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Being threatened with eviction


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I hope someone can help or clear something up for me with regard to a possible eviction being forced on me.

 

Basically the story goes that the owner of the property where I have lived for the last 4 years has changed letting agents. The new letting agents insited we sign a new tenancy agreement (for 6 months) which we did. This was a month ago. Since then he has been back to do an inventory on the house but on returning for me to sign he ommitted things from it. He returned 24 hours earlier than the next appointment which was certainly not convenient to me - he left my property none too happy, leaving my wife terrbily upset.

 

Anyway, I telephoned him to sort this out and agreed to let him back in later in the day. I also asked him what was happening with the burst shower, the tap in the bathroom that is not working and the spare wood left dumped in the garden after a new fence was recently erected. These things had all been reported prior to and after signing the contract!

 

I felt he was desperate only to have us sign an inventory form and had no consideration for our living standards. He eventually spat his dummy out and told us he would telephone the owner of the house and tell him to give us a 2 month possesion notice.

 

Since this new agent has taken over he has been constantly on our backs and we get the impression he wants us out so the rent can be increased for the new tenants which will in turn give him a better cut of the deal. This last part is just our thoughts of course.

 

Can anyone advise me on the situation? i.e. can a two month notice be given for no apparent reason after we signed the 6 month tenancy agreement?

 

I have read the sticky but unsure still.

 

Appreciate anyones help on this

 

Thanks

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Hi there.

I am pretty sure that whilst the old tenancy is still "live", the new tenancy would not be valid. You can't have two tenancies (unless you were asked to sign the new tenancy at the time of expiry of the old one).

It is important now to establish without a doubt what kind of tenancy you enjoy now- assured shorthold, periodic, assured etc. So we need to know when you renewed your tenancy last, have you got a contract and if so when does it expire, did you renew your tenancy regularly over last 4 years?

 

Next; during the fixed term of first 6 months of the tenancy you are untouchable.

The notice can be given on specified grounds only. Even then, when the notice expires, you do not have to move; the landlord has to get a court order to gain posession (even with the court order you don't have to move until landlord asks the court for enforcement order and employs bailiffs- this is a dicey game and would not be recommended normally as it is a bruising experience and the landlord would have a right to seek his costs from you- whilst not recommended this can be used as a negotiation tool as in: look, landlord, let's play nice because if not, it will take you at least 4-6 months to get me out, will cost you a ton and cause I am skint, you will lose your rental income & never see this money you spent on possession and enforcement orders again...)

 

Next- see if the agents belong to professional body like ARLA or NLA etc. Ask or google them. If they do, write and complain. But remember; your contract is with the landlord- whilst you can complain to the professional body about behaviour of the agents, do not forget to complain to the landlord first (about this but also about disrepairs, garden mess etc). Landlord is not going to be pleased that agents, whom he paid a significant sum (don't you worry, he paid them good money, it's not peanuts) are not doing a good job, harassing his tenant and may be ultimately a reason for breach of contract by disrupting your "quiet enjoyment" covenant.

 

Chew this over and tell us what you are going to do next.

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

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Thanks Joa for your reply - it is very much appreciated and your words have certainly put us at ease a little. We just feel there will be some clause in the contract that means he will be able to move us out and possibly on the grounds we have not yet signed an inventory.

 

With regard the contract itself - there is nothing specific on it to say what it is in the way of Assured etc. All I can say is that it is a new tenancy agreement with this new letting agent and it lasts for 6 months - he even made us pay £40 for the pleasure :eek: (we did sign this paperwork). The previous 4 years were a bit hit and miss. We originally signed a 6 month contract and it was never renewed - we just continued paying our rent and living in the property and as mentioned the landlord has now taken on a new agent who made us sign this new contract.

 

 

Another thing the agent did (on the Landlords approval apparently) was to put our rent up by £50 because we were unable to pay a dilapidation bond of £500! This was never paid on the first contract.

 

I hope I have given enough info. This is all a minefield to me and my wife to be honest so I really appreciate your advice.

 

Thanks

 

Edited: Under the Tenant Tarriff of Fees section the last one says "Failure to complete a fixed term tenancy whether or not the Landlord(s) has agreed to release you from the assured shorthold tenancy (£117.50)

 

So in this respect I presume it is an assured shorthold tenancy but I am not a 100% sure

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When one tenancy expires and another is created just by accepting a rent payment alone means the landlord or agent has created an Assured Shorthold tenancy. They must write a 2 month section 21 notice ( that must be signed) before they can start any legal action.

 

Very rarely do Landlords or agents take Court action because the majority are trying to make money not lose any. They heavily depend on people leaving during or just after the notice has expired. The only time the notice can be reduced is if you are in rent arrears of over 2 months rent and then they can write a two week notice.

 

If for any strange reason they would try to win a Possesion Order at Court the whole process would take another 2/3 months plus as you have done nothing wrong and they are clearly going to rent the property out again , you would have a good defence. However 99% of the time they do not want to take legal action.

 

The inventory has nothing to do with the actual tenancy because they are still taking rent payments from you regardless. I would keep a log though of everything they are doing and what contact they make etc. For your own peice of mind because they may attempt to make things up.

 

If you get chance call in at your local CAB or contact your local council because they will have people employed that are Homeless prevention officers and they will deal with the agent on you behalf.

 

For you repairs contact your local environmental health department because they have powers to enforce that repairs are done.

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Thank you Rossino - I am feeling better about this all the time. However still a little confused - are you saying that the Section 21 can still be issued during my 6 months contract meaning I may well have to leave?

 

Sorry if I sound like I don't have a clue but I don't :)

 

Appreciate your input though

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To continue with my saga I phoned the letting agent today to discover his next move. He has now told me that I am on fact on a periodic tenancy agreement because he has never signed his copy of the new 6 month tenancy agreement we signed in Feb 07.

 

However since then the rent went up first of all by £5 then because we could not pay a diliapadation bond it was put up another £50 so we have seen a total £55 hike in or rent since Feb but the agent says we are still under the contract of the previous letting agent.

 

I am now more confused than ever :? my rent has gone up yet I am still on an old contract which he says is periodic.

 

Is this right?

Is this legal?

Do they now owe me money back for the last two months?

 

I erally appreciate anyones help on this matter

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Have you signed any new agreement ?

 

If there is no written agreement then the tenancy is a periodic which is a pay as you go tenancy but they still have to give you reasonable notice.

 

I will try and find the rest out for you.

 

Unfortunetly a landlord can write a section 21 Notice at any time but if it went to court they would have to justify why. They don't have a case at court because the property is still going to be rented out again , the only reasons that would stand up with a Possession order are selling, anti social behaviour and rent arrears.

 

Alot of letting agents do try to pull a stunt like this saying there is no written agreement and creating a periodic.

 

I will find out more.

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