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Long term rental and shock! House is for sale?

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Hi everyone, the house we're in has gone up for sale without any notice :(

We've been here for 20 months, and signed a 12 month renewal on our contract in January 2010. We even went down to the branch and said we wanted to stay for a further 12 months, the manager said the landlady wanted us to stay for the next 12 months and we were hoping to buy the property next year when we can get a mortgage.


However the boiler broke, which we ended up having to pay to fix as the estate agent wouldn't call anyone out and we were without hot water for 7 days, and a tree fell down on top of the conservatory which needed to come down unless it was going to fall through the window with some strong winds or snow...


So the landlady has apparently "had enough" and put it up on the market.... I found this out by looking at house prices on rightmove 2 weeks ago, just browsing on a friday evening to get an idea of how much we'd probably be looking at forking out for it next year - and low and behold - it's up for sale and nobody has told us?


The estate agents then said they rang the lettings agency and we're apparently on a rolling monthly contract? Nobody had informed us of that - it looks like the landlady never signed the renewal forms despite the agents verbally telling us she wanted to stay. We did get a letter saying our tenancy was up (back in June) and we were on a rolling monthly contract, when I asked the estate agents what the letter meant they laughed and said it was an admin error?


My OH and I have done nothing but argue over the last 2 weeks, we're super stressed about the whole situation, we've got two young kids under 4 and our own business, and a dog - and we're struggling to find another house to rent, plus the unexpected costs of moving.


The lettings agency sent me a letter asking me to renew onto a 6/12 month contract last week, so I rang and said I was a little upset and explained the situation to them, and they actually said "the branch aren't allowed to do that", and they haven't even informed the head office that they've put it on the market.


I'm really considering taking the matter further, I feel completely victimised by the whole situation, I'm doing everything I can to find somewhere else, try to get a mortgage and get our home life settled again but it's not looking like it's going to be sorted anytime soon - the last thing I wanted before xmas was to be moving house.


I know we've not actually been evicted or had our notice through - but this whole scenario feels as good as, what if they get an offer tomorrow and we have to be out before xmas day? I really don't want to be carting the whole family back to my mothers... it's an hour drive from work, but if I can't get another house in time then i'll be left with no option :(


Do we realistically have a leg to stand on with regards to legal action? We were verbally assured that we had a 12 month contract and then had the house put on the market without any warning? The agent apparently rang up last thursday but couldn't get through... surely if that was true he'd have tried ringing again before going behind our backs like this? The lettings agency aren't too happy with him... It just feels completely unjustified, I don't feel safe and happy here anymore... and I dont know what else I can physically do to sort it out :(


Please help



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I cant see that you do.


Your security of tenure is not substantial here and I cannot see that any legal action (especially until any eviction notice if received) would be successful.


However, you certainly have my sympathies.


If you paid for the boiler to be repaired, you have no obligation to do so and I would be deducting the cost from the rent.

7 years in retail customer service


Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years


By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.


Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.


Please click the star if I have helped!!

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