AST fixed term notice period

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    AST fixed term notice period

    I am a tenant in a property. Approaching end of fixed term AST.

    My understanding of the termination of an AST fixed term is that no notice is required unless I wish to end it during the fixed term. Is this correct?

    The letting agent is telling me I have to give 2 months
    notice. Having given only 1 month the agent is advising
    that I am liable for a second month of rent which they will take from my security deposit. The notice period in the agreement refers only to a break clause.

    The agent is also advising that the check out process cannot take place until the end of 'their' notice period - I.e in 2 months time - which will delay any return of deposit. Is this correct?

    I really want to know my legal position and how I can go about resolving this and having my deposit returned as it seems completely incorrect. Should I go through my solicitor and try and recover costs or is there a simpler and more cost effective route? My relationship with the landlord is good but the agent is a nasty piece of work.

    Many thanks

    Many thanks

    #2
    Hi,
    At the end date of the fixed term of an AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) in England and Wales you can just pack up and go - no notice is needed to be given to agent or landlord.

    If you stay 1 minute longer into the next day the tenancy becomes 'perioic' or an SPT (Statutory Periodic Tenancy)then 1 months notice from the tenant is required. The agent can make up what he likes but legally it is 1 month.

    Seems your agent is wrong on both counts. I would enlighten him of the these facts by letter and copy same letter to the landlord to show what a klutz he is employing. No need for the expense of a solicitor.

    Unless there is damage to the property or unpaid rent there should be not deduction from your deposit. Do you know which scheme it is held in?
    Last edited by Interlaken; 11-11-2012, 08:49 AM. Reason: spelling



    Freedom at the point of zero............

    Comment


      #3
      Hi there,

      Thank you very much for your advice. Looking at the tenancy agreement the deposit is held by 'the deposit protection service'.

      Property has zero damage and all rent has been paid.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Jnryan View Post
        My understanding of the termination of an AST fixed term is that no notice is required unless I wish to end it during the fixed term. Is this correct?
        Yes. This is because the fixed term tenancy will simply expire/run out at midnight on the last day.

        As interlaken says, if you do not vacate by fixed term expiry, then a statutory periodic tenancy will arise, under s.5 Housing Act 1988, replacing the expired fixed term tenancy. But if you do vacate, then no SPT will arise.
        The letting agent is telling me I have to give 2 months
        notice. Having given only 1 month the agent is advising
        that I am liable for a second month of rent which they will take from my security deposit.
        He is wrong.
        The agent is also advising that the check out process cannot take place until the end of 'their' notice period - I.e in 2 months time - which will delay any return of deposit. Is this correct?
        No.

        I really want to know my legal position and how I can go about resolving this and having my deposit returned as it seems completely incorrect. Should I go through my solicitor and try and recover costs or is there a simpler and more cost effective route? My relationship with the landlord is good but the agent is a nasty piece of work.
        The Deposit Protection Service has an adjudication service which will settle any dispute between T/LL where the parties cannot agree. It is free. The deposit is your money and the onus will be on the LL to prove that he is entitled to the deposit money. From what you have told us, he isn't entitled to the deposit money. See link below

        https://www.depositprotection.com/he...ute-resolution

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for your help and time on this. J

          Comment


            #6
            Has you checked that your deposit is protected?
            Have you been supplied with the "Prescribed Information" and "Terms and Conditions"?

            If you do not leave by the end of the fixed term, you will in effect have to give 2 months notice, not one, for the 1st part of the periodic tenancy.

            Try and arrange a pre-departure check out, so that you can get some time to deal with any concerns that are overtly obvious.

            A full check can't be done until you all your possessions are gone.
            If you can move out a few days earlier, this may be beneficial to you.

            Just because you say the property is as it should be, doesn't mean that it is.
            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

            Comment


              #7
              Hi Thesaint,

              The deposit is held in the DPS scheme, presumably that means it is protected?

              I don't know what the "Prescribed Information" and "Terms and Conditions" are could you please explain for me?

              I will be out for sure by the end of the fixed term - hopefully early if I can. However the agent is currently refusing to accept the end of the fixed term as the end of our contract so is insisting that the check out takes place a month later (in line with his fictional notice period). I think my best bet will be to seek reason with the LL himself. Do you agree?

              Not sure what you mean by the last statement, please explain?
              Thanks J

              Comment


                #8
                Agent may tell you deposit is protected, tenancy agreement may state the deposit is protected, but have you actually checked? You should have received the "prescribed information" and T&Cs of the DPS within 30 days of paying your deposit. Look through your tenancy documents, the information you are looking for should look like this:

                http://www.depositprotection.com/doc...n-template.pdf

                If you never receive this document, the LL is in breach of deposit protection laws as the requirement is to protect the money, and supply the tenant with the full information. Even if the LL has expected the agent to protect the money, the LL themselves are still liable if the agent has not complied. If you check on the DPS website, you can find out more about how the scheme works, what LL is supposed to do, and how to check if the deposit has been lodged with them here:

                http://www.depositprotection.com/doc...to-the-dps.pdf

                Just because you have been told it should have been protected, you must check as often tenants find out too late that is hasn't been!

                Was there a written check in of the condition of the property issued when you moved in? Did you receive a copy of this and confirm your acceptance of it? When you move out, the LL/agent will check the end condition, against the start condition, and even if you feel the property is in A1 condition, there may be some differences between the start and end inventories, which the LL/agent will use to apply for deductions from the deposit.

                I would contact the LL direct, give them the information you have been provided here, and tell them you will be out and hand back the keys by the last day of the FT. Also, point out to LL how ignorant and useless their agent is, and suggest they use someone a little more proficient for their next let!

                Comment


                  #9
                  he means that the fact that you think the property is as it should, doesnt mean the landlord and agent agree,hence, the inspection

                  You can send the agent and landlord the relevant text that explains that no notice is required and suggest that if they dont do an inspection when you move out, and choose to do it later, they will leave the property empty for no reason (and wont be able to recover rent for that) and they will also reduce the validity of the checkout inspection, in case they want to make any deductions. Say you are covered by the law and you are just telling them for their own benefit as you dont want them to have a loss due to poor understanding of the law.
                  All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Jnryan View Post

                    I don't know what the "Prescribed Information" and "Terms and Conditions" are could you please explain for me?
                    For the first, see this link. The second is the T&C of the DPS, also downloadable on their site.

                    I will be out for sure by the end of the fixed term - hopefully early if I can. However the agent is currently refusing to accept the end of the fixed term as the end of our contract so is insisting that the check out takes place a month later (in line with his fictional notice period). I think my best bet will be to seek reason with the LL himself. Do you agree?
                    The inventory/condition check-out report provides evidence for the LL of any damage etc caused during the tenancy; evidence the LL needs if there's a dispute. If the check-out is conducted a month after the end of the tenancy, then it will undermine its value as evidence, as you, the T, may reasonably argue that any alleged damage was caused during the month after the tenancy ended, when you were no longer in occupation, i.e. not your liability. Therefore, what the agent is proposing is to the disadvantage of the LL, not you.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hi LesleyAnne,

                      Thanks for your note about the deposit. Unfortunately for me, although the deposit is in the DPS scheme, it is under under a joint tenancy. The other tenant was registered as the lead tenant. He must have received this information but moved out 19 months ago and is un-contactable. The agent did not remove one deposit and put the new tenants deposit into the scheme. Instead he used the deposit of the new tenant to pay out the old.

                      I have no way of getting the unique ID required to release the deposit apart from the agent writing to the DPS to update the contact information of the tenant. Can you offer any advice here please?

                      Check-in inventory was done and fairly happy with it.

                      Thanks J

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks Westminster

                        Comment


                          #13
                          This is a joint tenancy?

                          What is the position re the other tenant? Is he/she also intending to move out before fixed term expiry?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Yes joint tenancy but both in identical positions. Both moving out at the end of the fixed term. Thanks J

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Just so as you know, if the other tenant doesn't vacate as planned, then a joint statutory periodic tenancy will arise, i.e. you will remain liable for rent even though you've moved out. If this happens you may serve notice to quit, and it will end the whole joint tenancy at notice expiry. But because you cannot serve notice to quit until the SPT actually arises, the earliest expiry date would be two months into the SPT.

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