Help with tenancy agreement please!

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  • Help with tenancy agreement please!

    Hi,

    I've been reading some of the other threads on this board and the advice seems really helpfull, and very useful - so I'm now hoping you can help me!

    About three months ago I moved into a new build house to share with two others, who were both already living in the house (I didnt know them) - the landlord adertised privately for the room, as a room to let in a shared house. I was told at the time an agreement would be made up at a later date, though I insisted on getting receipts atevery stage. The information I was given was that my room was my own and I would share the other areas of the house with the other tenants, and the landlord would pop round every so often to check the cleaning etc. All bills were said to be included.

    So my problem, well apart from the receipts that clearly say how much I have paid and for what period this covers, and that it is all inclusive I have been unable to get an actual tenancy agreement from the landlord. He refuses - saying the receipts should be enough. He then shifts the focus to imagned problems he has with us (such as us leaving dishes in the sink for a couple of hours etc - quite petty). Also he has maintained an office/study in the house and visits every day! - no warning given at all - this morning it was 7am, and it can be any other time of the day as well. On his visits he will do cleaning etc, which is not needed to be done, ie the area was clean anyway - and then tell us off for not having done it. Recently he has also started to place limits on the use of several items - such as now we are not allowed to dry clothes in the washer dryer - he expects us to use the small airing cupboard (which is fine for towels etc - but not for a whole load of clothes) - also he will turn the heating down on a visit - from 20 to only 10, and open and then forget to close windows (which open all the way as they are fire safety ones) - this causes us security problems as the estate has had a recent problem with crime. Also prob the main concern is several times I know he has been in our rooms whilst we are out! - hes said as much to us.

    Sorry to type so much but I just wanted to show how much he is atually doing, there is other stuff - but above is our main issues. My question is basically if I dont have a written agreement what protection do I have? Can I insist for instance he only visits with notice? - or do I by default have a type of agreement assumed by law? - with rights I can request be followed? Your help is very welcome - as I'm getting close to just giving notice and moving - but I love the area and house!

    Thanks - Wes

  • #2
    Originally posted by Tiberius View Post
    Hi,

    I've been reading some of the other threads on this board and the advice seems really helpfull, and very useful - so I'm now hoping you can help me!

    About three months ago I moved into a new build house to share with two others, who were both already living in the house (I didnt know them) - the landlord adertised privately for the room, as a room to let in a shared house. I was told at the time an agreement would be made up at a later date, though I insisted on getting receipts atevery stage. The information I was given was that my room was my own and I would share the other areas of the house with the other tenants, and the landlord would pop round every so often to check the cleaning etc. All bills were said to be included.

    So my problem, well apart from the receipts that clearly say how much I have paid and for what period this covers, and that it is all inclusive I have been unable to get an actual tenancy agreement from the landlord. He refuses - saying the receipts should be enough. He then shifts the focus to imagned problems he has with us (such as us leaving dishes in the sink for a couple of hours etc - quite petty). Also he has maintained an office/study in the house and visits every day! - no warning given at all - this morning it was 7am, and it can be any other time of the day as well. On his visits he will do cleaning etc, which is not needed to be done, ie the area was clean anyway - and then tell us off for not having done it. Recently he has also started to place limits on the use of several items - such as now we are not allowed to dry clothes in the washer dryer - he expects us to use the small airing cupboard (which is fine for towels etc - but not for a whole load of clothes) - also he will turn the heating down on a visit - from 20 to only 10, and open and then forget to close windows (which open all the way as they are fire safety ones) - this causes us security problems as the estate has had a recent problem with crime. Also prob the main concern is several times I know he has been in our rooms whilst we are out! - hes said as much to us.

    Sorry to type so much but I just wanted to show how much he is atually doing, there is other stuff - but above is our main issues. My question is basically if I dont have a written agreement what protection do I have? Can I insist for instance he only visits with notice? - or do I by default have a type of agreement assumed by law? - with rights I can request be followed? Your help is very welcome - as I'm getting close to just giving notice and moving - but I love the area and house!

    Thanks - Wes
    blimy he sounds a right one. Firstly have the other people in the house been given a tenancy agreement? If the landlord does not live there then he has no entitlement to enter the house without your prior permission except in cases of emergency. you are entitled to quiet enjoyment, Did he discuss the need for him to come to the house/study when you viewed the house?

    I would speak with the other tenants and if you are all unhappy then suggest you call him around and discuss the matter with him. if they dont mind then perhaps u may want to look for alternative accommodation.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks!

      No-one has an agreement - other than a receipt of payment. He never said he would keep an office as he told me he had one in his house - which is actually just round the corner.

      We tried to air some of our concerns on one of his visits - but it just became like a court room game of claim and counter claim - he brought up petty stuff - such as when we have baths or even use the sink could we put our things away in the cupboard (I had left my toothbrush out) The bathroom is shared between two of us as the 3rd person has an en-suite - so we didnt see the problem.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sounds a horrible situation - the landlord seems to be entirely ignorant of your rights or common courtesy when it comes to tenant/landlord relations.

        he may hope that by not issuing a contract that he can somehow side step his obligations but he cannot.

        he seems to treat you as if you are lodgers (excluded occupiers), rather than tenants. Lodgers do have limited rights compared to tenants but you would only be lodgers if your landlord actually lived in the property.

        The fact that he does not actually live in the property - despite the office ruse - and has a primary residence elsewhere means that you are not lodgers but tenants with considerably more rights as an assured shorthold tenant.

        Here's a link to information about being an assured shorthold tenant which includes the right to live in the accommodation undisturbed. Advice applies to england so just search for the relevant information if you live elsewhere.

        http://england.shelter.org.uk/advice/advice-2934.cfm

        Comment


        • #5
          An alternative route, rather than moving out, is to discuss a plan of action with the other tenants to let the landlord know that you have looked into your legal rights and intend to enforce them against the breaches he is committing.

          Keep good records about it

          http://england.shelter.org.uk/advice/advice-7355.cfm

          Consider notifying him that if he continues to enter the property without both the permission of the tenants and providing notice, that you will change the locks and will notify the Police of any acts of harassment or attempts to illegally evict you.

          http://england.shelter.org.uk/advice/advice-7351.cfm

          But first contact the Shelter helpline for advice on this subject to verify where you stand.

          Comment


          • #6
            Another source of advice to your predicament would be the tenancy relations officer at your Local Authority. Remember that any interference by third parties will not improve your relationship with the LL, so think about outcomes before becoming confrontational.

            Diplomatically tell the Landlord that you need more peace and privacy or will be looking for a new place to stay; it might work.

            The fact that you do not have an agreement means that at least you aren't tied to the property and can quit at short notice.

            If you want to play hardball, simply change the locks or put on the latch so he cant enter when you are at home. Tell him that he is breaching the Protection from Eviction Act and "your quiet enjoyment". That you require 24 hours written notice before any visit and you have the right to exclude him if you so wish. But definately speak to Shelter or Tenacy relations Officer beforehand. He will probably give you notice and try to evict you.
            All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

            * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

            You can search the forums here:

            Comment


            • #7
              Members - would this house be classed as a HMO? If yes, I wonder if the landlord is licensed as such???

              Might be worth Tiberius checking this out!

              Regards

              J
              Last edited by Joannepowell; 13-03-2007, 00:26 AM. Reason: typo (every bloody time)!

              Comment


              • #8
                Ta

                Thanks guys - it really helped - just thought I'd update you to let you know what happened.

                I spoke to Shelter who gave me some basic advice and then I spoke to the local tenancy relations officer - who was great help.

                My home is a HMO, but because it doesnt house more than 5 people - it doesnt need a license. However my landlord needs to bring the house to the HMO standard (emergency lighting etc). We have the right to the quiet enjoyment of our room, and therefore he cant enter that without our say so - but he has a duty to maintain the communial areas - so he can enter these as much as he likes.

                As for the situation now - well myself and another at this house have handed in our notices and plan to move into another house on the estate - but with a proper tenancy agreement this time.

                Thanks again guys

                Comment

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