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End of Tenancy - What Should Happen?

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« on: September 23, 2020, 07:25:25 PM »

Hello,
I moved into a professional house share on the 1st September 2020. My tenancy agreement has the following clauses:

14.2.   Tenants need to notify the Landlord in writing by the 31st of October in the year of the commencement of the tenancy of their intentions with regards to renewal of the Tenancy, regardless of the date of the termination of the tenancy. This is essential to maintain the marketability of the property, especially HMOs and student lets which require an early marketing period. Should the Tenants fail to notify the landlord in writing of their intentions then the property will be advertised for the following year and the Tenants will lose the right to extend the tenancy. Should the Tenants intend to extend the Tenancy, the agreed rent will be current rent plus inflation of no less than 3% of the current rent, unless agreed otherwise in writing.

14.3.   If the Landlord allows the Tenant to remain in the Property after the Term has expired then the Tenancy shall continue as a contractual periodic tenancy on a monthly basis. To end the periodic tenancy, the Tenant shall give the Landlord at least one month’s notice in writing. The notice must end on the day before the rent is due.

14.4         The Landlord has the right to recover possession of the Property if:
(a) the Term has expired;
(b) the Landlord has given two months' notice to the Tenant of the Landlord's intention to
recover possession of the Property; and
(c) at least six months have passed since the date of this agreement.   

I contacted the landlord regarding the first clause, as it says they need to know what my intentions are by the 31st October. I said that I would like to turn the contract into a rolling contract at the end of the fixed term. Or I would consider signing a 6 months fixed term contract. The landlord responded that the room would be marketed, and it would only turn into a rolling contract if no one took the room. They said they would consider extending the contract if I signed another 12 month fixed term contract for the following year.

I don't know what my situation will be at the end of the tenancy agreement in August 2021, so at this stage I don't want to extend the contract by 12 months, as I don't know what will happened between now and August 2022 (when the second fixed term would end). However, I have said I would consider extending it by 12 months if they put a break clause in case there was a change of circumstances, they refused this.

I feel mislead, I signed the tenancy agreement thinking that at the end of the fixed term I would be able to stay on, and that it would become a rolling contract. I don't know where I stand now. Can the landlord advertise the room even though I have expressed a wish to stay on in a rolling contract or 6 month contract?

The landlord would need to serve a Section 21 notice for me to leave at the end of the fixed term, so currently as I understand this would need to be served in February 2021 for me to leave at the end of August, as due to coronavirus the notice period is 6 months now.

The reason I don't want to leave at the end of August is because it is the busiest time for me at work. In the Summer months I work all over the country and would find it difficult to get time off to move and attend viewings to find somewhere else to live. So it is not that I don't want to leave property or am trying to be awkward. I'd like to stay at the property ideally but not to be tied to a fixed term and also not have to move during the busiest time at work.

I am just not sure where I stand and what I should do, because despite explaining this my landlord is unwilling to work with me.



 


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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2020, 08:08:04 PM »

Do you have a tenancy agreement in (only) your own name, or are you joint tenants with other people sharing the house? What does the tenancy agreement say about its term (when it begins and end) other than what you have posted already, or is this it?

I would suggest professional advice from a landlord and tenant solicitor, or at least seriously suggest the landlord get some......

You can't actually extend a fixed term tenancy, so I'm going to read "extend" to mean agree a new tenancy between the landlord and tenant.

Quote
Should the Tenants fail to notify the landlord in writing of their intentions then the property will be advertised for the following year and the Tenants will lose the right to extend the tenancy.
Which makes this clause meaningless unless it implied an pre-agreed right of the tenant to a new fixed term tenancy without further landlord's agreement, as the parties can always agree something new and different to what were previously agreed.

Quote
If the Landlord allows the Tenant to remain in the Property after the Term has expired then the Tenancy shall continue as a contractual periodic tenancy on a monthly basis.
I don't see how this term can possibly be valid, if it doesn't render the tenancy void for uncertainty.

Let's assume that there's a valid tenancy, even if it's not on the terms outlined in the agreement, because rent, exclusive possession etc., then you can't be evicted without the landlord going through court. If you have a tenancy, it is almost certainly assured shorthold, in which case the landlord would need to serve you a s21 notice before applying to court. You mentioned August 2021. If that's the fixed term end date of the tenancy agreement, then it's a bit early to worry about what will happen.

14.4 (b) and (c) combined can be read as a break clause for the landlord, but one sided break clause for landlord only is (almost certainly) unfair under consumer laws and void.

Quote
Can the landlord advertise the room even though I have expressed a wish to stay on in a rolling contract or 6 month contract?
They can always advertise, nothing stopping you from refusing to leave on notice expiry and forcing the landlord to go through courts which would take months (if not longer with things currently). You may become liable for landlord's cost in seeking possession though.

The landlord doesn't appear to either know what they're doing in regards to the law, or is aware and try to get away with dodgy practices hoping you're not aware of your rights, or both.
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« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2020, 11:29:46 AM »

Hello,
Thanks for this.

The term runs from 1st September 2020 until 31st August 2021.

The tenancy agreement is in my name, its not joint with the other tenants.

And yes I meant agreeing to a new tenancy.

I understand its early to be thinking about this, but as I said it will be difficult to move at the end of the fixed term for me and I was under the impression that it would become a rolling contract as has happened with my previous tenancies due to the terms in the agreement.

I've also had other problems with the landlord and I'm not very happy. When I moved in the extractor fan in my bathroom wouldn't work and they refused to fix it. They bathroom has no window and is very small, so I had no way of ventilating it when I had a shower and risked a build up of damp and mould. They only agreed to fix it when I said that it was a health issue and that they needed to give me a date as to when it would be fixed as otherwise I would have to look into contacting the council.

They also said in the housing contract that garden must be kept tidy and free from litter. And nothing else. After I signed the agreement they said we needed to mow the lawn and trim the hedges (about 8 feet high). I said I didn't think this was fair as it wasn't mentioned prior to signing the contract and because we have no garden equipment provided with the house, and if we were to purchase gardening equipment we would not be able to store it as the is no shed or garage or cupboards. We have an open plan kitchen living room and nowhere else. They then said we would be expected to hire a gardener or rent the equipment.

The property was advertised as all bills included, although it lists the individual bills on the contact, so I didn't think about needing to hire a gardener or pay for anything additionally.)

Furthermore before before I moved in. I was told that I would leaving with a working professional who worked 9 till 5 and a junior doctor. However upon moving i found I was living with a student and someone who does not work. Had I known this i would not have signed the contract
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« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2020, 12:48:05 PM »

Sounds like a very dodgy landlord.

Quote
The term runs from 1st September 2020 .....
Quote
Furthermore before before I moved in. I was told that .....

If as you stated, the landlord actively misled you (not just fail to tell you something), then you're within the period to unwind the tenancy. I would suggest you give that a serious consideration. I expect your relationship and problems with this landlord will only get worse. I would expect the landlord to scream how you can't do that and how you owe the full year's rent etc. though if you do go for it, so get some advice and comfort from Shelter/CAB/actual lawyers first.
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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2020, 04:21:14 PM »

Thank you, I will look until this.

I have no idea how much lawyers cost or if I will be able to afford to one, so will contact Shelter
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« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2020, 04:44:09 PM »

Furthermore before before I moved in. I was told that I would leaving with a working professional who worked 9 till 5 and a junior doctor. However upon moving i found I was living with a student and someone who does not work. Had I known this i would not have signed the contract

Although not illegal, yet, this kind of thing betrays prejudice... it affects you in no way other than your dislike... if the place was all Students and one was working then that would have Council Tax implications. If all people were not working and not paying their rent, that would be annoying. However, if they're all paying their rent, and not affecting you because of what it is they actually do (or don't do) then you saying you would not move in with a Student or someone who is not employed is a bit distasteful... like you don't want to mix with these types.

Heck... current economic climate movements mean that we could all be unemployed at any time. Be careful. Your own position might be secure... but maybe not as secure as you hope / think. If feels like you've got a form of buyer's remorse... the question for yourself is whether you want to avail yourself of getting out of the tenancy straight away... finding someone else might be just as big a challenge.

That said, I certainly wouldn't live with Students! My prejudice is right there too... damn, I even resent letting to them, but they pay the full year up front, so I'm kinda forgiving and understanding about that.
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« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2020, 06:58:59 PM »

Furthermore before before I moved in. I was told that I would leaving with a working professional who worked 9 till 5 and a junior doctor. However upon moving I found I was living with a student and someone who does not work. Had I known this i would not have signed the contract

Although not illegal, yet, this kind of thing betrays prejudice... it affects you in no way other than your dislike... if the place was all Students and one was working then that would have Council Tax implications. If all people were not working and not paying their rent, that would be annoying. However, if they're all paying their rent, and not affecting you because of what it is they actually do (or don't do) then you saying you would not move in with a Student or someone who is not employed is a bit distasteful... like you don't want to mix with these types.

Heck... current economic climate movements mean that we could all be unemployed at any time. Be careful. Your own position might be secure... but maybe not as secure as you hope / think. If feels like you've got a form of buyer's remorse... the question for yourself is whether you want to avail yourself of getting out of the tenancy straight away... finding someone else might be just as big a challenge.

That said, I certainly wouldn't live with Students! My prejudice is right there too... damn, I even resent letting to them, but they pay the full year up front, so I'm kinda forgiving and understanding about that.

Hi Hippogriff,
I don't think I am being hateful or prejudice in anyway. I am a working professional and I signed up to live in a professional house share, with other working professionals. I have been a student, and I have also lived with students as a working professional, and it isn't something I would do again. Professional house shares and student lets are different kettles of fish I think.

The reason I asked about who I would be living with is because when I viewed the house it was messy and there were empty boxes of beer all over the kitchen, I mentioned this to the landlord and I said that I didn't think it would be the house for me, and was assured that this would not be the case, and that the current tenants were moving out and I would be living with working professionals. It is no different to house share situations where the landlord specifies male or female tenants would be preferred, or that tenants without pets would be preferred. I think I am allowed to ask who I am going to be living with and to decide if a house share is a good fit for myself and my lifestyle.

I have nothing against students or unemployed people and am friends with several. But I would not choose to live with them, it doesn't mean that I don't mix with them or have anything against them.

I do not have buyers remorse, the problem is is that the landlord does not go by the terms in the contract, and some of the terms in the contract are no enforceable. After the signing the contract and after moving in I was given additional responsibilities with regards to the garden, accused of breaking things that were already not working when I moved in, and also mislead with regard to the tenancy becoming a rolling contract. The house itself is very nice, and if I was able to I'd let it run into a rolling contract, but the landlord will agree to nothing other than another 12 month fixed term, which will not work for me due to my work commitments. With regard to my work commitments, I don't think you can comment on them as you don't know my work situation, however I worked throughout the entire lockdown period, so I am not worried about that.
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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2020, 11:49:44 AM »

With regard to my work commitments, I don't think you can comment on them as you don't know my work situation, however I worked throughout the entire lockdown period, so I am not worried about that.

I didn't comment on them [your work commitments] specifically... I commented on that for everyone, the world at large. I am not overly-preoccupied with you. Hard to believe...

I also worked through the entire lockdown period. Many did. Some people are finding the effects coming their way now... and I believe more and more will be affected... that is all I was saying.

Having nothing against a certain group of people, and then saying I [even] have friends within that group of people... is the first line you'd hear when you're talking to someone who has unsavoury viewpoints about that group of people. It's like a bit of a cliché, right?

You are always allowed to ask who you're living with... but in a house share (where you don't control the comings and goings of other Tenants) you have to accept that this might also change... so a 'professional' one day might be a rent boy with visiting clients the next... still a professional, but one you might not be ecstatic about. The Landlord doesn't care about your prejudices, the Landlord cares that you and the unemployed, or other professionals of whatever ilk, pay their rent and adhere to the agreement.
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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2020, 06:40:15 PM »

With regard to my work commitments, I don't think you can comment on them as you don't know my work situation, however I worked throughout the entire lockdown period, so I am not worried about that.

I didn't comment on them [your work commitments] specifically... I commented on that for everyone, the world at large. I am not overly-preoccupied with you. Hard to believe...

I also worked through the entire lockdown period. Many did. Some people are finding the effects coming their way now... and I believe more and more will be affected... that is all I was saying.

Having nothing against a certain group of people, and then saying I [even] have friends within that group of people... is the first line you'd hear when you're talking to someone who has unsavoury viewpoints about that group of people. It's like a bit of a cliché, right?

You are always allowed to ask who you're living with... but in a house share (where you don't control the comings and goings of other Tenants) you have to accept that this might also change... so a 'professional' one day might be a rent boy with visiting clients the next... still a professional, but one you might not be ecstatic about. The Landlord doesn't care about your prejudices, the Landlord cares that you and the unemployed, or other professionals of whatever ilk, pay their rent and adhere to the agreement.

Thank for offering no useful advice at all. I don't care about the landlord or their rent either. If you were talking about the world in general it isn't relevant to this post as I was asking about my situation. The landlord shouldn't advertise a property as a professional houseshare and then let students live in it. The landlord also shouldn't say that the tenancy will turn into a rolling contract and then say that actually it won't when asked. That's called lying, you shouldn't lie on tenancy agreements. If the landlord wants tenants to adhere to the agreement, then they should adhere to the agreement as well. You don't know me, its inappropriate for you to comment on anything but what I'm asking for help with.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2020, 06:44:27 PM by Pythagorus123 »
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« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2020, 08:37:17 PM »

It feels like you're one of those people who is never satisfied - high maintenance. Why can't we all just... get along?
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2020, 02:15:44 PM »

It feels like you're one of those people who is never satisfied - high maintenance. Why can't we all just... get along?
Once more you don't know me. We could all get along if landlords abided by their tenancy contract and did not mislead tenants.
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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2020, 05:49:57 PM »

People often make general comments that don't specifically relate to the question that has been posed.It's a friendly and helpful forum where a bit of chat is accepted.I think you are just a tad precious to take offence so easily.It would be advisable to try to withdraw from the contract if you are not happy with the agreement.I realise that in many areas house shares are the only affordable option.I have been a tenant in the past, before deciding to become a fat cat grasping  landlord,and what has happened to you is part of the rough-and-tumble of life in a place that does not belong to you. 
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2020, 07:21:15 PM »

It sounds like you've somehow ended up in a student house. The contract running for an academic year, the assumption that you won't be staying on for another year unless you stipulate otherwise. That's pretty standard fare for a student let - or possibly just a landlord who's more used to student lets. The landlord of the student house by me generally has the following year's tenants lined up and signed up by Christmas.

That said, it would be all the same with a more conventional AST. The landlord could still end the tenancy next August by issuing a Section 21 with appropriate number of months' notice. Basically, if you don't like the property, then you're going to want to leave anyway - either now, if you've got grounds to void the contract, or next August. The timing might be inconvenient but at least you might end up somewhere more to your taste.
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