7 months into an unsigned 12 month AST - is Letting Agent at fault here?

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    7 months into an unsigned 12 month AST - is Letting Agent at fault here?

    Ok, so I'm no fan of our Letting Agents.

    Back in July 2016 I paid a £25 renewal fee for the 4th year long AST for the house I rent. No documents were sent, some emails to and fro saying they had sent it both in the post and via email and me saying I haven't received it. Then nothing.

    Now, after an exchange with them about a broken sink, resolved now but where their attitude to us was off, I had to deal with the landlord directly and I complained to the LL about their service (and was apologised to by him), I told them AGAIN that I hadn't received the contract. A phone call from them, again with an attitude telling me that i simply MUST have received it, they have re-sent it - successfully now.

    So I'm now in February 2017 being asked to sign and return a 12 month AST contract "commencing from 11 July 2016, expiring 10 July 2017"

    We are happy in the property and do plan to stay for a couple more years. The LL has even offered to sell us the house which we will consider but only if he drops the price considerable - he has had it valued but being a built-to-let property many things have obviously been done cheaply, and living there for 4 years now we know that a lot would have to be replaced.

    My question then to this forum is -
    Surely the LA has been negligent to the LL's wishes in not getting a contract signed that the LL would have insisted on. We have previously asked to be on a periodic tenancy but the LL himself has said he likes the security of an AST.
    Also, surely I would only be getting 5 month benefit of the AST myself.
    I'm not normally a malicious person, but with treatment from the LA as poor as it has been - am I able to ask them to date the contract FROM the current date to let it run on for a year from when I sign? I'm conscious that there would have been a verbal contract but the rent DID increase with this AST, which I have subsequently paid each month.
    I don't see the LL missing out or suffering here - it merely brings to light the poor service the LA is providing (the LL uses them for renewals, rent collection and inspections only).

    Thanks for reading.

    #2
    AST is still valid even if not signed.
    Any advice I give is my opinion and experience, I am as you also learning.

    Comment


      #3
      The letting agent isn't going to really suffer either way.

      You can ask them if it's OK to change the date.
      I'd suggest that you ask the landlord as he's the one seeking security (but won't be able to increase the rent while the fixed term is in place).

      There may not have been a verbal contract (it's hard to be sure without more information) it may be that the previous agreement went periodic automatically and this agreement isn't valid unless you sign it.
      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


        #4
        as the tenant has been paying an increased rent I dont see how they would argue the tenancy went periodic, it's a verbal contract and valid even if unsigned.

        Comment


          #5
          The original tenancy goes periodic by law if no other agreement is made.
          The new written contract was never received and so no new offer was made in that form or could be accepted - without that the original tenancy goes periodic.

          It is possible that the new rent was agreed outside the new tenancy agreement - it depends what was agreed and what was said.

          It also depends on whether there is anything else in the new written agreement that has not been agreed.
          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


            #6
            Thanks all for replying.

            I'll take a look tonight/tomorrow to compare this new agreement with the previous one, and also the correspondence we had at the time about the new one.
            In a nutshell though, there will be an email chain that goes something like:

            June 2016
            LA: Do you want a sign for another 12 months or leave the property
            Me: Are they my only options, what about periodic tenancy?
            LA: No, the landlord wants 12 month AST's only, so pick one of those options
            Me: OK, another 12 months please
            LA: Fine, the rent will have gone up to X, and there's a £25 renewal fee payable immediately
            Me: **spits drink out**. Ok. Here is your £25, please send me the paperwork to sign. I'll amend the standing order on the correct date.
            LA: sent via email and in post
            Me: not received, please resend
            LA: resent
            Me: not received
            LA: resent
            Me: not received

            February 2017
            Me: I still don't think I ever saw the new paperwork, or signed it.
            LA: We definitely sent it
            Me: I definitely haven't received it
            LA: (patronisingly) You must have. we sent it. you must have thrown it away or deleted it.
            me: I didnt. please confirm email address (correct) and resend.
            LA: sent


            And i received it today. Only as per my original post, with the dates starting 11 July 2016, expiring 10 July 2017.

            Comment


              #7
              I'd talk to the landlord and ask what he prefers, a further 12 months secure starting now, or for you to backdate the agreement as the agent has sent it to you - so it ends in July.
              If the latter I'd be very tempted not to sign it at all (unless circumstances warranted it).
              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

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