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Can the agent do that?

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Author Topic: Can the agent do that?  (Read 230 times)
Newbie
Posts: 5

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« on: November 07, 2019, 01:22:13 PM »

Hi

Below is an email from an agent a week before my fixed term ends:

I have an appointment with a solicitor about this tomorrow. Can someone advise meanwhile?

They are now saying they will ask DPS to deduct a whole months rent from my deposit if I leave at the end of my fixed term. What are their chances at succeeding?


I understand that the tenancy agreement states that it is fixed term however it is your duty to inform us one month prior to leaving the property if you wish to end the contract on the end date. If you do not give us notice then the tenancy agreement automatically becomes a periodic tenancy agreement. By law the Tenant or the Landlord must give the correct notice otherwise we assume the contract rolls over.

We will only accept your notice from your rent due date but to help you out if we find a replacement tenant to move in before the 13th December we will refund you the difference in rent and your full deposit as long as there is no damage to the property.

Please confirm that you understand the above and if you wish to proceed, we expect your one-month notice to start on the 14th November 2019.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 07:12:41 PM by Marshal »
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2019, 02:17:34 PM »

I'm no lawyer but I can't see how a Statutory Periodic Tenancy can arise if you're no longer a tenant.

There could be something in the contract to say that, in the absence of notice, the contract will continue on a rolling basis but, if that were the case, one might expect them to cite it in their e-mail, rather than falling back on woolly phrases like "it is your duty ..."

"... if you wish to end the contract on the end date" sounds more and more comical every time I read it!
Full Member
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2019, 02:58:20 PM »

If you don't pay the rent on 14th November, then suddenly it's not you leaving, it's them evicting you.  :)
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 03:55:36 PM »

It is my understanding, and I am quite sure that more learned types on here will correct me if I am wrong. If you pack up and leave on the very last day of your contracted tenancy and hand the keys in, you do not need to give notice. However if you go one day over you are into a periodic month on month tenancy and you need to give a months notice their after.

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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 04:08:23 PM »

If you do not give notice and remain in the property then the AST (Fixed Term) does automatically become a SPT - 100% correct.

If you do not give notice and depart the property - either before or on the last day - then the Fixed Term has come to an end (the Tenancy has ended, as it was designed to do from the very beginning). You can just leave.

You do not need a Solicitor.

The Agent's assumption is just that... sadly it holds no weight anywhere.
Newbie
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2019, 07:07:49 PM »

They are now saying if I leave at the end of my fixed term, they will deduct full months rent from my deposit. What are my chances of winning g that dispute?
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2019, 07:20:43 PM »

99.99999999999999999%? As in, it's not 100% because the arbitration person may make an incorrect decision or the court may make a decision completely contrary to years of understanding?

Not that it holds much legal weight, but what does your tenancy agreement actually says regarding notice at the end of a tenancy? Though they're not actually quoting a contractual clause "requiring" you to give notice, I'm guessing nothing?

Quote
Please confirm that you understand the above .....

"I understand that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about."

Is the deposit protected, have you independently checked?
Full Member
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2019, 07:48:58 PM »

It's important that you fully vacate the property and hand back the keys on the day.  Not the next day or the day after.
Newbie
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2019, 08:31:41 PM »

The deposit is definitely with the DPS. Agreement states that both parties agree to a fixed term unless otherwise specified in special additional clauses.

The only special additional clause i have there is the Mutual Break clause - 6 months


99.99999999999999999%? As in, it's not 100% because the arbitration person may make an incorrect decision or the court may make a decision completely contrary to years of understanding?

Not that it holds much legal weight, but what does your tenancy agreement actually says regarding notice at the end of a tenancy? Though they're not actually quoting a contractual clause "requiring" you to give notice, I'm guessing nothing?

Quote
Please confirm that you understand the above .....

"I understand that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about."

Is the deposit protected, have you independently checked?
Sr. Member
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2019, 08:35:00 PM »

It's fine if you post the key through the postbox if the landlord/agent refuses to accept it. Technically, the relevant test is whether all tenants at the end of the fixed term tenancy no longer occupy the dwelling-house as their only or principal home, not whether the tenant have given up vacant possession. Though of course failure to do so would unecessarily bring lots of problem with it.
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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2019, 11:24:02 AM »

Please confirm that you understand the above and if you wish to proceed, we expect your one-month notice to start on the 14th November 2019.

I understand what you are trying to enforce above, but - for the avoidance of doubt - it is not enforceable. A Tenant is absolutely not required to serve any notice to end the tenancy at the end of the fixed term, when all rent has been paid up to the end of the fixed term. As long as I am not in possession of the property on the last day (probably best to insert an actual date) the tenancy is ended on that date... no notice is legally required from Tenant to Landlord (or Agent) in that situation. Your assumption about notice is exactly that - an assumption, but it is not enforceable. If I retain possession of the property for even a moment after the fixed term then, you are correct, a SPT will arise naturally - from that point onwards you are also correct that I (or the Landlord) would need to serve notice. This is not the case for a fixed term tenancy. You are not authorised to deduct any monies from my Deposit due to your misunderstanding of the law regarding tenancies and required notice. If you attempt to do that I will raise a dispute with the Deposit scheme and I am assured, having taken advice, that would be a open-and-shut case, with them finding in my favour.

Their assumption probably means they're scrabbling-around wondering how on Earth they'll arrange a Check-Out in the week you've given... one wonders how a Check-Out is really done, pragmatically speaking, when people don't give notice... I suppose that's why we all expect people to do that - and it is kinda reasonable to behave that way. So... naughty OP... but still...
Newbie
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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2019, 10:07:26 PM »

Oh, you find that comical haha? Below is a quote form the agency’s DIRECTOR’s  email to me:


“I am quite surprised by your email and response. Nobody assumes that you will be leaving at the end of your tenancy and this is the case for all tenants, otherwise we would have conducted viewings from 13th October. “






Nobody assuming my leaving at the end of my tenancy  really cracked me up lol


PS. After the deposit  dispute ends I will post the whole thread of emails for your entertainment. There is more where that came from :D

"... if you wish to end the contract on the end date" sounds more and more comical every time I read it!
[/quote]
Newbie
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2019, 10:12:52 PM »



I am the sole tenant of the property. There is no one else.

 Technically, the relevant test is whether all tenants at the end of the fixed term tenancy no longer occupy the dwelling-house as their only or principal home, not whether the tenant have given up vacant possession. Though of course failure to do so would unecessarily bring lots of problem with it.
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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2019, 08:50:36 AM »

It's all on their assumptions... which don't carry legal weight. Anyone can assume what they want... if they want further clarity they can, of course, seek it in good time. Better than assuming.
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