PDA

View Full Version : Renewing contract and 6 months tie-up



zirk
15-04-2010, 13:52 PM
Hi there,
My current 12 months contract as a tenant is due to expire in 2 months time, and my agency have contacted me asking wheter I want to renew the contract (plus 40 pounds fee) I then contacted the landlord directly saying I have nothing against the new contract but am not happy being tied up for fixed 6 months period as I was in the original contract. At the time, he said he was happy for the notice to continue being 2 months but after talking to agents he changed his mind and now saying he could potentially loose money if I decide to leave just after the contract has been renewed because he will be paying one month rent fee to the agency.
Is it normal for renewed contract to have a minimum period, the same like the initial contract. To me it doesn't make sense, being tied up for 6 months every year the contract is extended. I'm looking to buy a property and don't know when it will happen, so not having the long fixed term is important for me.
Also, he says he cannot give up the agency because the agency had found me and their contract stays valid as long as I'm a tenant.

Thanks for your thoughts

jeffrey
15-04-2010, 14:00 PM
There is no legal reason for a minimum length requirement on renewal. See s.5(5) of the Housing Act 1988.
If a fixed-term AST expires and L/T both want the letting to run-on, no action is necessary. As long as the premises remain T's only/main home, there arises a statutory periodic tenancy (SPT). If the fixed term was at a monthly rent, the SPT is too.

thesaint
15-04-2010, 14:02 PM
It is normal to have a fixed term for renewals(Usually 6 months), as the LL and agency don't want a tenant in a property that can leave with just a months notice.

If you were to find somewhere else to live, it would usually take around 3 months until you exchanged contracts anyway.
Tell the LL/Agency your position, and I would be surprised if they didn't alllow you to break the tenancy early as long as you gave them plenty of notice.

zirk
15-04-2010, 14:25 PM
Thanks for your answers.
The landlord didn't want SPT to arise, partly because of the agency involved, partly I guess because of his inexperience being the landlord.
I guess my two months notice specified in the contract is also a normal practise, albeith somewhat long.

Snorkerz
15-04-2010, 14:26 PM
It is normal to have a fixed term for renewals(Usually 6 months), as the LL and agency don't want a tenant in a property that can leave with just a months notice.

If you were to find somewhere else to live, it would usually take around 3 months until you exchanged contracts anyway.
Tell the LL/Agency your position, and I would be surprised if they didn't alllow you to break the tenancy early as long as you gave them plenty of notice.DO NOT DO THIS. You will be signing an agreement with the agency/landlord for the fixed term and will be liable for the full rent in law. "I would be suprised" is not going to stand up in court.

If you do not sign a new contract, your tenancy continues, as pointed out by Jeffrey. It will have all the terms and conditions of the original AST but the notice period will be 1 month from you, and 2 months from the landlord (both to end on the same day of the month as the preceeding AST).

This is very flexible for you - and, the landlord may not like it. In that case you have to accept the landlords right to give you notice at any time - subject to my last paragraph. If you want security of tenure - ie you don't want to be thrown out on a whim, then you have to make the same commitment the landlord is making by signing up for a fixed term. It doesn't have to be a 6 or 12 months, in law it can be just about any length - although it gets more complex over 36 months.

mind the gap
15-04-2010, 23:08 PM
I would be experiencing (and expressing!) some exasperation towards the letting agent at this point. It seems that he is the only one benefitting from the arrangement you are being pressured to accept. Tail wagging the dog?

I agree with Snorkerz - don't sign a new six month contract. Just let your current one become periodic.