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Rollover Contract?

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Hello,

A friend of mine has a sixth month rental contract, due to end in 3 months time. He has been told by the EA that the AST can't transform into a rolling contract, and that he will have to pay renewal fees for another 6 month AST, or move out. He has been served with a section 21 notice.

He would prefer to shift to a rolling contract, but the EA claims they won't offer a rolling contract.

Is there not some legal requirement for EA's to offer rolling contracts?

Thanks in advance.

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Hello,

A friend of mine has a sixth month rental contract, due to end in 3 months time. He has been told by the EA that the AST can't transform into a rolling contract, and that he will have to pay renewal fees for another 6 month AST, or move out. He has been served with a section 21 notice.

He would prefer to shift to a rolling contract, but the EA claims they won't offer a rolling contract.

Is there not some legal requirement for EA's to offer rolling contracts?

Thanks in advance.

I am a lawyer, so you can check this out: There is provision in law for an ASSURED SHORTHOLD CONTRACT to become a periodic assured shorthold automatically. It does this by neither side doing anything and the rent being accepted after the fixed term has expired.

Unfortunately, as rental agencies want to charge fees every 6 months to tenants and Landlords, they are trying to cause a 'rollover' periodic tenancy to be unavailable. That is why they start saying things which are plainly untrue. They have deliberately served a S21 notice to circumvent the legislation's purpose. A periodic AST still gives the right for LL to serve 2 months notice and the T one months notice. If your friend is being offered a new tenancy, then that is tantamount to the admission the S21 notice is nothing but a device for the agent to collect fees. I would ask for a copy of the LL written instruction to serve him with a S21 notice. Query why it was done if a new tenancy is being offered. It cannot be just to put up the rent either, as that can be done by other notice within the same Tenancy.

What we need is a brave T to refuse to sign a new agreement in these circs, then refuse to move out in response to the S21 notice stating it is a sham - and offer to pay the rent each month (keeping it for later payment if refused by the agent). If brought to Court, then all correspondence and answers to the Q's I pose should be made available to the Court. If the Court decided the S21 Notice was a sham and device to justify fees, then it would be the case that a periodic Tenancy had been created under the legislation. The Agent may not be acting on the LL instructions, strictly speaking, and probably only interested in their fee. That's why u have heard about regulating these agencies - they do need to make some money to be there atall of course! Lots of T's are very time consuming and tiresome. Lot's of LL's do nothing to maintain premises. Your friend should take his own legal advice as this is just a website.

Edited by plummet expert

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Hello,

A friend of mine has a sixth month rental contract, due to end in 3 months time. He has been told by the EA that the AST can't transform into a rolling contract, and that he will have to pay renewal fees for another 6 month AST, or move out. He has been served with a section 21 notice.

He would prefer to shift to a rolling contract, but the EA claims they won't offer a rolling contract.

Is there not some legal requirement for EA's to offer rolling contracts?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by plummet expert

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Is there not some legal requirement for EA's to offer rolling contracts?

There's no requirement to "offer" a rolling contract. It's what happens at the end of a tenancy if nothing else happens (the other alternatives being moving out or signing a new contract).

It sounds like the agent is just after the fees: the landlord likely knows nothing about it. I would contact the landlord directly and say you're happy to stay on but not to pay the renewal fees. (assuming this is true) If he wants you to stay on he can rescind the S21 or pay the renewal fees on your behalf.

Every year is bad enough. There's no way i'd pay renewal fees every 6 months.

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Question: is there anyone from TPTB (like an ombudsman or Trading Standards) who might take an interest? If the agent is bullying your friend, chances are they're doing it to other tenants too.

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Hello,

A friend of mine has a sixth month rental contract, due to end in 3 months time. He has been told by the EA that the AST can't transform into a rolling contract, and that he will have to pay renewal fees for another 6 month AST, or move out. He has been served with a section 21 notice.

He would prefer to shift to a rolling contract, but the EA claims they won't offer a rolling contract.

Is there not some legal requirement for EA's to offer rolling contracts?

Thanks in advance.

I seem to remember reading that a Tenant must be informed of the Deposit Protection before the Section 21 Notice can be served(issued).

If your friend got the section 21 notice before the details of the Deposit protection then my understanding ( I am not a lawyer ) is that the section 21 notice is void, which means that technically the landlord has not officially asked them to move out.

If the section21 notice is valid then (ie: S21 arrived after (or with) the Deposit Protection details) then the landlord has officially asked them to move out.

In this case your friend can do one of a number of things.

(1) Confuse the Landlord and EA by, after mentioning wanting a statutory periodic tenancy, staying silent and then actually moving out on the last day of the AST /day the S21 notice "expires". Phone the Agent that day asking when they will be round to do the checkout inspection. Take lots of photo's of the place to prove the state it was left in as the EA is unlikely to have anyone lined up to do the check out!! This will probably result in the property being empty for some time so the Landlord and EA will have the financial penalty of a void for not treating your friend in a sensible decent manner.

(2) Enter into written negotiation with the Landlord *and* Agent stating the preference is to move to a Statutory Periodic and that the Landlord agrees to void the S21 notice. The landlord may consider that a new AST gives them more security, in which case your friend should suggest that if the landlord insists on a new AST that the landlord should bear the costs of preparing and signing the contract.

If this works out then your friend gets to stay there and not pay further "signing" fees!

(3) Of course the LANDLORD may insist on a new AST and not wave/pay for the signing fees. In which case an Statutory periodic will still come into effect if your friend stays and continues to pay rent (and the rent is accepted). However your friend will then be living under the threat of court action to evict them... Although there may be various other notices that have to be served before things can go to court... Your friend would have to investigate that!

Anyway hopefully someone more knowledgeable will chip in.

As always CAB and Shelter and Lawyers and other can give your friend proper advice, I can't as I am not a Lawyer!

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(1) Confuse the Landlord and EA by, after mentioning wanting a statutory periodic tenancy, staying silent and then actually moving out on the last day of the AST /day the S21 notice "expires". Phone the Agent that day asking when they will be round to do the checkout inspection. Take lots of photo's of the place to prove the state it was left in as the EA is unlikely to have anyone lined up to do the check out!! This will probably result in the property being empty for some time so the Landlord and EA will have the financial penalty of a void for not treating your friend in a sensible decent manner.

I did something like this with one of my previous rentals. Emailed the agent 2 days before the six month AST was up and asked them to collect the keys. I think I'd previously indicated we were interested in staying a few years (which the agent agreed would be possible) - but since they section 21ed us, I figured I had no choice.

The agent surprised to say the least - but I cited compliance with the section 21.

Section 21ing tenants at the beginning of a tenancy needs to be stamped out in my opinion.

Edited by StainlessSteelCat

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Hello,

Thanks for all the replies, really appreciated. My friend now has some ideas for how to proceed.

I will add that the Landlord definitely didn't know anything about the S21 being served, as he never instructed the EA to do so. Also, my friend hasn't recieved the TDS cert yet.

Thanks

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I am a lawyer, so you can check this out: There is provision in law for an ASSURED SHORTHOLD CONTRACT to become a periodic assured shorthold automatically. It does this by neither side doing anything and the rent being accepted after the fixed term has expired.

Unfortunately, as rental agencies want to charge fees every 6 months to tenants and Landlords, they are trying to cause a 'rollover' periodic tenancy to be unavailable. That is why they start saying things which are plainly untrue. They have deliberately served a S21 notice to circumvent the legislation's purpose. A periodic AST still gives the right for LL to serve 2 months notice and the T one months notice. If your friend is being offered a new tenancy, then that is tantamount to the admission the S21 notice is nothing but a device for the agent to collect fees. I would ask for a copy of the LL written instruction to serve him with a S21 notice. Query why it was done if a new tenancy is being offered. It cannot be just to put up the rent either, as that can be done by other notice within the same Tenancy.

What we need is a brave T to refuse to sign a new agreement in these circs, then refuse to move out in response to the S21 notice stating it is a sham - and offer to pay the rent each month (keeping it for later payment if refused by the agent). If brought to Court, then all correspondence and answers to the Q's I pose should be made available to the Court. If the Court decided the S21 Notice was a sham and device to justify fees, then it would be the case that a periodic Tenancy had been created under the legislation. The Agent may not be acting on the LL instructions, strictly speaking, and probably only interested in their fee. That's why u have heard about regulating these agencies - they do need to make some money to be there atall of course! Lots of T's are very time consuming and tiresome. Lot's of LL's do nothing to maintain premises. Your friend should take his own legal advice as this is just a website.

Thanks for the reply, looks like a trip to the solicitor may be in order to check this out further!

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Hello,

Thanks for all the replies, really appreciated. My friend now has some ideas for how to proceed.

I will add that the Landlord definitely didn't know anything about the S21 being served, as he never instructed the EA to do so. Also, my friend hasn't recieved the TDS cert yet.

Thanks

No TDS Cert after 3 months... That is long over due, if I remember correctly, and the Landlord can be taken to task for this!!

No Deposit Cert probably means the S21 is invalid.

Oh dear this EA seems to be doing the landlord no favours!

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Thanks for the reply, looks like a trip to the solicitor may be in order to check this out further!

That's ok. If the LL did not instruct for the S21 notice to be served (as I now understand is the case) then IMO it is a sham and for deriving fees only. Your friend should refuse to pay the the agent and offer the rent as usual - if refused ask for the address of LL or his bank details to pay it direct - tee hee!

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Section 21ing tenants at the beginning of a tenancy needs to be stamped out in my opinion.

Section 21 should be stamped out altogether:

  • There is separate (rarely-used) provision to give notice to a tenant in the landlord's own home (the going away for a few months/couple of years scenario).

  • Section 8 serves (and could perhaps be beefed up) for landlords to get rid of delinquent tenants.

  • A professional landlord wishing to sell should expect to do so with the tenant in place, if the tenant wants to stay.

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