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Assured Shorthold Tenancy/Landlord Issue


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In August last year, I signed a 12 month AST Tenancy that was set up through a letting agency but the Landlord has taken over things since that was set up and signed for.

 

In February, I asked the Landlord about extending the Tenancy and also so that should he ever require me to leave the property, I would have sufficient time to find alternative accommodation.

 

On 1st March, he inspected the property and was happy withe everything and we talked about a Tenancy extension. We verbally agreed that the Tenancy would be extended by 6 months as of August 2017 when the existing AST would expire and it would then run until February 2018, and that if he wanted to, he could give me two months notice in December 2017 to leave in February 2018.

 

We agreed we would do this without us signing a new agreement and without going back through the Letting Agency so no fee's would be involved. Also that the rent would stay the same and I wouldn't have to pay anything else or any extra's.

 

So this was all agreed verbally, I wrote down that day what we agreed to cover myself, I also relayed the information to my partner and a friend of mine, the Landlord stated he would send me an email confiriming everything in the near future, he never did.

 

I chased him several times and a few weeks ago, he was acting as if the agreement was never made, he now keeps stating he can give me two months notice next month should he wish to do so, also that anytime from the end of August, he could give me a months notice to leave.

 

Today he sent another email stating and I will quote the most important parts:

 

" When you speak to a solicitor he will tell you that, in the case of housing, verbal agreements aren't valid. This is to protect you.

 

 

Your AST expires on 23rd Aug. I can give notice on 23rd June for you to leave and so can you.

 

 

As I have already stated you can stay until 23rd Feb. However, under the Housing Act , your AST automatically reverts to a periodic tenancy . This means that as you pay your rent monthly the tenancy period is monthly- a rolling contract.

 

 

If you want a 6 month AST, then you can have this but you will have to pay for the AST to be drawn up and pay 6 months rent up front. If you cant pay 6months up front then I will accept a guarantor.

 

 

I am more than happy to talk to your solicitor, CAB or your housing officer if necessary"

So now he's stating that a verba agreement isn't legally binding, he's still acting as if this agreement wasn't made, but notice he does state that I can stay until 23rd February 2018.

 

But now he's stating about signing a new 6 month agreement and paying 6 months upfront or having a guarantor, when the agreement was made, it was made clear that the agreement was to be extended by 6 months and there would be no charges or anything to pay other than the existing rate of rent.

 

For some reason and I have no idea why but he is acting like the agreement wasn't made or is just trying to change the terms to get money out of me but regardless this needs to be resolved as I am a disabled person with several long term chronic health conditions and as I only know a handful of people where I am, I cannot be in a position where I only have a month's notice to leave and that was one of the main reason that I asked him round to sort out a Tenancy extension.

 

I did speak to CAB today who say I have a case and I have an appointment to see them in a couple of weeks time, however, I wanted some opinions on this from some of you if possible in the meantime.

 

Thank you.

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He's right when he says that anything not written down is just hearsay, however, as you have an ast, if you decided not to leave he would take him much longer than 2 months to evict you.

So don't worry about it.

If you have the cash or guarantor, you could let him win this one, but if you don't, he's truly stuffed.

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Thank you for your reply.

 

However, why is it hearsay? A verbal agreement regarding something like this is legally binding, even CAB seem to have an opinion that it is? Also in his latest email, isn't he basically admitting that a verbal agreement was made? Because he states that a verbal agreement isn't valid supposedly? He then states you can stay until February, isn't that enough proof that what I have said and what our agreement was is backed up by that email he sent?

 

I don't have the cash or a guarantor and none of that was mentioned when the agreement was made.

 

I won't be leaving, due to what has happened, if I do receive notice before December then he will have to take it through the Courts, it's not something I have done before and not something I want to do, but due to the circumstances, that's what I plan to do should he do so.

 

If he gives me 2 months notice in December to leave in February as agreed then that's no problem.

 

Thanks again.

Edited by wiltguy
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We agreed we would do this without us signing a new agreement and without going back through the Letting Agency so no fee's would be involved.

In the absence of any new agreement it automatically becomes a periodic tenancy and from what you've said this is what you agreed to.

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It seems to me that you have a sensible LL, who has advised you what happens after 23rd August : conversion to a periodic, rolling, tenancy.

 

They've also noted that at the moment you can stay until 23rd Feb, so it seems they have no plans (at present) to end your tenancy before then.

However, with the rolling tenancy, they could end the tenancy earlier (as could you!)

 

They've even noted they will agreed to a new 6 month AST, just that you'll have to pay for it (the rent & legal costs)

 

You seem to want to have your cake and eat it too : at the moment you have what sounds like a reasonable LL. if you behave as an unreasonable T, they may become less reasonable!

 

So, why not accept the rolling tenancy, don't rock the boat, and don't give them a reason to deviate from their intent : to have you as a tenant until 23rd February.

 

Sure, you want a further 6 month AST : they'll agree but you can't pay the costs associated.

 

All trying to insist on the 6 month AST (without paying!) will do is risk being served notice on 23rd June

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I'm not trying to rock the boat.

 

The whole point of agreeing the extension was so I knew when I'd be leaving and as a disabled person it would give me sufficient time to sort out somewhere else.

 

The issue is we agreed a 6 month extension. All of a sudden he's asking for payment upfront for the 6 months so he's trying to change the terms.

 

If I wanted a rolling periodic tenancy I could have just let the AST roll after August so you can see what I'm trying go say.

Edited by wiltguy
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Hearsay is "I said, he said..." Nothing written down.

In your case he wrote an email confirming what was said, but with conditions.

As pointed out, just leave things as they are and keep paying rent normally.

If he decides to evict you at short notice, let him take you to court so he can waste time and money.

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If I wanted a rolling periodic tenancy I could have just let the AST roll after August so you can see what I'm trying go say.

 

I see what you are trying to say: that you want a 6 month AST.

I just don't think you are going to get it on the terms you want (not paying any 'premium' / additional rent deposit, and not paying the legal costs involved).

If the LL doesn't offer you the 6 months AST on the terms you want: what are you going to do as a result?

A) Serve notice?

B) Tell the LL "if you serve me notice I'll not leave", or,

C) as advised, do / say nothing, don't rock the boat, and hope they stick with their current intent of having you as a T until 23rd February anyhow.

 

If you do the latter, you will likely be there until 23rd Feb and leave with a LL willing to give you a good reference : otherwise you'll likely be out before 23rd Feb (or even if you make it to 23rd Feb if LL doesn't get possession; are you expecting a positive reference?)

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the LL has advised you of what the law says about this and a verbal agreement cannor override this. They have offered you a rolling periodic tenancy and an agreement that it will run up until your preferred date so they are not being nasty but they ahve to consider what a court or council will think of it all if you leave and then wnat to be considered homeless.

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To be honest, it sounds like your landlord has got rid of the agent to save money, but then doesn't want the hassle of sorting out his own contract. Now he is being cautious in not committing to a 6-month tenancy without some security such as a guarantor or advance rent.

 

I think the landlord is wrong about the verbal contract bit. There is something in the Law of Property Act 1925 about oral contracts for land not being firm contracts, but I asked about it on a legal forum and they reckoned it didn't apply to tenancy contracts.

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Parol lease, S54(2) of The Law of Property Act 1925.

It definately applies to tenancies, since it specifically refers to parol leases.......

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Geo5/15-16/20/section/54

 

Was there offer & acceptance? Did the LL say it with intent to make an offer and thus intent to 'create legal relations'?

Is the rent "at the best rent which can be reasonably obtained without taking a fine"?

 

What (EXACTLY) did the LL say (if the OP wants to rely on this being a parol lease)

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I was thinking about 54(1) - there seems to be disagreement about its application - though reviewing opinions most people think it applies (so that you can back out of an oral contract).

 

However, clause 54(2) says you can't back out of the contract once the person has moved in (the lease is created "in possession").

 

If the agreement was to extend an existing tenancy, then an oral agreement may be fine as you are already "in possession".

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this is about acquiring an interest in the land, not a tenancy where the tenant has no interest nor will gain such interest. Basically not applicable to an AST. S52 (3) states that this deed MUST be in writing.

 

Of course 54(2) is about leases (by parol) since "Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this Part of this Act shall affect the creation by parol of leases", and that lease is an 'interest in land' .......

 

As for "this deed must be in writing" .... ahem. All deeds must be in writing!.

 

52(3) just says (regarding AST's) that AST's don't have to be as deeds, so they exist as equitable interests rather than legal interests in land ...... (so don't try and register them at the Land Registry as a legal interest ........)

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