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Dfects
10-10-2011, 09:37 AM
Hiya,

We're currently coming to the end of our 6 months fixed tenancy agreement. Our letting agent served us with a notice of possession when we initially signed our contracts.

We've been looking around at other places to rent as we're not very happy where we are but we've not found anything else yet.

We've just agreed over the phone to renew the contract for another 6 months, but we're not actually signing anything until the end of the month.

Does this mean we're still ok to keep looking, and give notice for one month any time before when we are set to sign the new contracts? I'm not sure if verbally agreeing to renew over the phone means we have to now :(

Any help appreciated!

LesleyAnne
10-10-2011, 10:03 AM
There is actually another option to renewing, as when your fixed term expires, you can allow it to become a periodic tenancy. All the terms and conditions from your fixed term apply, but you only need give 1 month's notice to leave, and your LL/LA still need to give you 2. Have you asked whether they will allow you to run onto a periodic tenancy (it is quite legal but LAs tend to gloss over it, as it prevents when charging a renewal fee for getting a new contract signed). Do you know the LL? If so, contact them direct and ask whether a periodic tenancy would be an option - letting agent will charge the LL to renew it too so it works both ways!

This would then give you the freedom to keep looking for alternative property, remove the need to either you or LL to pay anything, and you can leave with 1 month's notice when you find somehwere else.

Dfects
10-10-2011, 10:12 AM
Thank for you for your reply. I did ask about a rolling contract when I agreed to renew our contract, but I was informed this wasn't possible and when I probed further I was informed that I can sign another 6 month contract, then allow that to become a rolling contract after that? I wonder if its because they've already served us a notice of possession (section 21) when we initially signed?

I think I have an address for the landlord, but not a phone number. The property is managed by the letting agent.

LesleyAnne
10-10-2011, 10:34 AM
Periodic or rolling contract is a legal right - agents just want their money for renewing. See the post further down from Seventh, regarding signing a new contract. All the advice given there is applicable to your case.

Many agents issue an S21 shortly after tenancy starts just as a safeguard on the tenancy. It doesn't affect your right to a periodic tenancy, and is not infact a notice to quit. It just gives notice that they can seek possession after the tenancy term ends - doesn't mean they will! Infact, even if they do seek possession, they cannot get you to leave without a court order, and this can take a further 6-8 weeks minimum, so you won't be kicked out over night.

When does tenancy end? Have you got time to write a quick letter to the LL, explaining that you would like the flexibiliy of a periodic tenancy, after your 6 months ends, but LA is refusing to offer it. See what LL thinks - make sure you explain that it removes any need to pay a fee for renewal. Some LLs like the security of having tenant tied into the property, but some are just ignorant or naive and leave it all to theor money grabbing agents, who manipulate the system to their financial advantage!

Snorkerz
10-10-2011, 16:17 PM
Thank for you for your reply. I did ask about a rolling contract when I agreed to renew our contract, but I was informed this wasn't possible

Cobblers - Section 5 of the 1988 Housing Act says that if you are still in possession after the end of the fixed term without having a new contract then you gat a statutory periodic tenancy. This is exactly the same as your fixed term contract with the exception of notice.

The tenant must give one months notice to leave ending on the last day of a tenancy period.
The landlord must give at least 2 months notice before he may apply to the court for possession.
The 2 month notice has already been given, but that doesn't evict you (section 21 notice) - the landlord has to go through the hassle and expense of applying for a court order. If you are good tenants, why would he want to do that?

westminster
10-10-2011, 18:19 PM
The following assumes this is an assured shorthold tenancy in England/Wales.


We're currently coming to the end of our 6 months fixed tenancy agreement. Our letting agent served us with a notice of possession when we initially signed our contracts.
If you mean a s.21 notice, it is not a 'notice of possession'. Its only effect is to entitle the LL to apply for possession after the notice expires.

N.B. if the s.21 notice was served on you either before you moved in, or before any deposit you paid was protected and the prescribed information given to you, then the s.21 notice will be invalid, anyway.


We've just agreed over the phone to renew the contract for another 6 months, but we're not actually signing anything until the end of the month.

Does this mean we're still ok to keep looking, and give notice for one month any time before when we are set to sign the new contracts? I'm not sure if verbally agreeing to renew over the phone means we have to now :(

You don't have to give any notice to vacate at fixed term expiry. If you don't vacate and a statutory periodic tenancy subsequently arises, then you must give at least one month's notice, also expiring at the end of a tenancy period.

It is possible to verbally agree a contract - but I think you'd probably be okay in this situation if you write to the agent and say that you've discovered that what he told you isn't true, and that a statutory periodic tenancy *will* arise after fixed term expiry (if you're in occupation at fixed term expiry) - and you'd prefer to go with that.