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My partner has been renting a flat above a shop since Apr 2002. he was given a 6 month Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. The owner of the whole building has never been seen and he pays the rent each month via his bank account to the shop keeper. Since the agreement the shop has changed hands on numerous occasions and rent has always been paid correctly and on time. No updated Tenancy agreement has been made or signed since the original in 2002.

 

The problem has arisen as the shop keeper has asked my parter to pay him £450.00 for buildings insurance. The original tenancy agreement states that the landlord agrees "To insure and keep insured during the tenancy, the premisis, against all risks normally covered in a standard housing building insurance policy.

 

 

:evil::?

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sorry a bit more

Does this tenancy agreement still stand even though it has not been renewed and the shop ownership has hanged hands so many times. should the tenant have to pay this money?

 

The flat itself is in need of some major repairs to the leaking roof etc, but we don't really know who to tell as the shop keeper doesn't seem to give a stuff

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Who is the landlord and why the rent is paid to the shop keeper?

It is usually the landlord's responsibility to insure the building whilst the tenant normally insures the content. I say "usually" and "normally" because there is no obligation to insure at all. Your partner's contract makes it clear however - show it to the shop keeper and ask him to contact the landlord. If the shop keeper is your partner's landlord- ask him to contact himself (oh yeah, i am hillarious today!)

Is it possible that the shopkeeper is the tenant and your partner is a subletter?

 

It seems to me, in response to your second question, that your partner has a periodic tenancy. This type of tenancy arises when AST rolls on without being formally renewed. Your partner has a valid tenancy and there is nothing to worry about; follow the link for more info

Shelter: What kind of tenancy do I have?

As for repair obligation, please see http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/tenants/74057-disrepairs-privately-rented-accommodation.html#post641938


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So just to confirm, the original tenancy agreement is still valid? We also presume that my partner is subletting from the shopkeeper. We are very worried about comfronting the shopkeeper with this information as he will prob not understand get on the defensive and try to evict. He has told me that if we do not pay this money, the landlord will be closing the shop and taking all the stock as payment and then we will have to move out. Is this just a ploy to scare us into making the payment?

 

Also earlier this year the shopkeeped informed us that my partner had to start paying water charges even though he has never had to pay them with any of the other shopkeepers. Should we have paid this money also?

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So just to confirm, the original tenancy agreement is still valid?

 

Yes- it simply rolled on after the initial fixed term expired.

 

 

 

We also presume that my partner is subletting from the shopkeeper. We are very worried about comfronting the shopkeeper with this information as he will prob not understand get on the defensive and try to evict. He has told me that if we do not pay this money, the landlord will be closing the shop and taking all the stock as payment and then we will have to move out. Is this just a ploy to scare us into making the payment?

The security of your tenure is very low anyway. He can just give you two months notice (you do NOT have to move out- read this for clarity: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/tenants/116385-shorthold-tenancy-posession-eviction.html#post1166293 ). I would suggest that the best tactic is to have a chat with the shopkeeper to find out how you can help in his predicament- because it sounds to me that he is in financial trouble and wants this £450 for something (to make sure what for- ask him to talk to the insurers he is hoping to use or see an invoice etc- see if he gets flustered- but don't aim to **** him off!). Offer him the money in lieu of your future rent, to ease his difficulties, if this would help to safeguard your occupation of the tenancy. If you reach an agreement, put it in writing- whatever the deal is. Tell him that it is always better to have someone who pays the rent as regularly as you then uncertain future with a new tenant or an empty property.

Negotiate or start looking for a new place, give notice and leave. Depends how much your partner likes the place :)

 

 

Also earlier this year the shopkeeped informed us that my partner had to start paying water charges even though he has never had to pay them with any of the other shopkeepers. Should we have paid this money also?
Remember: low security of tenure. Check tenancy agreement- does it say anything about inclusive water/sewerage charges? If it does- you have a stronger argument but not a total protection from eviction.

 

You are in a fragile position, but do not panic-the landlord has to follow strictly defined procedures to get you out. This may take few months (even 6 months is not unheard of).


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