I want my tenancy to remain periodic but …

by Readers Question

8:16 AM, 16th April 2014
About 7 years ago

I want my tenancy to remain periodic but …

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I want my tenancy to remain periodic but …

I’ve received a letter from my letting agency (not going to name them) saying that the guidelines and regulations have changed regarding my tenancy going to periodic. I want my tenancy to remain periodic but

I pay monthly so does not seem to make sense to me. Then it goes on to say I might, in the next few months, have to sign a 6 months tenancy and thereafter it will change back to monthly after that all because of this change.

I’m not happy with my landlord as I have been in the property for 2 years and have asked for work to be done (basic maintenance to the building such windows and damp which is up to him as the landlord) and nothing been done. Due to my circumstances though I’m stuck here for now.

Can they make me sign this 6 months agreement?

They have breached their side of the contract and it seems the law favours the landlord.

I’m stuck and would like advice as I have always paid my rent and due to my current position I would find it hard to move so I’m stuck in catch 22.

Any advice please would be much appreciated.

Many thanks

Michelle

Comments

Mark Alexander

8:31 AM, 16th April 2014
About 7 years ago

Hi Michelle

I have a very good idea of what is going on here.

Speaking as a landlord, I can assure you that the law is far from being in a landlords favour. Nevertheless, I am happy to provide you with some guidance, in good faith, because from what you have said your landlord isn't a very good one and good landlords do not appreciate the negative impact on the general perceptions of our industry created by bad landlords.

This is what I suggest you write back to your agents to say. It will certainly give them food for thought.

Dear ……

Is the change in the law you are referring to in respect of the Court of Appeal case of Superstrike vs Rodruiguez?

I do not wish to sign a new 6 month AST and am happy for my tenancy to remain periodic. Please note that if you serve notice on me as a result of this response I will be questioning why you did not serve me with new prescribed information within 30 days of my new periodic tenancy.

Yours sincerely ............

The above should see you safe in your home until you want to leave if the agent has any sense. If they do serve you notice one must assume that it will be on the basis of a retaliatory eviction. If that happens please come back to me and I will tell you how to challenge that notice as not being valid and how you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Please note that some people will tell you that you already have a claim for compensation. However, to my knowledge this is still theoretical and has not been tested in Court so be very careful about making any threats on that basis.

If as you say you have paid all your rent on time and observed all of the other contractual conditions of your tenancy then it is highly likely that a section 21 notice will not be valid. However, if you fall into arrears on your rent or otherwise breach the tenancy then your landlord/agents may be in a position to serve you with a section 8 notice giving you two weeks notice of their intent to seek a possession order via the Courts if you do not leave the property. That would severely impair your ability to rent elsewhere so please make sure that you continue to stick to your side of the contract regardless of what happens in the meantime. If you have any more problems please come back and tell me.
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Industry Observer

8:41 AM, 16th April 2014
About 7 years ago

I wouldnm't go to that bother Mark.

Michelle should simply tell the agency they have no idea what they are talking about, and report them either to any regulatory member body, or Trading Standards.

Next she should advise them if the Ll does not sort repairs she will go to EHO and ask for a full HHSRS inspection visit.

Mark Alexander

8:47 AM, 16th April 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Industry Observer " at "16/04/2014 - 08:41":

Or maybe she should do both?

The shot across the bows I have suggested is a pre-emptive defensive move.
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Terry Donohue

8:51 AM, 16th April 2014
About 7 years ago

In the above article, it seems this tenant has a bad landlord and agent. Could you clear a point up for me please. It is my understanding that a section 21 notice requires no grounds whatsoever to be issued and can't be refused. Thanks

All BankersAreBarstewards Smith

8:52 AM, 16th April 2014
About 7 years ago

I would like to ask Michelle what happened with her deposit when she moved in ?

In the meantime I would do nothing.

Industry Observer

8:56 AM, 16th April 2014
About 7 years ago

No grounds, just timing and dates

Laura Delow

8:56 AM, 16th April 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "16/04/2014 - 08:31":

I agree with Mark suffice to say it may be the agent who is remiss in carrying out repairs & not the landlord if the agent isn't reporting back to the landlords that these works need doing (I had this experience once). Although I was happy for the tenancy to role on to a periodical, we found out that this same agent also tried to force the arm of our tenant into signing a new tenancy agreement as they needed to justify charging us a renewal letting fee. However on the other hand, we had a tenant who requested certain works be carried out that weren't all justified & we only carried out the one's we were obliged to do. The tenant however saw this differently but the National Landlords Assoc informed us we were acting appropriately. We then agreed to carry out these additional works we weren't obliged to do if the tenant agreed to renew the tenancy agreement on a higher rent as they were & had been paying for quite a while, well below the market rent & we wanted them to meet us somewhere in the middle. They refused to do budge on the rent and although they carried on paying the lower rent on a periodical, we had no choice but to serve them an accelerated Section 21 to gain possession. Therefore although on the surface your complaint sounds valid, it's difficult to wholly agree without knowing more. Question:- if you are that unhappy with the landlord that makes you not want to sign a new tenancy agreement, why are you unable to move?

Mark Alexander

9:00 AM, 16th April 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Terry Donohue" at "16/04/2014 - 08:51":

A Section 21 notice is only valid if the deposit has been protected within 30 days and the Deposit Protection Certificate and Prescribed information has been served correctly within 30 days.

The Superstrike case confirmed that a statutory periodic tenancy is a new tenancy and ever since then, the general consensus (not yet tested in Court) is that new prescribed information also needs to be served within 30 days of the commencement of the statutory periodic tenancy for a section 21 notice to be valid. I suspect this is what Michelle's agent is worried about.

If a deposit is returned in full then a valid Section 21 notice can be issued regardless of whether the deposit was protected or whether the prescribed information was issued correctly or not.

The fine for failing to protect a deposit and serve the correct notices within 30 days is another story altogether and has been debated here on numerous occasions.
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Industry Observer

9:11 AM, 16th April 2014
About 7 years ago

But the s213 penalty still appiles Mark even if deposit is returned.

This case makes no sense because if Michelle signs a renewal the agent will still need to reprotect and issue PI with no question of debate or doubt (not that there is any on periodics now!!!)

Actually it is the LL and agent that are in a fix and Michelle should start examining her deposit protection paperwork (my guess is she will not find any!!!)

Romain Garcin

9:17 AM, 16th April 2014
About 7 years ago

Indeed, the issue highlighted by Superstrike regards any replacement AST.
A statutory periodic AST is just an AST, nothing special about it apart for it being automatically created by statute.

I cynically suspect that the agent is just trying it on in order to extract fees.

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