Should I get a new 12 month tenancy agreement signed?

by Readers Question

A month ago

Should I get a new 12 month tenancy agreement signed?

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Should I get a new 12 month tenancy agreement signed?

My 12 month tenancy is coming to an end once again. Last time it ended one of the tenants moved out and the other remained (moving a partner in, under a re-signed agreement). A new agreement was drawn up and any changes within the new agreement were initialed by the remaining tenant, but notably the agreement itself was not actually signed (agent incompetence)

The Letting agent used was awful, very slow, multiple mistakes and didn’t even ensure the resigned agreement was signed properly! Note: the tenancy agreement was signed properly first time round, but again there was agent incompetence and the only reason I used the same letting agent again was, because they were cheap to renew with and I thought the renewal should be fairly simple, even though once tenant moved out and one remained.

Where does this leave me as the Landlord now?

Should I just let it go on to a monthly rolling tenancy, or would I be better getting a new 12 month agreement properly signed up via a more competent agent (this is probably my preferred option), or would I be as well to just stick with the original agent for a renewal again, even though they performed so badly last time and could well do so again this time round.

Many Thanks

Shadow

Comments

Neil Patterson

A month ago

I would definitely try to get the tenancy locked down with a new signed contract as long as you are happy with the tenants.

Don't forget to check the deposit is correctly protected.

Ken Smith

A month ago

As Neil says, if you want them to definitely stay another 12 months - then yes try to get them to sign. They might jump at the chance.

At least if they dont then it may indicate to you that they are thinking of moving soon. In any event it opens up a dialogue with a tenant - and that is never a bad thing. For all you know, they may be scared of asking you for a new contract. It happens.

If you think you might want your house back soon - then don't seek to have another 12 month AST.

It really is that simple.

Francis Drake

A month ago

If the agents did not get the agreement signed they are incompetent. Get new agent make sure all current tenants names are on the new agreement and on the deposit scheme
and they are given "How to rent" leaflet as well as EPC and gas certificate
Cheap sometimes turns out to be more expensive

Michael Barnes

A month ago

If the previous agreement was not properly terminated, then it is still in force.
The unsigned agreement has no legal standing.

Definitely get a new agreement signed asap.
If tenants think they might want to get out sooner, then give them a break clause so they can get out of the fixed term with 2 months notice. You don't have to have a similar clause for yourself, and if you don't then the tenants will (probably) see you as a decent person.

Heather G.

A month ago

If you're not using an agent for management of the property, you can create an AST yourself for them to sign. You can get AST templates from the .gov website or from RLA & NLA for free if you're a member. Ensure you have the tenants sign, date and time-stamp the receipt of the EPC & Gas cert BEFORE you have them do the same for the AST. If the agent is giving you poor service, why put more money in their pocket?

Yvonne Francis

A month ago

My concern would be, as well as other matters of course, if I thought I had an incompetent agent is whether or whether not they had registered my tenants deposit as the buck in this matter stops with me and any penalty (which is very high) for non compliance comes back to myself.

Could I back up the advice of Heather G. and could you consider self managing including the AST. There is so much information and guidance on line that I have always wondered why more landlords don't have a try. The knowledge is always useful. I've self managed for forty years not because I don't want to pay an agent but because I know I can do a better job. I'm elderly now and disabled but desperate to hold off all the agents anxious to take over the management of my properties. The only reason I may consider one is if I think I may die in mid tenancy which would make it easier for my family inheritors!, as they are busy professionals who could not very easily step in. But I guess you are nowhere at this stage yet?

moneymanager

A month ago

it might be an idea to review and check the basis and validity of a joint tenancy, "he moved in a partner". What is the partner's financial capacity, should it be a sole tenancy and permitted occupier, did they new "tenant" adopt the inventory from outset, how was the original deposit handled on the departure of the last joint tenant/ how was any new deposit handled????

In other words the situation warrants a complete ground up review and not just " a new tenancy agreement".

Mandy Thomson

A month ago

For leases (that is, letting agreements) of under 3 years, signatures are not required and in fact the agreement can be purely verbal, though for obvious reasons this is not advisable. It is good practice to have the AST signed and witnessed, and the fact that the agreement wasn't signed suggests a slapdash approach by the agents.

Gary Nock

A month ago

A straightforward renewal is only appropriate if the tenants remain the same. If they change then it is likely that all the legal compliance like Deposit Protection, Right To Rent Checks, service of Gas Cert, EPC are flawed. The original inventory is also not worth the paper it is written on as the "new"tenant will in the case of a dispute, say the property was like that when they moved in and blame the "old tenant". Any rent insurance will more than likely be invalid.

And when one tenant gives notice on a joint tenancy it brings the tenancy to an end for all.

So it's a complete new tenancy from the ground up. You may get away with it until there is an eviction. That's when you will find out how incompetent your agent was.

Yvonne Francis

A month ago

Reply to the comment left by Gary Nock at 21/03/2018 - 05:59
I would like to question your suggestion 'And when one tenant gives notice on a joint tenancy it brings the tenancy to an end for all'. If the joint tenancy is within a fixed term period (or possibly even a monthly rolling on tenancy?) a new replacement tenant agree to by landlord and the remaining tenants, can be taken on by 'Deed of Assignment'. The Deposit protection can be changed for free and the new tenant is expected to except the Inventory as it was at the beginning of the original tenancy. As long as the EPC and the gas check is not out of date I can not see how that is flawed. And the right to rent checks, along with other usual checks for a new tenant can be undertaken by either landlord or agent.

However as the tenancy in question is coming to an end of it's fixed period and the tenants are changing then in these circumstances a new tenancy may be preferable.

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