How does a landlord renew / resign / extend an Assured Shorthold Tenancy?

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  • thesaint
    replied
    I suggest you speak to the tenants about renewing before you decide to just leave it because it is not worth the hassle. It would take an hour or two out of your time(if they decide to renew) twice a year.
    If that is a lot of work for you, then you are going to regret being a landlord. It will take considerably longer to check out your tenants, and find new ones because they decide to leave and find another property because they want somewhere with a bit more security.
    The tenants may not be mind readers, and know that you are happy for them to stay, but will give them 2 months notice before you go to court to get them removed.

    In regards to the deposits, which company is holding them? As a private landlord, I suspect that it is the "Deposit Protection Service". If so, there is nothing to do if you renew the tenants contract.

    Leave a comment:


  • AlexC
    replied
    Thanks Westminster. I now think I fully understand how to renew the AST if desired. Thank you for pointing out the finer details of what is required.

    Thanks LesleyAnne, I'll definitely give that thread a look. I like the money saving expert site. Thanks also for pointing out the deposit technicality again too. I think the less hassle approach of the periodic tenancy wins the day

    Leave a comment:


  • LesleyAnne
    replied
    Until you get your book, there is a good newbie landlord thread here:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...2&postcount=12

    which will ensure you have the basics covered atleast.

    Take note of Westminster's comment above about deposit protection, and the need to re-protect if you do sign a renewal with the tenant, depending on which scheme you used.

    Leave a comment:


  • westminster
    replied
    Originally posted by AlexC View Post
    I must admit I'm still not 100% sure how you renew a AST. Providing both parties are happy to commit to another fixed term, do you just provide a new (in this case identical) document for signing or have to give any notice of this?
    No 'notice' required. It's exactly the same as granting a brand new tenancy with strangers. You negotiate terms (if necessary), and sign a contract with the T - that's it.

    The text of the contract can be (if both parties agree) identical to the first contract, but obviously you'd have to amend the dates. By this I do not mean amending the actual first or previous contract, and crossing out dates on it; I mean amending the template, and printing out a brand new contract with new dates, and signing it.

    Legal-speak for a renewal is 'surrender and re-grant'. In other words, the existing tenancy (whether fixed term or periodic) is automatically surrendered by the new tenancy, and the new tenancy is a re-grant of the tenancy.

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  • AlexC
    replied
    Thanks Westminster.

    That settles it then. A periodic tenancy sounds much less work for me and probably in the best interests of the tenant.

    Cheers

    Leave a comment:


  • westminster
    replied
    In this situation, I'd just suggest to the T that you're happy to agree a renewal fixed term, but equally happy to allow the tenancy to continue on a periodic basis. The decision is down to the T, in the end, so just accept it.

    Remember that if you do renew the fixed term tenancy, and if a deposit was paid and is protected by either MyDeposits or TDS (The Dispute Service), then you will have to re-protect the deposit and re-give the prescribed information. Deposit protection renewal doesn't apply (AFAIK) with any scheme if the tenancy is replaced with a statutory periodic tenancy.

    Leave a comment:


  • AlexC
    replied
    Hi again,

    Thanks again to everyone for the advice and further info. It's been great to learn a bit more.

    I must admit I'm still not 100% sure how you renew a AST. Providing both parties are happy to commit to another fixed term, do you just provide a new (in this case identical) document for signing or have to give any notice of this?

    Either way, to be honest I think I will go for the periodic tenancy option. With 3 separate tenancies on the go, each with different commencement dates, and a full time job doing something else entirely, I don't think I can keep track of notice periods and the issuing of new documents twice a year.

    Thanks again for all your help with this

    Alex

    Leave a comment:


  • MSaxp
    replied
    Bear in mind that if you want to renew every 6 months, you have to do the paperwork every 6 months. A periodic tenancy can last for a lot longer without any paperwork. I have never stayed in a property for less than two years and never signed for longer than 6 months or any extensions

    Leave a comment:


  • AlexC
    replied
    Originally posted by westminster View Post
    A s.21 notice is not a 'notice to leave'. It does not end the tenancy. It does not oblige the tenant to vacate. The only result of serving such a notice is that it entitles you to apply for a possession order after the notice expires. Apart from that, it has no effect whatsoever.

    As I asked in my previous comment, why would you want to serve a s.21 notice on a 'lovely' T? In doing so, you may well encourage the T to serve notice to quit to end the tenancy, because your notice will give the firm impression that you want to regain possession of the property.

    It is very poor tactics to try to 'scare' the T into agreeing a renewal contract (or scare him into anything at all). If he wants to, great; if he doesn't, then also fine IMO. He might stay on for another five years on a periodic tenancy but simply want to retain the option of not being committed to a longer fixed term. People's circumstances aren't always predictable many months in advance.
    Thanks for the further clarification of s21 notices. It sounds completely inappropriate for my situation.

    I understand that Ts can stay for years on a periodic tenancy, I was just asked by my co-landlords to check this out in an attempt to give us some breathing space before possible T turnaround, but as I mention above I think it may be easier to just let it run onto a periodic tenancy.

    I have absolutely no intention of scaring anyone into anything (I'm a very non-scary person), I just want to be a good landlord and know my stuff before rushing into anything.

    Thanks again for the advice

    Leave a comment:


  • MSaxp
    replied
    They are good tenants and you will threaten them with eviction to get them to renew? If i had a landlord who proposed that, I'd leave straight away. How do you know the same won't happen with the next ones? Until you get the ones who trash the place and not pay rent for 6 months, who won't care anyway.

    As said above, having to leave only at 2 specific months of the year is very restricting for careers, buying your own property, etc. It will limit the kind of tenants you can attract.

    Leave a comment:


  • AlexC
    replied
    Thanks for the book recommendation- that's really helpful and just the sort of thing I'm looking for.

    Thanks as well for the further periodic tenancy info regarding notice periods.

    I don't want to serve any sort of notice if I don't have to. I'm just trying to understand what is required on my part when asking Ts to renew the AST. As I said I'm a little confused, hence the call for help. From what you've said it sounds like a s21 is completely inappropriate so I'm glad I asked.

    I completely understand that Ts are not obliged to renew the AST and if they do it doesn't necessarily mean 'no problems'. I think I've been really lucky so far (touch wood) and just thought by signing up t another 6 months I wouldn't have to think about doing any marketing, inventory checks etc etc any time soon.

    But to be honest it sounds as though it may be a lot easier just to let it roll onto a periodic tenancy.

    Thanks v much your help, I really appreciate it.

    Leave a comment:


  • AlexC
    replied
    Originally posted by thesaint View Post
    The easiest way is to do another tenancy agreement afresh.
    Have you spoke to them to ask whether they are agreeable to do so?
    Wow thanks for all the info guys. I'll start at the top with this comment.

    Thanks for our help. I haven't yet spoken to them about it and assume they are happy enough as they have not mentioned leaving. I will be entirely open with them, I just wanted to do my homework first to see if I have to comply with any notice periods etc.

    Once I know what needs to be done at my end, I'll go and have a chat with them.

    Thanks again

    Leave a comment:


  • westminster
    replied
    Originally posted by AlexC View Post
    What do you think? I don't really want to scare them with a notice to leave...
    A s.21 notice is not a 'notice to leave'. It does not end the tenancy. It does not oblige the tenant to vacate. The only result of serving such a notice is that it entitles you to apply for a possession order after the notice expires. Apart from that, it has no effect whatsoever.

    As I asked in my previous comment, why would you want to serve a s.21 notice on a 'lovely' T? In doing so, you may well encourage the T to serve notice to quit to end the tenancy, because your notice will give the firm impression that you want to regain possession of the property.

    It is very poor tactics to try to 'scare' the T into agreeing a renewal contract (or scare him into anything at all). If he wants to, great; if he doesn't, then also fine IMO. He might stay on for another five years on a periodic tenancy but simply want to retain the option of not being committed to a longer fixed term. People's circumstances aren't always predictable many months in advance.

    Leave a comment:


  • westminster
    replied
    Originally posted by AlexC View Post
    I'm new to this Landlord business and have been trying to do everything without an agent by sourcing documents and advice online
    I suggest you buy a book like this. It may not cover every problem and eventuality, but it will provide a reliable basic source of information. This forum is also a reliable source; ask here before relying on information on possibly unreliable webpages.

    They first signed up to a 6 month AST on 01 Oct 2012 and so this comes to an end on 31 March 2013. I've been looking into how to renew this for another 6 months ...
    'Resigning' is not the appropriate word to use; you mean 'renewing' the fixed term contract.

    As you seem to be aware, if the fixed term contract is not renewed, and the T is in occupation at fixed term expiry, a statutory periodic tenancy will automatically arise under s.5 Housing Act 1988, replacing the fixed term tenancy.

    After that, common law notice requirements would apply. In the T's case, he would have to give at least one month's notice, also expiring at the end of a tenancy period (in this case, that means on the last day of a month). So the T's length of notice wouldn't necessarily be the minimum one month, and could be nearly two months, depending on when the notice is given - e.g. notice given on 3rd April would have to expire 31st May at the earliest.

    ...but I'm getting completely confused as to whether a 2 month s21 notice to leave or resign is required or not.
    And why would you wish to serve a s.21 notice seeking possession, when the T is 'lovely' and you'd like them to stay on and, ideally, renew the fixed term tenancy?

    My best guess is that your confusion stems from not understanding that

    1) a s.21 notice does not end the tenancy, (it's just a preliminary notice which entitles you to apply for a possession order after the notice expires, that's all), and
    2) if you do renew the fixed term tenancy, the renewal immediately and automatically replaces the tenancy in place, whether that's a fixed term tenancy or a statutory periodic tenancy, and
    3) therefore, you don't have to serve a s.21 notice before you can grant a renewal.

    Lastly, you may be sure that the T will agree to sign a renewal contract, but he is not in any way obliged to do so, and agreeing a renewal doesn't automatically mean 'no problems'.

    Leave a comment:


  • thesaint
    replied
    The easiest way is to do another tenancy agreement afresh.
    Have you spoke to them to ask whether they are agreeable to do so?

    Leave a comment:

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