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Tenancy Renewal Required after 6 months?


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My elderly in-laws are in their late 80's. They signed a 6 month tenancy agreement started 13/04/10 which expires 12/10/10. Their LA has sent them another tenancy agreement to sign and has said that they must go into their office with £41 fee to renew the contract.

 

Surely this is not required. Doesn't a shorthold tenancy automatically become periodic month to month? They're on pensions and it does not make sense to pay fees every six months to renew their tenancy.

 

Is this just a money-making [problem]? Or is it to keep hold of them as tenants rather than giving them the right to give one month's notice if they decide to leave or need to move out through illness or death? It's not that they're planning on leaving - but when you're in your 80's unforseen events can happen, eg having a stroke and being in hospital. Sorry to be morbid but I lost my 72 year old mum suddenly 2 years ago due to a stroke, although her situation was different as she was in an assured tenancy with a housing association.

 

Any advise about what I can say to the LA when I phone them in the morning? Thanks

Edited by slc79
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Is this harassment?

 

I've just come off the phone again with them and they are so upset. They've only been there 3 1/2 months. They are very worried that if they don't sign another tenancy agreement then they will be made to move. It's very hard to make them understand that it will become a periodic tenancy and the LA is not giving them the correct information.

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Renewal fees are a bit of a letting agent [problem], but renewals do benefit the landlord (by having secure income from rent) and tenant (security of tenure).

 

Options are to ignore request and hope nothing happens (might cause continued worry to your inlaws), ask for a longer tenancy next time (so the renewals happen less often), or try to bypass agent and talk direct to LL. Depends how important £41 is to your inlaws.

 

PS. on the face of it, it is *not* harassment.

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I'm looking for the legal situation. At the end of the fixed term six month shorthold tenancy does it goes onto periodic month to month?

 

Or can a LA insist on demanding a new tenancy agreement every 6 months?

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The answers to both your questions are yes.

 

But if the agent has served a valid Section 21 notice dated for the end of the 6 months then they have grounds for applying to the court for eviction if the tenant stays beyond the period specified in the notice.

 

If no notice has been served, the the periodic tenancy that ensues requires 2 rental months' notice by the agent.

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