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View Full Version : Fixed-term AST ends; dispute with L's Agents re date



waitingforgoulet
23-01-2009, 16:42 PM
Our fixed term AST contract is due to be up the 1st of February. We received a letter at the beginning of December from our LA asking if we wanted to renew. Eventhough we were unhappy with their services and parts of our flat were falling down, we decided we were too lazy to move and my husband sent them an email on the 5th of December asking "if it would be okay" to sign up for another 8 months. We received an email from the LA on the 15th of December that the LL was amenable to this but heard no more about it thereafter (no contract was prepared, sent, discussed, etc)

Then we got the quarterly electricity bill and it was through the roof-- this was because our freezer's seal was no longer functioning properly and we found out that the whole unit had to be replaced. We informed the LA of this shortly after we'd expressed interest in staying and we were told that the LL would be replacing it with a comparable model-- they even sent an agent out to inspect it and asked for a model number. We finally took delivery of a new fridge freezer on the 2nd of January(well over a fortnight after we informed the LA) and found that the new one was half the size of the old one making it necessary that we throw out half the food that was in our nearly full freezer. We called the LA right away to complain and that if this was not remedied, we'd have to move. This may seem draconian but we do our monthly shop all at once because we do not have a car and live quite far away from the town centre. Besides, we'd agreed to rent a place with a fridge freezer twice the size and the LL obviously didn't want to shell out the extra 40 pounds for a unit the same size as the old one.

Anyway, a week went by without any response so we started viewing flats. We found one on the 7th and gave the LA notice on the 8th of Jan. Then they told us we had to give them a full month's notice in keeping with the contract date and that we couldn't move out until the 2nd of March. When we challenged this, saying that we were not obligated to stay beyond our contract date and that there was nothing in the housing legislation to support their insistence, the LA changed their position and said the LL would agree to us moving out on the 8th of February which also made no sense to us. Why would we compromise our legal position by staying on after the expiry of our lease to subsidize their search for a tenant? When we asked again why this was so, the LA mentioned the email my husband had sent them before the whole debacle during which time the new contract had never been mentioned. There was no follow-through to speak of on the part of the LA but they had our "intent" in writing and they were due a full 30 days' notice because of this.

We received another email from the LA today stating that they have found a new tenant for the flat but that since their lease is not due to start until mid-february (this is most likely because the new tenant has seen the state of the incorrectly installed shower in the bathroom which is constantly falling down and the plaster that's cracked and swelled) we would definitely have to stay until the 8th and that the fees associated with this "overstay" would be deducted from our deposit. We're nice people if I do say so myself and have tried to avoid confrontation as much as we could but have only been met with bullying and implied (legal)threats in turn. We're considering just giving in and staying the extra week instead of waiting 40 days for the TDS to adjudicate because we're ignorant of the law and don't want to risk losing both time and effort, nevermind the money.

In short, is this "intent" legally binding? Should we stay (the extra week) or should we go?

Preston
23-01-2009, 19:07 PM
In short, is this "intent" legally binding? Should we stay (the extra week) or should we go?

Hi

Nothing you have said would be sufficient to imply a new fixed term contract. To be sure, it might be worth you giving more details of the letter you received and the email you sent in response, but subject to this, my advice would be that if you leave before the end of the fixed period you have nothing to worry about.

Preston

mind the gap
23-01-2009, 19:21 PM
OP : I'm intrigued to know who goulet is and why s/he hasn't turned up yet?

Your real name wouldn't be Vladimir, would it...?! Or Estragon? (That well-known contraceptive pill)

waitingforgoulet
18-02-2009, 15:25 PM
Hi

Nothing you have said would be sufficient to imply a new fixed term contract. To be sure, it might be worth you giving more details of the letter you received and the email you sent in response, but subject to this, my advice would be that if you leave before the end of the fixed period you have nothing to worry about.

Preston

Thanks for taking the time out to give us your advice, Preston. I'm sure if we had gone to court, or TDS with the case, they would've found in our favor. We were pressed for time and strapped for cash, though, so we ended up staying the extra 6 days as our LA demanded-- also because we kept getting told by ARLA, Shelter and our council that they wouldn't like to risk it if it were them. :rolleyes:

We've yet to hear back from our LA or the TDS about our deposit, so we're basically in a very iffy position atm where they can do what they please and we'll most likely have to take it lying down.

waitingforgoulet
18-02-2009, 15:54 PM
OP : I'm intrigued to know who goulet is and why s/he hasn't turned up yet?

Your real name wouldn't be Vladimir, would it...?! Or Estragon? (That well-known contraceptive pill)

No, my real name would be neither of those-- thankfully my parents didn't hate me that much. Well spotted, though!

The Goulet is in reference to Robert Goulet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Goulet#Popular_culture_references) the once-popular Canadian-American Grammy and Tony Award-winning entertainer who cuts quite the ridiculous figure and used to be lampooned to great comedic effect by Will Ferrell on the show Saturday Night Live.

That is not to say I find Will Ferrell funny.

jeffrey
18-02-2009, 16:06 PM
That is not to say I find Will Ferrell funny.
No, but then I don't know anyone who finds Will Ferrell funy.