Assured Shorthold Tenancy

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    Assured Shorthold Tenancy

    I have rented a property for 6 months with another two friends under joint tenancy agreement.
    The 6 months was up in May, so in April I have sent a letter to my letting agent informing them that I will be moving out at the end of 6 months. My housemates were nightmare to live with, as never had money for the rent and I ended up paying for it.
    The letting agent told me that the letter was received and that my name will be taken off the tenancy agreement and my housemates will sign new a one.
    Now I have been receiving letters from debt collectors for the unpaid rent for July and August. My housemates have disappeared and I was told I'm still responsible for the outstanding rent. The new agreement was never signed, so they kept the old one active with my name on it.
    Can anybody help? Am I legally responsible to pay this rent?
    Last edited by luciag; 19-09-2005, 15:48 PM.

    #2
    You're pretty much in the clear.
    1. There is no requirement to give formal Notice of vacation at the end of the fixed term providing all tenants vacate the property, and that was clearly not the case here.
    2. You were very wise to write to the agent informing them of your impending departure as that automatically ends the tenancy at the end of the fixed term on behalf of all three tenants. (You do have a copy of the letter, don't you?)
    3. If the agent or landlord failed to draw up a new agreement after you left then I'm afraid it's their funeral.
    4. You should not be frightened by a debt collection agency and I would write to the agent and send a recorded delivery letter stating you will not only defend any action against you but will counter-claim for damages in respect of harrassment. Get them to call off the debt collectors as they are clearly in the wrong. By the way only the landlord can take action against you, not the agent.
    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.

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you for the advice

      I have a further question about my tenancy agreement. I got a copy of it in front of me and it says:
      The tenancy shall be an Assured Shorthold within the definition of Section 19A Housing Act 1988 and the provisions of Section 21 of that Act shall apply to the termination of the agreement.
      I'm not sure what that means and if that makes me responsible for the outstanding rent. The letting agent sent a letter addressed to the 3 of us at the end of April. I never seen this letter. But they have asked my housemates to fill in new referencing forms. On the bottom of this letter it says that untill these references have been checked all three named tenants on the tenancy agreement shall remain joint and severally liable for the property.
      The girl at the letting agent is using this letter against me.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by luciag
        IThe 6 months was up in May, so in April I have sent a letter to my letting agent informing them that I will be moving out at the end of 6 months.
        Did your letter say "six months" in which case the agent could have taken it to mean six months after the letter was dated or did it give the date in May when you would leave? Did you move out in May? If so, why are you being chased for July and August but not for June?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by luciag
          The letting agent sent a letter addressed to the 3 of us at the end of April. I never seen this letter. But they have asked my housemates to fill in new referencing forms. On the bottom of this letter it says that untill these references have been checked all three named tenants on the tenancy agreement shall remain joint and severally liable for the property.
          The girl at the letting agent is using this letter against me.
          Do you have any evidence that you sent them your notice?

          If not the letter they are trying to use against you is in fact evidence in your favour, they would not have sent that letter without you having sent your notice. They cannot insist on the above condition to be met for your notice to be valid.

          Get a copy of that letter without letting them know the reason you want it.

          Comment


            #6
            The letter I sent to them stated that I will be moving out by 11th May which was the date the original contract was ending. I got a copy of my letter.
            I presume that the June rent was paid by the housemates, as I am only being chased for July and August.
            I got a copy of the letter the letting agent sent. I went to see them on Saturday and they gave me the copy of the contract and the letter. But she still insists that I'm on the contract as the references haven't been returned by my housemates.

            Comment


              #7
              Print this off and hand it to them

              http://www.painsmith.co.uk/painsmith...es/sharers.pdf

              Page 3
              Section "Giving Notice"
              Final paragraph

              Comment


                #8
                Sometimes I wonder if anybody takes any notice when I post an answer as on this thread! When one tenant gives notice it ends the tenancy; the agent or landlord should therefore have either 1) Drawn up a new AST, or 2) taken steps to apply to the court for possession.

                Their action of acceptiong rent from the two persons who remained was in fact an act of creating a new AST with those two persons, even though there were no written terms.

                There is no liability on luciag to pay anything after the fixed term had expired, and the landlord would lose in court if he was foolhardy enough to take action.

                Why can't you take on board the poster sent a letter to the agent of which she has retained a copy, giving Notice - end of story, and end of tenancy from her point of view!
                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.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Paul_f
                  Sometimes I wonder if anybody takes any notice when I post an answer as on this thread! When one tenant gives notice it ends the tenancy; the agent or landlord should therefore have either 1) Drawn up a new AST, or 2) taken steps to apply to the court for possession.!
                  No one has disputed that!

                  Originally posted by Paul_f
                  Their action of accepting rent from the two persons who remained was in fact an act of creating a new AST with those two persons, even though there were no written terms.!
                  No one has disputed that!

                  Originally posted by Paul_f
                  There is no liability on luciag to pay anything after the fixed term had expired, and the landlord would lose in court if he was foolhardy enough to take action.!
                  No one has disputed that!

                  Originally posted by Paul_f
                  Why can't you take on board the poster sent a letter to the agent of which she has retained a copy, giving Notice - end of story, and end of tenancy from her point of view!
                  Why cant you understand that having a copy of a letter is not the same as having record of having sent it (recorded delivery slip etc.)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thank you for all your advice so far.
                    The letting agent has my original letter, as they showed it to me last Saturday. They are not disputing the receipt of it.
                    So by the sounds of it, I should have been given my deposit back at the end of six months as well and the new tenancy agreement should have been drawn between the remaining tenants and the landlord.

                    Comment

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