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stripes
27-12-2011, 14:43 PM
I have a sneaking suspicion that my ll has beaten me to it regarding advice on section 21 notice an contract in a previous post that mirrors circumstances. if this is the case the whole thing is surely floored? and she is very much in the wrong but a really need help in knowing what steps to take... bear with me...
i moved in to a house with three children under 5 with my (then) husband in oct 2008. he signed an ast on 4th oct, which the rentdue date was quickly changed to 16th and difference paid. please note... only he signed the contract.

when the tenancy began it was agreed, although not in writing that work would be done to replace the lean-to adjoining the back of the property and was to be completed the summer of 2009. this was not done.

my husband then left me and three children for a new life sept 2009. no new contract was drawn up for me.

after repeatedly informing her the structure was unsafe she came round with my permission to fix it while I was out. a temorary measure she called it, until it was to be rebuilt. it was evident after a few months of rain that she had fixed the leaks in the plastic roofing with duct tape! I might add my washing machine, fridgefreezer and tumble dryer are used in this 'room' and water runs off a light fitting af many other areas in to air vents under the house. I informed her again earlier this year that wood was completely rotten and glass had fallen out. she acquired a builders number... a man that I actually know... to quote for a brand new conservatory as there it was granted that LL could extend property. however when the quote was received she contacted him straight away saying 'I dont have that kind of money my only option is to sell' he offered her other solutions... second hand structure at £1800 but she wasn't having any of it. she contacted me saying it must be removed completely and the fridge freezer etc where to be put into a bedroom. I asked her if fencing was to be put in for safety as it would leave 4ft drop. LL was not willing to pay for this either. I asked her why she asked for quotes when infact she could afford nothing, she has away of saying a lot but not answering direct questions. in fact she said the house was under threat as part of her divorce settlement and her ex husbands bankruptcy and infect she would have to sell. I informed her I needed to know ASAP as I needed to find accommodation for myself and children. she then issued me with a S21 notice.

I have found a property and am paid up to 16th January and believed I could leave on that date as it was paid up and during the notice period itself. however she says this is not correct I must stay and pay up to the stated date. I tried to counter serve my own notice but she said it was not received on the end date of a rental period of one month there for I could only hand my notice in on 16th January mean g I would have to pay a fuether one months rent. I can not rent two houses and pay for fuebishment of new property as it comes completely bare as a new build council property.

there is no GSC! my name is not on contact! she did not carry out agreed work! and an electrical socket was fixed by her and her husband... who to my knowledge has no safety certificates. her argument to the builder that quoted reapairs for the outside structure was 'if she wants a child friendly house she can find one' therefore surely it is not legal to rent such a property in the first place, surely I am not liable for further rent if I and not anywhere stated in the contract signed 3 years 3 months ago, it is illegal not to have GSC, and also illegal to have work on gas/ electrics by an uncertified person. I want to leave and don't believe I have to pay further... please help

boletus
27-12-2011, 15:09 PM
Is there a deposit?

stripes
27-12-2011, 15:16 PM
no the LL didn't ask for a deposit. so it can't be kept it I go as a penalty

mariner
27-12-2011, 16:18 PM
Assuming rent is payable monthly, your tenancy period starts on 4th of month (AST/T started 4 Oct. Your NTQ should be served (received) by 3rd of month and cannot expire until after the end of the following tenancy period. In your case the change of rent due date is confusing the LL.

How and when did you give Notice? 1st Class post? date posted? any Cert of Posting?

stripes
27-12-2011, 16:47 PM
thank you for your help so far, the original sign contract was a pay monthly agreement. I unfortunately.have not informed LL via post as yet only as I only found out I could move on Saturday so I, as I said I would keep her upto date, informed her I get the keys foe the new house on the third, so I thought as it doesn't state in S21 notice that a tenant must stay the entire period of the notice. that's when she said via text I was legally contracted to pay rent up to the 16th febuary and can not leave. so I txt bk saying I would serve counter notice from that day, the 24th and would pay the difference within 14 days of leaving as I states I can do that. however she says I am not able to serve notice to quit mid way through a tenancy. I thunk it's ridiculous that all of a sudden everything has to be in her mind legal when absolutely nothing concerning the upkeep or tenancy is!! I understand a text is a stupid way to to and fro but on Xmas eve the last thing I want to hear us that I have to pay a further £700 plus all cost for new property. she has recieved £27,300 in rent for this property since we moved in, why must £700 become such an issue when she has done nothing to ensure safety of the property especially with the small children living in it!

stripes
27-12-2011, 16:51 PM
plus I am not in contract so am I obliged to live by a contract someone else signed and their name was never removed and no new one assigned to me?

Snorkerz
27-12-2011, 20:38 PM
How do you know that the original tenant has not given notice to the landlord?

Faisel Balti
27-12-2011, 20:48 PM
Just a suggestion -
why not move into the new property and tell the present landlady that you'll come round first thing the following week to sort everything out (DON'T promise any payment - nothing else - just say nicely 'you'll sort things out'). Don't try arguing it out now.
Then don't go back. If you hear any more from her you can just say 'sorry, there's no contract between us - try suing me. I'll have a word with the Environmental Health regarding the gas and other issues, I'll also speak to the Inland Revenue as well as the police for harrassment'.

The reason for not suggesting a more legally backed approach is that between now and Saturday I doubt whether anything can be done that doesn't involve expense and nobody will be back at work anyway!
From a legal point of view would, or could, the rental payments be considered as mesne profits and therefore it might follow that there may not be a contract between LL and T? She would be able to leave at any time without penalty - true or false?
FB

mariner
27-12-2011, 23:05 PM
If OP has paid rent direct to LL after ex-hubby moved out and LL accepted it then a new Contract could have been created with current T on date this rent was offered/accepted.
If a contract exists then T is resp for rent & property until T is legally terminated, nothing to do with expiry date on s21. LL can always AGREE to accept an earlier surrender date within fixed term of AST.

stripes
28-12-2011, 00:22 AM
mariner do you mean that by a person paying monthly to live in a property it automatically creates a tenancy even though nothing is drawn up or signed and even if the signatory on the lease has left. the signatory/ named T never surrendered the T, I know this as he told me.

does the fact that the LL has not stuck to the contract by not keeping upto date with GSC and maintenance, causing safety problems mean, as I reasonably can say that it is not safe to live in therefor for safety reason I can legally leave the property as a matter of urgency?

would you also explain the term 'mesne' to me, sorry for my lack o knowledge!

alexgreen
28-12-2011, 12:35 PM
An answer to one of my previous posts suggested that where the space available has been decreased, one could expect the rent to be also decreased, possibly proportionally (this was in an HMO though).

If the lean to is no longer available, then could the OP ask for the proportionate amount of rent back from the time the LL required her to stop using the lean to until now. This may well cancel out any amount of extra rent the LL wants.

stripes
28-12-2011, 20:25 PM
thank you Alex green I understand your point exactly and tried discussing this with her however she said basically the rent is cheap in comparison to similar properties in our area... even if that were true they are not dangerous properties. all I want is out of this house for a safer environment for myself and children are there are any grounds in which I can leave... or as no renewed contract with my name- can I just leave?

mind the gap
28-12-2011, 22:24 PM
Yes, by paying rent after the initial AST ended then you have accepted a tenancy.

Snorkerz
28-12-2011, 22:37 PM
If OP has paid rent direct to LL after ex-hubby moved out and LL accepted it then a new Contract could have been created with current T on date this rent was offered/accepted.Not so unless the previous tenancy has been surrendered by the tenant.

Edit: Just read MTGs post - sorry, I have to disagree. I had kept away from this thread (and the parallel one) as it had confused me, but I now think that if stripes walks out when they want then it will be the original tenant (her ex) who gets it in the neck. That may not be fair, and I am sure ex will seek to recover anything he ends up being forced to pay the landlord, but I am pretty convinced the landlord has no claim against stripes.

stripes
28-12-2011, 22:47 PM
Not so unless the previous tenancy has been surrendered by the tenant.

no tenancy surrender ever occurred... in that case it be fantastic news! therefore... I dont have the contract with her and can leave... even without going into the subject of unsafe housing and the LL not fulfilling her duties... infact she is not MY LL but the signatories LL...!

I see snookerz edit... and hear what you are saying but as a woman left with three children as her husband fancied being eighteen again with a 24 yr old work collegue and getting her pregnant but I ask nothing out of our divorce the least he can do is help the children have safe secure accommodation and for once take responsibility ... sorry personal circumstances nothing to do with this im frustrated but for once I can stick up for myself and say this is not on... i dont mean to sound like ' a woman scorened' but I have always been one for a quiet life but unfortunately I literally can't afford the £700 on top of new house rent a quiet life will cost.

mariner
28-12-2011, 23:29 PM
"mariner do you mean that by a person paying monthly to live in a property it automatically creates a tenancy even though nothing is drawn up or signed and even if the signatory on the lease has left. the signatory/ named T never surrendered the T, I know this as he told me."

No, I did not mean that!

From your posts, LL can claim the orig T still exists with your ex, with no need for wife to sign. For this T it commenced on the 4th, the tenancy period (1 month) is set by rent frequency (monthly) and not by rent due date, so any Notices should relate to the 4th not 16th.
Your ex could argue his T ceased by 'force of Law' if LL was aware you had split up and she accepted continuing rent in your name. Hence a new legal min 6 month unwritten AST was created with your first solo rent payment (16th). In this case any Notices would have to relate to 16th of month.

If you have not served written NTQ, you should do so by 3 Jan, allowing 3 working days for service by 1st class post and your T will end at expiry of next T period 15 Feb latest as LL appears to be accepting the 16th as 'rent day' for Notice.

As for 'lean to' it's removal has not prevented your exclusive use from any part of the demised property and may have been removed for your safety.
What did you use it for? What is your quantifiable loss? Would you pay £1/wk extra in rent to have similar erected if it had not existed?
Suggest you serve Notice by 3 Jan. You can move at anytime before 3 Feb (pref not more then 3 wks before) but you will remain liable for rent & property until 3 Feb 12 unless you want to argue your case in Court.

stripes
28-12-2011, 23:47 PM
it's ridiculous, I'm told her ex husbands bankrupt... she takes mortgage on paying £1700 PCM, charges £700 to live in the property, says she cant afford the maintenance or indeed the mortgage and has to sell...fine... I find a house... as she requested BUT can't to leave until she says it's ok!? I've done what shes asked and done nothing wrong yet I have to pay for it

Snorkerz
29-12-2011, 00:30 AM
no tenancy surrender ever occurred... How can you be sure though?


I see snorkerz edit... and hear what you are saying but as a woman left with three children as her husband fancied being eighteen again with a 24 yr old work collegue and getting her pregnant but I ask nothing out of our divorce the least he can do is help the children have safe secure accommodation and for once take responsibility ... sorry personal circumstances nothing to do with this im frustrated but for once I can stick up for myself and say this is not on... i dont mean to sound like ' a woman scorened' but I have always been one for a quiet life but unfortunately I literally can't afford the £700 on top of new house rent a quiet life will cost.As nice as this may seem, there is still the issue of the landlords rights. And if the landlord is able to sue the tenant for the relevant notice period then the tenant could ust as equally sue you.

May I ask if yu recieve housing benefit? If so, the council will pay dual housing benefit for the period you are required to give notice - thus keeping everybody happy and making your move less stressful and much easier.

Snorkerz
29-12-2011, 00:38 AM
Your ex could argue his T ceased by 'force of Law' if LL was aware you had split up and she accepted continuing rent in your name.Not so, If tenancy was ended without court order or notice/surrender by tenant then tenant could claim illegal eviction.

Stripes was there with permission of the tenant, who in effect sub-let the property to stripes. The landlord colluded with that by not taking any action to bring the subletting to a end.

Interestingly, landlord should be grateful stripes is going because she can not evict the true tenant via either section 8 nor section 21 as that tenancy is no longer an AST.

With regard to the lean-to, of course it has prevented her use of part of the demised property - the lean-to is not useable if it ain't there. I will accept that it's financial value may be minimal, but it is wrong to say that the landlords actions were in order.

Faisel Balti
29-12-2011, 09:04 AM
stripes, the 'best' advice so far has been in post no.2.
Bandontherun hit the nail on the head, BUT, there are a couple of points to add.

OK, I'm an experienced landlord, but very much on the side of any tenant in your predicament - assuming that all you say is true. Ordinarily, the overwhelming advice is to not withold rent, whatever the T's problems are and to pay up to the end of the tenancy. However, occasionally, needs must and I believe you should move into your new property asap, but keep the key of your current property and leave a few unwanted possessions there too and, hopefully, let her see you moving. Then, at the first opportunity, go round there and do one of two things. Either call her round and get her to sign a very simple document releasing you from 'any possible tenancy that may have been created' - without accepting such a tenancy. If she won't then, as you are still the tenant call, or threaten to call, the environmental health department with regard the condition of the property, the electrics and especially lack of gas certificate. She would be very stupid not to release you. Try, though, not to make the threat sound like a threat!
Alternatively, just call the EH anyway if you don't want a confrontation with the LL. If the LL were to sue you, and I very much doubt she will, a report from the EH presented in court should do the trick.
FB
ps if, in the meantime the LL has changed the locks after seeing you go - take a reliable witness to show that - you then have evidence that the LL has brought to an end the tenancy and could even sue for eviction. Post here as things unfold anyway.
pps
All the above points are my own opinion and I'm not a lawyer but, from experience, I strongly believe the above could be the best way forward for you
FB