Notice period not accepted by agent

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    Notice period not accepted by agent

    As a tenant I emailed the letting agent in September informing them I had purchased a new property and was giving my 3 months notice. I also said I could negotiate on this if required. They responded correctly saying it was actually 4 months notice to give and therefor my vacating date would be 19th January. A week later they emailed saying they would require an exact vacating date to start marketing the flat. We exchanged contracts on the new property before Christmas and informed the letting agent we would be moving out slightly before the initial date of mid january.
    They have now emailed saying my contract will end 4 months from me emailing my date of exchange ie april. This would mean paying 3 extra months rent as I was under the impression my initial email was enough. At no point did they say the notice period would be from date of exchange. They seem to be saying I never gave an exact moving out date but I thought saying I was giving my notice was enough.
    Does anyone know where I stand on this, or have experience of a similar situation as it works out to be a lot of money?
    Thank you

    #2
    More information please.

    Length of tenancy agreement? Start date of the agreement?
    Has a deposit been paid? Has that been protected? Have you had the prescribed information?

    There are a few more Q's, but that will do to start with.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for your reply. tenancy was for 12 months from 18th july 2011. It was then renewed after 12 months for a further 12 months although the memorandum of agreement states "after 18th july 2012 either party may terminate the contract by giving 4 months written notice.
      Yes, I paid the deposit (1.5 months rent)and held with the deposit protection service.
      The emails from them since I sent my notice email never stated the 4 months notice period hadn't started. In fact, where I though it was 3 months notice their return email said it was actually 4 months taking it to "19th January".

      Comment


        #4
        What did your initial notice emails say? Sounds like you renewed for another 12 months with a break clause following a 4 month notice. Does the agreement say anything specific on how a notice is to be given?
        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


          #5
          The email is copied below:

          "Dear xxxx,
          I would like to inform you that I would like to give notice on the property I rent from you at 8 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. I believe I have 3 months notice to give meaning my last day would be 19th December 2012 although I might be able to negotiate on this if required.
          I would like to thank you and the landlord for your help and assistance during this period. Please let me know if there is anything else you require from me.
          Kind Regards"

          Yes indeed, I did renew after 12 months and we agreed that 4 months notice could be given for an early exit. The agreement just says written notice, nothing specific (see below).
          "after 18th july 2012 either party may terminate the contract by giving 4 months written notice.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by thunder View Post
            The email is copied below:

            "Dear xxxx,
            I would like to inform you that I would like to give notice on the property I rent from you at 8 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. I believe I have 3 months notice to give meaning my last day would be 19th December 2012 although I might be able to negotiate on this if required.
            I would like to thank you and the landlord for your help and assistance during this period. Please let me know if there is anything else you require from me.
            Kind Regards"
            I think the first sentence of that is quite clear, I think a judge would see it that way too, so you made a mistake in the period of notice and they are holding you to that. That's OK. But making out you have another 3 months to pay is just naughty.
            I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks for that. I also thought it was pretty clear but thought there might be a loop hole that the letting agent is using and that they might have used in the past. I have paid the final payment to January 19th and informed the agent I have stopped the standing order. Hopefully they will see sense. I am also hoping there wont be an issue with the deposit but I suppose the dps is there to help with that.
              Again, thanks for your time in replying.

              Comment


                #8
                To be honest this email is not clear: is op giving notice or just enquiring?
                It's always good to be more affirmative.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks for your perspective jjlandlord. It was certainly intended as giving notice. In hindsight I would have said "I am giving notice" instead of " I would like" however I didn't realise it hadn't been taken as notice especially as they had quoted the date. it seems they have been sneaky in the way they have handled it.
                  They responded with:
                  Hi xxxx
                  Many thanks indeed for your email, the contents of which have been noted. However, we would confirm that your renewal terms are such that you are required to give four months’ notice and therefore your vacating date would be 19th January 2013. Please find attached a fully signed copy of the renewal memorandum.
                  I am out of the office now until Monday, 24th September 2012 and would be grateful if you could liaise with my colleague xxxx in my absence.
                  We await your further comments.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by thunder View Post
                    Hi xxxx
                    Many thanks indeed for your email, the contents of which have been noted. However, we would confirm that your renewal terms are such that you are required to give four months’ notice and therefore your vacating date would be 19th January 2013. Please find attached a fully signed copy of the renewal memorandum.
                    I am out of the office now until Monday, 24th September 2012 and would be grateful if you could liaise with my colleague xxxx in my absence.
                    We await your further comments.

                    To me that sounds as if they are accepting your notice but reminding you of the correct date, you have accepted that so ipsy dipsy, that's your date.
                    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by thunder View Post
                      "after 18th july 2012 either party may terminate the contract by giving 4 months written notice.

                      The emails from them since I sent my notice email never stated the 4 months notice period hadn't started. In fact, where I though it was 3 months notice their return email said it was actually 4 months taking it to "19th January".
                      I have paid the final payment to January 19th and informed the agent I have stopped the standing order.
                      You say you've paid up to 19th January, so what exactly is the problem?

                      What date did you serve your NTQ?

                      For future reference, if you are serving notice under a break clause, then you must follow its *exact* requirements. E.g. if it says you have to give four months, then three months doesn't fulfill the requirements and you may suffer the consequences.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The problem is they say I owe them until april 2013 and am worried they will take me to court over it.
                        My email giving notice was mid September 2012. The issue isn't if it is 3 or 4 months, I happily accept it is 4 months. The issue is the fact they are saying the notice period commences when I informed them I had exchanged contracts on my new house not when I gave notice in the original email.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          But you did not unequivocaly serve NTQ in Sept. LA is being 'generous' in accepting your exchange of contract date as start of 4 month Notice. Lucky they provided 4 monthly beak clause in 12 month AST renewal.
                          Equally LL cannot enter property to undertake refurbishment or re-let until your NTQ expires in April, so some wriggle room to negotiate mutual early surrender.
                          Contact LL direct.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by thunder View Post
                            The problem is they say I owe them until april 2013 and am worried they will take me to court over it.
                            My email giving notice was mid September 2012. The issue isn't if it is 3 or 4 months, I happily accept it is 4 months. The issue is the fact they are saying the notice period commences when I informed them I had exchanged contracts on my new house not when I gave notice in the original email.
                            You wrote to them in September saying:

                            "Dear xxxx,
                            I would like to inform you that I would like to give notice on the property I rent from you at 8 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. I believe I have 3 months notice to give meaning my last day would be 19th December 2012 although I might be able to negotiate on this if required.
                            It could have been better worded, but it's still pretty clear that you are giving notice, and if the landlord claimed against you for unpaid rent (the agent can't claim on his behalf) I would be confident in asserting that your notice expired four months later in mid January. The return email from the agent saying it takes you to 19th Jan is very good evidence that that's when they agreed your notice would expire.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Still playing devil's advocate:
                              I don't think that an email using exclusively the conditional, including for the expiry date, is a clear indication that notice is being given.
                              Similarly the agent's reply (cunningly) also uses the conditional when stating another expiry date, so one imho reasonable rephrasing of their email could be "if you were to serve notice now the expiry would be 19th Jan." I.e. they replied to OP's enquiry regarding service of notice according to contract but did not accept any notice.

                              A bit late now, but imho OP should have followed up on the agent's reply to essentially say "OK, so I am giving 4 month notice to end the tenancy on 19th Jan."
                              Everything suddenly becomes clear with a date already accepted by agent.

                              Comment

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