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Neuville
26-09-2006, 14:38 PM
Hi,

I am dealing with a landlord who has put some conditions into his tenancy agreement that I am not sure are legit or not. Unfortunately I am no expert on these things so I thought I would ask someone who was.

It is a Assured Short Tenancy that runs for 3 years until July 2009. It has a condition that says if the tenant moves out of the property without the consent of the landlord in writing then the landlord is entitled to immediately resume possession of the property. There is no intention to do this but can the landlord really just take over the flat straight away and stick someone else in?

It also says that any Housing Benefit must be paid direct to the landlord and if it isn't then "the tenant will be effectively terminating this lease and and the landlord will be entitled to immediately resume possession of the subject of let." Again can a landlord just turf someone out like that?

It says the "landlord is not liable for the replacement of broken windows, sink, washbasins, baths or lavatory basins" and that the tenant is responsible for replacing them whether the damage was caused by him or not. Is that right?

The last thing is about giving notice. It says that the tenant must give 4 weeks notice in writing by recorded delivery before leaving, which is fair enough I suppose. If I gave notice another way (by hand delivering a letter to his office or faxing it) would that work? Or is it a case of "it's not by recorded delivery, it doesn't count"?

Ta

Ericthelobster
26-09-2006, 14:49 PM
It has a condition that says if the tenant moves out of the property without the consent of the landlord in writing then the landlord is entitled to immediately resume possession of the property. There is no intention to do this but can the landlord really just take over the flat straight away and stick someone else in?Not sure what you're asking really - if the tenant moves out then what do you expect to happen to the property - it remains vacant with no rent being paid until the end of the tenancy?

As for all the other clauses, IMHO I reckon they're all legally unfair, ie not legit.

ATI
26-09-2006, 15:08 PM
hi
I am not an expert but the LL seems to be wrong here. he can ask what he wants but the law is clear.
when you hand the notice to him you could make him sign for it. email or fax is the same as a letter.

in regards to the clauses. have you signed anything? if you have not signed anything when you moved in he can not claim damages or withold the deposit.
in reg to Housing benefit
as long as the rent is paid who cares????? if he wants the HB paid directly to him let him but it does not guarrantee anything because you are the claimer and can suspend it or cancel it anytime.

but don't take my words for it wait for an expert

Neuville
26-09-2006, 17:37 PM
Not sure what you're asking really - if the tenant moves out then what do you expect to happen to the property - it remains vacant with no rent being paid until the end of the tenancy?


Sorry, what I mean is that the landlord wants to hold someone to the tenancy if they leave without notice right up until he finds a new tenant, at which point he just declares the tenancy over and sticks the new guy in. Having spoken to him he means the "immediately resume possession" part to be literally what it looks like - he declares "tenancy over, the house is mine, take a hike" as and when it is convenient.

It's just with all the other posts going on about serving notices and getting court orders to get a house back and so on, it sounded odd this guy could just declare the tenancy will run until whenever it suits him. :confused:


hi
I am not an expert but the LL seems to be wrong here. he can ask what he wants but the law is clear.
when you hand the notice to him you could make him sign for it. email or fax is the same as a letter.

in regards to the clauses. have you signed anything?

Tenancy has been signed and rent is up to date. Having asked around my concern is that the landlord is famously unavailable for when it comes to tenants needing repairs or wanting to give notice, and I don't want him to deny getting notice/say the method of notice is invalid so that he can charge me 3 years rent

Jennifer_M
26-09-2006, 18:08 PM
If a tenant leaves the property without the landlord's agreement before the end of the agreement (in your case July 2009), the tenant is still responsible for paying the rent until the landlord finds a suitable replacement or until the end of the agreement whichever comes first.
The tenant is also responsible for the cost of readvertising the property.

When you sign an AST it is a contract and you can't just walk away from it as you please.

For housing benefit the landlord can ask the council to be paid directly and if you are 8 weeks (i think?) late on your rent the council will pay it to him but otherwise it's for you to decide.
The landlord can't evict you before the end of the AST for this reason.

The landlord is responsible for repairs to everything you mentionned there unless you caused the damage (deliberately or by accident).
If anything needs repairing and it's not an emergency write to the landlord explaining what needs doing. Give him a reasonable amount of time to get back to you. If he doesn't do anything, write again giving him a ddelay to do the repairs or you will get 3 quotes yourself, get the repairs done and deduct the cost from your rent.
If it's an urgent problem, phone at first and follow up each call with a letter describing what you talked about (so you have proofs of what's been said).

Regarding notice you can send it by recorded delivery, hand delivered, posted with proof of posting etc.
Many landlords here post their notices with proof of postage (not recorded delivery) twice from different post offices so tenants can't claim it's been lost in the post TWICE.

RichieP
26-09-2006, 19:26 PM
Having spoken to him he means the "immediately resume possession" part to be literally what it looks like - he declares "tenancy over, the house is mine, take a hike" as and when it is convenient.

He can't do that. It's called illegal eviction. If you stick to the 'normal' rules of a tenancy agreement, you're pretty secure for the full term on the agreement, 3 years in your case.

As stated above, he can't evict you just because you don't pay HB directly to him. If it says he can in the tenancy, it's an unfair term.

welshgold
26-09-2006, 20:15 PM
Hi,


It is a Assured Short Tenancy that runs for 3 years until July 2009. It has a condition that says if the tenant moves out of the property without the consent of the landlord in writing then the landlord is entitled to immediately resume possession of the property. There is no intention to do this but can the landlord really just take over the flat straight away and stick someone else in?

Ta

well if the tenant moves out, whats the objection to landlord re letting it, unless of course you are inferring that the tenant, although moved out is still going to pay the rent.

Poppy
27-09-2006, 16:01 PM
Out of curiosity, why do you seek a three year tenancy? Have you considered a six month tenancy from which you can gauge the relationship with the landlord before committing yourself further?

Obviously alarm bells are ringing in your ears. Why are you ignoring that?

Ericthelobster
27-09-2006, 16:51 PM
Out of curiosity, why do you seek a three year tenancy? Have you considered a six month tenancy from which you can gauge the relationship with the landlord before committing yourself further?Well given that we're discussing a 3-year tenancy ending in July 2009, I fear it may be a little late for that! Agree that it seems to be an extraordinarily long AST.

Surrey
27-09-2006, 21:16 PM
The tenant should check through the tenancy agreement to see if there's a break clause in there. That would then make a lot of the other questions a bit superfluous.

Paul_f
29-09-2006, 11:04 AM
Hi,

I am dealing with a landlord who has put some conditions into his tenancy agreement that I am not sure are legit or not. Unfortunately I am no expert on these things so I thought I would ask someone who was.

It is a Assured Short Tenancy that runs for 3 years until July 2009. It has a condition that says if the tenant moves out of the property without the consent of the landlord in writing then the landlord is entitled to immediately resume possession of the property. There is no intention to do this but can the landlord really just take over the flat straight away and stick someone else in? This concerns abandonment procedure and if there is nothing stated in the AST as to what time factor (which has to be reasonable such as one month) will constitute the tenant abandoning the property then the landlord would have to get a court order first!

It also says that any Housing Benefit must be paid direct to the landlord and if it isn't then "the tenant will be effectively terminating this lease and and the landlord will be entitled to immediately resume possession of the subject of let." Again can a landlord just turf someone out like that? This is unenforceable and so can be safely ignored!

It says the "landlord is not liable for the replacement of broken windows, sink, washbasins, baths or lavatory basins" and that the tenant is responsible for replacing them whether the damage was caused by him or not. Is that right? The tenant can only be made responsible for any damage that was caused by either him or any visitors to the property; if something breaks through normal usage then the tenant should not be held responsible (hard to prove I know!)

The last thing is about giving notice. It says that the tenant must give 4 weeks notice in writing by recorded delivery before leaving, which is fair enough I suppose. If I gave notice another way (by hand delivering a letter to his office or faxing it) would that work? Or is it a case of "it's not by recorded delivery, it doesn't count"? The Law of Property Act 1925 S.196 should be included within the AST and state how Notices might be served by landlord and tenant respectively. It is fine to hand deliver any Notice if you don't want to send it recorded. Faxes are only acceptable if stated so in the tenancy agreement. The Notice to Quit a tenant must give is a minimum of one month, for a monthly tenancy, or that of any rental period such as one week for a weekly tenancy.

TaMost people know my opinion on the validity of break clauses and they have to have been separately negotiated to be of any effect.