Tenancy Notice Period – Scotland – HELP!

by Readers Question

12:10 PM, 9th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Tenancy Notice Period – Scotland – HELP!

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Tenancy Notice Period – Scotland – HELP!

I am a tenant in Scotland. I rented my property through a letting agent. The let ran for the 6 month assured Scottish tenancy and then the landlord came out for a ‘visit’ he called it. When he arrived he brought a bunch of paperwork telling me he was taking the tenancy on himself and cutting out the agent which he does with all his properties.  Tenancy Notice Period - Scotland

He had new documents for me to sign, saying they were just the same as the letting agents, making me feel that I had to sign them to remain in the property, and effectively tying me to the lease for a further 6 months, which wasn’t really a problem for me, I did find it a bit rushed though and I obviously felt I had no option but to sign.

The new fixed term has now expired but it has now become apparent that the new lease shows a longer notice period than that on the original lease. Am I now held to this longer notice period ? I find this very unfair as I felt I had no option but to sign the new lease at the time and especially as the landlord had told me that the terms were just the same as the previous agreement.

I am in a situation now where I need to move, and rather quickly due to being relocated after a previous domestic violence situation. Other landlords whose properties I have looked at are not willing to wait out the longer notice period before I move into them. Therefore, my only option appears to be take one on in a months time, meaning that I would have to pay double rent for the extra period in between.

I would find this very difficult, I am a carer for my daughters, one of whom has autism and I survive on benefits. I have never defaulted on a payment for anything and my landlord has even given me a reference saying I am a dream tenant that he doesn’t want to lose.

Do I have to pay him the longer notice period than originally on the contract that I signed when I took the house?

Is there any legislation you know of which I can quote back to the landlord such as the statutory notice period being 30 days regardless of when the contract says? If not, do you think it is worth me fighting this on the grounds that I signed the new lease under duress and was intentionally mislead?

Thank you for your help.

Roxanne



Comments

Scottish Association of Landlords

12:11 PM, 9th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Hi Roxanne

Many thanks for your email. Without seeing the documents and the details in them, also without knowing if it is an “assured” or “short assured” tenancy and knowing if the AT5 document was also correctly served etc, it’s not possible to give you advice on this.

Your best option will be Shelter Scotland who do have housing advisers who could look at it and advise you as a tenant what to do. They have a free number too for this: 0808 800 4444

Have you spoken to the landlord to see if he would simply allow you to move sooner, in the circumstances?

I’m sorry not to be more directly helpful and wish you good luck with your situation.

With best wishes

Judith Dunn

John Gell

14:56 PM, 9th September 2013
About 5 years ago

It's not good Roxanne when landlords don't treat their tenants fairly and with due respect for their rights, and it sounds as if he's treating his agents equally poorly.

As Judith says, it's not possible to advise you without sight of the tenancy documentation in order to establish what sort of tenancy you have.

The minimum statutory notice period is likely to be 40 days, but may be shorter for some types of tenancy. There's no statutory maximum notice period. However the period set out in your Tenancy Agreement will predominate as it's longer than either of those.

Did the "bunch of paperwork" your landlord gave you include a Notice to Quit and what's known as a Section 33 Notice? If not, then the original tenancy may still be running on in the background as it will not have been properly terminated. Whether you can found on its more favourable terms having signed up to another tenancy is dubious but might be something worth looking at.

As well as Judith's suggestion of speaking to Shelter, CAB might be able to help.

John.


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