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What are our rights as a long term tennant?

(39 Posts)
littlemissneela Fri 15-Jul-16 19:23:19

We have been in our house for over 20 years, at a very good rate as the landlord has done nothing to the house since we moved in. He now wants to double the rent, and has mooted he could get anyone in at the price he wants, so basically letting us know we could be out.
We moved in on an assured shorthold tennancy agreement, which has run for that whole time.
It does need loads of work doing. We still have the same kitchen from when we moved in, and it was pretty shabby then. It also doesn't have a working boiler or immersion, so only hot water is in the shower. Thank goodness for a dishwasher! I cant see anyone else wanting to move in at what he is asking, without all that sorted.
I was wondering does anyone know if we have any rights as tennants for so long, paying our rent every month (though some years its been a few months late, but always paid)? What about preferential (reduced) price to be able to buy it?
We are due a meeting with him soon, and will be speaking with CAB next week depending on the outcome of said meeting, but I thought someone on here is bound to have some ideas about this. Many thanks smile

Sooverthis Fri 15-Jul-16 19:26:20

I don't think you have any rights other than the given notice period sadly it's his house you could offer to buy it at market price if it's in poor condition you could make him an offer but he's under no obligation to sell to you.

penisbeakerlaminateflooringetc Fri 15-Jul-16 19:28:13

Rent increases must be fair and reasonable. I'm not sure if doubling the rent can be considered fair but maybe it can if you're paying far below the average market rent.

How much is your rent compared to similar properties in your area?

icklekid Fri 15-Jul-16 19:30:18

Don't know about long term tenant rights to remain but I'm fairly certain you have no right to purchase let alone at preferential rate! He is the owner and if he wanted to sell the only advantage to him selling to you would be that it was chain free!

pegomassive1 Fri 15-Jul-16 19:31:27

Unfortunately no rights other than is outlined in your contract.
If he doesn't want to sell it either there isn't anything that can be done...but you could make him an offer to see if he fancies it off his hands

littlemissneela Fri 15-Jul-16 19:31:31

What he is asking to up it to is probably the market rate, but we have an agreement where we paid to replace the windows and he said he wouldn't increase the rent.

I thought as a long term tennant, you have more rights than someone who has been renting for 6 months, say.

navylily Fri 15-Jul-16 19:36:11

Legally he can end your tenancy with two months notice, and offer you a new tenancy at whatever rate he likes. If you think he's asking more than he could get for it, you can call his bluff and decline the offer. But I'd check carefully before you do that you can actually get yourself something better/cheaper.

You don't have any more rights than someone who's been there 6 months sadly.

wowfudge Fri 15-Jul-16 21:05:22

When exactly did your tenancy start and have you signed any new tenancy agreements since the original one. Is so, when?

gallicgirl Fri 15-Jul-16 21:10:18

I'd recommend talking to Shelter or a solicitor specialising in housing law.
Long time tenants may have more protection but it depends when you signed the first tenancy agreement and I can't recall when the legislation changed.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 15-Jul-16 21:10:23

The date you moved in, and the tenancy agreement is vital. What date did you move in?

navylily Fri 15-Jul-16 21:20:24

Secure tenancies were ended more than 20 years ago. The OP says she signed an assured shorthold tenancy, which by default will have lapsed to what is known as a periodic tenancy. She has to give the landlord 1 months notice to leave and the landlord has to give her two months. She has no further security and the landlord can increase the rent as much as he likes with two months notice. Shelter's webpages should be able to confirm all this.

Don't waste money on a solicitor - you may need it for a deposit on somewhere else. You should be able to force the landlord to fix the the boiler if you decide to stay.

specialsubject Fri 15-Jul-16 21:27:07

On an assured short hold that started after 1989 you have the same rights as someone who started an a s t six months ago - with a few changes none of which probably are relevant. Go read the how to rent booklet on gov .UK.

2 months notice from him, one from you . rent ' a few months late' gives him stronger grounds so I recommend not doing that in future....
No, you don't get to buy it cheap!

It sounds a dump , but a cheap dump . if environmental health think it is too bad and you complain to them, he can't issue your notice.

Gas safe? Deposit protected?

Want to stay? Get talking.

littlemissneela Fri 15-Jul-16 21:34:57

Sorry, was out dog walking.

We moved in Nov 21st 1994. I am not 10% on the actual agreement as I havent seen it since we signed it, but dh said its in the drawer of many things! We haven't signed any other agreements over that time.

I'll have a look at the websites suggested, but I think CAB will be our next step. Thanks for all your replies smile

littlemissneela Fri 15-Jul-16 21:44:25

* or 100% *

specialsubject Fri 15-Jul-16 21:47:59

Be aware that contracts can't override common law.

Be also aware that renting with pets may narrow your options.

BTW if that boiler runs on gas then it should still have an annual cert, working or not. Although I find it hard to believe that a non working boiler would pass.

AnotherEmma Fri 15-Jul-16 21:52:07

" I thought as a long term tennant, you have more rights than someone who has been renting for 6 months, say."

Nope. It depends completely on the type of landlord (social or private), type of tenancy agreement, and date you moved in. An AST does not provide much security of tenure. Your landlord can give you two months notice to leave.

If you were a council or housing association tenant, you would have a different type of tenancy (eg secure or assured) which would give you more right or security.

CAB can certainly advise but you could also consider contacting Shelter, who specialise in providing housing advice. They have a lot of useful information on their website, and a helpline which is open every day (unlike the CAB): 0808 800 4444

AnotherEmma Fri 15-Jul-16 21:53:15

more rights and security

MephistoMarley Fri 15-Jul-16 21:56:33

You have to move out if he wants you to. Sucks but that's how it is. Hopefully you took advantage of the low rent and saved up for a deposit?

specialsubject Fri 15-Jul-16 22:15:16

You could of course have signed up to a fixed term for security. But why bother in this dump?

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 15-Jul-16 22:22:15

Law changed in 1993 and again in 1996, so check it out. There's something called an assured periodic tenant.

sparechange Fri 15-Jul-16 22:25:48

If you have an AST, you have no more or fewer rights than anyone else
Certainly no right to buy, let alone at a reduction.

I wouldn't waste your time with CAB. Unless you are planning to refuse to move out in order to get council housing, there isn't much, if anything, they can do

specialsubject Fri 15-Jul-16 22:30:57

That's interesting - you could indeed be an assured tenant rather than an assured short hold . apologies.

AnotherEmma Fri 15-Jul-16 22:33:35

Well, Shelter or CAB could advise the OP on her housing options, since she will have to move out.

OP, who lives with you? Are there any dependent children? Does anyone have a disability? If so you might have a chance of getting social housing - although the waiting lists are long and choice is limited. If not your best bet is to look on the private market.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 15-Jul-16 22:37:49

Signing a Section 20 at the time of signing your contract is key. It's possible if you didn't that he can't ask you to go. Otherwise you have no more rights than if you had moved in 6 months ago.

However you won't be entitled to buy the house at a reduced rate whatever the situation.

This is all according to dh, who knows a fair amount about tenancy agreements, sitting tenants etc.

AnotherEmma Fri 15-Jul-16 22:46:08

PPs have made a good point to raise the possibility of an Assured Tenancy.

In 1994 the default tenancy agreement for the private rental market was an Assured Tenancy. It was possible to have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy instead but you would have additional/alternative paperwork.

OP, you really need to dig out your original tenancy agreement if you have it! If not, could you ask your landlord if they still have it and could send you a copy?

If you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, my previous advice still stands.

However, if you actually have an Assured Tenancy, you have more rights. Your landlord cannot make you leave without grounds (legal reasons).

Definitely find the tenancy agreement and then give Shelter a call or take it in to the CAB.

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