No Contract Question

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    No Contract Question

    I have a query about my current situation.

    Myself and two others (a couple at the time) moved into a flat owned by a friend of one of the other two in March, with the idea of staying for a year. A contract was never signed by the three of us.

    About two months ago the couple split up, making living together very awkward for them. Collectively we decided to contact the landlord and state that we would need to end our tenancy early, which they agreed to and put the property on the market. After around a month no new tenants have been found, but I have found a new place which can be held for about a month from now.

    Due to the fact that no contract has been signed by anyone, does this mean I would be within my rights to give a month's notice of my intention to leave (or all three of us leaving)?

    The tenant who is a friend of the landlord is worried that we would be taken to court, as her and her ex-boyfriend's names are on the lease.

    #2
    You have a verbal agreement in the absence of anything in writing.
    How that stacks up depends on what was agreed at the outset - for example, if you agreed to live there for a year, was that a vague intention or a commitment.

    As the landlords have agreed that you can leave, it probably more matters what was agreed about your leaving.
    If it was that you would remain until new tenants were found, then you really need to wait for that to occur, if it was something else, then the something else is what matters.

    If you pay monthly rent and you give a minimum of a month's notice ending the day before the monthly day the tenancy began, you would be doing the best you could without knowing the full agreement.
    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


      #3
      I wonder if o/p is not just a lodger, so not in danger of being sued at all.
      To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by JK0 View Post
        I wonder if o/p is not just a lodger, so not in danger of being sued at all.
        Does it depend on who s/he pays the rent to?

        Comment


          #5
          The message between ourselves and the landlord was that we would like to end the contract early. Their response was that that was okay and they would put it on the market. Amongst ourselves we thought we would stay till they found new people but obviously the situation has changed slightly with me finding somewhere new. I don't know what was said between the girl I live with and the landlord as they see each other fairly often, so it may have been said then that we'd stay till new people were found, but in writing the message we sent was just what I said earlier.

          We are not lodgers, all three of us pay rent to the landlords and they pay the mortgage.

          Comment


            #6
            If someone's names are on the lease, there must be a lease, even if you didn't sign it?
            Am I missing something?
            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


              #7
              jpkeates,

              I don't really understand how it works. My dad queried this as well. We haven't signed anything from anyone, but apparently their names are on the lease (mine isn't as the third person, not sure why not).

              What is the lease and how does it work?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Renter77 View Post
                What is the lease and how does it work?
                For most practical purposes a lease and an assured shorthold tenancy agreement are interchangeable terms; but if there isn't a written agreement, here, then it's probably just a figure of speech. If there is a written agreement (possibly signed by the others) but not you, it can't bind you beyond what was agreed verbally, or more specifically, what can be shown to have been agreed.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I'd give your notice and leave.
                  The situation sounds very informal, which means that there are very limited downsides to you in practice.
                  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


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Renter77 View Post
                    The tenant who is a friend of the landlord is worried that we would be taken to court, as her and her ex-boyfriend's names are on the lease.
                    Perhaps I am being totally thick here - but what does last sentence of the original post mean in relation to the rest. What lease?

                    Is it the case that a contract WAS signed, but you (alone) are not on it?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      If OP does not know what a Lease is, then he prob does not know what was signed.
                      LL could hold all joint tenants liable for full rent until end of fixed Term or until new T occupies, whichever is the sooner.
                      Can the others afford to pay your share? Can you not remain till Mar? Is your new property sig better? Do you feel lucky?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                        Perhaps I am being totally thick here - but what does last sentence of the original post mean in relation to the rest. What lease?

                        Is it the case that a contract WAS signed, but you (alone) are not on it?
                        Sorry if it isn't clear, we have a copy of the contract that we were supposed to sign, however we have not signed that contract or anything else relating to tenancy in that flat.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          mariner,

                          I have been told that apparently there is a lease with the other two tenants' names on it, however none of the three of us have signed any legal documents or agreements.

                          The other two cannot afford to pay more to cover my third and do not want to commit to staying till march due to the circumstances surrounding breaking up. Obviously I also don't want to lose the place I have found...

                          Comment


                            #14
                            You seem to be distinguishing between a 'lease' and a 'contract'. Could you say a little more about each

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I don't actually know myself! We have a contract and that is what hasn't been signed, but when using the argument that 'They can't/shouldn't take us to court because we haven't signed the contract', I was told my my flatmate 'It doesn't matter about the contract because our (her and her ex) names are on the lease so they could still try to take us to court'. I don't know what this 'lease' is if it is not the rental agreement/contract that we haven't signed. Would there be any other document that their names would be on but isn't the contract and would anything like that have to be signed by us as the tenants?

                              I wonder if the point she's making is just that our names are on the contract even though it's not been signed so we can still be liable?

                              Comment

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