Landlord wants me to sign a section 21 dated in the future

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    Landlord wants me to sign a section 21 dated in the future

    Hi,

    I'm in the process of renegotiating my tenancy. It would be a 12 month fixed period AST, with a 6 month break clause (requiring 2 months notice).

    The strange thing to me is that I have been provided with a section 21 notice already that I have been asked to sign, dated 4 months from now, to take effect at the 6 month period.

    My question is why would I want to sign this? Surely it means I'm agreeing already to leave at the 6 month mark.

    Also, the letting agent/landlord are demanding that the new 12 month contract begins on the 12th of this month, as that is when my last fixed period ended. I'm wary of backdating anything I sign, and as I pay rent per calendar month, I'm actually already paid up until the end of this month. Should I stand my ground and ask for the new agreement to start next month?

    Many thanks.

    #2
    Do not sign.
    1. That would not do you any good.
    2. There is no need to sign a s.21 notice anyway
    3. The agent seems not to understand that a s.21 notice may be served more than 2 months in advance.
    4. In effect they tell you that they plan to action the break clause at the same time that they are granting you a 12 month fixed term, which does not make much sense to me.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for the swift response. You are confirming my thoughts.

      Regardless of the break clause and section 21, I'm still wary of the points in my final paragraph.

      They have said they need it to start on the 12th of August (I'm still trying to get an explanation as to why), but if I would prefer, then they can further backdate it to the 1st of August. Given that I paid a full months rent as part of the old agreement (which I'm still rolling along on) at the start of August, this really makes no sense to me. I don't know the legal implication of backdating a contract, but it makes me uncomfortable regardless.

      Comment


        #4
        It should not have an impact on your rent, though the payment dates might change depending on the wording in which case you might have to adjust one payment in order not to overpay.

        All in all the main consequence would be that, as the tenancy would start earlier, it would also end earlier. It is for you to decide whether it is something desirable.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks again.

          One further question has come up, sorry if I'm supposed to start a new topic, but I figure I'll keep everything in one place.

          There is a clause in the new agreement with the wording as found in this other post of mine http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...513#post322513

          In that post, I was asking whether it is enforceable in my current contract, and the conclusion seemed to be that it wasn't. Given that, I've asked for it to be removed from the current agreement. I got a negative response, saying that it would be up to the courts to decide, and that its there to protect the landlord from fixed tenancies rolling into periodic tenancies.

          As that is their reason, it strikes me that the correct thing to do from their point of view is to issue a (new) s21 with 12months notice to come into effect when the fixed term ends. Then they have the protection from statutory periodic tenancies.

          Do you think I have a point in standing my ground here, and asking for the clause to be removed?

          Many thanks.

          Comment


            #6
            They cannot prevent the periodic tenancy from arising.
            Serving a s.21 notice in advance just allows them to start court proceedings faster should they want to.

            The only arguable point in that cause is whether the rent increase mechanism built in is valid or not. LawCruncher provided insights beyond my capabilities on this in the other thread.

            Comment


              #7
              By giving you a S21 before the new contract I think it will be invalid anyway, signing a new contract will always invalidate it. Do not allow them to backdate the contract, you are already in a SPT so make them wait.

              Sounds a strange way to do business.
              I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

              Comment


                #8
                I think we need some dates

                1 When does/did current T (fixed term) end?

                2 How long is the proposed new T fixed term?

                Someone is trying to be 'creative' with that rent increase clause.
                Can LL create a periodic T at end of fixed term when one would automatically be created with same T&Cs as original? The LL would normaly have to serve a s13 with due notice to increase rent, unless a new AST was signed requiring the higher rent.
                If T accepted notice at month 4 to expire in line with break clause, would this not cancel the fixed term at end of month 6 and no SPT would be created?
                My advice - walk away

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by mariner View Post
                  If T accepted notice at month 4 to expire in line with break clause, would this not cancel the fixed term at end of month 6 and no SPT would be created?
                  When a landlord exercise a break clause the only result is to terminate the fixed term tenancy whereby creating a periodic tenancy as usual.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My current tenancy's fixed term came to an end on the 12th August - it was for a year, though I paid per calendar month, with an irregular first payment as it was only for half a month.

                    My flatmates have been living there for a few years on their own individual tenancies, rolling monthly as their fixed terms have long since ended. They don't have this funny rent increase clause.

                    A few months ago, the LL/LA contacted us saying they wanted us to go onto a joint agreement when my fixed term came to an end.

                    Things have been dragging on, which prompted me to post the thread I linked to before, asking about the clause, in case I was in danger of an increase just because we couldn't come to an agreement. We said we would go onto a joint tenancy, so long as the terms didn't differ substantially. However they only sent us the new agreement to sign just a few days prior to end of my fixed term, expecting it to be returned immediately. The problem is that we've had issues with the proposed agreement, some of which I've asked here.

                    The proposed tenancy is for 12 months. It allows a break at the 6 month mark, or each month there after, so long as 2 months notice is served from either party.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Oh, just got a response from the LA. Apparently "this [s21] document may state a date, yet this is a timeless document it will continue to be valid every subsequent month there after."

                      Really?!

                      She goes on to say that it must be signed as part of the agreement, and it doesn't mean they will serve notice, but just that we've agreed to accept the notice as and when it happens.

                      Really?! So many things seem wrong with this to me. Firstly, it seems they are serving notice, as it appears to be the full and proper s21 notice. And then they're wanting me to agree to it in advance.

                      It's looking more and more like I'll be walking away from this, which is a shame, because I'm quite lazy and all settled in this place

                      The response about the funny rent increase clause is that its there because the landlord has a right to ensure he achieves the best rent for his property. In which case, it seems a s13 notice is the way to go, if market conditions have gone that way.

                      I should also add that there is an additional line on this clause in the new contract that wasn't in my original thread. That is to say that any renewal will incure the renewal fee of £150. But surely any renewal fee is to be agreed upon as part of that future renewal, and not to be part of this one.
                      Last edited by duckyduck; 22-08-2011, 16:12 PM. Reason: spelling

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by duckyduck View Post
                        Apparently "this [s21] document may state a date, yet this is a timeless document it will continue to be valid every subsequent month there after."

                        Really?!
                        Yes. A valid section 21 notice just mean that after it expires the landlord may seek a court possession order without further notice.

                        Originally posted by duckyduck View Post
                        She goes on to say that it must be signed as part of the agreement, and it doesn't mean they will serve notice, but just that we've agreed to accept the notice as and when it happens.
                        As said, the section 21 notice is the notice.
                        There is no need to sign it and I would not sign it. If anything it will just provide a proof of service to them.

                        That said, if the notice is included in the tenancy agreement it is probably invalid (as already pointed out).

                        Originally posted by duckyduck View Post
                        The response about the funny rent increase clause is that its there because the landlord has a right to ensure he achieves the best rent for his property.
                        BS answer from agent.

                        Originally posted by duckyduck View Post
                        I should also add that there is an additional line on this clause in the new contract that wasn't in my original thread. That is to say that any renewal will incure the renewal fee of £150.
                        Cross it out if you do not agree.
                        Same for other clauses you disagree with. Does not mean they'll agree but at least you'd have made your point.

                        Unless you really like the place, I would start looking for another place instead of signing any new agreement, as this agent is clearly up to no good.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by duckyduck View Post
                          A few months ago, the LL/LA contacted us saying they wanted us to go onto a joint agreement when my fixed term came to an end.

                          Things have been dragging on, which prompted me to post the thread I linked to before, asking about the clause, in case I was in danger of an increase just because we couldn't come to an agreement. We said we would go onto a joint tenancy, so long as the terms didn't differ substantially. However they only sent us the new agreement to sign just a few days prior to end of my fixed term, expecting it to be returned immediately. The problem is that we've had issues with the proposed agreement, some of which I've asked here.

                          The proposed tenancy is for 12 months. It allows a break at the 6 month mark, or each month there after, so long as 2 months notice is served from either party.
                          1) if you and the others enter into a new joint tenancy contract (as opposed to individual tenancies for your rooms as now), then those individual tenancies will first have to be surrendered by Deed. The LL can't grant a tenancy for the whole property while there are tenancies already in place.

                          2) Are you aware of the disadvantages of agreeing a new joint tenancy? Firstly, you will be jointly and individually liable for all of the rent, not just your 'share'. That means that if one of the other tenants doesn't pay, the LL could claim against you for the other tenant's unpaid rent. Secondly, the break clause could only be exercised jointly by all the joint tenants - you couldn't serve notice under the break clause if the others didn't cooperate.

                          Obviously, there are advantages, too, such as the fact that the LL couldn't grant a tenancy for a room to someone you didn't like/get on with because you'd have exclusive possession of the whole property. But you do need to be aware of the full implications of a joint tenancy.

                          Comment

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