update of the saga

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    update of the saga

    Hello,

    My first post here so please be gentle.

    We have rented our house out to tenants; we have moved out of county to family. This hasn't worked out and we wish to move back.
    Our tenants cannot afford to rent again, so are going to see the local council homeless people on Monday.

    Now the issue; This tenancy started on 28 October for a term of 12 months.
    However, this is a sub clause

    8. TERMINATION
    1.1 The Landlord may give not less than 1 month prior written notice at any time to end this Agreement provided that such notice must expire on the last day of a rental period and must not expire sooner than 6 months from the start of the tenancy.

    As such, we have given notice to the tenants to finish the tenancy on the 28th April. They rang me today and said that they think the council will tell them that they can stay for the total 12 months. However, I think that the above clause should stand.

    In addition, they (the tenants) have not kept to the agreement fully.
    a) Deposit, this has never been paid as they claim that they are struggling to get it back from the previous place they lived
    b) Rent payments, 1st month 4 days late and 2nd month 23 days late
    c) Forwarding post, should be done within 7 days; never been forwarded any at all.

    I hope this makes sense
    Thanks in advance

    #2
    Oh, not another one. Let me guess. The agreement mentions a deposit?

    Unless you protected this unpaid deposit, you are likely to end up paying compensation to your tenant. Also, you won't be able to kick them out unless you pay them this amount.

    Comment


      #3
      That clause is a break clause. Its effect would be to terminate the fixed term tenancy but the tenant would still be entitled to remain at the property under a so-called Statutory Periodic Tenancy, which would be create automatically if tenant hadn't moved by the notice's expiry date.

      To evict them you would still need to give no less than 2 months notice (s.21 notice) then start court proceedings if they refused to leave.

      Comment


        #4
        Your points a, b and c are not relevant.

        On the face of it, the break clause is enforceable. However, if the tenant does not have a similar right to break some would argue that the clause falls foul of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations.

        You need to be aware that all exercising the break clause does is to accelerate the end of the fixed term. If the tenants stay on then a periodic tenancy arises. Now that you have served a break notice you need to serve a section 21 (1) notice.

        Comment


          #5
          thanks JKO, we are not really asking about the deposit. Moreover that we wish the tenant to move out after the 6 months, and they have agreed to this verbally. However, they tell us that they cannot afford to rent privately again and wish to seek help from the homeless dept of the council.
          The issue is that the top of the agreement says 12 months but the sub clause says I can give notice to move them out after 6 months.

          However, do you mean that I should find the £300 deposit mentioned in the agreement myself and protect this even though the tenants haven't stumped up? Thanks

          Comment


            #6
            thank you to the other 2 posters, your replies appeared while I was replying to JKO. Thanks again.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by landlordnorthants View Post
              However, do you mean that I should find the £300 deposit mentioned in the agreement myself and protect this even though the tenants haven't stumped up?
              Too late now.

              Comment


                #8
                I cannot see that there is any need to protect an unpaid deposit. Of course the OP may run into problems if the agreement says the deposit has been paid, as then he will have to prove that it was not paid if the tenant takes the point.

                The way ahead may be for the OP to offer to pay the tenants' removal expenses and end the tenancy as early as possible.

                Comment


                  #9
                  The tenancy agreement says:

                  3. THE DEPOSIT
                  1.1 The Tenant must pay a deposit of £ 300 to the Landlord or the Landlord’s agent on the signing of this Agreement.


                  This has not, however, been paid.
                  I am going to wait until Monday to hear back from the tenants re their meeting with the council. In regards to an earlier point in this thread, the tenant can also sever after 6 months:

                  1.2 The Tenant may give not less than 1 month prior written notice at any time to end this Agreement provided that such notice must expire on the last day of a rental period and must not expire sooner than 6 months from the start of the tenancy.

                  Thanks again for the insight; I will certainly use the professional £30 section 21 notice rather than the diy version.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by landlordnorthants View Post
                    The tenancy agreement says:

                    3. THE DEPOSIT
                    1.1 The Tenant must pay a deposit of £ 300 to the Landlord or the Landlord’s agent on the signing of this Agreement.
                    You should be all right with that. It would be worrying if the agreement acknowledged receipt of the deposit.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      did you ever chase up the deposit by email or text?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hi Soot, I only chased it up verbally.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          now its getting a bit more curious; the tenants are telling me that they cannot rent privately as they cannot afford it (I don't understand this as they went into the tenancy with me at the end of October just gone).
                          Anyhow, the council wrote to me telling me that my notice was invalid for several reasons, some of which I understand such as the date to terminate. The contract started on the 28th Oct but rent is due on the first, so I gave them 4 days free. So, I put on the note that it was to end on the 28th but it has to be the day before rent due. Fair enough, but they also put that the notice is in the Term (12 months with 6 month break clause).

                          So, bearing in mind the advice that has been given to me in this thread, I called them today after emailing them on Thursday telling them about the break clause (and they have a copy of the tenancy). I was told that the tenants would have no priority, and that the break clause means nothing as the Term is 12 months. So, the person told me I could issue a S21 and take the tenants to court if they don't move out, but in her opinion I would 'most probably lose'. Cheeky so and so told me that if I intended to move back after 6 months I shouldn't have issued a 12 month term. I soon told her (politely) that we intended it to run for several years but things change.
                          If the tenants actually answer the phone I will ask them what their intentions are, and hope they will agree to move out before the 12 months. If not, it'll be citizens advice and/or a consultation with a solicitor.

                          Do people think the council are just blowing smoke to try and keep tenants away from their doors, are right or just don't know what they are on about?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Think the council know a lot more about landlord/tenant law than you do.

                            Suggest you engage a solicitor who specialises in landlord/tenant. And get trained.

                            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


                              #15
                              Spoken to a specialist today who says the break clause is valid and its normal for councils to tell tenants to stay put, and get the S21 started now.
                              If anyone is interested I'll keep updating; I understand a bit more today why tenants can't afford to move out as they rented from us without an agent, and apparently most agents ask for a month up front and that months rent, plus the rent for our house is too much. Otherwise they would just move out at the end of the month.

                              Comment

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