Shelter’s Income and expenditure figures highlighted13:57 PM, 4th February 2019
About 2 weeks ago 35
I am the Leaseholder of a flat in a large, city-centre block – popular with mature students and young, single, professionals.
The management company are trying to force me to issue new AST’s every 6 months – presumably to bolster the fees they then charge.
The lease requires me:-
31.1 not to … part possession of part only of the property:
31.2 not sublet the whole of the property save that:
1) the grant of the assured shorthold tenancies for a duration of no more than 6 months are permitted without the consent of the landlord; and
2) the grant of assured shorthold tenancies for a duration of more than 6 months are permitted with the Landlords consent not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed
Based on this, I have assumed that I could let on a 6 month AST and then either renew with another 6 month AST, or rollover to a periodic tenancy – without requiring consent.
However, the management company have now said that a rolling contract would not be deemed as a valid AST – and that it must be on a signed period for 6 months or more.
I’m concerned that a new fixed period might be unsuitable for some tenants – also, I can’t actually force the tenant to sign the new AST. Is this reasonable/enforceable ? Does it mean that I would have to evict every tenant that said they wanted a new AST but then failed to actually sign it?
I believe that the management company are taking this approach so that they can milk the AST renewal fee ‘cash cow’ as much as possible…
The Lease has the following
32.2. within one month after the date of any and every subsequent assignment transfer mortgage charge underlease or tenancy agreement including any immediate or derivative underlease or tenancy Agreement of the Property assignment of such underlease or grant of probate or letters of administration order of court or other matter disposing of or affecting the Property or other devolution of or transfer of title to the same to give to the Landlord notice in writing of such disposition or devolution or transfer of title with full particulars thereof and in the case of an underlease (and if so required by the Landlord) a copy thereof for registration and retention by the Landlord and at the same time to pay to the Landlord such reasonable fees including value added tax for such registration (being not less than £65 plus VAT thereon) in respect of the registration of each such document or instrument so produced
In practice, they now charge “a not unreasonable” (sic) £90+VAT for each AST registration/retention – ie they expect me to pay them £108 every 6 months letting.
Does a rollover/periodic tenancy count as “an assured shorthold tenancy of not more than 6 months” (thus satisfying clause 31.2.1) ? If so, should it require registration/retention – and hence trigger the charge ?
I want to comply with the terms of the Lease – but I’m not sure that the management agent’s interpretation is reasonable, affordable or practical.
Does anyone have any advice or suggestions on resolving this ?
Thanks in advance for any help.
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