July 2011 but we paid an extra £100 or so a month for the additional 2 months (June and July - month of April was at original rate). The extension was only agreed by e-mail and not formally in writing as we had asked for.

    We are in the process of buying a house and will hopefully have completed by 1st July. We asked him today to extend for an extra 2 weeks to ensure we complete our purchase in time.

    He has however already agreed to a short term let from 1st July so he says he is unable to extend. He found this person when he put the property back on the market briefly in April while we were negotiating the increase tenancy.

    He has recently served us another section 21 notice to move out on 1st July. We asked him numerous times to give us proof of our deposit being in a scheme, and he only recently put that in one. He put the AST details as being 9 months to end on 1st July and not 1st October as it should have been (originally a 12 month agreement)

    So while he was acting illegally for about 3/4 months by not having our deposit in a protection scheme he now does. However it incorrectly states that we are in a 9 month contract.

    We have spoken with our estate agent and hopefully we will have completed before 1st July. We want to avoid moving in somewhere else as it's hassle to find somewhere but also it would be very annoying if we completed a mere few days after the 1st July.

    We have tried reasoning with him but he insists he has a short term tenancy already in place. After that he will find someone long term. The original reason for him serving us notice was because he wanted to get more rent and while in the apartment a number of things went wrong which he incorrectly blames on us (e.g. mould forming around the window and the TV stopped working).

    We assumed he wants someone else in because he wants more rent and probably for 12 months without a 6 month break. But as he has already agreed to a short term tenancy he will have to find someone else again. So why doesn't he agree to our extension and give the other people back their deposit and just get a new long term tenant.

    Incidentally he wants to do viewings tomorrow for presumably the long term tenant after the short term is over. In our agreement it says we are to allow access for viewings in the last 6 weeks of the agreement. However given that he already has someone for when we move out, are we still obliged to grant access?

    So what options do we have? I understand if we refuse to move out an eviction order is long and painful for him so it would be in his best interest to come up with an amicable solution. In order to protect our deposit, we could also not pay the last month rent plus 2 additional weeks we want to stay for. This equals our 6 week deposit that is now in a protection scheme.

    Incidentally I am a landlord myself and would never be so unreasonable and turf people out because he can get an extra £10/20 a week. I have had my current tenant for the past 2.5 years without issue and haven't increased the rent because I value good tenants.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Let me know if anything is unclear or you have questions.

    Thanks.

    #2
    A S.21 Notice does NOT end the tenancy and he would need to get a court order to evict you which will take weeks. There are plenty of threads on this subject so use the search facility using similar keywords. Also look at the FAQs on this site for additional guidance.
    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.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
      A S.21 Notice does NOT end the tenancy
      I have looked in the FAQs but don't fully understand why this doesn't end the tenancy. If you can point me in the direction of an FAQ that would be great.

      I understand my question is lengthy so I will summarise my questions for everyone:

      1. Our agreement states that we need to agree to viewings for a new tenant in the last 6 weeks. Our LL has said he has secured a short term let for immediately after we leave but wants to find someone else for longer term after the short term finishes. Are we obliged to agree to this as a tenant has already been found? (We think he made it up to cover himself for not agreeing to an extension)

      2. If we refuse to move out until our purchase completes, are there any disadvantages (mark against credit record etc) for us if we don't pay the last month rent and have him keep the deposit to pay for this.

      3. Is he in breach of the deposit protection scheme as he only lodged it 3 months after we moved in and entered it as a 9 month agreement (to finish on 1st July) even though it is actually 12 months. If he hadn't lodged it, any S21 are invalid. Is this the case if it is lodged incorrectly?

      4. Given that we agreed to the extension and increased rent by e-mail, are we actually not liable to this increase as we never got terms of an increase or signed anything?

      Thanks in advance.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by ringzer View Post
        I have looked in the FAQs but don't fully understand why this doesn't end the tenancy.
        Easy. The Notice tells T that L intends to seek possession. That's all it does.
        L might or might not actually seek possession.
        An AST ends only if T vacates at fixed-term expiry or (if L ends it) under s.5 of the Housing Act 1988:

        5. Security of tenure.

        5(1). An assured tenancy cannot be brought to an end by the landlord except by:
        (a) obtaining:
        (i) an order of the court for possession of the dwelling-house under section 7 or 21, and
        (ii) the execution of the order,
        (b) obtaining an order of the court under section 6A (demotion order), or
        (c) in the case of a fixed term tenancy which contains power for the landlord to determine the tenancy in certain circumstances, by the exercise of that power,
        and, accordingly, the service by the landlord of a notice to quit is of no effect in relation to a periodic assured tenancy.

        (1A) Where an order of the court for possession of the dwelling-house is obtained, the tenancy ends when the order is executed.


        [rest of s.5 not shown]
        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


          #5
          So I have done some more research and based on the Citizens advice bureau website which states:

          As an assured tenant you have the right to stay in your accommodation unless your landlord can convince the court there are good reasons for eviction, for example rent arrears or damage to the property, or that another of the terms of the agreement has been broken.
          It doesn't seem that he has grounds for repossession. Our original term was 12 months with a 6 month break which he has invoked. He has served us the 2 months notice as per the agreement. Is our breach of this term of the agreement grounds for repossession?

          He has served us a s21 notice but if we do not agree to it, he still have to go to court to get an eviction notice. If he gets it, then we have to move out presumably. Other than that, is there any other downside to it for us? By the time he goes to court to get one, we will hopefully have completed our house and will be ready to move out.

          Does an eviction have any impact on credit history, CCJ etc? How would it affect our 6 week deposit which he has (in The Deposit Protection Scheme)?

          He wants us out by 1st July but only need to extend by 2 weeks. I think it is in his best interest to let us stay, rather than pursuing us through court. Even the director of our apartment block management company says we should just stay.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by ringzer View Post
            So I have done some more research and based on the Citizens advice bureau website which states:



            It doesn't seem that he has grounds for repossession. Our original term was 12 months with a 6 month break which he has invoked. He has served us the 2 months notice as per the agreement. Is our breach of this term of the agreement grounds for repossession?
            The CAB advice relates to non-shorthold assured tenancies. You have an assured shorthold tenancy.
            He has served us a s21 notice but if we do not agree to it, he still have to go to court to get an eviction notice.
            The notice is either valid or invalid; it doesn't require your 'agreement'. The LL cannot unilaterally end the tenancy other than by obtaining and enforcing a possession order.

            If he gets it, then we have to move out presumably.
            Yes, a bailiff would enforce the possession order.

            Does an eviction have any impact on credit history, CCJ etc? How would it affect our 6 week deposit which he has (in The Deposit Protection Scheme)?
            If the LL obtains an order for money along with an order for possession, then, if you do not pay it within 28 days (or perhaps a month, I can't remember) and obtain a certificate of satisfaction, this will adversely affect your credit rating.

            Comment


              #7
              This page gives a simple guide to tenants regarding the section 21 eviction process. http://tenancyanswers.ucoz.com/index/being_evicted/0-21

              With regard to costs etc.

              If no money is involved, then you will not get a CCJ, however your tenancy agreement may make you liable for the landlords costs in obtaining a court order, in which case the judge may award whatever £ against you. In this case, as Westminster says, so long as you pay within a certain time AND request a certificate of satisfaction from the court (£15 iirc) then no CCJ will be recorded and your credit history will be unaffected.

              By way of a guide, the court costs for a s21 are £175, and the fees for bailiffs are £110. As to solicitors costs, they are pretty much open ended, but the judge will have a degree of flexibility as to how much to award (if anything).

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by ringzer View Post
                Hi,

                My wife and I started an AST for 12 months in October 2010 with a 6 month break. In February, our landlord served us a section 21 notice for us to leave by 1st April.

                One of those months we were away on our honeymoon so he agreed to extend it to the 1st May. While away we decided to buy a house so explained this to him. He agreed to extend our tenancy until 1st July 2011 but we paid an extra £100 or so a month for the additional 2 months (June and July - month of April was at original rate). The extension was only agreed by e-mail and not formally in writing as we had asked for.
                You do not need the LL's permission for the tenancy to continue. When he exercised the break clause, assuming it was correctly done, his notice under the break clause had the effect of ending the fixed term early at notice expiry. As from the day after LL's first notice expired, the tenancy became a statutory periodic AST. Exactly the same terms as the expired fixed term contract (i.e. exactly the same rent due) except for provisions relating to notice (e.g. the break clause doesn't apply any more).

                We are in the process of buying a house and will hopefully have completed by 1st July. We asked him today to extend for an extra 2 weeks to ensure we complete our purchase in time.
                Again, you don't need LL's permission to remain in occupation.

                He has however already agreed to a short term let from 1st July so he says he is unable to extend. He found this person when he put the property back on the market briefly in April while we were negotiating the increase tenancy.
                If he has signed a contract with this T, if you don't move out when LL wants, LL will be in breach of contract with the 'new' tenant. His problem, not yours.

                So while he was acting illegally for about 3/4 months by not having our deposit in a protection scheme he now does. However it incorrectly states that we are in a 9 month contract.
                Doesn't matter. There is no penalty for late compliance. However, any s.21 notice served before the deposit is protected AND the prescribed information provided to T will be invalid.

                Comment


                  #9
                  @ringzer, please tell us:

                  Date (dd/mm/yy) fixed term commenced
                  Exact wording of break clause
                  Details of first notice served by LL under the break clause (date received, expiry date, etc) - so we can check whether his notice complied with the terms of the break clause
                  Details of most recent s.21 notice, including how the expiry date is worded

                  Comment


                    #10
                    On a side note, the contributions from the 'topic experts' on this thread - one telling OP to do a search, the other quoting a chunk of statute - are not terribly helpful to a newbie.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thank you westminster and Snorkerz for your help thus far. My wife and I really do appreciate it. Our LL is truly difficult and unpleasant man. I'm actually a LL myself and would never treat a T like this.

                      Anyway to answer your questions:

                      Date (dd/mm/yy) fixed term commenced
                      02/10/2010

                      Exact wording of break clause
                      Any time after four months of the initial fixed term of this tenancy (of after a similar period following a fixed term extension to the original tenancy) either party may invoke this break clause by providing a minimum of two months written notice to the other (such notice to expire on the last day of a rental period of the tenancy). At the end of such notice the tenancy shall end and all obligations and responsibilities shall cease; subject nevertheless to any claim by either party against the other in respect of any break of any of the terms and conditions of the agreement.

                      Details of first notice served by LL under the break clause (date received, expiry date, etc) - so we can check whether his notice complied with the terms of the break clause
                      Letter dated: 17/01/2011 (received a few days later)
                      Date Signed: 02/02/2011
                      S21 Expiry Date: 01/04/2011

                      Details of most recent s.21 notice, including how the expiry date is worded
                      Date Signed: 02/05/2011
                      Date received: not sure when, but before 2nd May 2011
                      S21 Expiry Date: 01/07/2011
                      Expiry Date wording: "The date this notice expires on is 1st July 2011 following which the landlord may apply to the Court for a possession order"

                      The S21 were served by a professional estate agent (oxymoron?!) so I'm sure they were served correctly.

                      However, when the first S21 was served the deposit hadn't been lodged in a protection scheme, but in advance of the second S21 it was lodged on 25th March 2011, almost 6 months after we started the tenancy.

                      Just to add another twist in the tale, the details of the deposit protection state that it is a 9 month tenancy (presumably to expire on 1st July) but this is incorrect as it is a 12 month agreement. Does this have any impact on the situation?

                      Thanks in advance

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by westminster View Post
                        On a side note, the contributions from the 'topic experts' on this thread - one telling OP to do a search, the other quoting a chunk of statute - are not terribly helpful to a newbie.
                        Indeed. There seems to be a bit of an outbreak of it at the moment:
                        http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...d-renewal-fees

                        I thought we were being urged by the Editor to be especially gentle with new members and not just tell them to go and search for the answer themselves?
                        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by ringzer View Post
                          Letter dated: 17/01/2011 (received a few days later)
                          Date Signed: 02/02/2011
                          S21 Expiry Date: 01/04/2011
                          I don't think the first notice was valid in terms of exercising the break clause because the notice was served before the first four months were up (and certainly not valid in its other function as a s.21 as the deposit wasn't protected at the time of service)

                          Date Signed: 02/05/2011
                          Date received: not sure when, but before 2nd May 2011
                          S21 Expiry Date: 01/07/2011
                          Expiry Date wording: "The date this notice expires on is 1st July 2011 following which the landlord may apply to the Court for a possession order"
                          The second one I'm not 100% sure about. However, I think you'd have a tough time arguing against its validity.

                          Just to add another twist in the tale, the details of the deposit protection state that it is a 9 month tenancy (presumably to expire on 1st July) but this is incorrect as it is a 12 month agreement. Does this have any impact on the situation?
                          No, late protection/ incorrect term doesn't affect the validity of the protection but - were you also provided with the prescribed information? If not, then the second notice would be invalid as a s.21 notice (but as from 2nd July the tenancy will be periodic, because the notice still has effect as a break clause notice).*

                          Whatever the case, you have no obligation to move out on 1st July. The trouble is that, if your LL is difficult/uncooperative (as he seems to be), and won't simply agree a surrender on a mutually agreed date, say, mid-July, then you'll have to serve notice to end the tenancy, so you could end up liable for a further month's rent (at least), i.e. from 2nd July - 1st August, even if you vacate half way through. Whereas, if you vacate on 1st July, the last day of the fixed term (because LL has ended it early with the break clause notice), the tenancy and your liability for rent will end on that day.

                          *No benefit in arguing that the notice is invalid in terms of the break clause, as that'd mean you'd have to exercise the break clause to end the term - i.e. give at least two months' notice.

                          Comment

                          Latest Activity

                          Collapse

                          Working...
                          X