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View Full Version : When AST ends, can T just leave or is notice required?



James6
16-10-2009, 13:58 PM
I have a few questions but the simplest first:

1) assume me and a housemate have an assured short hold tenancy of 12 months. It was due to end 6 Oct. Do we as tenants have to give notice or say we are not renewing the contract or can we just leave on that date?

I thought it was polite to say you were not renewing, maybe a month before (is there legal requirement?) but if not then the contract ends on the end date and that is it with no financial obligations.

More detail:
The agency have I think be a little dodgy in how we are exiting this agreement. I've been in the property 3 years and my flatmate 5 years. During my time I've improved the property (it was pretty run down when I moved in so redecorated ground and 1st floor but left 2nd floor where the housemate is) and did most of the cleaning.

We've renewed the contract twice before, first when the original contract run out, then it rolled for a few months before a new contact of a year was signed. This would have taken us up to the 6th Oct this month.

In signing this contract apparently the agency changed a few details which was not noticed till afterwards. Notability that they can give us 1 month notice to quit (instead of 2 I presume - is that legal?) and we have to give 2 months notice (-I need to check the contract on this fact though) but they are sticking to it..

The issue:
Apparently what happened was my house mate gave notice to quit a month and a half before the end of the contract as he no longer wanted to stay - i didn't know about it at the time - but at the beginning of Sep they gave me one month notice to quit which coincided with the end of my contract the 6th Oct.

That date has come and gone and I have left, but they are making my now ex housemate pay another 10 days until the 16th today £400 because his notice to quit needs to be 2 months. This doesn't make sense to me. Surely the End Of the Contract has come and he has no legal obligations to pay rent anymore?

It seems to me that a month and half is more than enough time to give notice to the agency that you are not renewing. Is there any requirement to give notice anyway?

The second issue is the agency told me on the phone the reason for giving notice to me is the landlord wants to renovate. And yet I found out this morning (when they did an inspection - my email confirmation siad the inspection would happen on the 6th but they have done it now on the 16th) they want to charge my ex house mate a cleaning bill.

Now he left his portion of the house in a pretty bad state but as noted it started in a pretty bad state in the first place, it certainly was at the time I arrived 3 years prior..should this matter though if they are to refurbish? Why pay for carpet cleaning if they are chucking the carpet out. Although now my house mate says they are not refurbishing. So it seems to me the agency was lying in the first place. Should he have to pay for cleaning?

The 3rd issue is, my ex house mate has a a deposit of about £1200 with the agency protected in some scheme. I gave him £300 when I moved in as a deposit, then went on contract with the agency a few (6 or so) months later.

Who owes me the deposit? I would say my ex housemate does as I gave the money to him and did not pay the agency direct. As i see it his deposit is wholly separate from mine - i assume it's all in his name to start with at the deposit scheme. And yet he is saying he won't give all of my deposit back if he does not get all of his from the agency. I don't see this as fair.

1) I'm not staying longer my contract ended the 6th and was ended by the agency and 2) I kept my share of the house clean and redecorated so I don't see that i should pay any cleaning if it comes down to it besides the fact they said they were renovating.

Where do I stand on this, rather urgent at present.

jeffrey
16-10-2009, 14:12 PM
1. When an AST's fixed term expires, either:
a. T vacates (no Notice from T is needed); or
b. T stays.

2. If T stays, either:
a. L grants new AST; or
b. old AST becomes a statutory periodic tenancy (SPT). See s.5(3) of Housing Act 1988.

3. If T wants to end SPT, T needs to serve written Notice to Quit. Assuming that rent is monthly in advance during fixed term AST, NtQ must end:
a. at least one month from date of service; and
b. at end of a tenancy period.

4. If two/three/four individuals comprise "T" and still reside, any one of them can serve NtQ (and bind the others) on that basis.

James6
16-10-2009, 14:23 PM
So NtQ is only used during the fixed period of an AST, but it's not required at all if we just want to leave at the end date?

We both actually vacated about a week before the 6th Oct and was just waiting for the contract to expire so it's an empty house.

So the agency asking my house mate to pay extra to the 16th pass the end of AST contract date of 6th is rubbish?

And the final issue - who do I get my deposit back from?

Thanks for the reply.

Edit: Sorry misread NtQ is used in SPT right. But really there was NO reason to give any notice to quit/not renew to the agency if we wanted to leave at the end of our contract?? So where are they getting that from?

jeffrey
16-10-2009, 14:31 PM
If T leaves before/on term expiry, whether or not NtQ or informal notification was given to L, T's liability ends on expiry date. Letting Agent is wrong.