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Occupier's consent form

(11 Posts)
LaLaLeni Tue 09-Jul-13 13:21:48

We're giving notice on our current flat as we've bought another one. Our fixed term doesn't finish until Oct 1st so we will pay up until then but move out sooner. We have an AST where they must give notice to evict as normal.

Our landlord posted some forms through our door - an occupier's consent form and a letter to a solicitor that they want us to sign saying we waive our right to legal advice. The occupier's consent appears to give the mortgage lender the right to completely circumvent our AST and evict us without notice if the landlord defaults on his mortgage, so how can we sign that without the AST being changed?

We have no idea why we need to sign these if we're not going to be living here, and as we weren't told we would be getting them, we feel a bit annoyed that he's now chasing us for them considering he refused to approve maintenance work that we requested when we first moved in two years ago.

Surely if the form advises us to get legal advice, we shouldn't be expected to waive that right by signing the second form?

I'd rather just leave it for the next tenants (otherwise surely those tenants can claim financial stake as they haven't signed consent?) and not sign anything but the management company are emailing me constantly asking for it. I did ask them to explain why they need it and their response was 'the landlord says it's ok and you should just sign it', which was a bit of an odd reply - I'm sure he does say it's ok, but what is it?!

LIZS Tue 09-Jul-13 17:49:15

Wonder if perhaps they didn't get consent to let it previously and had a residential mortgage so lender wants reassurance now that if they repossessed they could get you out too. Frankly I wouldn't sign it , most certainly not without sound advice . Can you go to CAB ?

SunshineBossaNova Tue 09-Jul-13 17:52:11

Get in touch with Shelter - they have legal advisers. I'm no expert, but getting you to sign something that says you won't take legal advice soundss dodgy.

IIRC, the lender has to allow tenants up to 6 weeks to find a new home before evicting them if the owner defaults on their mortgage. But don't take my word for it, call Shelter's helpline and get them on the case.

LaLaLeni Tue 09-Jul-13 20:03:11

Landlord just turned up at the door without notice wanting 'my personal assurance' that we'd sign - WTF?! I've told the management agency we are just waiting on the ok from our solicitor before signing but he decides to come round when I'm putting DS to bed, (I've never met the guy btw), and demand to know why we haven't signed!! It's only been 2 weeks, a week of which we were on holiday, but he says it's costing him a lot of money - how is that my problem?! He asked why I hadn't called him, erm maybe because you use an agency so we don't have your number??? I'm absolutely livid, how dare he try and force me to sign things by breaking the terms of our tenancy!!

MojitoMagnet Tue 09-Jul-13 20:18:44

Definitely don't sign any such thing! Never waive the right to legal advice.

I don't think you have to sign anything - your AST is in place and legally protects you so long as you pay the rent on time.

It sounds like he's trying to remortgage and is currently on a higher interest rate, but can't switch to a lower rate without your signature. How soon is your move-out date? Can you just hold out till then?

The only circumstance under which I would sign a document like that would be if the landlord also accepted a re-arrangement of rent payments such that I paid X amount per month direct to the mortgage company and the rest of the rent (covering maintenance etc) to the landlord - that's the only way to guarantee that the mortgage would be paid and thus that your home is secure. I doubt that's very usual though. If you do something like this to help him out, I would make it a condition of whatever change is made being that you get released from paying rent the day you move out without having to pay up till October.

RenterNomad Tue 09-Jul-13 20:19:31

Common sense should tell you not to sign such a thing. Presumably they have no legal grounds or means to make you sign (except evicting you early? Have you come to a break clause or anything like that?)

Perhaps telling the management company in writing to stop hassling you would be a good idea, if it goes on to become harassment? And ask them to put their communications in writing, too, might make them rethink...

RenterNomad Tue 09-Jul-13 20:27:11

Oh, dear, I missed your last post! Terrible behaviour! Please put in writing what he did and that you are .not happy about it.

Athough it would be provocative of you to say this to the LL or agents, it is absolutely not your responsibility to sort out his oversight if it means acting against your own interests.

LIZS Tue 09-Jul-13 20:29:36

If you are using a solicitor to buy a property can you mention it to them ?

LaLaLeni Tue 09-Jul-13 20:46:23

I've asked our solicitors to confirm it's ok to sign and have told the agent that we are awaiting a response from them, which is completely reasonable.

Initially the agent advised us not to sign as we were about to give notice (this is the end of our fixed term so he can't kick us out unless we break the terms) which is what we wanted. They'd not been told the landlord had issued any forms to us either. I've kept in touch with the agent but his excuse tonight was that she wasn't in the office today. That is not a license to come here and harass me.

I'm not in the habit of signing anything unless I know what it means or I've had legal advice, and technically as we already have an AST saying they have to give certain notice to evict, whereas this new form contradicts that. Hence I hoped to just put it off as we're only paying until October. It may seem trivial but if the mortgage we're currently awaiting approval on were to fall through, we might have continued our tenancy here for a while longer and with a 3 month old an eviction without notice would be horrific.

Under the terms of the AST they cannot evict us before Oct.

I don't see why it would be provocative to say that we're not responsible for his oversights - our rent more than covers the mortgage and so he must've spent the money elsewhere. We didn't sign an agreement to sort out his money problems, we have our own to deal with!

I'm now concerned he'll try to deduct money from our deposit unfairly and it'll all go to arbitration because even if we sign his bloody forms, he'll still be annoyed.

We moved here after our last flat was burned down in the 2011 riots (we escaped obviously) and I just don't have the energy to deal with any more shit over housing. £1350 pcm is a lot of money for a small flat and my work have chopped me down to part time whilst I've been on mat leave, plus I'm not paid whilst I'm away so we're not exactly rolling in money either!

pudtat Wed 10-Jul-13 03:24:37

Another quick thought if you don't want to,rack up further costs with your conveyancers or want s second opinion... Do you get legal advice line help via a paid for bank a/c ( quite a common benefit) or your home insurance policy (ditto)?

LaLaLeni Wed 10-Jul-13 08:13:19

I cancelled the paid account I had hmm but I just emailed our solicitors asking if it would affect anything we're signing for them to sign this - O can't imagine they'll charge as it's only to do with what we're already paying them for. As long as it doesn't affect our mortgage in any way and the fact we're signing a new tenancy as part of the shared ownership I'm fine to sign it, if he'd just allowed us reasonable time he'd have got it back!

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