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Help - Landlord hasn't renewed my tenancy agreement and landlord wants to sell house(11 Posts)
When returning home from work today my wife told me that our estate agent had been on the phone to tell us that our landlord is selling the house and we have 2 months from the 1st March to move out.
We have lived in the house for nearly four years. Last December we renewed our tenancy agreement and paid £50 to do this. However, when I queried this with the estate agents they said they never received it - although they have taken the money from my card.
As a result we really don't know were we stand legally. We have an email from the estate agent telling us that the landlord was happy to extend the tenancy agreement for 24 months (until 1.12.16), we have the receipt on my bank statement for the £50 but the tenancy agreement we have a copy of doesn't have our signatures on.
Does any one have any idea of where we stand? Do we have any chance of being able to stay to see out our tenancy agreement until the end of the year.
Thanks for any help in advance
Where is the signed tenancy agreement? Why don't you have a signed copy?
The terms of the previous contract roll on after the initial period until you sign a new one. They are giving you 2 months' notice which is statutory for an assured shorthold tenancy.
When they sent th new tenancy agreement they emailed it. I printed it, signed it and sent it back to which they are saying they never received it - although when my partner spoke to them on the phone to pay for the renewal everything was fine.
I think the contract has been made - it was verbal and in writing. Do you not have a copy at all (unsigned, by email?).
When your contract ended either you would have had to move out, or it would have automatically become periodic (month by month), or you would have signed a new fixed term agreement. As youre still there and as you paid a fee, the only logical conclusion is that a new agreement was drawn up.
I would check this with Shelter and Citizens Advice.
But, in any case Id look for somewhere else to live so you can look to the future. But do it in your own time and move somewhere you want to move to. The landlord really wont want the hassle of eviciting you (which would take 6 months anyway).
Im afraid this is going to happen alot - landlords selling up - you can thank George Osbourne, the Tory Government and everyone else who was happy to bash landlords.
Sunny shores that what I would have thought.
I have the new unsigned tenancy agreement that they emailed. I have an email from the estate agent stating that the landlord is happy for us to have 24 months agreement. I have the statement from my bank that shows the money. But I dont have a signed copy is what the estate agents are telling us.
We are quite happy to move. If the landlord wants to sell up that's his right but we just don't want to be rushed into doing so if we don't have to. My wife is a childminder so the house has to be right for her to work from home, added to this is we have not long had our second child so things are already a bit crazy.
Thanks for the advice though
I think you have more than enough proof that the contract was offered and that you paid the fee and accepted.
Id be very polite, but firm to the agent, that you will move in your own time. and email them back all the documents they sent offering you the tenancy and a copy of your payment.
It sounds a very unfortunate situation, but ll had a decision to make re periodic or fixed and unfortunately they made the wrong one for them. It happens!
If they hadn't received the fee back at the apparent rewnewal, they'd have been chasing. It sounds like they are pulling a fast one. Possibly the cynical side of me but it does seem odd.
I agree with the advice you have been given here. Shelter is your best bet.
Print the email and sign it. Voila! A signed tenancy agreement. (That they sent proving their intend to renew)
If your original tenancy period expires you have a statutory periodic tenancy with the same terms as the AST you had signed. I suggest you speak to Shelter regarding the actual legal position if you want to fight this.
I suspect the landlord has realised the changes in the way they are taxed and has changed their mind about renewing the tenancy. You are in a reasonably strong position though as, unless another landlord wants to buy the property, they will need you out in order to sell so you could agree to stay until they exchange contracts giving them a minimal void period. You can refuse viewings too as you are entitled to quiet enjoyment of the place.
Your landlord cannot repossess the property during the fixed term of your tenancy agreement i.e. usually 6 or 12 months, (unless you are in breach of the terms).
At the end of the fixed term, the contract continues on the same basis on a rolling month. This is known as a periodic tenancy. During a periodic tenancy your landlord may give you two clear months notice ending on the day before a rent payment date.
It is not sufficient for the estate agent to just call you. The landlord or agent must serve a section 21 notice on you before the start of the next rolling month. So if your rent is paid on 1st of each month, the notice must be served before 1 March 2016 and would expire on 30 April 2016.
From the sounds of it, you would have sufficient evidence to prove that you entered into a new fixed term tenancy in December 2015. This means your landlord cannot serve notice until two months before that fixed term of 12 months expires i.e. Dec 2016.
I would suggest that you wait until you've received the section 21 notice and then write back to the estate agent informing it that the notice is invalid as you have a fixed term tenancy commencing x December 2015 as evidence by the enclosed email, tenancy agreement and fee payment.
You may also want to check that your deposit has been corrected protected in a tenancy protection scheme. If not, a section 21 notice will be invalid.
If all else fails, it is worth bearing in mind that the landlord cannot evict you unless he has a possession order from the court. This may buy you a bit of extra time to find somewhere else.
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