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Contract renewal

Started by John84, July 24, 2023, 11:33:09 AM

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John84

Hi guys,
My tenancy agreement runs out this month. After some negotiations with the landlord, we agreed on the new rent/contract for some more years.
Now, that was a month ago and I still didn't receive the new contract. We have a good relationship, we don't bother each other and I'd like to keep it like that, therefore I'm hesitating on contacting him again.
My question is: I've got all our discussion with the new contract (the period & rent) on whatsapp, but is this good enough so I am sure I'm protected? Should I insist on having a proper written contract?
Knowing him for a couple of years now, I doubt it he'll be sending a new contract this month.
I don't fancy being on a periodic tenancy.
Thank you.

Hippogriff

If you want a new fixed term agreement.
And you haven't been sent one, and don't think one will be forthcoming.
Then you'll have to ask for one, won't you?

Otherwise the current fixed term will come to an end and you will be on a periodic agreement... by virtue of doing absolutely nothing.

Whatsapp protection (whatever that is) besides. In the real world, where two people don't bother each other - that might be enough, but it won't be in a Court if you're on the end of a Section 21 at some point.

heavykarma

If you have a good relationship with the landlord,why don't you want a periodic tenancy? All manner of things can happen in life to change ones plans, and this type of arrangement gives both parties more flexibility.It is many years since I either offered or was asked for a new AST to be drawn up. I think people got wise to the fact that it was just a nice little earner for letting agents the time.   

John84

Thanks for your kind reply :)
The way your wrote the text it reminded me of my primary school teacher. He was quite aggressive and scary for most children, but he had a good heart, learned a lot from him.
I have asked the LL a new contract when we exchanged whatsapp messages regarding the new duration & rent, so it's not really by virtue of doing absolutely nothing
I doubt it you are a tenant. This days it isn't easy to be one, you don't want to annoy your LL, not even when they're not doing their part. There are enough waiting to replace you as a tenant.
I've mentioned the whatsapp messages because I thought even messages are legally binding - as long as there's an offer and acceptance.
But then, I think you are right. I have send a message and requested a new contract.
Thanks.

Hippogriff

Whatsapp messages on their own - in some completely unrelated matter - might carry some weight when viewed as written messages. But that's in isolation, I think. In this case, a periodic tenancy would arise by statute. You can't override that either with Whatsapp messages, or nothing at all. The 'creation' of a periodic tenancy can be / is overridden by a new fixed term agreement... in that it then doesn't come to pass. HK does have a point (usually does) in that if you even think the Landlord is lazy enough to just let things run and run and run... a periodic tenancy might suit you, less admin. burden for the Landlord (which they like)... there is risk, though, as I think you are too well aware.

A Tenant should not be wary of their Landlord. It should be the other way around. You are the paying customer. You can always vote with your feet if needs be. If you're paying market rates and aren't tied to the property (e.g. due to schooling catchment area or locality of dogging site) then it should not be that hard to find somewhere else. That said, you might just as easily like the status quo and quiet life too. You want what you want, and that is the level of security a new fixed term offers you.

Hippogriff

Quote from: heavykarma on July 24, 2023, 12:25:29 PMIf you have a good relationship with the landlord,why don't you want a periodic tenancy? All manner of things can happen in life to change ones plans, and this type of arrangement gives both parties more flexibility.It is many years since I either offered or was asked for a new AST to be drawn up. I think people got wise to the fact that it was just a nice little earner for letting agents the time.

It is extremely rare that I now offer new ASTs... only for one property which houses students and they change almost every year... but in normal houses where couples or families live, no. But, that said, I always made it abundantly clear that I never lived in the houses I'm letting to them... and I would never 'need' it back to live in myself. There are too many Landlords who have dipped their toes in the water like this, while they're off, playing house with a new squeeze who they eventually find they cannot stand (or just doesn't have the same level of sex drive)... and then they're back - "oh, I need my house to live in again" - and they end up turfing good Tenants out on their behind. Tenants do right to be wary.

John84

Thank you Hippogriff for the time spent to reply.
I've always thought that, having a periodic agreement, the LL can increase rent or serve you with a leave notice whenever he/she likes. You don't really want to change house this days, it's madness and you may end up paying a lot kore. This is the reason I've always pushed for fixed term agreements. This way (in my mind) you are sure that for a certain period of time you will be staying & pay the same monthly amount for the whole period.
It is an area not far from London and the rent is close to £1400 + bills for a 2 bed. I reckon is a fair price, however it was the one requested by the LL.
Thank you for making it clear to me the thing with the whatsapp messages, I was completely wrong.
I've sent the guy a message and requested a new contract by the end of month (as previous agreed). Not getting one, I'll serve him with a leave notice and leave.

Hippogriff

On a periodic tenancy the Landlord cannot just increase the rent whenever they like... a fair expectation would be once per year, however, with a one year fixed term agreement there'd likely be a new rent as it's renewed - so that's the same. And a multi-year agreement would be very badly created if it didn't have a rent review clause in it. So I think that side is much of a muchness. Rent increases of once per year is not unreasonable... more frequent than that would be.

The notice periods are, obviously, different - but the Tenant does have the slight advantage. The notice from Tenant to Landlord has to be at least one month, and from Landlord to Tenant at least two months. At the end of your current fixed term... if things play out as you describe below... you do not need to serve any notice at all if you leave the property on, or before, the last day of the fixed term (obviously it is polite to do so, but sometimes relations have broken down). Stay on more than one day, though, and it becomes a periodic tenancy.

A periodic tenancy is exactly the same as a fixed term tenancy in all other respects - it is even the same document that just morphs by the passing of a date.

I understand the desire for fixed terms. But maybe things aren't as bad as you assumed on periodic?

John84

Thank you again Hippogriff. Now, thanks to you, I have an idea how a LL thinks :) I feel like I should pay you for all this information :)

you do not need to serve any notice at all if you leave the property on, or before, the last day of the fixed term (obviously it is polite to do so, but sometimes relations have broken down)
I think you are wrong here. As a tenant you are forced to play as the LL wants. Obviously, you speak from a LL position, but as a tenant you'll need a good reference when you'll want to change house. Without a positive reference NO LL, NO agency will even speak to you. I don't think that, this days when there are not enough houses, there is ONE LL who's not asking for references and sees this a very important thing.
I've always thought the LL has the power :)


John84

#9
Forgot to mention, new agreement should be a multi-year one, with no rent review clause. This is what we negotiated.
I'll see soon.

heavykarma

A multi-year contract is very unusual, not to say unwise, even more so if the rent is capped.I am not sure this would even be legally binding.It does not sound like your landlord is very savvy.

Hippogriff

Quote from: John84 on July 24, 2023, 05:17:26 PMI think you are wrong here. As a tenant you are forced to play as the LL wants.

If the agreement you have states you must give notice, even at the end of a fixed term - and you're leaving on the last day... then, sure, I suppose... but it's a rare agreement that would state that as it's an outlier - and I'm assuring you, as a Tenant, if you had a fixed term tenancy, and you were were intending to leave on the last day (probably implying you already had another place and weren't bothered about a future refence) then you do not need to even tell the Landlord. They can assume whatever they like - but at the end of a fixed term a Tenancy either automatically ends, is deliberately renewed or automatically goes periodic - if you're still there and haven't renewed then it's gone periodic, if you've gone, it's ended. Now, it leaves unanswered questions about check-outs and deposit return etc., but I'm assuring you that you don't need to serve any notice.

This may help you in the future - https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/renting-privately/ending-your-tenancy/ending-your-tenancy/#:~:text=You%20can't%20give%20notice,ll%20have%20a%20periodic%20tenancy.

Anyway, I hope you get what you want without too much trouble, that's the important part.

Hippogriff

Quote from: John84 on July 24, 2023, 05:17:26 PMI feel like I should pay you for all this information :)

I accept tips in crypto. these days. Not Bitcoin... more exotic stuff. I don't share my deposit addresses so it's never actually happened, but it's the thought that counts. Ta.

John84

#13
Hi all,
Thought I should leave a line on my situation and to thank to those who tried to help/advice.
I've got what I wanted - 3y for X amount, 2 months notice both sides which can only be triggered after I have spent 24 months out of the 36 at the property.
Not sure why Heavykarma thinks is not legally binding ??? " Assured Shorthold Tenancies will typically be for between 6 months to 3 years. There is no maximum length of an AST, however, tenancy agreements that are longer than 3 years have to take the form of a "Deed". This is a statutory requirement." - Almighty Google :)
LL happy, I'm happy, we're all happy :)
Thanks Hippogriff, I owe you one :) you never know how I'll end up in one of your properties...but how would I know my LL is Hippogriff? Hmmm


Hippogriff

I love it when a plan comes together.

heavykarma

The term "multi-year" contract was used,which certainly gave me the impression that you were talking about longer than a standard AST.Anyway,thanks for getting back to us and pleased you have peace of mind now.

John84

Hi guys,
It seems that the good "marriage" I used to have with my LL has ended now :)
I will provide him with 2 months leave notice next week. Buying my own place as I've had enough of renting.
I need your honest opinion on the below, if I should do anything or just leave everything behind.
Last year I have completed a 2y contract, and insisted on having a new one for 3y, which I was provided with. Since I moved into this property there were some issues with mould & damp (damp is only on a 1/5 of a wall but mould on several places all around the house - semidetached house).
I have been promised many times that the roof (a few tiles are damaged) will be repaired, mould and damp stopped.
To keep everything under control I have repainted both bedroom & the living room. I have also, painted his garden, front door and repaired different things in the house - windows, doors(including buying parts for which I have never been reimbursed even though receipts have been provided to him). Each time I have I have asked for his approval and I even received a "Thank you" and how fantastic I am :) I must point, I have never asked to be reimbursed for anything.
Now, as soon as I signed the new contract I have received an email from my LL where I was advised he is still looking into doing the repairs (first complaint sent to him approx 2y ago) but I should stop bothering him.
This really pissed me off, as I have tens of emails where he claims - "I am sending now my contractors to sort", "tomorrow morning I am by the property" but never does what he says, only playing childish games so he doesn't spend any money. He had some people in the property and was provided with a quote (according to him) of £11k and I was said he'll better sell the property than invest this money(he only purchased the house a month before renting it to me). I was also said, through an email, that he is a LL and he's entitled to change his mind whenever he likes.
Then he pissed me off even more because he came ones into the property and caused damages to a wall - he drilled a 20cm hole into the plasterboard (you can see the cement on the brickwork now) to provide "ventilation" in the room (this would be the room with the damp). I wasn't even home. There's no ventilation whatsoever in the property, no brick air vents, no air vents into the windows. The house is quite old. He asked me to drill some holes into the windows which I have refused.
As soon as this happened I got in touch (4 months after signing new ctr) and let him know I want to leave, but I will provide 2 months leave notice.
Initially he agreed by phone, but a few hours after I received an email where he says he has to think about it, to "asses the situation".
This is where I've had enough and said I will leave no matter what but in the meantime I would like to receive answers for:
1. Gas certificate (he doesn't have one for the period -3 years soon- I was in his property)
2. Electrics certificat ( same as with the gas).
3. Why my deposit was registered 3 months late and only after I have insisted through calls & emails
4. Why he didn't sort the mould and I had to spend money on paint, mould cleaning products, air dehumidifiers as there's no ventilation in the house whatsoever.
I have also threatened him that I'll report him to HSE and to the council and sue for the deposit. I also invited him to read the rental contract - LL responsibilities. There are 9 points and the only one respected by him was to provide a contract.
He replied saying I can leave as long as I provide 2 months leave notice and I will have my deposit back as long as the house "is in the same state as found".
Now, what should I do? Leave notice I am providing next week (moving into my own place early April). I am inclined to sue for the deposit and report him to the council for everything else.
Am I right here, where I am wrong?
Thanks.


heavykarma

Oh dear oh dear, this is one very stupid landlord. It is also an illustration of the benefits  of a periodic tenancy if relationships sour.

It seems to me that it is up to you what you do. He appears to be very arrogant, thinking he can impose conditions on the return of the deposit,  given all his blatant disregard for the law. You can sue for more than the original deposit, and he could be heavily fined.

You could use this as a way to get a settlement from him, but he sounds too stubborn and thick to negotiate with. Not caring about gas safety is totally inexcusable. Personally, I would let him have both barrels.     

John84

Hi Heavykarma,
The guy has 3 properties, he is very proud with that.
He is indeed very full of himself and arrogant. Completely ignored my complaints regarding the certificates. I even sent to him an email copy-paste of the law and penalties etc
I am aware that my word weighs as much as his when dealing with DPS for my deposit.
There's no way to negociate anything with him as he always thinks he's right.
I remember ones I've lost it and I called him "a dodgy landlord". He said how I dare saying that, he is not one and he will sue me for "defamation and more" (not sure what he meant by more). I've replied I can prove easily he's dodgy only using his own emails sent to me and that I am waiting to present myself in front of a judge where I'll easily prove he shouldn't be renting this property.
However, I am not willing to negociate anything with him.
Heavykarma, you said I can sue for more than the original deposit. What is it that I can sue for? I googled and it seems that for the 3 years missing certificates I can't sue him, I can only let know the council/HSE and it will be down to them if they want to do anything.
Other than the deposit, what can I sue for? I've got lots of pictures with mould which I sent to him, but that is very very hard to prove. I clean on a weekly basis the places where I know there will be mould showing so I keep every area under control.
I am well aware that I could stop paying rent and he would not be able to evict me (several reasons for which he's S21 would fail). But, I am still using his property, i find it unfair not to pay rent for something I use.

Quote from: heavykarma on February 17, 2024, 06:27:08 PMOh dear oh dear, this is one very stupid landlord. It is also an illustration of the benefits  of a periodic tenancy if relationships sour.

It seems to me that it is up to you what you do. He appears to be very arrogant, thinking he can impose conditions on the return of the deposit,  given all his blatant disregard for the law. You can sue for more than the original deposit, and he could be heavily fined.

You could use this as a way to get a settlement from him, but he sounds too stubborn and thick to negotiate with. Not caring about gas safety is totally inexcusable. Personally, I would let him have both barrels.     

heavykarma

Others on here will advise on the maximum that a court could impose on him. As far as I know, it would be 3x the deposit for each of the signed contracts, so 6x in total.The minimum would be 1x. The court has some discretion, but given all his other offences I doubt if they would go easy on him. Don't  stop paying your rent, don't  sink to his level, play with a straight bat. The issues with mould and repairs are very hard to claim for, and would only complicate matters.

I would get thee to an ambulance chaser. Please don't just shrug this off, it's landlords like this that have led to unfair legal demands on good landlords, causing many to sell up, and the resultant shortage means rents are unaffordable for many. Go for it!

Riptide

Quote from: Hippogriff on July 24, 2023, 02:43:24 PMWhatsapp messages on their own - in some completely unrelated matter - might carry some weight when viewed as written messages.

WhatsApp us terribly unreliable, messages can just vanish at will with absolutely no way of retrieving them.......according to the government