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sammy07
11-02-2010, 09:34 AM
hi there, I have a prospective tenant who has moved several times due to landlords/landladies having to sell their house for different reasons. she is really cautious this time as doesn't want to move again after 6 months as she has little girl. wants a 12 month contract with myself and house I am letting. I can understand her concerns but I have just joined rla and can get tenancy agreements through this which are 6 month contracts. I don't really want to go to the expense of having to pay for a 12 month contract. was thinking of writing a letter to support the 6 month contract to say if both parities are happy I will let for 12 months rather than 6. has anyone else been in this situation and what did you do? I thought all contracts were 6 month anyway?

think she will be a good tenant so don't want to lose her.

any advice welcome.............

Snorkerz
11-02-2010, 09:41 AM
There is no difference between a 6 month and a 12 month AST other than the words "12 months" - presumably you can edit your RLA document? An AST can be for any length of time - although you need it to be a 'deed' if it is over 3 years.

Standard proceedure for new lets is 6 months - because you don't know how good a tenant she will be. However, if you are sure YOU want to be tied into 12 months, and she has brilliant references and credit check, then go for it.

Lawcruncher
11-02-2010, 09:53 AM
The only reason six months has become standard is because when ASTs were introduced that was the minimum term. Before then a year was the standard.

Perplexed
11-02-2010, 12:00 PM
I do 12 months with a break clause at six months.

Beware of what prospective tenants say when taking up a tenancy. Some people (though of course not all of them) will blame previous landlords for all sorts of things, and it isn't until much later that you find out the truth, namely, that T is a serial bad tenant, ripping off LL after LL.

If you issue a 12-month TA without a break clause you tie yourself to this T for a whole year, during which you cannot issue a S.21. I personally wouldn't do it.

If T breaches TA conditions it will be very difficult to get her out without a S.21, especially as she has a little girl and a judge would give her all the excuses in the world.

Cipher
11-02-2010, 12:50 PM
I agree with perplexed, issuing a 12month is no diff from a 6 month, ensure you have break clause.

sammy07
11-02-2010, 18:12 PM
hi there, how can I do a break clause with my current template? signed up to RLA and was going to use their tenancy agreement. any advice on this please?

thanks very much

Snorkerz
11-02-2010, 18:17 PM
hi there, how can I do a break clause with my current template? signed up to RLA and was going to use their tenancy agreement. any advice on this please?

thanks very much
Others will tell you how - but from tenants point of view, a 12 month with break clause offers no extra security than a 6 month.

mind the gap
11-02-2010, 21:07 PM
12 months is good, assuming T has been satisfactorily referenced and is a decent human being (as mothers usually are :))

If low/no income T, insist on a fully referenced/checked, UK based, home-owning guarantor.

GJMSurrey
11-02-2010, 21:21 PM
Maybe you can think about rent guarantee insurances, which is cheaper (per month) if you cover 12 month rather than a 6 month tenancy.

MR M
11-02-2010, 22:10 PM
At the commencement of a tenancy, I have never issued anything other than a 6 month AST. You can do checks and references etc till the cows come home but peoples cicumstances can change significantly within the space of six months, let alone tweve.

Issue a six month AST and then leave it on a rolling basis ie periodic ;)

mind the gap
11-02-2010, 22:20 PM
At the commencement of a tenancy, I have never issued anything other than a 6 month AST. You can do checks and references etc till the cows come home but peoples cicumstances can change significantly within the space of six months, let alone tweve.

Issue a six month AST and then leave it on a rolling basis ie periodic ;)

That does not address the needs of the tenant. Unless you have tenants beating a path to your door, it would be silly not to consider her request on principle.

Having carried out the usual checks and secured a guarantor, decide either to trust your tenant, or not. If you decide to trust her, give her a 12 month tenancy.

Perplexed
11-02-2010, 23:19 PM
You can do checks and references etc till the cows come home but peoples cicumstances can change significantly within the space of six months, let alone tweve.

That's very true.

Not to mention the fact that referencing will not pick up court claims until there is a judgment.

In fact, I know of at least one referencing/rental guarantee company which doesn't even check public records for CCJ's but only their own records. How useless is that??

bad housing
12-02-2010, 13:38 PM
Anybody facing the possibility of moving every 6 months would feel unsettled, let alone a mother with a child.

I would say trust her, let her settle with the 12 months contract, even if it costs you a little more to draw up.

Yes we know that both contracts roll on if everyone is happy, but as a tenant, it is the security of knowing you can definitely stay and get settled that helps. She will respect you more for trusting her, she is obviously moving weary!

With a 6 month contract you constantly have the worry in the back of your mind that in a few months you will have to move on.

Please have a heart.

Best wishes
Geraldine from the UK's Bad Housing Crisis blog

JK0
12-02-2010, 14:08 PM
Some good points made here. Could your tenant provide you with previous Landlords' details, so you can have a word to confirm what she says?

If the Landlord before her present one confirms she is a good tenant, go for the year's tenancy without worry.

(Her present Landlord may say anything to get rid of her!)

Ericthelobster
13-02-2010, 09:24 AM
At the commencement of a tenancy, I have never issued anything other than a 6 month AST. You can do checks and references etc till the cows come home but peoples cicumstances can change significantly within the space of six months, let alone tweve.

If you've properly referenced, then you aren't going to end up with a psycho who's going to trash the property or cause lots of grief. Agreed that circumstances can change, the big one being something like a relationship breakdown or loss of a job which could mean that the rent wasn't being paid. However, under those circumstances I'd be using S8, not S21, to repossess; so the 6 vs 12 month thing would be irrelevant.

That said, I've almost only ever done 6 month ASTs and will probably continue to do so.

matthew_henson
13-02-2010, 17:04 PM
Check with your lender if you have a mortgage, the maximum tenancy they usually accept as "authorised" is 12 months some even prefer 6 months. If a tenancy is unauthorised they will be able evict during the term if you default (although it takes a long time from intial arrears to actual repossession)