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Rosewood
19-10-2009, 15:48 PM
Hello All,

I have a residential property that I have been renting out for the last few years.

My most recent tennants move in in July last year initially on an 6 month contract, they then advised me they were moving out after 6 months to then change their minds and request a 12 month contract lasting Jan 09 to Jan 10.

I downloaded an assured shorthold tennancy agreement form and requested the tennant sign the form which they did (although this was not witnessed signed) at the time we manually entered on the form that it was a 12 month agreement.

They have advise dme last week that they intend on moving out at the end of October (2 weeks notice) and have therefore breached the contract we had which was for 12 months. When challenged about this thier arguments is that no one witness signed the form so it was a pointless piece of paper.

Where do I stand in realtion to this on three counts

1) Have they breached contract i.e only stayed for 9 months of a 12 month contract
2) Is two weeks sufficient notice for them to move out
3) Is it a void contract due to not having had a witness sign the contract?

Would appreciate anyones advices on the above as been left in the lurch!!

Thanks people

jeffrey
19-10-2009, 15:54 PM
An AST does not need to be signed (nor even in writing). An oral AST is possible, although never a good idea.
1. Whether they (T1) stay or go is irrelevant. They are liable for rent until:
a. the fixed term expires; or
b. you accept their early departure and complete a letting to someone else- at that point, T2 becomes liable and T1 stops being liable.
2. No. They cannot give valid Notice at all, unless the AST so provided- and an oral AST did not!
3. No, it's valid nonetheless.

Did you obtain a Guarantor (G) for T1? If so, did G execute a Deed of Guarantee speciific to the most recent (oral) letting?

Rosewood
19-10-2009, 19:09 PM
:confused:
An AST does not need to be signed (nor even in writing). An oral AST is possible, although never a good idea.
1. Whether they (T1) stay or go is irrelevant. They are liable for rent until:
a. the fixed term expires; or
b. you accept their early departure and complete a letting to someone else- at that point, T2 becomes liable and T1 stops being liable.
2. No. They cannot give valid Notice at all, unless the AST so provided- and an oral AST did not!
3. No, it's valid nonetheless.

Did you obtain a Guarantor (G) for T1? If so, did G execute a Deed of Guarantee speciific to the most recent (oral) letting?

Thanks for your advices-

No Guarantor was obtained unfortunately.

Also-They are definately moving out at the end of the month however I need someone in the property asap, so I am looking for tenants, would it impact any claim if I was to rent the house again?

Furthermore, the deposit is tied up in a bond scheme do I refrain from releasing the bond due to breach of contract?

Who do i esclate my issues too....Citizens advice Bureau?

Again any advices gratefully recieved...

dominic
20-10-2009, 09:12 AM
Provided the AST allows you to use the deposit to cover unpaid rent, you can use it to pay for the rent until your new tenants move in.

Of course, your existing Ts may contest this through the TDS mediation service.

westminster
20-10-2009, 10:56 AM
Also-They are definately moving out at the end of the month however I need someone in the property asap, so I am looking for tenants, would it impact any claim if I was to rent the house again?
You can claim rent up to the date the new tenants start paying rent (or up to the end of the fixed term if you can't find new tenants). Make sure you get a forwarding address from the current T so you can issue a claim against them if necessary - are the Ts in work?


Furthermore, the deposit is tied up in a bond scheme do I refrain from releasing the bond due to breach of contract?
As dominic says, if the contract says you can use the deposit for rent arrears, then don't release the deposit to them. Also, look on the website of the deposit scheme; you'll see there is a adjudication service if T argues about any deductions.


Who do i esclate my issues too....Citizens advice Bureau?


No. Either the adjudication service of the scheme (prob. easiest if the deposit is enough to cover rent arrears) or you can issue a court claim against the T. You can do this online at https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/csmco2/index.jsp