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Vickers
11-10-2011, 16:35 PM
Hello all,

Have been an avid reader, but first post! Go easy on me!

I was under a assured shorthold tenancy for 6 months. Money was getting tight towards the end and so spoke to the landlord about it. Once the tenancy agreement came to an end the landlord made no effort to renew it, start a new agreement, or ask us to leave, or mention rent or anything.

We was there for a further 3 months until he sent through another tenancy agreement dated for the day it arrived and to start about a week after. He was raising the rent and it was another agreement for 6 months. Needless to say we couldnt afford it and so told him we was moving out.

Now 2 months later he has approached a seemingly bullying debt collection agency who are all over us claiming that he is owed rent for the period between the 2 tenancy agreements, we were living there but after our verbal agreement we thought he was helping us out.

So basically, my question is... even though we were living there he didnt attempt to collect rent or kick us out or even mention rent arrears, there was also no attempt to renew or make a new tenancy agreement until 2 weeks before we left. Is he able to go back on his word and now force us to pay the rent between the 2 formal tenancy agreements?

Help most appreciated as the debt collection company (wont name them here) are literally calling non stop.

MrJohnnyB
11-10-2011, 16:41 PM
Hello all,

Have been an avid reader, but first post! Go easy on me!

I was under a assured shorthold tenancy for 6 months. Money was getting tight towards the end and so spoke to the landlord about it. Once the tenancy agreement came to an end the landlord made no effort to renew it, start a new agreement, or ask us to leave, or mention rent or anything.

We was there for a further 3 months until he sent through another tenancy agreement dated for the day it arrived and to start about a week after. He was raising the rent and it was another agreement for 6 months. Needless to say we couldnt afford it and so told him we was moving out.

Now 2 months later he has approached a seemingly bullying debt collection agency who are all over us claiming that he is owed rent for the period between the 2 tenancy agreements, we were living there but after our verbal agreement we thought he was helping us out.

So basically, my question is... even though we were living there he didnt attempt to collect rent or kick us out or even mention rent arrears, there was also no attempt to renew or make a new tenancy agreement until 2 weeks before we left. Is he able to go back on his word and now force us to pay the rent between the 2 formal tenancy agreements?

Help most appreciated as the debt collection company (wont name them here) are literally calling non stop.

So you paid no rent for the period between agreements? You do realise that you're liable to pay rent at the old rate once the current tenancy has expired - it rolls onto a monthly contract on the same basic terms as the previous agreement.

Vickers
11-10-2011, 16:44 PM
So even if the landlord said dont worry about rent and then made no effort to renew / evict / mention arrears knowing that when we left he could go down the debt collection route and screw us anyways ?

midlandslandlord
11-10-2011, 17:08 PM
So even if the landlord said dont worry about rent and then made no effort to renew / evict / mention arrears knowing that when we left he could go down the debt collection route and screw us anyways ?

If neither party moves to end the Tenancy, then it did not finish. You talk of a verbal agreement, but don't describe that that was specifically agreed. If a written rental agreement can be shown to exist, and you cannot disprove it (eg tape recording of landlord saying 'this agreement is over' or a signed statement ending the agreement), then the tenancy continues.

So - yes - you are liable for rent unless you can prove that the rent was reduced or suspended, or the tenancy ended, by agreement.

However, your continued presence in the property demonstrates conclusively that the Tenancy was *not* ended !

I don't think you're being screwed.


Is he able to go back on his word and now force us to pay the rent between the 2 formal tenancy agreements?

There is no gap between 2 formal agreement, since the 'first' one never finished. Legally what happened is that you stopped paying the rent and he is now collecting.

Presumably he could go down the debt collection at any point when rent was owing, though it's an expensive and dramatic way to go about it without talking to you first.

I'd say talk to the phoneline for Shelter UK to have the legalities explained, as there are lots of possible outcomes here.

I'd also make sure you understand your agreement next time, though to be fair to you your LL sounds disorganised.

ML

Ericthelobster
11-10-2011, 17:10 PM
So even if the landlord said dont worry about rent and then made no effort to renew / evict / mention arrears knowing that when we left he could go down the debt collection route and screw us anyways ?Not sure what you mean by "don't worry about the rent" - are you saying he said "you don't need to pay me any rent at all any more" - really??

As you've been advised, once the fixed term of a tenancy (in your case, 6 months) is over, it automatically becomes a statutory periodic tenancy by default, with no need for any further contact from the landlord. From what you say it's apparent that the landlord didn't follow proper procedure when he tried to raise the rent; nevertheless you're still liable for rent at the original rate.

Vickers
11-10-2011, 17:23 PM
Unfortunately it was a down the pub "ahhhh dont worry about that" kind of thing. We did actually get on fairly well, just when I moved out we have this debt collection agency start after us.

Certainly the landlord didnt follow the procedure (any procedures at all...never took any deposit or anything...)

Like mentioned though, he obviously knew that the agreement rolls over and I didnt, guess he was a little more sinister than I expected.

mariner
12-10-2011, 03:24 AM
Taking a deposit isLLs decision/risk not reqd procedure.
IMO LL was not being sinister, no new rent could be enforced without
mutual agreement or
proper served notice or
you signing new AST with new rent specified
However LL is entitled to existing rent until T legally terminated
Unpaid rent is a debt for collection. Personally I would have gone for collection and a CCJ.

Ericthelobster
12-10-2011, 06:45 AM
he obviously knew that the agreement rolls over and I didnt, guess he was a little more sinister than I expected.Come on - are you seriously saying you thought you could simply live rent-free indefinitely, with no come back?

Presumably the debt-collectors were engaged after you'd made it clear to the landlord that you had no intention of paying the back rent - am I right?