renewal of tenancy charges

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  • renewal of tenancy charges

    I have recently left a flat where I was a good tenant, who always paid on time and looked after the property well. I have therefore been shocked that my former landlord (who was also the letting agent) has decided to deduct large amounts (over £400 total) from my deposit for cleaning and for 'renewal of tenancy', as I moved out after 13months and 1 day. My contract was a 12 month contract with 6 month break clause.

    Does the clause below, which was part of my tenancy agreement, mean that despite not receiving a new tenancy agreement at any point or receiving any notification of any charges to be made, that he can claim over half of the withheld deposit for renewal fees??

    "the tenant shall give written notice to the Landlord of his intention to determine of renew the tenancy not later than six weeks before the end of the tenancy. If such notice to determine the Agreement is received after six weeks before the end of the tenancy, the agreement shall renew for a further term of one year less one day"

    Any help/ advice would be appreciated!

  • #2
    what notice did you give ?


    • #3
      one calander month - to which he agreed in writing.


      • #4
        they have no right to withold this money. If the contract was not renewed then you are not bound by it. And even if it was the term in the contract would not be valid as it would be considered unfair. i suspect you will have to make a claim via the courts but you should win.



        • #5
          thanks zoe for your response. can I just check i have understood, as I am writing to my landlord today to say that i do not think these charges are justified. Does what you are saying mean that legally even although 13 months ago i signed a 12month contract with that clause in it, it is basically a pointless clause as my tenancy cannot automatically renew without me signing anything since?


          • #6
            two things

            1) the tenancy can renew but on a periodic basis (month by month)
            2) the clause in your contract is unfair and would not stand up in court.

            Before you write please wait for another reply to confirm this I could be wrong !!!


            • #7
              Thanks Zoe... I hope you are right.
              If there is anyone out there who can please confirm this, i'd be extremely grateful....


              • #8
                I believe I am right in saying that, assuming this was an AST then at the end of the initial period, either a new tenancy agreement must be signed or the tenancy automatically goes to a statutory periodic tenancy. You gave one month's notice, which is all you needed to do so the only thing your deposit can be used for is damage (not normal wear and tear). Your ex landlord is witholding your money without reason. Write to him giving him seven days to return it or you will go to the small claims court. Get the papers from the court so that you can have them in on day 8 if he does not pay up.


                • #9
                  Just to give a clear answer!
                  1. There was no requirement to give 6 weeks notice - only 1 month - BUT it depends on when you gave notice. If it was after the beginning of the 13th month then your notice would only be valid from when the rent was next due, i.e. you would have to pay rent until the end of the 14th month! However if you gave notice to your landlord before the end of the fixed term that you would be only staying until the end of month 13 then that's okay!
                  2. The above would be considered an "unfair term" under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999!
                  3. The tenancy was not renewed but automatically became periodic after the fixed term, so no charges can be levied for "renewal".
                  4. Your landlord cannot make ANY charges to you that you were not informed about in writing BEFORE you signed the tenancy agreement.
                  5. If your landlord/agent is a member of RICS,ARLA or NAEA make a formal complaint to the ruling body.
                  6. You could threaten a county court summons within 7 days unless he pays up in full!
                  The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.


                  • #10
                    was i too late?

                    Thanks Paul.
                    I gave notice on the day after the 12 months was up, which also happened to be the actual day the rent is paid. I called him up to say that I was wanting to give notice for one month as I was relocating and would he be ok with that, and he said yes. I then sent him an email and fax (followed by post the next day) saying the following:

                    "To confrim our earlier conversation, I advise that I will be vacating (the flat address)and as agreed with yourself in our conversation, now give notice to you of 1 calender month, effective immediately. I will therefore be vacating the flat on the 26th May 2005.

                    As also discussed in our earlier conversation, my vacating of the property on this date is on the agreed understanding that my deposit will be returned to me on this date, to the full sum, less any deductions which might be made following your inspection of the flat."

                    he replied to this by email saying that he received and agreed to my notice.
                    so I had thought I had done everything correctly... or was I a day too late?


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