Query on tenancy agreement termination

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

  • pj_smith
    replied
    Thanks everyone.

    I just got word back from the solicitors at "Shelter" who (shelter) have been superb and really helpful. A donation will be on its way to them!

    They have confirmed that the notice period may possibly be "unfair" according to the OFT (as above in the paragraph from the OFT publication).

    What to do - that's the question? I have now served my notice giving 1 month's notice and have also pointed out that I think the notice is unfair. I ahve also offered to leave on 23rd March if the landlord agrees not to try to charge me any rent beyond 4th April. this gives him two free weeks of the property to do with it what he pleases. I have told them I will vacate on 4th April at the end of the fixed term. I have told them that I do not want the agreement to revert to a statuatory periodic tenancy (as it states this will happen if "notice" is not served).

    the notice clause is prescisely as follows:

    "It is agreed that after an initial period of four months, TWO COMPLETE RENTAL MONTHS NOTICE in writing to the landlords managing agent may be served by either party to end the agreement"

    Note the word "may" - not "must" ??? Interesting......

    also the first page of the agreement states in the "General Notes":

    "This agreement has been drawn up after consideration of the Office of Fair Trading guidance on Unfair Tems in Tenancy Agreements".

    Well....... How so? If it was then a term that the OFT say is potentially unfair surely would not have been included. This tells me that they put a potentially unfair term in their contract with both eyes open and it was not just an oversight!!! or ..... they have cocked up big time..... or they are chancing their arm as 90% of people would comply.

    The problem is. What do I do. They say verbally I owe them £1400 for 1 months rent (subject to a reply to my notice to quit). They also hold £2100 as a deposit to be used to compenste the landlord for "reasonable costs for any breach".

    I suspect they will return my deposit minus the £1400 and wait for me to sue them. If I lose then I will have to pay their costs and mine.

    Anyone any idea of their likely costs in the small claims court? Also, anyone aware of any legal prescident for this situation that I can quote to them. Courts like prescident don't they!!

    Are there any "no win no fee" type deals out their for this kind of thing?

    I do have DAS legal protection in my home insurance so I guess I could try them. Better get in touch with them on Monday.


    Cheers,

    Paul

    Leave a comment:


  • Ruth Less
    replied
    Originally posted by Miffy View Post
    Ruthless -It would seem a bit much to just up & leave on the end of the fixed term without informing anyone, although one could do so legally as long as there is no debate about whether one had actually stayed longer and made it a periodic tenancy.
    Miffy, of course you've got to tell the landlord and hand back the keys, it needs to be clear you've gone. The point is there is no need to give notice so you can't be charged rent due to a lack of notice. The text is an exact quote of the OFT document in case it wasn't clear. Personally I would want to arrange and be present at a checkout with the landlord/agent if there was time to arrange this.

    Leave a comment:


  • Worldlife
    replied
    Good point Miffy - it is very important to meet the landlord/agent at the property for a final inspection to agree condition and meter readings etc and to hand over the keys.

    This just requires a letter suggesting the time and date for the handover and not a formal notice.

    Leave a comment:


  • Miffy
    replied
    Originally posted by pj_smith View Post
    I think it is still "nice" and "fair" to give as much notice as possible so I will do that unless you advise otherwise. I will give notice later today (hopefully if we actuall exchange on our house purchase) and give them notice that I intend to end on 4th April. I will then pick up the cost from 23rd March - 4th April (unless they find somone else and they move in on 24th March - unlikely).

    Paul
    Don't worry, you are both morally and legally in the right. A month's notice is plenty and you are fulfilling your minimum fixed term. The overlap could even be useful to you to lessen the stress of the move and let you properly prepare your new place.

    Ruthless -It would seem a bit much to just up & leave on the end of the fixed term without informing anyone, although one could do so legally as long as there is no debate about whether one had actually stayed longer and made it a periodic tenancy. On this note, how can the tenant be sure that they can hand the keys back (thus bringing the tenancy to an end) if they don't make arrangements in advance to meet the LL?

    Leave a comment:


  • Bel
    replied
    Originally posted by pj_smith View Post
    Okay Tweedle Dum - that is good news from my point of view. The problem is that the letting agent are telling me otherwise.


    The problem is that bullies are not right, they are just more forceful.

    Or it could be they just don't have a clue about tenants rights !!

    A good link by Ruth Less, by the way.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ruth Less
    replied
    Also the Office of Fair Trading, see OFT356:

    Page 35, Section 3.78.

    Notice not required for fixed term agreements

    3.78 A tenant is not required to give notice to bring the tenancy to an end at the end of the fixed term. That is because a fixed term agreement comes to an end at the end of the fixed term, and no periodic tenancy will arise if the tenant then leaves. We appreciate that landlords will want to ensure that their properties are not left empty between tenancies, but object to terms that impose a contractual obligation on the tenant to give notice in order for the tenancy to be terminated at the end of the fixed term. This could allow the landlord to impose a substantial financial penalty on tenants who do not realise that notice is not required, by requiring them to pay rent for a period after the end of the fixed term. Terms such as this are not necessary to protect landlords from the possibility that their property will be left empty, as the law allows landlords to recover possession at the end of the fixed term by serving at least two months' notice, and they could do so where their current tenant fails to indicate when asked whether they intend to stay on. The landlord and tenant could of course still agree to a renewal of the tenancy even after such notice was served.

    http://www.oft.gov.uk/advice_and_res...onsumer/oft356

    Leave a comment:


  • UKLandlord1000
    replied
    Originally posted by pj_smith View Post
    Great stuff. This could save me £1400!

    Thanks so much to all for their advice and opinions. I will follow this up with "Shelter" and I can then use their name in my letter.

    I think it is still "nice" and "fair" to give as much notice as possible so I will do that unless you advise otherwise. I will give notice later today (hopefully if we actuall exchange on our house purchase) and give them notice that I intend to end on 4th April. I will then pick up the cost from 23rd March - 4th April (unless they find somone else and they move in on 24th March - unlikely).

    Paul
    Yes definitely best to advise them of your departure date.

    Leave a comment:


  • pj_smith
    replied
    Great stuff. This could save me £1400!

    Thanks so much to all for their advice and opinions. I will follow this up with "Shelter" and I can then use their name in my letter.

    I think it is still "nice" and "fair" to give as much notice as possible so I will do that unless you advise otherwise. I will give notice later today (hopefully if we actuall exchange on our house purchase) and give them notice that I intend to end on 4th April. I will then pick up the cost from 23rd March - 4th April (unless they find somone else and they move in on 24th March - unlikely).

    Paul

    Leave a comment:


  • UKLandlord1000
    replied
    Originally posted by pj_smith View Post
    Hi,

    thanks for that.

    The fixed term ends on 5th April and we intend to leave on 23rd March.

    Does the "2 months notice" clause mean nothing then?

    thanks.
    Paul
    The fixed term actually ends on April 4th, not the 5th and I believe that the "2 months notice" clause would be unenforceable by the landlord.

    Leave a comment:


  • pj_smith
    replied
    Hi,

    thanks for that.

    The fixed term ends on 5th April and we intend to leave on 23rd March.

    Does the "2 months notice" clause mean nothing then?

    thanks.
    Paul

    Leave a comment:


  • Beeber
    replied
    Well, you can direct them to the Shelter website for a start or contact them on their free advice line to see if they can quote you the particular regulation or law that covers that

    What happens when my agreement runs out?

    "If your agreement is for a fixed term (eg. six months), you can leave on the last day of the fixed term without giving notice...

    If you intend to leave on the last day you are not legally required to give the landlord any notice, but it's usually a good idea to do so, to avoid any dispute about when you actually left".

    http://england.shelter.org.uk/advice...ipLive-14092-4

    When does your fixed term agreement actually end and when are you intending to leave? I don't understand from the information provided whether you are within this fixed term or whether it has (or will) lapse before you leave and become a periodic agreement.

    Leave a comment:


  • pj_smith
    replied
    Okay Tweedle Dum - that is good news from my point of view. The problem is that the letting agent are telling me otherwise.

    Is there a term / wording I can quote to them to reinforce this assertation? e.g. According to the xxxxx act 19xx under sub section 5 of clause 1 I am xxxxxxxxxxx

    I really appreciate your help.

    Paul

    Leave a comment:


  • Tweedle Dum
    replied
    The fact remains that you can quit the tenancy on the last day of the fixed term without giving any notice at all.You are not legally bound to give any notice whatsoever regardless of any clauses they insert into the agreement.

    Leave a comment:


  • pj_smith
    replied
    Hi There,

    The tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement with the following on the front page. Also below this is the section entitiled NOTICES. So now I am a bit confused. Apologoes for this as this is my first rental. What I read from it is that I have to give 2 months notice to quit right up to 5th April and after that I have to give 1 months notice.

    Am I wrong?

    I appreciate your help and expertise.

    Cheers,

    Paul

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    THIS AGREEMENT is made on the date specified below BETWEEN the Landlord and the Tenant. It is intended that the

    tenancy created by this Agreement is and shall be an assured shorthold tenancy within the meaning of the Housing Acts


    Note: Under s. 48, Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, notices can be served on the Landlord at the above address

    Tenant(s): Mr xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Property: The dwelling known as:

    15 xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Contents: The fixtures and fittings at the Property together with any furniture, carpetc, curtains and other effects listed in the Inventory

    Term: For the term of six months

    commencing on and includIng 05 October 2006 through to and including 04 April 2007

    Rent: £xxxx.xx

    Payment: in advance before the tenancy start date

    Deposit: A deposit of £xxxx.xx is payable on signing this Agreement and will be held by John Mortimer
    Property Management Ltd as Stakeholder

    I. The Landlord agrees to let and the Tenant agrees to take the Property and Contents for the Term at the Rent payable as above
    2. The Tenant pays the Deposit as security for the performance of the Tenant’s obligations and to pay and compensate the Landlord for the reasonable costs of any breach of those obligations. It is specifically agreed that this money is not to be used by the Tenant as payment for any rent due under this agreement. No interest shall be payable on this Deposit. The balance of the Deposit to be paid to the Tenant as soon as possible after the conclusion of the tenancy, less any reasonable costs incurred for the breach of any obligation

    The Tenant agrees with the Landlord:

    3. Rent & charges

    (3.1) Not used



    (3.2) To pay promptly to the authorities to whom they are due, council tax, water and sewerage charges, gas, electric
    and telephone (if any) relating to the Property, where they are incurred during the period of the agreement,
    including any which are imposed after the date of this Agreement (even if of a novel nature) and to pay the total
    cost of any re-connection fee relating to the supply of water, gas, electricity and telephone if the same is
    disconnected. The Tenant agrees to notify the Landlord prior to changing supplier for any of the utility services
    stated above

    (3.3) That in the case ofa breach of the terms of the tenancy by the Tenant, a reasonable administration charge maybe made in addition to the costs of any remedial work, in order to compensate the Landlord or Agent his reasonable expenses


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NOTICES

    20. It is agreed that after an initial period of four months, TWO COMPLETE RENTAL MONTHS NOTICE in writing to the Landlords Managing Agent may be served by either party to terminate this Agreement.

    21. It is agreed that both parties will ensure that any notice is an original signed letter and sent to the Agent ensuring adequate
    delivery time by Registered Post, Guaranteed Next Day Delivery, 1st Class post or is delivered by hand.

    22. It is agreed that if notice from either party is not received by the Agent the tenancy will become a Statutory Periodic Tenancy and WILL CONTINUE ON THE SAME TERMS FROM ONE COMPLETE RENT PERIOD TO
    ANOTHER. Statutory notice periods will apply.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bel
    replied
    I agree with tweedle.

    Just pay to the end of the tenancy fixed term. Tell her that you do not need to give proper notice if you only stay for the fixed term (n.b. but not a day over). Tell her your intentions by all means; but this is only courtesy on your part.
    You must pay for the whole of the fixed term; the property will still legally be in your possession, even if you are away. She should not enter without your permission.
    You could say that you will surrender the tenacy by giving her the keys a few days early if she hands over the deposit, then she can get it ready for the next tenants sooner. Keep the keys until you get the deposit or reach the end of the fixed term; which ever comes first.
    As long as there is no damage and the place is clean, you are entitled to get the deposit back even if she refuses to go for the trade. It just might take longer if she feels agrieved by your insubordination!!

    Leave a comment:

Latest Activity

Collapse

  • Reply to Flat rental bathroom query
    by Landyman
    Are you saying that the toilet and basin are out in the open, adjacent to the kitchen? Or are they in a separate room?

    Does the room have a window? Or a fan ventilator?

    It's had to visualise exactly what you mean. Could you sketch a simple floorplan and upload that here p...
    16-01-2022, 23:47 PM
  • Flat rental bathroom query
    by NewGuyOne
    Hello,

    A rented flat with a toilet (of course) and basin next to the kitchen, and a bedroom with a quite small en suite - shower/basin/rail for towel ... Is this acceptable in a flat - with no additional separate bathroom?

    Flat consists of 1 bedroom en suite, hallway, lounge,...
    16-01-2022, 20:13 PM
  • Reply to Problems with tenant getting work done and not paying me rent
    by axil23
    Thank you Lawcruncher.

    Just so I am not reading the lease wrong. Executed as a deed means that it has to say that and be witnessed by a 3rd party right?...
    16-01-2022, 23:23 PM
  • Problems with tenant getting work done and not paying me rent
    by axil23
    I have rented my house to a {name removed} who use it to house Asylum seekers from a govt contract. In June the flat roof developed a leak and they asked me to fix it which I did the next day. 6 months later I get a bill for £1900 for scaffolding, asbestos survey, party wall agreement & for some...
    13-01-2022, 12:05 PM
  • surrender of lease charges
    by jshire
    Hi,
    I'm trying to assist a family member who is in the process of surrendering a lease on a shared flat (all tenants moving out). The landlord agreed as the reasons were reasonable. He's sent an email stating that there will be costs that the tenants have to meet, charged by the letting agent...
    16-01-2022, 20:49 PM
  • Reply to Gas certificate fail
    by MdeB
    But if you had a valid certificate when the tenancy started but failed to give it to the tenant, then I believe that providing them with a current certificate before serving S21 will be OK....
    16-01-2022, 20:30 PM
  • Gas certificate fail
    by ReginaPhalangi
    We've been renting out our property since 2017 and now have given notice to our tenants to leave. However we have just realised that we have failed to get a gas certificate during their tenancy. Is it possible to get the gas certificate now? Would we need to give notice again after we issue the gas...
    15-01-2022, 20:05 PM
  • Reply to No Tenancy agreement
    by MdeB
    There are a number (of the order of 20) of grounds under which possession can be sought. See the Housing Act 1988.



    The claim is for the period for which they were paying rent whilst there was no required licence in place, up to a maximum of 12 months. Getting a licence ends...
    16-01-2022, 19:32 PM
  • Reply to No Tenancy agreement
    by MdeB
    That depends on when the tenancy started.


    Or, possibly, the one in place when it is given to the tenant. The regulations are ambiguous...
    16-01-2022, 19:18 PM
  • Reply to Wales: New Legislation – your roles and responsibilities
    by steaming
    4. Antisocial behaviour…..a fair and consistent approach to everyone. No. 4 is then not mentioned in the extended information (click link). Surely this needs explaining in detail or, maybe, they haven’t actually thought further that the nine words used. No surprise.
    16-01-2022, 19:17 PM
Working...
X