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Advice About Ending Rental Agreement

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Hi everyone

I was hoping to get some advice- I have had a look around but I am unclear about rolling tenancies and what type of tenency we have.

We began renting our current house in Nov 2004. Initially this was done through an agency, and we signed a 6 month lease (in reality we signed and our landlady never got around to it). When this contract was up she realised that we were very reliable and was happy to deal with just us. We never signed anything in relation to this. The general idea was that we were waiting for some affordable housing to be built and she was intending to eventually sell. We did however get our deposit back at the end of the 6 months.

Throughout our time here, she has been very slack at sorting things out i.e. the downstairs toilet in the garage conversion has never flushed, we had two broken windows for the first year and a half and the heating kept cutting out, for which I had to organise a plumber and pay for myself, most of which she has not reinbursed, rather just said it was part of her deposit. The heating still cuts out and will not heat water properly. I never pushed things too much as we have pets and I was worried about her asking her to leave (paranoia I know but difficult to get rental properties around here with animals)

In October last year I wrote to her regarding all the things wrong with the house (about a 9 point list) and also asked for some level of agreement for how long we could stay in the house as we were trying for a baby and I wanted some idea of security. I also suggested that we arrange us giving her some form of deposit. She never wrote back to us.

We have had contact with her since as she had the windows replaced (for which I had to take 3 days off, and they left the house and gardnen in a real mess, and myself and husband have had to clear up). She said that she did write back, but I told her we never recieved the letter and suggested she send it again, for which we have not recieved it.

I am now pregnant and due to the recent death of my grandfather we are in the position to buy a property of our own (actually buying my grandparents home at a cheap rate but thats another matter). Whilst we havent an exact completion date, I am uncertain as to where we stand with handing in our notice. The bank need to get a reference from her re our rental payments so I need to contact her to advice her to let her know before they do.

What kind of notice do we have to give? are we on a rolling contract? The only thing that we ever mentioned to her about length of tenency (apart from my asking for some level of longer term agreement) was till the summer of 2006 where she said she would probably sell. I believe that part of the reason she never wanted to agree to a longer term contract was so that she had the option to ask us to leave should she want to sell asap.

I am feeling like she could turn funny with us, I just want to be prepared for what is right in terms of the law.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Ps sorry for waffling its a tendency of mine!!

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If you don't have a signed tenancy agreement, then the Fixed term will be invalid. However, this is unimportant,. As you have been paying rent, a tenancy will have been created. (a periodic tenancy)

If you pay monthly (period), you will need to give 1 months notice to leave (date dependent). The LL needs to give you 2 months notice

If you have proof of regular payment (bank statements, cheque stubs, rent book receipts) this can be presented to your future lender if the LL 'turns funny'.

Best to keep on the right side of the LL, as you have no real idea of when you are going to need to move out. Keep it amicable and hopefully will work out.

Good luck in your new property

Edited by Property Investor

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Thanks for your swift reply - from reading around on this site, I did think that what you said was the case, but its good to hear it from someone else.

Just to check do we need to give notice 1 month from when we pay rent i.e. we pay rent on 6th (although technically we moved in on the 5th) of the month.

I plan to give her a months notice as from the 'right' day in June, as if need be we can always move some of our furniture into our new house (given that its my grandmothes) and stay with friends or family if nec.

thanks again for your help

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Give her notice on or before the 5th of the month prior. eg give her notice on the 5th of June to leave on the 5th of July. You only have to give a minimum of a months notice, unlike the notice a landlord has to serve, there are no requirements regarding dates etc as long as the notice is at least one month and it expires at the end of a rental period.

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In fact.....there is some ambiguitity regarding this issue. It is possible that you could, in theory, pay her on the 5th of June, and give notice AT ANY POINT up until the 4th of July. This is because technically, with it being a statutory periodic tenancy, you have no obligation after the month you are currently in, and the housing act does not explicitly give any instructions regarding the requirements of notice by a tenant in this situation.

Read here for more information.


Point of note....I have only added this post for the sake of completeness, in your situation I would still give the months notice, as this avoids any potential arguments about specific points in law.

Edited by MrShed

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and the housing act does not explicitly give any instructions regarding the requirements of notice by a tenant in this situation.

There maybe no statute but common law kicks in, (according to Painsmith solicitors).

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