Agent insisting that I give notice to leave at the end of Fixed Term AST

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    Agent insisting that I give notice to leave at the end of Fixed Term AST

    Hi,

    My 12 month AST comes to an end in a little more than 2 months. The managing agent said that the rent is being upped by X and asked me if I intended to renew the contract at the end of the fixed term. I told him that I am willing to renew it at the same rent and can't afford a hike. He then said that I need to give him 2 months' written notice of my intention to 'end the tenancy' on expiry of the current AST and pointed me towards the clause in the TA that I've copied below.

    I told him that since it's him that wants to change the terms of the contract, he should be the one giving me written notice to leave. He was adamant that I should be the one giving notice and that I would be in breach of contract if I didn't do so.

    The landlord is a lovely lady and we've been perfect tenants in every way. I'm pretty sure the only reason the agent is insisting that we give notice is so that he can tell the landlord that we want to leave.

    What do you think? Who should be giving notice? And what would happen if neither of us gave notice and the AST expired?

    Individually Negotiated Clauses
    35. This fixed term Agreement may be brought to an end by either party by providing a
    minimum of two months written notice to the other (such notice not to expire any
    earlier than the expiry date of this fixed term Agreement). At the end of such notice
    the tenancy shall end and all obligations and responsibilities shall cease; subject
    nevertheless to any claim by either party against the other in respect of any breach of
    any of the terms and conditions of the agreement. For the avoidance of doubt once
    the notice referred to in this clause has been exercised it cannot be revoked under
    any circumstance.


    My apologies if this issue seems pedantic but it's just that the agent has been pushy, rude and unprofessional in all his dealings with us.

    Thanks in advance,

    Raul

    #2
    I should have a word with the landlady herself. I bet she would be happy for you to stay on at the same rent. Agent is just after another letting fee by the sounds of it.

    Comment


      #3
      You do not have to give any notice to leave by the end of fixed term: You remain liable for rent up to end of fixed term.

      After fixed term new tenancies occur, "periodic", every month (assuming rent payable monthly...) and have the same rights & clauses APART from any requirements for notice. Notice become at least 1 month for tenant, at least 2 months for landlord end on an end-of-period date. The agent may not understand this (to be a letting agent requires no training, no qualifications, no nothing...)
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

      Comment


        #4
        JK0,

        Well the only contact we ever have with her is through the agent when sorting out issues at the flat. The one time I asked for the landlady's contact details the agent refused saying that since the letting is fully managed he speaks on behalf of the landlord.

        Comment


          #5
          theartfullodger,

          Thanks for your reply. But then what happens at the end of the fixed term if neither of us give notice? Does the tenancy just lapse into a periodic one without any new paperwork?

          Comment


            #6
            As long as you stay in the property - yes

            Comment


              #7
              muhandis,

              Sounds like I was correct then. Don't sign or write anything, and your tenancy will roll over to a periodic one at the same rent.

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for your comments everyone. I will stick to my guns and keep the thread posted on what happens.

                Comment


                  #9
                  They can ask for a rent increase, but you can also decline it. If you feel a small increase is fair, then make a counter offer.

                  Ultimately the LL can give you notice after the fixed term without giving a reason (so may do if you don't pay the increased rent) but my guess is it's unlikely. Good reliable tenants are well worth holding on to.

                  I believe you have a right to know the name and address of your landlord, so make that request again in writing.
                  IANAL (I am not a lawyer). Anything I say here is just an opinion, so should not be relied upon! Always check your facts with a professional who really knows their onions.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The clause does not even say what the agent is saying it says.
                    It says that it "may" be brought to an end...

                    I would ignore them, and wait for a formal letter that the rent is to be increased, and ask us for further help if and when it arrives.
                    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by muhandis View Post
                      ...... The one time I asked for the landlady's contact details the agent refused saying that since the letting is fully managed he speaks on behalf of the landlord.
                      If you make a written request then the agent has 21 days in which to supply you with the details otherwise they are committing a criminal offence (S.1 Landlord & Tenant Act 1985). Don't let them fob you off.
                      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.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Not only do we have a clause that gives the parties the doubtful privilege of being able to give notice to end a fixed term on its last day, but we have an agent insisting that it means something else.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks for everyone that gave advice. I told the agent that I can't absorb a rent increase and asked him to give me notice if that isn't acceptable.

                          Viola, he got back to me 2 days later saying that even though the landlord knows that she will get more rent, she is willing to keep the rent at the same level for another 12 months, but will definitely increase the rent at the end of that period!

                          I'm very happy with the result and probably won't mind a rent increase in a year, thanks again for the informed advice, am very happy to have found a forum like this!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Nice work... you can now play a happy tune on your stringed instrument.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Well done muhandis!! Excellent work, great news (wonder if your landlord/agent is viewing...)
                              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                              Comment

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