Excluding Housing Act 1988 from my contract

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    Excluding Housing Act 1988 from my contract

    I'm renting a room in HMO flat (4 rooms to rent). The landlord doesn't live in the property and rooms are rented through an agency.
    I've got a contract for period of 6 month which states the room to occupy, my obligations and obligations of the agency. The agency is also responsible for providing a cleaning service of communal areas ones a month (they have come only one time during 5 month I've lived there).

    The question is: "I am tenant or what I am according to law?"
    The contract is maned as Licence to Occupy and deny rights given by Housing Act 1988. Is it possible to include a statement in a licence as it is in mine?:

    2. Declaration
    This agreement is not intended to confer exclusive possession upon the Licensee, nor is it intended to create the relationship of landlord and tenant between the parties. The Licensee shall not be entitled to an assured tenancy or a statutory periodic tenancy under the Housing Act 1988 or to any other statutory security of tenure now or upon the determination of the Licence. The Licensee accepts that this Licence does not confer any statutory protection and/or right that would otherwise be applicable to an assured tenancy or a statutory periodic tenancy under the Housing Act 1988.

    #2
    You have a have a licence.
    On the face of it, it is a sham one, but that would be for a judge to rule on.

    What is the problem?
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      Is it student accom. owned by the Uni/College?

      Comment


        #4
        The licence doesn't deny rights given by the Housing Act.
        It simply confirms that the type of agreement that you have is not to be interpreted as an assured or periodic tenancy under the housing act 1988.

        I suspect that neither of these types of lease are possible if you are renting part of an HMO,
        as a critical element of both of them is that you have exclusive use of a property.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          It's a sham licence: The landlord/agent is trying to fiddle things..

          The key case on this matter is "Street v Mountford"
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_v_Mountford
          Street v Mountford [1985] UKHL 4 is an English land law case from the House of Lords. It set out principles to determine whether someone who occupied a property had a tenancy (i.e. a lease), or only a licence.
          You actually have an AST, not a licence. The relevant terms (eg property (say "room 5"), dates (say "12/03/2014 to 11/03/2015), and rent amount (say £545/month)..) carry over but to be evicted the landlord/agent would need to serve relevant notices (S8 and/or S21) then take court action. Did you pay a deposit?? If so it should be protected: If not protected within 30 days of you paying it you can sue landlord for up to 3x deposit... (ooohh!!!...)

          'Phone Shelter helpline to check if I'm right - 0808 800 4444 but expect a wait from this overworked charity...

          Trouble is landlord/agent is probably fiddling other stuff... Gas safety certificate?? Declaring income to tax man???
          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


            #6
            It is privately owned accomodation rented through agency. It isn't Uni/College accomodation.

            I've got a writen licence. I think that the licence isn't fair towards me and I want to know If the rights given by Housing Act 1988 are valid to me.
            I had to take the accomodation despite the high rent because otherwise I wouldn't have a place to stay. However, I hadn't expected that I would live 2 months without working heating in my room during winter. My licence will end in 5 weeks and it isn't garanteed that it will be extended. Therefore, I can end up as homeless. Even if they extend the licence, I have to pay 50 pounds fee.
            I've asked about possibility of moving out in 3 weeks (2 weeks sooner as stated in the licence). They denied it despite my willingness to pay the 100pounds fee for their "extra" administrative work.

            Comment


              #7
              You do not have a licence you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy: It does not need extending, it will automatically extend when it finishes - based on when rent is paid. If rent paid weekly it rolls on a week at a time, if monthly a month at a time. Landlord cannot just evict you, he needs to go to court.

              'phone Shelter 0808 800 4444: Please!
              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


                #8
                Does the agreement give you the right to exclusive use of a room in the property?

                They normally don't - I'll bet that the agreement allows the landlord to enter your room at will, and / or force you to share (if necessary).
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Citations from my licence:

                  15. Access to the House
                  15.1) The Licensee must not in any way impede the Licensor or agents in the exercise of their rights or the Licensor's possession and control of the House and every part of the House.
                  15.2) In the last 2 weeks before the licensee provides vacant possession the Licensee agrees to keep the Room in a good condition for potential Licensees/agents to view the premises/room during normal working hours with a 24 hours notice.

                  The bonus:
                  19. Warranty excluded
                  The licensor gives no warranty that the House it legally or physically fit for the purposes of this Licence.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    They're professionals at this.
                    I don't agree with the others that you have an assured tenancy - you don't have the exclusive use that is required for such a thing.
                    It's worth checking with Shelter or the CAB though - always get lots of opinions.

                    You can probably spend a lot of time and energy fighting them, or spend it looking for somewhere else to live.

                    As a warning, most professionally run HMO's will have similar licences.
                    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The agreement in Street vs Mountford purported to be a license in much the same way as the OP's does (didn't use the words LL/tenant, stated explicitly the intent wasn't to create a tenancy etc), though the House of Lords still decided it wasn't a license.

                      No one here can give you a definite answer as to what you have unfortunately.

                      Even if you do have a license as opposed to an AST your LL can't just roll up one day and drag you out by the scruff of the neck, they need to apply to the court for possession.

                      See here - http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...sic_protection - that's the minimum protection you enjoy, you can challenge the status of your agreement if/when your LL does go to court for possession, then you'll get a definite answer as to what it is.
                      I'm not a lawyer, what I say is the truth as I understand it. I offer no guarantee except good intentions.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                        .....

                        As a warning, most professionally run HMO's will have similar licences.
                        ... which most occupants simply accept and don't argue or force the issue to court...

                        Until and unless your particular piece of paper gets to court & is ruled on nobody is certain if it is a license or a tenancy: I'll bet £5 to an agreed housing charity it's a tenancy...
                        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


                          #13
                          Whilst Street v Mountford is the leading case, cases since have tended to cloud rather than clarify the law with it sometimes being difficult to see the reasoning behind them. All that can be said with certainty is that wording such as that quoted does not on its own make an arrangement a licence.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                            : I'll bet £5 to an agreed housing charity it's a tenancy...
                            I'll take that bet.

                            From Westminster CC v Clarke (1992)
                            "The conditions of occupancy support the view that Mr. Clarke was not in exclusive occupation of room E. He was expressly limited in his enjoyment of any accommodation provided for him … These limitations confirmed that the council retained possession of all the rooms of the hostel in order to supervise and control the activities of the occupiers, including Mr. Clarke. Although Mr. Clarke physically occupied room E he did not enjoy possession exclusively of the council."

                            From the licence in question
                            15.1) The Licensee must not in any way impede the Licensor or agents in the exercise of their rights or the Licensor's possession and control of the House and every part of the House.

                            It's unreasonable and it's crap - like most professional HMO agreements.
                            It might be better to fight it as an unfair clause - which it is (you can live here but you can't have any privacy), which if struck out would turn the licence in to a tenancy.
                            Subject to other clauses obviously.
                            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                              I'll take that bet.

                              ...
                              ...
                              ... .
                              Great, agreed, we'll have to see as & when & if OP gets to court which way the judge goes.

                              Re charities I'd nominate St Mungos or Shelter... OK or counter-proposal??

                              Of course the case you quote was regarding a council run hostel for single men with a resident warden employed to
                              manage the building, assist residents and enter rooms as necessary with a duplicate key: Rather different from OPs case..

                              Cheers!
                              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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