Urgent tenancy help required please?

by Readers Question

9:56 AM, 29th June 2020
About 5 months ago

Urgent tenancy help required please?

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Urgent tenancy help required please?

Hi I moved into temp accommodation in Nov 2019 (self catering holiday home) as waiting to purchase a house. House purchase fell through and had to look for new place (due to move mid July).

The owner of the holiday home changed the use of the property to a normal tenancy from the 1st April and I’m now responsible for council tax.

The owners have now said that property has been sold and I need to move out this next week. Where do I stand?

There is no written tenancy agreement just a text message saying that from 1st April rent will be xxx and council tax is now in my name. No end of actual tenancy as was waiting for move in date for new house.

I can’t move to a new place and take a 6 month tenancy elsewhere as moving to new house in about 3 weeks.

What’s the best way to sort this?

Many thanks

Jane


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Comments

Rob Crawford

10:22 AM, 29th June 2020
About 5 months ago

It sounds to me that under the arrangement where you are now paying council tax that a statutory tenancy has been established. No formal (written) agreement is required. However, having some proof of this arrangement would help your case. Do you pay council tax to the council direct or through the landlord? If you have registered with the council and have paid council tax direct then this could be sufficient to satisfy a court that a statutory tenancy agreement exists. Assuming this is the case the landlord will be required to serve a possession notice etc. You probably need legal advice and really Shelter or Citizens Advice would be better placed to advise.

Peter Poupard

11:11 AM, 29th June 2020
About 5 months ago

This request shows the value of this site. We have a tenant looking for advice so she is engaging with a site which many will be thinking is set up to benefit landlords. The first response is from a landlord advising the tenant on how to safeguard her interests. Well done to Property 118!!
That said if your landlord has changed the tenancy and is now being heavy handed telling you to get out in a matter of days you may wish to consider the landlords obligations to you. Did you give a deposit, was it protected? Were you supplied with all the necessary paperwork, EPC, how to rent information etc etc. I don't condone tenants being difficult but if a landlord tells a tenant they have days to leave don't be surprised if they bite back if they can. That's why I always treat my tenants as people not just a source of income.

Jim Fox

11:12 AM, 29th June 2020
About 5 months ago

Apart from anything else, surely if it can be proven that your landlord has granted an 'implied' statutory tenancy, he/she is currently unable to evict you due to the current Covid-19 eviction ban?
If you only need to stay in his/her property for another 3 weeks, until you complete your house purchase, why cant he/she defer the completion date for his/her sale until this date?

Darren Peters

12:12 PM, 29th June 2020
About 5 months ago

Was there an original agreement in writing before April? What did it say about notice. Did you agree to the new tenancy from April? Do you still have the text message the Landlord sent you in April?

Has the landlord given a date when the property was sold/is to be transferred to the new owner?

Jireh Homes

14:45 PM, 29th June 2020
About 5 months ago

Hi Jane - please clarify which country this relates too as potentially different rules in not in England. Appears you have not been given, nor signed a tenancy so nothing should have changed from the original "holiday let" agreement, under which the owner would have covered the Council Tax.

Kate Mellor

14:47 PM, 29th June 2020
About 5 months ago

Hi Jane,
It sounds like you had a fairly casual arrangement with your landlord which was, at the time, mutually beneficial and you may therefore have no wish to cause your landlord any problems, but you are understandably worried about your own position in all this.

You have nothing to worry about. The fact that there is no written tenancy agreement is neither here nor there. You have a tenancy and your landlord has certain obligations towards you. One of which is that the minimum notice period is one month. I am not even going to start in on the potential issues your landlord may have in regards his/her legal obligations, but i will mention that the notice should be issued using a prescribed form in order to be valid...a text is not it.

You don't need to know all the ins and outs, just the fact that the landlord has no choice but to wait for you to move out. I would write to them explaining that you will be moving out once you complete on your purchase, which you believe should be x date, and that you cannot guarantee the date at this stage, but you will keep them informed.

If your landlord has set a completion date before he/she can give vacant possession they could be in a world of pain if you are still in the property when that date comes. If that is the case it may be well worth their while to pay or contribute towards your costs to relocate into temporary accommodation for the final few weeks, but that would be at your discretion.

If they argue that you are on a holiday agreement and not an AST, the fact that they have transferred the council tax into your name clearly shows the intention to create a tenancy, which, along with your regular rent payments and exclusive possession of the property makes it a tenancy. Your tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy by default which falls within the protection of The Housing Act 1988, which requires the landlord to follow certain clearly defined procedures in order to regain possession of the property, which your landlord has not yet done. The notice you've been given is therefore not validly served and so must be served again validly (which is a whole other conversation) and the notice period, (one month), must start again. This should hopefully be long enough for your purchase to complete and allow you to get moved out.

I hope you can come to an agreement with your landlord which works for you both. If they can delay their completion to work with yours, or help compensate you to find something appropriate and temporary for a few weeks that would be the ideal scenario, but if not, perhaps you could direct them to this forum for some advice and information on their position. It may change their mind regarding their willingness to accommodate your needs.

If you need any more advice as this progresses, please come back and ask. Also, it would be good to know how you got on if things go well.

Regards,
Kate

Jane

19:46 PM, 29th June 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 29/06/2020 - 10:22
Thank you so much very much appreciated 😁

Jane

19:49 PM, 29th June 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Kate Mellor at 29/06/2020 - 14:47
Many thanks Kate. Everyone has been so helpful. The landlord is now ignoring me but I will continue to keep communication open on my side and fingers crossed all will be well in a couple of weeks. Thanks again

Jane

19:51 PM, 29th June 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jireh Homes at 29/06/2020 - 14:45
Hi, thanks for your help. Currently in England

Jane

19:52 PM, 29th June 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Peter Poupard at 29/06/2020 - 11:11
Thanks Peter, much appreciated. Everyone on here is so helpful
It's been a great help and reassurance

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