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Question regarding AST where no agreement has been signed


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Hello all, this is my first post here. I have found a lot of informative and valuable information in this forum that answers some of my questions but hope to get some clarifaction with some other questions.

 

Firstly I moved into a private rented property that has recently gone through some renovation inteternally and externally, converted into 2 houses and a flat. I live in one of the houses.

 

The rent is £950 pcm, I paid 6 months rent upfront as we verbally agreed 6 month term. I paid a deposit of £1,187.50. All monies was paid by a bankers draft. I wrote a break down for the amount, on the reverse of the bankers draft. The landlord agreed a move in date 24 April 2010 and this would be when the property would be fit and ready to move in.

 

I moved into the property I found all the electric sockets in the kitchen had not been attahced to the wall and hanging loose. The smoke alram in the kitchen has no cover. I've not been handed a gas certificate for the gas boiler. A wine cooler is missing which is meant to be part of the fixtures & fitting within the rent.

 

The rear of the building where we share a garden with our neighbour is still like a building site and scaffolding is still erected.

 

One month into the rent and my landlord presented me with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement. He's decided to inform me that he forgot to mention that the garden is communual and all tenants in the building have to contribute £15 service charge for the upkeep of the garden and cleaning the windows.

I am more than capable of cleaning my own windows for the house, secondly the garden doesnt need upkeeping, considering the landlord is only laying down gravel.

This in mind I'm refusing to agree a service charge as this should have been mentioned prior as I would not have taken this property.

The landlord has written the agreement for a term of 1 year.

 

So far I've not signed the agreement.

 

There is a private car parking space and this is reserved only for our neighbour in the same building. Access is via an electric shutter. I have discovered this shutter is served from my electric fuse box. At this present time the landlord hasnt installed separate electric meters for each property but when that time comes Im going to be fitting the bill for the use of this shutter.

 

Ive also found that both my house and my neighbours house have an external water tap in the communual garden allowing anyone to use my water supply at my cost.

 

I also suspect my landlord hasnt protected my deposit. I've written to all three companies for a written confirmation.

 

If someone moves into a property, with or without a tenancy agreement are they immediatley an AST. I have an AST but due to the service charge implied, the term wich was not agreed to and some of the terms I dont agree with Ive not signed it.

 

My thoughts is should the LL decide not to back down over the Service Charge do I have rights to provide 1 months notice to vacate the property and have any remaing monts of paid rent refunded.

 

Regarding the deposit, if it hasnt been protected I am fully aware of the path I take with the courts. However should the LL not refund my rent, combining the amount of the deposit and rent paid in advance this may reach over £5k so would it be acceptable by the court to treat both separately?

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- Service charge isnt payable if it wasnt agreed on prior to the tenancy;

 

- Shutter electrical costs annoying, but likley to be minimual;

 

- If all conditions of an AST are met that it immediatley becomes an AST on moving in;

 

- You have no right to give 1 months notice to leave. You must wait the 6 months.

 

- £5,000 is the limit for small claims, TDS is not deat with via small claims so the limit is irrelevant. If you do attempt to claim rent back then that will be via small claims (moneyclaim online or form N1) and the TDS claim will be via form N208 - i.e. you will need to make two seperate claims.

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  • 8 months later...

UPDATE

I filed a claim issued using form N209 under Part 8 of the CPR on 10 December 2010. My landlord had until 30 December 2010 to reply. It was obvious my LL wasnt going to reply has the address he provided in my AST was not an adobe address and was fake.

A hearing was held on 3 March 2011 for 15 minutes and the judge awarded me return of my deposit in full £1190, plus penalty of 3xdeposit £3570, plus 8% interest which was set from the date I left the property and which was the date my AST ended, plus court costs.

Knowing that my landlord is not going to pay me my next task is to apply to the court for a Third Party Order (TPO) and present this to the letting agent who is collecting rent from two current tenants who live in the same building.

I fully understand how a Third Party Order works in respect to freezing the LL bank account. If I was to present TPO to the LA agent DOES the rent they collect from the tenants have to be with the letting agent at the time?

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