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AST coming to an end - landlord won't renew

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Author Topic: AST coming to an end - landlord won't renew  (Read 178 times)
Newbie
Posts: 3

I like property

« on: February 02, 2021, 10:43:19 PM »

Hi

My AST tenancy is coming to an end, and I wish to renew.  On giving two month's notice to the estate agents that I intend to renew, I have been told that the property is under offer, with the new owners wishing to move in at the end of my AST. As such, my tenancy cannot be renewed.

1. A surveyor has not yet been round the property. I am in an at risk category; as such, I am not keen that 3rd parties enter - am I in my rights to deny entry?

2. Can they bring an end to my AST in this manner? Or do they need to give me 6 months formal notice under the Coronavirus act?
In what form must this formal notice consist?
If so, can they retaliate by putting the rent up?

Many thanks

Blue Apple
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Posts: 622

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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2021, 12:31:28 AM »

If you have a fixed term assured shorthold tenancy, on coming to its end through effluxion of time, and you haven't moved out (i.e. still living there as main or only home), then a periodic tenancy will arise by the automatic operation of law. There is no way for the landlord to prevent that. To legally evict you (without you agreeing to voluntarily leave), your landlord would need to serve you notice in accordance with the Housing Act 1988. Simplifying (in England, maybe in Wales too), other than for reasons of large (6 months) rent arrears and anti social behaviour, the minimum notice period is currently 6 months across the board. Though that is currently due to end at the end of March, which mean in practice a landlord can wait that out then serve the "normal" two months notice, assuming of course the 6 months limit isn't extended. After that, if you don't leave, they would be required to apply to court, get a possession order, and then have county court bailiffs or high court enforcement officers to enforce the order and evict you. If you force the landlord to take it to court, you may be liable for landlord's cost in doing so. There is nothing stopping the landlord selling with you in situ. The buyer would then become your landlord.

The landlord (or someone working for them) have an implied right of entry (at reasonable time) on 24 hours notice to inspect the property's condition and state of repair. I would suggest a surveyor inspection falls within that. On the other hand, the tenant have competing right to refuse entry, and in practice that mean if tenant say no, landlord would be required to go to court to force the issue. (I'm ignoring possibilities of landlord acting illegally obviously.)

While you mentioned surveyor, you didn't mention anything about the buyer checking out the place? I'm very suprised that a potential buyer would make an offer without having had a look. If there was a viewing, I'm suprised why you appeared to be suprised at the turn of events.

In what form the notice must take depends on where you are. In England, section 21 notice (no reason required or given) is on Form 6A, and section 8 notice (reason required to be satisfied) is on Form 3. There's no specific form required for section 21 in Wales, though it must be in writing. Your tenancy agreement may impose extra condition on how it's served.

They can propose a new rent in accordance with your tenancy agreement or using a specific form in accordance with law. You can refer it to tribunal to determine whether it's fair.
Newbie
Posts: 3

I like property

« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2021, 09:28:07 AM »

Many thanks for your reply.

This gives me a lot of confidence and buys me at least 2 more months, assuming the 6 month limit is not extended, by which time there should be plenty more suitable alternative properties again on the market to rent. 

The house was marketed for sale last year prior to my AST so there may have been viewings then, but still very brave not to refresh their memory; indeed, the contract does not allow for viewings until the final two months of my AST.  I'm guessing it is all to beat the stamp duty deadline.  It reads that on this basis, they will not get a viewing or survey in prior to the stamp duty deadline.

Who knows, the landlord may yet consider it all too much hassle when you have a sitting tenant who is actually paying rent.

One final question - to formally renew my contract, I am expected to put the notice in writing to the landlord.  To be safe, is this written paper to him, or would the law consider an email to him / his agent as sufficient? - I don't want to fall foul of a technicality!

Thanks again

BlueApple
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2021, 10:13:31 AM »

One final question - to formally renew my contract, I am expected to put the notice in writing to the landlord.  To be safe, is this written paper to him, or would the law consider an email to him / his agent as sufficient? - I don't want to fall foul of a technicality!

You can't unilaterally renew your contract... and you have already learned the Landlord isn't going to renew. So isn't what will happen that the fixed term reaches an end and a Statutory Periodic Tenancy arises automatically, as said, and you stay there until served with a valid Section 21... which will need to provide "at least" X amount of months (depending on what is in force at the time - used to be 2, now 6) notice?

So, I think, you don't need to be obstructive in terms of Surveyors or viewings or anything, really (taking to one side your feelings about visitors)... as it seems (at least to me) that it's no threat to you unless your hope is to hang on in there indefinitely? It can all be done more amicably and by the letter of the law at the same time. Just like you can't impose a renewal on your Landlord, your Landlord can't just turf you out at the end of the fixed term if you remain.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2021, 11:15:00 AM by Hippogriff »
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