Letting Agent is Illegally Extending a Periodic Tenancy

by Ed Atkinson

8:11 AM, 28th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Letting Agent is Illegally Extending a Periodic Tenancy

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Letting Agent is Illegally Extending a Periodic Tenancy

What are the best tactics here? I have found some great new tenants who want to move into one of my properties ASAP. They are currently on a Periodic Tenancy paying monthly, so by my reckoning, they should be free vacate their existing home when the next full period ends on 10th March, subject to giving notice. However, their letting agent claims they should give two months notice.

The new tenants are a lovely family who turn out to be friends of friends twice over. They are Polish and I am worried that the Agent will try to bully them on this. Letting Agent is Illegally Extending a Periodic Tenancy

While their Tenancy Agreement has the text: “… the Tenant must give at least 2 calendar months’ notice ..” (Sect 9.i), it later clarifies: “… the Tenancy will become a Statutory Periodic Tenancy whereby the notice period will be in accordance with legislation.” (Sect 9.ii). There is no dispute that the tenants are currently on a Periodic Tenancy. The NLA has this information on the issue:

Termination of a periodic tenancy by the tenant”

“If fixed term of the tenancy has come to an end and the tenancy has been allowed to run on as a periodic tenancy and the tenant wants to leave he must provide notice in writing of the intention to leave.
The tenant must give at least four weeks notice where rent is paid on a weekly basis and at least a month’s notice where rent is paid on a monthly basis, expiring at the end of a period of the tenancy.”

Shelter agree:

How much notice do you have to give?”

“If your agreement is ‘periodic’ (that is, it rolls from week to week or month to month) you normally have to give at least 1 months’ notice to end it, or 4 weeks if you have a weekly tenancy.

The only exceptions to this are if: ..” (none apply in this case and anyway the exceptions shorten the notice)

The tenant has a letter from the agent from a couple of years ago informing them of the swap to a Periodic Tenancy and claiming “As stated in your Tenancy Agreement you must give two months notice to terminate ..” and then after listing all the charges they extract for doing nothing much the Agent’s letter ends “Please sign the copy of this letter as confirmation that you are in agreement ..” Their signed copy is on file and being used against them.

We have a few days before the next rent period starts to sort this out. The tenant will get worried about a legal battle and so we need suitable tactics to get the Agent to back down.

Any ideas?

Who could we say we could report them to?

Is a threat of negative local publicity too dangerous?

Many thanks

Ed Atkinson

Comments

Ed Atkinson

20:39 PM, 28th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Resolution !

The tenant has a friend acting as an advocate and translator. I guided him to read this thread and he then phoned the agent on the tenant's behalf. The agent responded later by email with the info:

"I have just heard back from the Landlord of ********** and he has confirmed that he is willing to only hold the Tenants to one months notice providing it is served on or before their rent due date. "

Thanks to all

Industry Observer

21:07 PM, 28th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Great news - and so big of the LL when it is the tenant's right to only give one month to the end of a rent period

Mark Alexander

21:09 PM, 28th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ed Atkinson" at "28/01/2014 - 20:39":

Pleased to hear that sense has prevailed and Property118 has been of help.

If you ever need a Russian translator just let me know 🙂
.

Ed Atkinson

22:12 PM, 28th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Industry Observer " at "28/01/2014 - 21:07":

My take on this is as follows:
the agent, once they realised the situation, was not keen on telling the landlord that they had made a mistake / been rumbled (delete as you see fit). So they made a request to the landlord to allow the one month's notice.

This approach by the agent also allowed them to back down gracefully to the tenant, while avoiding admitting error.

Sharon Betton

10:57 AM, 29th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Ringrose" at "28/01/2014 - 09:53":

Civil law says a tenant should give one months'/4 weeks notice to end a tenancy which has converted to Statutory Periodic. Even though the agreement makes reference to 2 months notice from the tenant, I would be arguing that the tenant cannot sign away his rights - in this instance, to end the tenancy on one months' notice. Common sense says that very few landlords, having found a decent tenant, can keep a property void for 2 months. Is this a ploy to keep a good tenant, and one who may not feel confident to argue. With regard to the reference which the landlord would give saying he had left the property without giving the specified notice - fortunately it sounds as though the next landlord will be happy to take him without a reference from this landlord.

Puzzler

7:58 AM, 2nd February 2014
About 7 years ago

As a general principle, why would anyone try to keep a tenant who wants to leave? It would be a risk that they would take less care of the property.

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