to think the estate agent is taking the piss?(33 Posts)
In a nutshell, moved into this house end of January and have suffered racial abuse from the next door neighbour ( my husband is black )
Spoke to the letting agent who liased with the landlord, landlord didn't want police involved and she intended to sell once the year was up anyway ( they didn't inform us of this when we signed, having 2 young kids in tow ) and I received and email from the estate agent back in June saying " the landlord I happy to leave the contract as it is so you have until January 28th in the property, however is happy to accept your months notice when you find something suitable for you and your family "
Anyway spent the last month searching and can't get anything, so many applicants to each house, lots specifying no children etc.
Anyway we have been offered a housing association property 20 miles away, as my husband has a local connection ( work and parents ) to that area.
If we want it we have to sign the tenancy on Monday so 15th, so last night I emailed the agent giving a months notice saying we would vacate on the 10th September as per agreement to give a months notice.
Didn't think anything more of it but just checked my emails and they've emailed back last night basically saying that the notice must be given at the end of a rent period so on the 28th august and we are liable for the rent until 28th September.
We physically cannot afford to pay for 2 properties for 6 weeks, a month was going to be hard enough, 6 weeks will be impossible with council tax for both added into that. In the email it says as part of your contract you must give notice on the rent due date however as the tenancy was a fixed years contract there is nothing in there apart from giving the months notice at the end of December to leave end of January.
Surely as I have a written email asking for a months notice with no mention on what day that needs to fall on this is now an agreement with me and be landlord and it doesn't have to be given end of the month?
I can't lose the new home for our kids but the agent has £1500 of our money in a deposit so either way they're going to take it aren't they
Email back and ask them to highlight where you agreed to a months notice from the end of the rental period rather than a straight months notice.
It's standard procedure that a months notice is from the rent due date. Email back and appeal to them to let you give notice mid month, after all the issues you've had they should do.
I've just re-read, so the email said you had to give notice from the rent due date? And the 12 months is a fixed term which I presume ends on the last day before the rent due date? In which case it was pretty clear and you have misunderstood. I would definitely go to them and appeal to their better nature as it does appear you are in the wrong.
Go back through your copy of the contract with a fine toothed comb, I had something similar last year and sadly the letting agents were completely correct that I couldn't give a month's notice when I thought I could! However, they did agree that if they could get a tenant to move in sooner then they would release us from the contract - and this did happen, they put the flat on rightmove quickly, started showing tenants and someone went for it quickly. It's in their best interests to ensure there is no gap between tenants. Could you possibly negotiate similar with them?
In your position, I would not let the housing association property go, even if I had to take a financial hit and borrow from family.
Also, you need to double check this with Shelter, but the deposit should be held with an independent company, and I think money can only be taken from it for cleaning, I don't believe they can withhold it for unpaid rent - though don't quote me on that! (That said, further down the line they could take you to small claims court for it...)
Normally under a standard tenancy agreement you have to give at least a full month notice before each payment due date.
This is standard and your agent is telling you the right thing.
Therefore if the end of your rental period is 28 September you would need to give 1 month notice on or before 27 August.
Surely if you sign the new tenancy on 15th the housing association would allow you to start the tenancy 2 weeks later?
I'm glad you are getting away from your horrible neighbours.
I would appeal to their better nature and, if that didn't work, I would tell them I was reporting the racial abuse to the police.
That's not taking the piss, that's standard procedure.
One month's rent always means one full rental period.
From the sound of it you originally signed a year's contract (Jan -> Jan).
You're now leaving before that with no extra money to pay and no extra notice required beyond the standard minimum of one rental period.
This is not an estate agent taking the piss, this is an estate agent being generous to you.
There is nothing in their behaviour that suggests that they will keep your deposit or do anything unprofessional or illegal.
I think its standard.
I would still report the issue to the police though as the neighbours will just be getting away with it otherwise
Can you delay the date you take on the other property?
If you report the racial abuse to the police, I think the owner would have to declare it on the homebuyers' report when they are selling. As they are seeming to want to avoid this, they may be inclined to give way if you push it. Good luck!
No we can't delay the date on the new property.
It has to start from Monday.
So even as it stands we will be paying for 2 houses for a whole month, we physically don't have enough to make that 6 weeks.
Nowhere in the email did it say it would need to be given at a certain time, just agreed she would accept a months notice and as the original contract was a 12 month there is nothing in there specifying when the notice would need to be given if the landlord agreed to let us leave early etc so nothing legal in there at all.
I will call them at 9.30 when they open and suggest they start marketing now and will be obviously assist with viewings as we physically don't have the money to pay another month come te end of august so it will end up having to go to court whereby I will be paying monthly back as very low earnings.
You hold the cards here. If you report racial abuse to the police, your LL will have to declare when it's up for sale, making a sale harder. I'm sure there's room for negotiation...
This is standard I'm afraid, BUT you need to remind them (nicely), that if they insist on this, then the property will still be yours until 28th September. This means they won't be able to let themselves in when you're not there (for viewings, or to redecorate ect.), so move anyone else in until that date either. Could be a bit tricky for them if they find someone who wants to move in ASAP.
Could you try to negotiate where you will give them a months rent now, for an immediate mutual surrender, where you hand back the property straight away so they can re enter / re let?
Yes that was what I was going to offer actually, that we will leave ASAP if someone views who wants to move in straight away
I've been in a situation before where I had to leave a tenancy early as I couldn't afford the rent anymore. I suggested the LL take the final months rent from my bond when it was returned to them and they were happy with that. Is this something you could suggest to them if you're struggling?
Whatever happens with the house, shouldn't you speak to police about NDN anyway? They can't repeatedly racially abuse someone to the point where they have to move house, without a word being said , surely?
I don't think you'd have to pay council tax on 2 properties for the whole period. IIRC there's something about if a house becomes empty, no CT is due for a period, usually 4 to 6 weeks.
I remember your other recent thread. The letting agent is correct about the notice period, that is standard. Given the circumstances (and I see that they have released the deposit to the letting agent early as agreed) I would push a little bit to see if they would accept less notice. Good luck with it all, hope the new house is lovely!
I would do exactly what LittleChinaPig said.
There's always room for negotiation, and you do hold a big card. Don't be afraid to play it. Personally I'd be tempted to call the Police and report it after you've moved anyway. Racist scum shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.
You have my sympathies over the racial abuse though, that must be horrible to deal with.
Thanks for all your advice,
I have spoken to them and they have checked with the landlord who is happy for us to give notice now
Very relieved and happy.
Thank you again all of you, uour replies meant a lot x
I would do what China said too, and Bicarb! Honestly, having to declare that the neighbours are racist scumbags is going to cause your landlord a much bigger headache than losing one month of rent (or not even, as you're agreeing to assist with the re-letting process).
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