Do consecutive ASTs breach the 3 Yr limit?

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  • Do consecutive ASTs breach the 3 Yr limit?

    I have had tenants on a series of one year ASTs. They are coming up for being in the property for three years. Does each AST (renewed every year) count as a separate tenancy - or do I now need to go for a deed?

    Grateful for any thoughts

  • #2
    Why do you get a new AST every year? It should be written in to the agreement that you do annual rent reviews so simply let the tenancy continue, it automatically becomes an assured periodic tenancy with the same terms as the original agreement, to increase the rent, simply give the tenant one month's notice of the new rent. The bonus from your point of view is that if you want to get the tenant out, you only have to give two months notice, no reason. Only the tenant benefits from a new agreement every year.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MrWoof
      Why do you get a new AST every year? - because it might give the landlord a little more security of rental income. It should be written in to the agreement that you do annual rent reviews so simply let the tenancy continue, it automatically becomes an assured periodic tenancy with the same terms as the original agreement, to increase the rent, simply give the tenant one month's notice of the new rent. - Oh! and who says one month's notice is sufficient? (If you can work out the reason why it probably isn't, even if stated as such in the AST, then let me know!) The bonus from your point of view is that if you want to get the tenant out, you only have to give two months notice, no reason. Only the tenant benefits from a new agreement every year. - Take into account that it's the landlord choice what he prefers, and the tenant isn't the only one to benefit from a new agreement, c'mon now!
      To answer Ken's point, no it doesn't constitute having to effect a tenancy by deed, but you should have properly brought to an end each tenancy by the issue of a S.21 Notice, but I don't think it matters too much if you didn't. The only problem that might arise if no S.21 notice was served is if the tenant tries to assert that the first AST is still in force and therefore the tenancy is periodic if he ever wants to leave early. All AST's should be brought to an end legally by the landlord to protect his position.
      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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      • #4
        Paul, I take your point about more security but I feel this is marginal, if the tenant is going to pay there is no need, if not its an encumbrance. As far as one month's notice of increase, I always give six to seven weeks but the only reason why it may be insufficient that comes to mind is that the tenant may be away from home and not receive it in time but would this change the legality of the notice period? Lastly, I agree that its the LLs preference but in what way does a new agreement benefit the landlord? I'm not being argumentative, I simply can't see any benefit in doing this.

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        • #5
          Many thanks for your help. I will serve a s21 an terminate and then continue with a new AST. As I understand as long as the new one is not for longer than three years I'm OK

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          • #6
            mrwoof

            the new agreement ties in the tenant for a fixed period and hence the benefit to the LL. Most agencies will not opperate on a periodic basis unless they have to.

            Zoe

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            • #7
              Hi Zoe, Thanks for that, I still feel though that a new AST loads the dice against the LL. It locks the LL in but in practice does not give any security to him. A tenant can give notice or even simply walk out at any time, new contract or not. If the tenant is within the tie in period then the LL has legal recourse but only if he can find the tenant. The cost of doing this may well exceed any gain.

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              • #8
                To answer the question about a notice period for a rent increase, the crux is:
                1. Does it give the tenant reasonably sufficient time to say "no" to the proposed increase and therefore be able to either give notice to the landlord, without penalty or prejudice to his tenancy rights, if he does not agree with the increase, meaning he will probably have to find another place to live?
                2. If the tenancy period is monthly, then if the tenant were to give a month's notice to quit he might be compromising his own position, better to force the landlord to issue a S.21 and have to wait at least another two months to repossess.
                3. If the landlord were to use the S.13 route of proposing an increase then he must give the tenant at least 28 days in which to object and then it would go to a rent assessment committee whose decision is binding, subject to possible appeal!..........AND
                4. Any increase in an AST brings back into play the 6 months rule in which a tenant can apply to the RAC to have it assessed, as he would have in the first 6 months of any new tenancy.


                I feel that any landlord should give at least 2 months notice of any proposed increase which should not be effective any sooner than the landlord could repossess via the S.21 route, and to be on the safe side (if you felt like it)you could serve the tenant with the S.21 at the same time as the rent increase letter to protect your interests.

                Any proposed effective time limit of a rent increase which is not fair and reasonable may of course be outside the guidelines of the UTCCR's and therefore unenforceable by the landlord.
                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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                • #9
                  Can someone tell me what the 3 yr limit refers to?

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                  • #10
                    And, can someone explain to me what a Rent assessment Committee is as far as AST's are concerned? I am just guessing that this may be do with the protected tenancies as I am not aware of any requirement for the rent to be agreed by any outside parties.

                    Ramnik
                    Private advice is available for a fee by sending a private message.

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                    • #11
                      Karongo - it's not just protected tenancies - any assured tenant can apply to have a market rent assessed for his property. In practice it doesn't happen much with shortholds, because if a lower rent is assessed (a) it is unlikely to be much lower and (b) the LL is likely to want to bring the tenancy to an end at the earliest opportunity.

                      Paul f, you say "you should have properly brought to an end each tenancy by the issue of a S.21 Notice" . But an S21 does not bring a tenancy to an end; it is simply a notice requiring possession. So after you issue an S21 the tenancy continues until the tenant leaves (either as a contractual tenancy or a statutory periodic one). If you agree a new tenancy before he leaves it is the new tenancy that brings the old one to an end, not the S21. So I cannot see the point of issuing an S21 in such circumstances.
                      Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

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                      • #12
                        Point taken!
                        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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                        • #13
                          3 yr limit

                          Can anyone tell me what this 3 yr limit refers to?

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                          • #14
                            Good heavens Paul f - I have never heard you speak like this - what are you on? LOL
                            Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

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