Renewing an AST

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  • Renewing an AST

    If I want to renew a tenant's 6-month AST, with exactly the same terms and conditions as previously, is there anything that needs doing to the original document other than changing the start and finish dates? ie, should it acknowledge in some way that the tenant is already resident there, or that the new document is a renewal AST?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    If your AST states that after the initial six months it continues from, for instance, month to month, there is no need to renew. If you renew and produce a new agreement, you are stuck with that tenant for the next months.

    I'm not sure what happens when you want to review the rent - perhaps then would be the time to enter into a new AST.

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    • #3
      Your tenancy agreement should state that after the initial period it continues as a statutory periodic tenancy, the original terms and conditions still apply. This has the advantage that if you want to repossess the property, you only have to give two months notice. As for rent increases, my agreement states the starting rent which is "Subject to regular review" and I tell all my tenants that this means an annual review. If both these conditions are in your agreement, do nothing, otherwise, download or buy a new agreement, use it to replace your existing one and you should have no further problems. One thing though, on this forum, opinion is divided between those who favour statutory periodic tenancies and those who prefer new agreements which, in theory at least, gives the LL some security, personally, I don't believe that, a tenant can disappear at any time owing you money so I feel that new agreements protect the tenant and any security for the LL is spurious.

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      • #4
        Thanks, but yes, my existing AST does have provision for changing to a periodic basis after 6 months, I know I don't need to change anything and can continue as is. However, for better or for worse, I fall into the camp who would rather instigate a new agreement when I have good tenants, if they so wish, primarily to make them feel more secure and less likely to move on. (And so far, at least, these are excellent tenants!)

        So regardless of the rights and wrongs of that decision, my original question still stands, please!

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        • #5
          Its not a case of renewing the agreement, even if the dates are the only things which change, it is a completely new agreement. No need to acknowledge that they are already resident.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ericthelobster
            if they so wish, primarily to make them feel more secure and less likely to move on.

            Me think you want to tie these tenants in for another 6 months, not make them feel secure, understand you sentiments, but if they want to go, they can and you can only demand rent while you go out and find another tenant anyway. I like to tell my tenants that they are now on a periodic tenancy which means that Im being ultra friendly by not tieing them into another 6 months and they can, if they so wish and find the home of thier dreams and leave with a months notice. Now all my tenants think Im the LL from Heaven and dont want too lose ME!

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            • #7
              Mr Woof. If "subject to regular review" means every 12 months then say so! Your term is unclear and open to interpretation. What do the UTCCR's say terms must be? Clear and unequivocal. Yeah! - And yours is about as clear as mud, so change it!
              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.

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              • #8
                Paul, reason for the 'regular review' is that housing benefit take the start date for their review as the date the benefit is agreed by the rent officer. This is usually about 10 weeks after the start of a tenancy. For some reason their 'annual' review date varies as well. I have good tenants claiming HB and don't wish to charge them any more than I have to in order to get a commercial rent so if HB delay their review (they don't backdate any increase to the date I increase the rent), I delay mine so that the tenant does not pay any extra. I've just checked the commercially available tenancy agreement mine was based on, there's no provision in that for a rent increase so its my own addition thats at fault. Despite the fact that reviews are not necessarily every 12 months (never shorter though), should I change the wording to read 'annual review'?

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                • #9
                  Your agreement does not need to stipulate that the agreement will revert to a periodic after expiration of the original term. This is contained within the provisions of the penultimate housing act.

                  It is also a lot of work to carry out a whole new agreement. It is easier to simply supply a 'Memorandum of Agreement' this allows you to extend the term on a single piece of paper. Nice and easy. I may be able to supply one if people want.

                  Also, rent reviews? Who is serving a section 13 notice to achieve this. If not a clever tenant will be able to recover all of the increased monies at the termination of their tenancy.
                  For the avoidance of doubt, I am not a solicitor nor a specialist. I have simply spent many years in the business and am expressing my opinions. I would urge caution to any individual using these forums as a sole basis for decision without first speaking to a solicitor.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mjpl
                    It is also a lot of work to carry out a whole new agreement. It is easier to simply supply a 'Memorandum of Agreement' this allows you to extend the term on a single piece of paper.
                    But what could be simpler than changing two dates on an existing document and reprinting it, as I was suggesting and asking about in my original post - unless there's actually more to it than that?!

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                    • #11
                      I would amend your term clause to the following as well as adding the second clause.

                      Term: The extended term shall be ?? Months ?? Years From and including ??? and terminating on and including ????

                      This Agreement incorporates the letting provisions contained in the original Tenancy Agreement dated ??? save clause ?? and any amendments annexed hereto (ANY CLAUSES YOU WISH REMOVED FROM THE ORIGINAL EG BREAK CLAUSE).

                      Never renew an agreement without ensuring that you remove an OPTION TO RENEW, if you ever want your property back.

                      Assuming the above I see no reason for you not to use your original agreement again. But think of the poor trees. Mind you our full agreement is 19 pages long. (damned unfair terms legilation)

                      Hope this helps
                      For the avoidance of doubt, I am not a solicitor nor a specialist. I have simply spent many years in the business and am expressing my opinions. I would urge caution to any individual using these forums as a sole basis for decision without first speaking to a solicitor.

                      Comment

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