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Dorkins

New Ast Agreement To Sign

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I just have been given a new AST agreement to sign for a 1 bedroom flat we are moving into at the end of the month. The landlord is one of those people who keeps the old flat every time they move and rents it out. Unsurprisingly, he doesn't seem to know the law that well.

As far as I can tell, there are two major problems with this contract:

1. The address he has provided for the Tenant to serve notices to the Landlord is not in the UK. He is moving to another EU country and has given his address there.

2. He has not mentioned the tenancy deposit scheme, so I don't believe he is intending to protect the deposit. He may not even know that this is a legal requirement.

I'm not anticipating any major problems as we are only renting the place for 4 months (with prior agreement of the landlord, this is written into the contract) but I would be curious to know if other HPCers agree with my assessment of the contract.

Edited by Dorkins

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2. He has not mentioned the tenancy deposit scheme, so I don't believe he is intending to protect the deposit. He may not even know that this is a legal requirement.

Won't he get a juicy fine if he fails to protect your deposit? Might be worth NOT mentioning it to him.

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I just have been given a new AST agreement to sign for a 1 bedroom flat we are moving into at the end of the month. The landlord is one of those people who keeps the old flat every time they move and rents it out. Unsurprisingly, he doesn't seem to know the law that well.

As far as I can tell, there are two major problems with this contract:

1. The address he has provided for the Tenant to serve notices to the Landlord is not in the UK. He is moving to another EU country and has given his address there.

This is a big problem for the landlord. Until he supplies you with a UK address where you can serve notice no rent is due (Section 48 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987)

IE You're free to withhold your rent. However as soon as he DOES give you a UK address then the back rent is due.

2. He has not mentioned the tenancy deposit scheme, so I don't believe he is intending to protect the deposit. He may not even know that this is a legal requirement.

Not sure there is a requirement to put this in the AST. Once he does take the deposit though he's got 14 days to give you all the details.

The landlord could really get himself in a pickle here. He could find himself unable to get any rent off you. And also unable to evict you with a section 21 as the deposit isn't protected.

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Won't he get a juicy fine if he fails to protect your deposit? Might be worth NOT mentioning it to him.

Yes, but I don't want to go down that road. If there is a dispute about the deposit, I'd have to go to via the courts instead of the tenancy deposit scheme which seems like much more hassle.

I decided to email him a reminder about the tenancy deposit schemes and he replied saying he'd contact me as soon as it was protected. I'm not convinced he knew he's supposed to do this, but anyway he definitely knows now.

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Won't he get a juicy fine if he fails to protect your deposit? Might be worth NOT mentioning it to him.

Also, you can't be evicted if the deposit has not been protected.

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I would hold back on telling them they are leaving themselves open to problems in case you need that ammunition in the future. If he is a bad landlord and invades your privacy during the tenancy or refuses to help with problems or at the end of the tenancy tries to make unreasonable deductions you have something to fight them with. If they are decent I would not use that ammunition, but to give it back before you start is unwise in my opinion.

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This is a big problem for the landlord. Until he supplies you with a UK address where you can serve notice no rent is due (Section 48 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987)

IE You're free to withhold your rent. However as soon as he DOES give you a UK address then the back rent is due.

Thanks, that's interesting, I knew it was a problem but I didn't know it meant rent wasn't due. Needless to say, I intend to pay the rent anyway.

Not sure there is a requirement to put this in the AST. Once he does take the deposit though he's got 14 days to give you all the details.

I'm sure you're right that it doesn't have to be in the AST, but the landlord has already had the deposit for more than 14 days and has not protected it, provided any information or even mentioned deposit protection so I can only assume he wasn't going to protect it, probably out of ignorance.

Edited by Dorkins

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I would hold back on telling them they are leaving themselves open to problems in case you need that ammunition in the future. If he is a bad landlord and invades your privacy during the tenancy or refuses to help with problems or at the end of the tenancy tries to make unreasonable deductions you have something to fight them with. If they are decent I would not use that ammunition, but to give it back before you start is unwise in my opinion.

I understand this argument and was tempted at first to keep my mouth shut about the deposit, but I've decided I'd rather get everything as it should be and use this as a positive opportunity to educate a landlord about his legal responsibilities.

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Thanks, that's interesting, I knew it was a problem but I didn't know it meant rent wasn't due. Needless to say, I intend to pay the rent anyway.

Yes, but on the other foot, unless your tenancy agreement has an address in England and Wales (or has otherwise been provided to you) where do you write to if you want to serve notices on the landlord?

I might pay the first month, but then pay no more (but put it somewhere - DON'T spend it) until an address is provided.

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7 weeks after paying the deposit and we still have not received the prescribed information from our new landlord. I assume he has not protected the deposit yet and am continuing to chase him up about it.

Meanwhile, our old landlady has not returned our deposit from the previous place. It has been 15 days since that tenancy expired so she is 5 days over the time limit. Tomorrow I will start chasing her too.

UK landlords and letting agents are an unprofessional shower of sh1te.

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I understand this argument and was tempted at first to keep my mouth shut about the deposit, but I've decided I'd rather get everything as it should be and use this as a positive opportunity to educate a landlord about his legal responsibilities.

7 weeks after paying the deposit and we still have not received the prescribed information from our new landlord. I assume he has not protected the deposit yet and am continuing to chase him up about it.

Meanwhile, our old landlady has not returned our deposit from the previous place. It has been 15 days since that tenancy expired so she is 5 days over the time limit. Tomorrow I will start chasing her too.

UK landlords and letting agents are an unprofessional shower of sh1te.

You'll learn :D

Treat them all like scum, seriously. Because thats what they are.

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