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options once 12 month lease is up: can a tenant renew month by month??

(7 Posts)
lexloofah Tue 17-May-16 14:40:13

Hello, hoping for some advice on tenants law/rights/usual practice please:

We are tenants near the end of a 12 month lease, initially the letting agent told me we could renew month by month after the lease is up which suits us as would like the flexibility to rent elsewhere if something more suitable comes up or buy once our house elsewhere has sold.

Just had a call from someone else at the agents to say that we need to sign another lease for at least 6 months, I pushed back, they said OK 3 months but we have to pay in full in advance and kept getting quoted 'it's the law', does not matter what the landlord and I might agree to.

Anyway they are calling back tomorrow and will ask them which law and section so I can try and have a look but in the meantime what is the position or usual practice as anecdotally I am told by non-lawyers, non-lettings people that one can continue month by month.

I understand a landlord would want us to lock in for longer but don't want to be forced to if we don't have to

tia

JonSnowsBeardClippings Tue 17-May-16 14:43:30

The law is that unless either party serves correct notice at the end of a fixed term tenancy, the tenancy converts automatically to a periodic tenancy with all the original terms.
It certainly is not the law that you have to renew a fixed term tenancy, letting agents are utter fucking robbing twats on things like this and lie all over the shop.!
If the landlord and the tenant both prefer a periodic tenancy then that is what will happen. Unless the landlord serves notice then you just stay put and sign nothing and pay for nothing!

expotition Tue 17-May-16 19:27:35

It is not the law that you have to renew - if you don't sign a new agreement and the landlord doesn't evict you your tenancy automatically continues as a rolling tenancy.

But if the landlord is prepared to give you notice to leave if you refuse to sign up for another fixed term, you can't stop them. IME they push you for a fixed term because:
- the letting agent gets a fee for "producing the new tenancy agreement" aka changing a couple of details on the old tenancy agreement
- it's an opportunity to increase the rent
- sometimes, the landlord needs to be able to give evidence of continuous future income and having a longer-term contract helps

Not a lot the tenant can do if you'd rather sign than leave. In your position I'd probably tell them you'll accept a 12-month contract with a break clause at 3 months (which is essentially the same as a 3-month contract followed by rolling, but stops them putting the rent up again / charging another renewal fee after 3 months). If you position this as a climbdown they may back off on wanting 3 months' rent up front, which seems unreasonable.

lexloofah Tue 17-May-16 20:20:44

thanks both, so good to be armed with this information

I don't think the landlords want us to leave as have been good tenants and there has been no mention yet of an increase in rent, sounds like the agents trying to get more fees

they also want us to pay for another reference check, not sure about that one either, it really sticks in your throat the first time paying for a check on yourself but a second time well... perhaps not the most straightforward of situations though as we moved back after many years overseas so had no history here credit or otherwise so paid a years rent in advance but now we are on the electoral roll, have a years tenancy history and a credit footprint we should be able to pay monthly but honestly what exactly are they checking? our identities haven't changed and it is with the same agent? Anyway have to pick my battles and for me it is the signing of a new lease that I want to stand and fight, I will see what they come back with tomorrow

I just can't see how I will be able to find another propertythat will have the same move in date as the end of our tenancy, I don't mind a few days overlap i.e. paying for both but unless we are able to keep it flexible we will be stuck here forever or stuck paying duplicate rent potentially for one to several months

JonSnowsBeardClippings Tue 17-May-16 20:24:27

Another reference check? They are having a fucking laugh. Your tenancy agreement should have the landlord's contact details in - if you think they are approachable then think abou contacting them directly and enlightening them about this situation - my landlord has sacked my letting agents after they fucked us both around and lied about doing inspections. Also check that the landlord is happy for you to stay on a periodic. When does your fixed term actually end?

lexloofah Tue 17-May-16 20:31:43

Jon, I thought it sounded fishy but also know that agents need to do more checks these days for terrorists, illegal immigrants etc

Anyhoo, tenancy is up in about 8 weeks, they are coming for a routine inspection in a couple of weeks

I have the landlords details, they are pretty decent, addressed several things that have cropped up as needing doing and from what I can gather we are a vast improvement on the last few tenants so they seem happy with us too, and so far the letting agent has been fine, it was quite a surprise when I got the call.

Cel982 Tue 17-May-16 20:36:32

Yeah, I'd get on to the landlord as well and clue him in on what's happening. If you get sick of the agent's nonsense and decide to move out it's going to cost the landlord more to find new tenants, and if he's been burnt before than he won't want to lose you.

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