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brightonandy
19-10-2011, 12:33 PM
Hi all,


If a new AST has been issued to the tenants (their previous fixed term has expired) and they have signed it, but the landlord has not, and it has not been executed (by writing the date by hand on the front page), would it still be deemed to be binding?

The tenants have had the AST, and signed, but now the landlord does not want to commit to a fixed term and wishes them to remain periodic.

The commencement date of the new AST which was issued has now passed, and the tenants have paid rent.

Thanks!

Snorkerz
19-10-2011, 13:34 PM
Well at least, the tenants now have a Statutory Periodic Tenancy as per section 5 of the 1988 Housing Act.

I believe the contract is not valid if not signed by the landlord, but it's mere existence could be taken as indication of an oral contract. If the landlord seeks possession, I would serve (or re-serve) a section 21 notice that complies with section 21(4)(a) but expect the claim to be subject to a hearing whilst the judge decides who to believe. I think it would help the landlords case if they wrote to the tenant stating that they have decided to withdraw the offer of a contract for this period and that the tenants now have an SPT. It may help pacify the tenant if the LL includes in the letter details of the flexibility this decision gives them.

Paul_f
19-10-2011, 13:44 PM
I would say there is no binding new fixed term tenancy as the one signed by the landlord is the 'lawful' one and the other just the counterpart.

jjlandlord
19-10-2011, 14:05 PM
ASTs for less than 3 years need not be in writing.
So I believe that the legal experts among us would say that the argument is whether this written document records the term of an oral contract or is the contract itself.

As written agreement was provided by LL to T, and LL did not apparently say anything before the start date, imo, it is very arguable that the contract has been formed even without LL's signature on document.
Outcome would probably also depend on additional written communication parties can produce.

Paul_f
19-10-2011, 17:09 PM
It would be most unusual to rely on an oral contract to follow on, considering a written one is already in place?

westminster
19-10-2011, 19:28 PM
As written agreement was provided by LL to T, and LL did not apparently say anything before the start date, imo, it is very arguable that the contract has been formed even without LL's signature on document.
Outcome would probably also depend on additional written communication parties can produce.
I agree. Unless it was made clear to the T that the contract wouldn't take effect without the LL executing the contract, this isn't a black and white situation. It's something which could only be decided by a court which had viewed all the evidence, in the event of a dispute.