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teo2k

Joint Ast And Section 21

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Hi all, I'm in a bit of a situation with my landlord and your help would be much appreciated.

I'm sharing a house with other 3 people and we are on a 1 year contract.

Our LL sent all of us an email 3 weeks to the expiration of the contract saying he want to meet us and discuss the end of our tenancy.

This was quite a shock to us as we always paid everything on time and never trashed the house, and we were sure to renew the lease. So we called him to understand what was his plan and his reply was even more cryptic as he said that he has not absolutely decided to end our tenancy, but he is seriously thinking about it.

I'm pretty sure he wants me out because from his perspective I "forced" him comply with the deposit insurance scheme and made him spend £30 for it. He now wants to change the rules and not take a deposit anymore but opt for cashing 2 months rent upfront.

I'm really fed up with having to fight with him every other month, I decided to move out (1 of my other flatmates as well)

As this was completely unexpected I need a bit of time to find a new place and 3 weeks are quite a short notice for that.

We have a joint contract and I found about the Section 21.

How does that apply in case only 2 of the housemates agree to renew the lease and the others want to leave?

Do we have to leave on the expiration date or we still have right to the 2 months notice?

Can I simply tell him I don't agree with the new terms of the contract and not sign it (becoming a periodic tenant until I find a new place)?

Thanks in advance to everyone!

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I'm pretty sure he wants me out because from his perspective I "forced" him comply with the deposit insurance scheme and made him spend £30 for it. He now wants to change the rules and not take a deposit anymore but opt for cashing 2 months rent upfront.

Afraid i dont have any answers on the rest, but i would be very surprised if the 2 months upfront wouldnt count as a deposit, as its current months rent + "what" and IMO the "what" part would legally constitute your deposit, unless he is saying you pay 2 months upfront and then pay nothing for 2 months which i bet wont be the case.

Obviously im not a lawyer so this is only my view, but as i say thats how i would read the situation

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@Rozza:

What he wants is getting 12 postdated cheques, he's going to cash 2 in the first month (as upfront rent), the 3rd on the 2nd month and so on. If we move out at the end of the tenancy he won't cash anything the last month otherwise he will ask for other 12 cheques. This sounds like a deposit to me as well.

@Planner:

We are all on the same contract

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Hi all, I'm in a bit of a situation with my landlord and your help would be much appreciated.

I'm sharing a house with other 3 people and we are on a 1 year contract.

Our LL sent all of us an email 3 weeks to the expiration of the contract saying he want to meet us and discuss the end of our tenancy.

This was quite a shock to us as we always paid everything on time and never trashed the house, and we were sure to renew the lease. So we called him to understand what was his plan and his reply was even more cryptic as he said that he has not absolutely decided to end our tenancy, but he is seriously thinking about it.

I'm pretty sure he wants me out because from his perspective I "forced" him comply with the deposit insurance scheme and made him spend £30 for it. He now wants to change the rules and not take a deposit anymore but opt for cashing 2 months rent upfront.

I'm really fed up with having to fight with him every other month, I decided to move out (1 of my other flatmates as well)

As this was completely unexpected I need a bit of time to find a new place and 3 weeks are quite a short notice for that.

We have a joint contract and I found about the Section 21.

How does that apply in case only 2 of the housemates agree to renew the lease and the others want to leave?

Do we have to leave on the expiration date or we still have right to the 2 months notice?

Can I simply tell him I don't agree with the new terms of the contract and not sign it (becoming a periodic tenant until I find a new place)?

Thanks in advance to everyone!

Your options are;

1) You all stay on and sign a new contract.

2) You all stay on and allow the contract to become periodic

3) You all move out

These are obviously the simple options, if one or more of you decides to move that’s where it becomes more complicated. If one or more of you decide to move out at the end of the 12 months, the other tenants most also move out OR they must sign a new fixed term contract, they cannot let a periodic tenancy arise if one or more of you are moving.

So if the remaining tenants want a periodic rather than a fixed term, you will be liable for rent up until the end of month 13 (assuming you serve the correct notice). Keep this in mind!

So to answer your question, if you want to leave and the other two want to stay you must leave on or before the end of the fixed term AND you must ensure that they sign a new fixed term agreement without your name.

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So if the remaining tenants want a periodic rather than a fixed term, you will be liable for rent up until the end of month 13 (assuming you serve the correct notice). Keep this in mind!

So, there is no way to have a sort of hybrid situation where 2 sign for a fixed term and the others have a periodic tenancy until they find some other place. Our contract does not have a break clause and they will sign up for a fixed term.

So to answer your question, if you want to leave and the other two want to stay you must leave on or before the end of the fixed term AND you must ensure that they sign a new fixed term agreement without your name.

ouch... this is not what I was hoping...

Thank you very much for your time

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Nasty option is to send a letter saying you're leaving in two months and refuse to pay any more rent (thus letting your deposit get used up as rent), and leave when you get a new place. It will cost him £2000 to take you to court (which he can't get back from you), so he'll just wait for you to go.

I'm not a lawyer, but that's what I'd do. I wouldn't trust any landlord to pay me back the deposit, whatever the law says; I'd always let the deposit be the last months rent. If you follow the law, the landlord just invents "damage" and keeps the deposit in practice. (This went on for years, and the government didn't care, because it's the landlords they favour. They only changed the law once tenants started squatting and refusing to pay rent, but they pretend the deposit scheme is for the tenants benefit. That's BS. It's just a new way of letting the landlord keep the deposit by calling it "damages" and trying to prevent the tenant defending himself by using the deposit as last month's rent. The reality is, IMO, it's too expensive for the landlord to take you to court, so just do it anyway).

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So, there is no way to have a sort of hybrid situation where 2 sign for a fixed term and the others have a periodic tenancy until they find some other place. Our contract does not have a break clause and they will sign up for a fixed term.

No, you will all need to be on a periodic or you will all need to be on a fixed term or you will all need to move out. Theres no inbetween legally, although you can always ask (makesure you get the response in writing).

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Nasty option is to send a letter saying you're leaving in two months and refuse to pay any more rent (thus letting your deposit get used up as rent), and leave when you get a new place. It will cost him £2000 to take you to court (which he can't get back from you), so he'll just wait for you to go.

I'm not a lawyer, but that's what I'd do. I wouldn't trust any landlord to pay me back the deposit, whatever the law says; I'd always let the deposit be the last months rent. If you follow the law, the landlord just invents "damage" and keeps the deposit in practice. (This went on for years, and the government didn't care, because it's the landlords they favour. They only changed the law once tenants started squatting and refusing to pay rent, but they pretend the deposit scheme is for the tenants benefit. That's BS. It's just a new way of letting the landlord keep the deposit by calling it "damages" and trying to prevent the tenant defending himself by using the deposit as last month's rent. The reality is, IMO, it's too expensive for the landlord to take you to court, so just do it anyway).

This is very bad advice, so I wouldn't recommend that anyone should follow it.

If he's a sensible landlord, he will have taken out legal expenses insurance, so the cost to him of taking a tenant to court is the cost of a phone call to his insurers.

At the same time, the tenant will potentially damage their chances of finding another landlord who is will to take them on as tenants. Would you house someone who'd refused to pay the due rent?

The various deposit schemes were put in place to protect tenants from unscrupulous landlords who, in the past, would act in the way you've described. With the schemes now in place, it it much more difficult for those sorts of landlords. I don't know if you've ever used one of the schemes, but basically at the end of the tenancy, both parties have to agree to the disbursement of the deposit. In most cases, the whole of the deposit will be returned to the tenant provided that the property is returned to the landlord in the same condition that it was in at the start of the tenancy.

In the event that there are agreed damages or dilapidations, then both parties must agree about the return of the deposit.

If neither party agrees, then - dependent on which deposit scheme is used - an independent arbitration scheme comes into play and the onus is on the landlord and/or letting agent to prove their case. In real life, it appears that the arbitration scheme errs on the side of tenants, not landlords.

As far as the original poster is concerned, the landlord is normally obliged to give you two months notice of his intention to terminate your tenancy. This two months must be served before the rent due date. OK, so what this means is that if your rent due date is the 15th of the month and your tenancy ends in July, then the landlord should have served you a Section 21 notice before the 15th May.

However, as a tenant you're usually only obliged to give the landlord one months notice to quit - there are occassions when you don't need to give any notice, but that's too complicated to go into now.

I'd suggest that you explain the requirement for the notice to your landlord, give him your months notice and that you all leave the property at the end of that period. If there are two people who want to continue their tenancy, then the easist way would be for them to start a new AST starting from the day after your existing tenancy ends.

I'm not a solicitor or anything like that, so this advice is worth exactly how much you paid for it.

Ged

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@Rozza:

What he wants is getting 12 postdated cheques, he's going to cash 2 in the first month (as upfront rent), the 3rd on the 2nd month and so on.

As postdated cheques have no legal force there is nothing to stop him cashing them all on day one. This will obviously muck everybody up.

Don't agree to it, it's too risky

tim

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I'd suggest that you explain the requirement for the notice to your landlord, give him your months notice and that you all leave the property at the end of that period. If there are two people who want to continue their tenancy, then the easist way would be for them to start a new AST starting from the day after your existing tenancy ends.

Ah ah... I've known him for 2 years, it would be like talking to a wall....

There's no breaking clause in the contract, so I guess I could leave at the end of it without notice.

The point is the contract expires on the 31st July and he told us all he wants to change rules just last Wednesday.

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This is very bad advice, so I wouldn't recommend that anyone should follow it.

If he's a sensible landlord, he will have taken out legal expenses insurance, so the cost to him of taking a tenant to court is the cost of a phone call to his insurers.

If he was a sensible landlord he would have complied with the deposit "rules without being forced.

So, I think that we can safely conclude that he isn't a "sensible landlord.

tim

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Ah ah... I've known him for 2 years, it would be like talking to a wall....

There's no breaking clause in the contract, so I guess I could leave at the end of it without notice.

The point is the contract expires on the 31st July and he told us all he wants to change rules just last Wednesday.

He can't just tell you at that late stage, there's a process that he's legally obliged to go through.

Go to your local CAB or Housing Advice place and explain to them what's going on. At the very least, someone somewhere will be looking at this landlord very closely if you make a formal complaint.

Ged

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I'm not clear from reading the thread - has he served a section 21 yet ? If so, what was the date on it ?

Edit: Very good advice from Ged BTW. The CAB are the right people to take advice from, regarding your situation

Edited by narrowescape

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so I guess I could leave at the end of it without notice.

The point is the contract expires on the 31st July

Remmeber you must ALL leave on or before the end OR the remaining tenants must sign a new contract otherwise you will still be liable for rent!

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I'm not clear from reading the thread - has he served a section 21 yet ? If so, what was the date on it ?

Edit: Very good advice from Ged BTW. The CAB are the right people to take advice from, regarding your situation

I'll make a summary:

- We are all on the same AST

- 3 week to the end of the contract LL said he's thinking to ask us to leave (but he's not sure)

- He didn't serve a Section 21

- He wants to change the contract (I think to avoid paying for the deposit insurance which I forced him to take)

- For their own good reasons 2 of my housemates decided they'll stay if we don't find a place suitable to all of us and he decide to let them renew the lease.

It would have been a lot simpler if he just said he wants us out, so that S.21 would have kicked in, but he left things really vague. The point is how to apply S.21 to only part of the tenants.

I was looking for a possible solution to buy some time to look for a new place and avoid too much hassle to my other flatmates.

That guy is a nightmare and owns I don't know how many properties in the area, my other flatmate went to see another place and guess who owned it?

I'll meet him tomorrow evening to find out what he really wants to do and I'll go to a CAB to get some advices.

Thanks everyone

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I'll make a summary:

- We are all on the same AST

- 3 week to the end of the contract LL said he's thinking to ask us to leave (but he's not sure)

- He didn't serve a Section 21

- He wants to change the contract (I think to avoid paying for the deposit insurance which I forced him to take)

- For their own good reasons 2 of my housemates decided they'll stay if we don't find a place suitable to all of us and he decide to let them renew the lease.

It would have been a lot simpler if he just said he wants us out, so that S.21 would have kicked in, but he left things really vague. The point is how to apply S.21 to only part of the tenants.

I was looking for a possible solution to buy some time to look for a new place and avoid too much hassle to my other flatmates.

That guy is a nightmare and owns I don't know how many properties in the area, my other flatmate went to see another place and guess who owned it?

I'll meet him tomorrow evening to find out what he really wants to do and I'll go to a CAB to get some advices.

Thanks everyone

Since there is no section 21, you all have two months from the date he serves one (which must be a rent date) before you are all required to leave. He can't do anything to get rid of you until then so if you want to find else somewhere as a group you've got at least 2 months from the next rental date to find somewhere.

Not sure what would happen if your mates signed a new contract without you so a trip to the CAB is definitely advisable

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All this to save 30GBP on the cost of the deposit holding scheme?

At best he is a time waster (30GBP is worth the inconvenience to all of you?) ... at worst he is trying to squeeze something extra onto your risk profile ...?

He owns the property and gets the rent ... what more doe he want? The ability to toss you all out fast if he gets 'a quick sale' ...? Why should he demand post dated cheques of all of you? Surely that is *higher* risk for him? [i am not suggesting you do this but the risk to him of this is:] You give him the postdated cheques and then cancel them all ...?

Does he not want the hassle of having more than 1 or 2 name son the tenancy agreement? Does he want the premium of the rental income from a number of individuals over the rental he would get if he rented the property out to an individual (or married couple) without any of the additional effort?

I wouldn't be surprised if I have missed something here ... but he does seem dodgy. The system works for everyone else, why not your LL?

I know the chaos to your life of moving is significant ... but get out while the going is good? The rental market is (arguably) favouring tenants at the minute ... no?

Aidanapword

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