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worst situation due to landlord!! (any tenants' rights lawyers?)

(175 Posts)
oinkyoink Thu 10-Jan-13 10:21:11

i am in such a bad situation and thought i would come on here for advice and opinions... we are renting our house since last february 2012 and the landlord mentioned it would be a long-term let which was great. as we had the contract for the first year feb 2012 to feb 2013 which was to be renewed annually with 8 weeks notice, we emailed the landlord in october 2012 to let him know we really wanted to stay in the house and avoid any last minute dramas of being given notice. my dd who is 3.5 will be starting reception in Sep 2013 and so I have just submitted her application based on this address.
what did the landlord do after replying in Oct to our email to say yes that would be fine to renew in Feb 2013 for another year? He called us on 20 Dec to say he had a last minute change of mind and needs his house back. (we had a great Christmas... not).
I have applied for my daughter's school based on this address and I am in a bad situation whereby the catchment for the school is extremely small and so we can only basically move along this road or along the road parallel to this one. We have approached the landlord to explain that we need to be here until end of May due to having to send proof of address after the school offers are made on 17 April. he replied to say sorry, he is not being unreasonable in wanting his home back and good luck with our daughter's schooling. How nasty can one person be? It is a crucial time for us as a family and he doesn't give a damn. I am not sure what to do now... He has said we can stay until end of March but this doesn't help. I have worked so hard at trying to get my daughter into a good school and I cannot give up now. Apart from the schooling issue, we are a young family with two children who have been upheaved out of their home. We do not have family in the UK. I am very stressed out as you can imagine.
Opinions appreciated.

HappySunflower Thu 10-Jan-13 10:23:57

He is fully within his rights, I think.
Have you started looking for somewhere else?

marchwillsoonbehere Thu 10-Jan-13 10:27:00

Sympathies to you, but he really is not being unreasonable or acting illegally (if he is saying you can stay until March the he is honouring the 8 weeks notice period) and from what you say he is far from being nasty. Of course he can change his mind, just as you would would have been entitled to, if you were still giving the contractual notice.

Again, I sympathise, but I feel for him too.

Arthurfowlersallotment Thu 10-Jan-13 10:27:24

I think Shelter will be able to advise you on this. I think with fixed term contracts it is two months notice either side. Shitty situation for you. If you have a look at right move you can see what's available in your immediate area. Many properties are available immediately.

oinkyoink Thu 10-Jan-13 10:27:43

yes we have started the full-on house search but the market is dreadful at the moment... i know he is within his rights but all we are asking is a couple of extra months. he has a big house in the country where he lives at present.

KenLeeeeeee Thu 10-Jan-13 10:27:45

He hasn't done anything wrong or nasty. This is the way things are with renting, I'm afraid.

Pootles2010 Thu 10-Jan-13 10:28:17

Yes he's within his rights, I don't think he's being as bad as you're making out tbh. Start looking for somewhere else asap.

phantomhairpuller Thu 10-Jan-13 10:29:27

It's his house. Circumstances change. Yes it's shit for you but I really dont think he's deliberately out to destroy you. It's the risk you take when you rent a house. Sorry but YABU

FairyJen Thu 10-Jan-13 10:29:36

Don't worry about the school situation for now before calling up the la.
I was in a similar situation once but was told her school place would be based on her address at the time of application. This is too avoid people moving to better areas just to get school they want iyswim.

We ended up moving miles out of the catchment area but still ended up with a place at the school we originally applied for.

Sorry if thats not very clear.

mrssmooth Thu 10-Jan-13 10:29:41

Sorry to hear you are in this situation. However, I'm afraid the landlord is quite within his rights, he's given you enough time to find another property to rent. This is one of the pitfalls of renting ... Hope you manage to find somewhere suitable soon.

EllieArroway Thu 10-Jan-13 10:30:01

It's crap - but he's within his rights, I'm afraid.

Has he actually served you with notice? You're under no legal obligation to simply move out when the contract runs out in February - he must still give you 2 months notice.

How awful for you sad

He is within his rights though and I very much doubt he is being nasty. He may be in a bad situation himself and there could be any number of reasons that he needs his house back.

Is the catchment area really only 2 streets? I think you should take a look again, that would be the weirdest catchment area ever.

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 10-Jan-13 10:30:38

it is unfortunate but that's the way it is when you rent. He is quite within his rights to ask you to leave

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 10-Jan-13 10:31:16

yes I was think that Missy. The school must be tiny

HecatePropolos Thu 10-Jan-13 10:31:38

Sadly, he's perfectly entitled to do this.

I have been in this situation. Looking for a home, find something - we said we were looking for somewhere to live for years, landlord said great, they want someone for years!

less than a year later - booted.

Sadly, the only thing that matters is the contract. doesn't matter what they say to you.

What we did was go to the council and present as statutorily homeless. They checked with the landord that we'd not done anything wrong (eg not paid rent, or been a pest or anything) and we stayed in the home until something came up. The council always tell you to not move out, or they say you've made yourself homeless! They make you wait it out and the landlord has to go to court and all that.

If you can rent privately again - do that. Find somewhere else and move. There's nothing you can do to make him change his mind. He's allowed to do this, as long as he doesn't break the contract you and he signed.

I know. It's shit. But there isn't anything you can do. He wants it back. It's his. He's adhered to the terms of the contract.

But has he given proper notice? written? Cos I'm not sure but I don't think phoning you counts!

HecatePropolos Thu 10-Jan-13 10:33:02

Oh, if it's just a couple of months - stay put. He has to serve you notice. If you don't go, he then has to begin proceedings.

That will buy you the time you need.

However, if you're relying on him to provide you with a reference - it'll probably include that you refused to leave! So get the ref before the time is up!

EllieArroway Thu 10-Jan-13 10:33:12

To be clear - you MUST be served with a Section 21 notice giving you two clear months notice. He CANNOT just expect you to move out in February because the contract is up. Some landlords issue a Section 21 at the start of the tenancy to save themselves the hassle of doing it later if they think they'll want the property back. Did he? Check your paperwork.

Yes, he will have to have given you written notice, and I believe the two months starts from that date.

It is not that weird to have such a tiny catchment area, very common where I lived in south London, for the good schools.

I really feel for you, personally I think he's being an arse but he may need the property back for personal reasons and that's his right.

I think you should call the schools people and find out if this actually does impact your application. It must happen to lots of people, they may be used to it.

oinkyoink Thu 10-Jan-13 10:38:33

we did not get a section 21 notice, we only got a call from the agent... after this when he agreed that we could stay an extra month until end of march, we got a memorandum of agreement but i am wondering this is memorandum is now void f we didn't get a section 21 notice???

ResolutelyCheeky Thu 10-Jan-13 10:39:07

What area are you?

EllieArroway Thu 10-Jan-13 10:39:54

oink Notice cannot be verbal. Your notice is invalid & would be thrown out by a judge in court.

oinkyoink Thu 10-Jan-13 10:40:11

Hecate - good idea re staying and asking for a reference beforehand! thank you

we are not really the type of people to have a bad record - staying on until he begins proceedings sounds scary but may just have to, to secure school

SarahBumBarer Thu 10-Jan-13 10:40:19

Agree LL must give proper written notice etc but if he has done this and is allowing you to stay to the end of march you really need to stop bring such a drama queen! Worst situation ever? Hardly! Do you know what some tenants actually have to put up with from private landlords? Your post has really irritated me.

oinkyoink Thu 10-Jan-13 10:42:09

Ellie - do you think the memorandum of agreement issued to extend to end of march is invalid as we haven't been served a written section 21 notice?

EllieArroway Thu 10-Jan-13 10:46:46

oink The memorandum is entirely irrelevant.

Your landlord must legally serve you with a Section 21 notice - that is the ONLY way they can give notice. If that didn't happen then you haven't actually been given notice at all and they can write all the memorandums they like....they're meaningless.

Are you on a periodic tenancy, oink? What day of the month is your rent due & is your deposit protected with one of the schemes? If you can answer this, I'll tell you what your agent legally should have done/been doing smile

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