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RaddaBoutYeeee

Am I A Tenant?

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Hi all. New member but i've read many posts and now need some advice. Here goes.

2 years ago myself and now fiancée moved into a semi-detached house in Northern Ireland. Its a lovely house and we take care of it as our own. Rent paid on time every month from our joint account and in 24 months I have met the landlord about 4 times (first viewing; to fix the washing machine and twice to unblock the loo). Basically we dont give him hassle and he doesnt give us hassle. Anyways we are now engaged and have decided to either a) look for a new house at cheaper rent or b. ask the landlord for a rent reduction - all to save for the wedding.

When we moved in the LL sat at the kitchen table and wrote out our details on a lease, we paid a months rent in advance and a deposit, and he left it with us to sign - we signed it but he never called round to collect it and we didnt have his address to post it. This wasnt done underhand or anything on our part - it just turned out this way. So our initial 12 month lease turned into 2 years even though we dont really have a lease anymore......

So, just wondering where we stand in all this? Can we ask for a rent reduction on somewhere that we dont have a lease on? Are we even classed as tenants? Are we covered by tenants rights incase something major happens? He still has our hefty deposit (proof of receipt on the original lease which we still have). We literally have no hassle with the LL so I dont really want to open any possible can of worms but would just like to know where i stand legally etc.

Thanks for reading

Edited by RaddaBoutYeeee

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Hi all. New member but i've read many posts and now need some advice. Here goes.

2 years ago myself and now fiancée moved into a semi-detached house in Northern Ireland. Its a lovely house and we take care of it as our own. Rent paid on time every month from our joint account and in 24 months I have met the landlord about 4 times (first viewing; to fix the washing machine and twice to unblock the loo). Basically we dont give him hassle and he doesnt give us hassle. Anyways we are now engaged and have decided to either a) look for a new house at cheaper rent or b. ask the landlord for a rent reduction - all to save for the wedding.

When we moved in the LL sat at the kitchen table and wrote out our details on a lease, we paid a months rent in advance and a deposit, and he left it with us to sign - we signed it but he never called round to collect it and we didnt have his address to post it. This wasnt done underhand or anything on our part - it just turned out this way. So our initial 12 month lease turned into 2 years even though we dont really have a lease anymore......

So, just wondering where we stand in all this? Can we ask for a rent reduction on somewhere that we dont have a lease on? Are we even classed as tenants? Are we covered by tenants rights incase something major happens? He still has our hefty deposit (proof of receipt on the original lease which we still have). We literally have no hassle with the LL so I dont really want to open any possible can of worms but would just like to know where i stand legally etc.

Thanks for reading

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Please bear in mind I'm not a lawyer but I'll give you my opinions based on personal experience.

"Are we even classed as tenants?"

If you started the arrangement with some sort of contract and have used the property while paying for the privilege then I'm sure you're a tenant in the eyes of the law. In my last place, the letting agency didn't renew the tenancy after the first year which left me wondering what was going on. I enquired and the agent advised me that the tenancy would just roll on with two months notice to quit by me or them as far as they were concerned. Another local letting agent confirmed that was their policy as well. The absence of up to date paperwork probably isn't a big deal.

"Are we covered by tenants rights incase something major happens?"

Well yes but tenants rights are pretty limited in reality. It sounds as if your current landlord has treated you well - that's a relationship I would strive to maintain.

"Can we ask for a rent reduction on somewhere that we dont have a lease on?"

Of course you can ask but realistically that sort of question has to be phrased rather delicately. I don't think the absence of paperwork really matters here. It's a question of your relationship with what sounds like a good landlord and what you're prepared to do if he declines to lower the rent. In the worst case, if your landlord takes offence, are you ready to find a new place at this time of the year? At least in summer, looking for new digs is easier.

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Hi. Yes he signed and dated the lease and proof of deposit. The inventory is blank though - there was only really a few lamps and a kitchen table here when we moved in anyway.

I would class the 'relationship' with him as very good so I definately do not want to give him the impression I am stirring up a pot - just wanting to know where I stand really.

I suppose if he was offended by our request for lower rent we would just have to get on with things - but then if we did find another lower rent house how easy would it be for him to fill the house again at this time of year....

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NI has different laws than E&W but I doubt that the general principle is the same.

In E&W that is: an undocumented tenancy will ALWAYS defaut to the type (from the set which is legally available) which is most advantageous to the tenant.

A LL letting a property to someone (i.e. accepting rent from somebody) without completing the documentation is only making their own problems.

tim

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You have a good relationship with the landlord, why not just be straightforward and honest - "We are getting married and need to save money. We like living here, but we think we need either for the rent reduced or we will need to move to a cheaper property." See how it goes from there.

As an aside, have rents been dropping your area or are they about the same as last year? A lot of your strategy must depend on the local rental market. A tenant moving out can be expensive for both the landlord and the tenant, wjhich on the one hand gives you a decent bargaining position as a reliable tenant. On the other hand, how much are you going to save per annum by moving? Is that going to cover the cost of moving and all the associated hassle, especially as you may not get a good landlord next time and may have to move again.

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Just an update

Have spoken to the LL as suggested above. Told him our situation with regards trying to cut our outgoings to save for our wedding etc and he's said to leave it with him so he can think about it and work out his costs etc too.

I dont know what he will come back and say but at least he didnt tell me to clear off I suppose.

What was lucky on my part was the very day I spoke to him 2 properties on the same small, cul de sac street came up for rent on local sites and the rent on them was £50 and £90 less than what im currently paying - so I was able to use these as examples of direct comparisions (mind you the one @ £90 less a month looks like a tip but no matter it was useful info to have).

I suppose when he calls round again with his decision I can let him know that even if he gives us £50 off the rent over one year that works out at £600 and if we were to leave tomorrow (we have no lease really remember) it could take him over a month to fill the house again especially in this weather/time of year (who has deposit money, rent in advance lying around at Crimbo) so he could end up further out of pocket in reality.

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Hi again - need some advice please.

Took the LL 6 weeks to do his sums and get back to us with a figure he was ok with. He's text today and given us £30 a month reduction which I am ok with.

Can anyone tell me the legal position I stand in if I accept the reduction. Am I then verbally committing to a new lease or would I still be on a rolling contract at the lower rent and have the option to give 1 months notice if we find something similar and cheaper in the next few weeks?

Thanks

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Hi again - need some advice please.

Took the LL 6 weeks to do his sums and get back to us with a figure he was ok with. He's text today and given us £30 a month reduction which I am ok with.

Can anyone tell me the legal position I stand in if I accept the reduction. Am I then verbally committing to a new lease or would I still be on a rolling contract at the lower rent and have the option to give 1 months notice if we find something similar and cheaper in the next few weeks?

Thanks

A change in rent does not, on its own, create a new fixed term

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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