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Tenancy Renewal


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So it's that time of year again where the letting agent hounds me to sign a new tenancy agreement and, more importantly for them, get their hands on £100 for the privilege of me signing away my right to submit 1 months notice instead of 2.

I've lived in the place for 5 years now and have reluctantly agreed to pay this in the past as I needed the stability and just wanted them to go away, however I'm not prepared to pay this year and would like more flexibility as there's re-org talks at work which might result in me leaving my job in favour of somewhere abroad.

The question is: what's the best tactic for going about this? Should i keep ignoring their emails/calls or should I say that i want to exercise my right to slip into a periodic tenancy? When I've floated this idea to them in the past they've said that: "This is not in the landlord's interests and they have a right to issue a Section 21 if I don't comply".

These particular LAs are really nasty pieces of work and, as they're in London, think that there is a never-ending supply of tenants to take my place. The landlord lives abroad but the porter in my block is in contact with her, so i had considered speaking to her directly, or at least saying I would do this to the LA.

Thanks in advance!

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You didn't say how long you still have on your contract or how long you have been ignoring them for. As far as I know, if they don't give you notice before your contract is due to end you will automatically go into into a periodic tenancy, which means they then have to give 2 months notice. I have always thought that 2 months is penalty of time to get my affairs in order and prefer it to a contract which seems to be only for the landlords benefit. Talking directly with the landlord seems to be the best move, just to make them aware of your position and the pressure that the LA is putting you under.

However, If you are under a month to the end of your current contract, ignoring them seems like a reasonable thing to do! (Does anyone know of any possible downsides with this action?)

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Thanks for the replies.

My contract is up on 16th November so, technically, they're a little late this year and will probably not be able to get me out until December 16th with the 2 month minimum notice against a rent day that the LA/landlord must serve. They have in the past, rather stupidly, let on that they would not be comfortable with having to remove me at Christmas as this could result in a void for the landlord while trying to find new tenants. How thoughtful of them!

I've been ignoring them for about 3 weeks from their first renewal query. They normally begin hassling me in July or early August after the yearly flat inspection and typically the inspection and renewal query happen in the same week, but this year there was a 1 month - 6 weeks gap separating the 2 events.

Part of me thinks that they wouldn't bother with the trouble of booting me out just to get an extra £100, but another part of me thinks that as the person contacting me is 'Manager of Renewals' (yes, they have this title in their sig) that they will not accept anything that isn't a renewal, as this would be deemed as a failure on their negotiating ability. If it was any other negotiation i'd walk away but it's hard to remain strong when they have the power to cause such upheaval.

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For me the best tactic has been to ignore them and if that is impossible i.e. they door step you, then tell them you are thinking about it but don't get into a discussion or explain. Don't return their calls or answer emails or letters.

Esp don't give any hint that there could be a change at work or any circumstances and that everything is fine but you are just "busy". Don't put it in writing.

I found when dealing with an awful individual at Foxton's that some enjoy being able to threaten and intimidate tenants. The best way I could find to stop this happening was not to engage i.e. not get into an argument.

When I tried to reason with them initially it resulted in more shouting at me on the phone. I just stopped talking to them and ignored their threats by phone call and letter.

They get money from a renewal I have a mental image of the unhinged person who liked to shout at me reporting to someone else similar at a regular meeting.

In my case I eventually did contact the LL direct and it all turned out very well. They had no idea Foxton's was threatening me.

Edited by Flopsy
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For me, my (successful) tactic was to point out exactly what you have just said here. Say that you're not used to paying for things which don't benefit you, the benefit is entirely on the side of the landlord and if he is prepared to pick up the full fee, then you are happy.

Also, if you don't know the landlord's address, it might be worth paying the land registry to get it - £3. You can then write to them. Remember the landlord will be paying too, and he may not even realise he has another option.

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