Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement

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The information in this post applies to residential tenancies in England and Wales.

What is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement?

It’s a legal contract between landlord and tenant. The agreement contains the terms and conditions of a tenancy, such as the duration of the agreement and the rental amount payable by the tenant.

If your tenancy began on or after the 28th February 1997, it is likely to be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, which is the most common type of tenancy in the rental private sector. Tenancies starting before the 28th February 1997, but after 15 January 1989, are more likely to be Assured Tenancies.

The primary difference between an “Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement” and an “Assured tenancy” is the legal procedure the landlord has to take in order to regain possession of the property.

Where can I get a good one from?

They’re available in all shapes and sizes; they can vary from 2 page documents to 20, and they’re available from a wide variety of sources, especially on the Internet. Therefore it is extremely important to source your tenancy agreement contract from a reputable supplier, which specifies how the document was compiled.

A large number of suppliers, especially the ones which offer free contracts, often supply out-of-date and poorly formatted versions. They also often contain invalid clauses which aren’t enforceable by law. This commonly occurs when landlords and/or letting agents modify (i.e. add their own clauses) to existing contracts without checking if the clause(s) are enforceable by law.

It is important to note that all written tenancy agreement contracts must be “Fair” and “Clear” and not intended to mislead the tenant in any way.

It goes without saying, failing to use a properly compiled contract can be an expensive mistake.

The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements available for download on this website have been written by Stones Solicitors LLP. They are listed as a Top 200 Law Firm and is recognised by the two leading independent directories, Chambers and the Legal 500. Stones have expert solicitors specialising in landlord law. buy one of our tenancy agreements for just £4.99, and reuse it as many times as you wish.

For further information on the subject, please read our guide on how to check if your tenancy agreement is any good or not.

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When should I use a Tenancy Agreement?

An AST should be used where a landlord is renting a property to just one person or multiple tenants (that know one another).

An AST is not suitable in all circumstances, and should not be used in the following conditions:

  • If the property receives more than 100k per year in rent (This was 25k before October 2010)
  • If the property receives very low, or no rent at all
  • If the property is a holiday home
  • If the property is let to a private limited company
  • If the property is owned by the Crown or a government department
  • If the property is being let with more than two acres of agricultural land or an agricultural tenancy

Do I need a written Tenancy Agreement?

There is currently no law which states that a tenancy cannot be formed through an oral agreement. In fact, many are (rightly or wrongly so). They can be either written or oral. However, it is strongly advised for all tenancy agreements to be written so both tenant and landlord knows exactly what the terms and conditions of the tenancy are.

With or without a written contract, from the moment a landlord and tenant agree on terms, and the tenant is permitted to enter and live in the property by the landlord, a legal tenancy is formed. The tenant will at this point be protected by their statutory, as will the landlord.

The problem is, if a dispute between landlord and tenant occurs, and there is no written proof of what was agreed upon, it becomes extremely difficult to prove either case. If everything is written in black and white, there can never be any question of what was agreed.

How do I know if I have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement?

There are several factors which will determine whether or not an Assured Shorthold Tenancy has been agreed. You will have an AST if:

  • If the tenant pays less than 100k per year in rent
  • If the tenant moved into the property on or after 28th febuary 1997
  • If the tenant is renting from a private landlord
  • If the tenant has rights to have privacy in the property where the landlord cannot enter the property without mutual agreement

How long can the contract last for?

Since the 28th of February 1989, an Assured Shorthold Tenancy can last for any duration, short or long. Before then, there was a requirement for a tenancy to be for a minimum of six months. However, while the tenancy can be as short as required, the tenant has a legal right to stay in the property for a minimum period of six months, regardless of whether the tenancy duration is for a shorter period.

If at the end of the fixed term of the tenancy is not renewed, it then becomes what is known as a Statutory Periodic Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. This means that the terms of the original tenancy agreement still apply, but the tenancy continues on the rent schedule. For example, if rent is paid on a monthly basis, then the contract will become a monthly periodic tenancy.

There’s also what is known as a Contractual Periodic Tenancy; this is when no term for the end of the let is set and the tenancy simply continues until either party decide to bring it to an end.

Regardless of which status your agreement is in (fixed term or statutory), the landlord is legally required to give two months notice to the tenant and can’t obtain possession unless the tenant has breached their terms and consequently the landlord has grounds for eviction.

Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme

All landlords and letting agents who take deposits for Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales must join a Government-authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme. This is a legal requirement, and failing to comply can lead to legal prosecution.

Within 14 days of receiving the deposit the landlord must secure and provide the tenant with details of the scheme chosen to safeguard the deposit. More details on Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme.

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Who keeps a copy of the contract?

There is no legal legislation specifying who keeps a copy. However, it’s advised that both landlord and tenant each have their own copy of the contract, which should be signed by both parties.

It’s important that everyone keeps their own copy, as it may prove to be useful if any misunderstandings occur.

What’s in the contract?

They can range from 2 pages to more than 20, so the contents of them can drastically vary. However, the following is generally always included:

Here are just a few of the issues the contract should cover:

  • The amount of rent and deposit payable and the term of the tenancy
  • Tenant’s obligation to pay bills and council tax
  • Tenant’s obligation to keep the property and any garden in good order and repair
  • To use the property for residential purposes only
  • Not to cause nuisance or annoyance to others
  • Not to keep pets without written permission
  • Not to leave property unattended for more than 21 days without informing landlord

An agreement can be amended by adding or removing any terms as required, but all the terms and conditions must comply with the law in order for them to be enforceable. The tenancy agreement can give both the tenant and landlord more than their statutory rights, but cannot give any less.

Tenant And Landlord Basic rights

There are basic obligations a tenant and landlord must adhere to, even if they aren’t specified in the agreement, but which are given by law and are implied into all tenancy agreements. These terms form part of the contract, even though they have not been specifically agreed upon.

Some of the most common implied terms are:

  • The landlord must carry out basic repairs
  • the landlord must keep the installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity, sanitation, space heating and heating water
  • the tenant has the right to live peacefully in the accommodation without nuisance from the landlord
  • the tenant has an obligation to take proper care of the accommodation.

Changing the tenancy agreement

The terms and conditions can be amended after it has been created and agreed upon if both the landlord and tenant agree to the new conditions. The change should be recorded in writing, either by drawing up a new written document setting out the terms of the tenancy or by amending the existing written contract.

An oral agreement can also be amended. Usually the change will be oral too. In the case of a dispute, evidence of the variation can be provided if there were witnesses to the new agreement or simply by both parties acting on the variation, for example, by paying and accepting a new rent.

It’s important to be diligent when modifying a tenancy agreement. Ensure that ALL terms and conditions in the agreement are legal and enforceable by law i.e. a clause which suggests that the tenant or landlord have fewer rights than those given by common law or statute are not valid, and will not be enforceable by law.

It is always advised to seek legal advice from a professional when amending any form of legal contract.

Ending a tenancy agreement

Under the Housing Act 1988, a landlord has the legal right to repossess their property at the end of the tenancy. In order for a landlord to do this legally, they must follow the correct legal procedure, which includes serving a Section 21 notice (under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988) to the tenant.

A tenant is required by law to be given 2 months notice if the landlord wishes for them to vacate and repossess the property. Specifying the “end-date” in a tenancy agreement alone is not a valid repossession notice. A Section 21 should be served.

Ending a tenancy agreement in the middle of the terms

In cases where both parties agree to terminating the agreement before the tenancy has ended, they can legally do so. This is called ‘surrender’. There are two ways that surrender of a tenancy can occur: by “operation of the law” or by a “declaration of surrender”.

Surrender of operation by law
This is when the tenant gives up their occupation of the property to the landlord and the landlord accepting this. This could involve the tenant handing over the property’s keys to the landlord and the landlord accepting that the agreement is over and that they now have possession.

Declaration of operation by law
This is when the tenant signs a “Declaration of Surrender”. This written document then acts as proof that the tenant has given up possession of the property to the landlord.

For a surrender to be legal, both parties must agree. It’s advised for everything that has been agreed to be written down so everyone knows where they stand. If a joint tenancy is in place, all the joint tenants and the landlord must agree to the surrender.

When a tenant has legally surrendered the tenancy, the landlord will then have the right of possession of the property under Section 5 of the Housing Act 1988. The landlord needs to end the agreement properly, before re-letting the property; otherwise the landlord could be accused of unlawful eviction.

Discrimination in tenancy agreements

The landlord must not discriminate against tenants based on race, sex, disability, sexuality or religion. It is against the law for the landlord to do any of the following:

  • rent a property to a tenant on worse terms than other tenants
  • treat the tenant differently from other tenants in the useage of facilities such as the garden
  • evict or harass the tenant because race, sex, disability, sexuality or religion
  • refuse to make reasonable changes to a term in the tenancy agreement which would allow a disabled person to live there.

Discriminating against sex, disability, sexuality or religion, generally don’t apply to live-in landlords. However, the landlord still cannot discriminate against race.

Pet Clauses in Tenancy Agreements

Most tenancy agreements will have a pet clause, which stipulates whether a tenant has been granted permission to keep a pet in the property. However, even if the tenancy agreement does state that pets are NOT permitted, the landlord can change his/her mind. In that case, the landlord should give written permission.

In the event of any damage caused by pets, the tenant will still be held liable and responsible. The security deposit can be used to cover damages caused by pets. However, just so tenants are clear about what is expected, landlords can provide a supplement Pet Clause Policy Form with the Tenancy Agreement.

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349 Comments- join the conversation...

Showing 299 - 349 comments (out of 349)
Guest Avatar
Harry 4th December, 2012 @ 15:08

Hi,

My wife and I moved into a flat in September last year. The AST was for 12 months and we renewed the contract earlier this year.

While negotiating the terms, we received an email from the estate agents (who were negotiating the contract on behalf of the landlord) confirming that the lock in period, which was in our first contract would not apply and that we could give one month's notice to end the contract and vacate.

Now, about three months into our tenancy agreement, we are close to exchanging and completing on a purchase and have been advised to hand in our notice. When we did so, the landlord wrote to us stating that the lock in period was still in place.

When we pointed out that the agents had confirmed that it would not apply, he stated that it was up to us to have taken legal advice at the time and that the lock in period was never moved.

Any thoughts on how we can get around this? Our seller is not going to be agreeable to wait four months for us to complete the purchase!

Thoughts/Comments would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Harry

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Jeremy 4th December, 2012 @ 21:26

Hello Harry,

Assuming you've kept the e-mail...

The Estate Agents were acting on behalf of the landlord. If they induced you to re-sign with a promise the lock-in period did not apply to a subsequent contract period then you are entitled to rely upon this statement.

If this is not the landlord's wishes then they will need to take up this poor service with the agent, maybe asking them to make up any rental shortfall until the place is re-rented.

But you can issue one month's clear notice and leave. In your position I would point out to the landlord that their agent varied the terms of the contract and you will be relying upon those terms to leave with a months notice.

Hope this helps. Please let us know how you get on.

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Becca 27th December, 2012 @ 22:09

Hi,

I would like some advice. Me and my husband have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy fixed for 12 months, we moved in June 2012, paid upfront. The landlord used to live here with his family and they had a small fridge, but me and my husband didn't need it as we had a big one of our own which we told landlord about when he was showing us around, he said yes that is fine you can bring it. My husband asked him at the time because we don't need your fridge can you take yours with you, Landlord said yeah fine anything you don't need tell me directly or the letting agents to tell me, which my husband did on several occasions. So basically to cut short we needed more space cos we have young baby and my husband removed the landlord's fridge and put it in storage, landlord come to the house without notifying us, i let him in cos we had mold on walls and after 2 months of complainig he finally sorted it so he came to look at the job the painters done, he realises his fridge is not there, asks hubby where it is, hubby tells him, Landlord and him arguing, landlord says he will take it out of our deposit, 2 days later i see letter from letting agents saying ''Landlord had decided to use the 'break clause', that we must be out by feb 26th 2013. I just want to know is this legal and justified? All over a silly small fridge...

Thanks Becca

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Jeremy 27th December, 2012 @ 23:05

Hello Becca,

What date did you receive the letter. What date is written on the latter to show when it was written? What date to you normally pay your rent upon? And does the letter look like a legal form, needs to say "Section 21" in the heading.

BTW: If the fridge is stored and can be returned in good condition then there is nothing the landlord can deduct.

A landlord can issue a Section 21 notice for any reason, including, rather pathetically, a grudge over a fridge.

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louis kenyon 1st February, 2013 @ 15:24

Hi

I would like some advice on a issue that we have with our landlord.

The issue is that over the 7 months we have lived in the property our landlord whenever we ask to see the original contact that we signed he refuses to acknowledge that we have said anything to him about it and fails to provide one each time.

So I was wondering is our landlord allowed to do this

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Jeremy 3rd February, 2013 @ 14:02

Hello louis,

Put it IN WRITING that you want a copy contract. This behaviour is suspicious, but I am not aware of a law obligating the landlord to provide a copy of the tenancy agreement.

You need to create a paper trail which will put you in a strng legal position should hte landlord have dishonest motives behind his actions.

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Kimberley Popple 24th February, 2013 @ 17:19

Hello,

I need some advice please. I moved into a flat with my boyfriend in August 2012 and we signed a joint tenancy for 12 months. Unfortunately, the relationship broke down and led to him assaulting me and subsequently being cautioned for assault by the police. I have not been able to live in the property since that day (2 weeks ago). At first, my ex-boyfriend refused to leave the property and was going to make me pay my half of the rent for the rest of the tenancy (until August 2013). My mother is the guarantor on our flat, so I was very worried she would end up being responsible for the rent.

Fortunately, the landlord managed to get my ex to agree on a move out date of March 16th 2013. He then send my ex and I an email confirming this date and that the property would be put on the market; so effectively surrendering our tenancy.

Yesterday I went to the house to remove my things and had to call the landlord out to help me climb over the back fence and access the property as my ex purposely locked me out and left the keys in the door before escaping out the back and over the fence. When he returned home and saw that I had removed almost everything, he wrote a threatening email to myself and the landlord stating that he no longer agreed to move out in March and that he would make me pay until August.

The landlord replied to this by saying he would remove the property from the market until we could reach an agreement; however I feel the original surrender should still be upheld! I can't believe the landlord is giving in and allowing my ex to change his decision after the date was confirmed to us in an email.

Please can you tell me what I should do next?

Thanks,

Kimberley

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Andy 19th March, 2013 @ 01:17

Hi there,

I have been in financial difficulty and becomming behind in my rent. My Landlord gave me one months notice to leave but I had not by the end of the one month period.

I received a text from him saying "Thank you for surrendering your tenancy agreement - your belongings are on the doorstep as you requested". Indeed they were. One of his "heavies" was guarding my belongings but said he would only stay two hours max. They had changed the locks so I had no way to access the property. I called the Police and they said it was a civil matter as there had been no breach of the peace, there was no likelihood of a breach of the peace and no criminal damage...I am now at my parents house. Is there anything I can do ?

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Shona 21st March, 2013 @ 09:57

Keen to get some advice please. We are renting a five bed family home through a well known and respected estate agents. We have always had a good relationship with the landlords as well (via email) because they live abroad. We have been in the house for three years and in January signed another two year contract with no break clause. Unfortunately our circumstances have changed and we would like to be released from the tenancy early. The landlord is saying that's fine - but we would have to cover his costs (the 15 per cent of annual rent he has paid to the estate agents for marketing the property this year, although they haven't marketed the property at all - it's just been a rollover contract - but this amounts to over £3,000 because our rent is £2,000 per month) I don't think the estate agents will have any problem finding someone else to move in although we are now, obviously, at risk of covering the rent for the remaining 19 months of the tenancy. My question is - the AST agreement we signed in January electronically has a page in it (the section referring to deposit) with the names of other tenants on it. This is a mistake on the estate agents part as they clearly didn't change the paperwork for us and nobody (including the landlord) noticed when signing. Does this negate the contract in any way? It would be good to know if it does because it might give us more bargaining power?

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Jeremy 31st March, 2013 @ 11:49

Hello Shona,

It puts matters into a grey area. As it was drafted by the landlord / agent, any inaccuracies are interpreted in your favour. You could argue there's no agreed tenancy in force, just a statutory AST, which given you one month's right to quit.

My suggestion is that when the agent is so awful as to charge £2k marketing fees for doing nothing, then use this to your advantage.

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Megan 5th April, 2013 @ 19:53

Hi everyone,

I finished uni in June and straightaway got a job in London. It was for a 3 month freelance contract at the time and I moved from the countryside to the middle of the city. We were given 2 months notice before I even moved in (in September) and so last minute had to find somewhere else to live as I wasn't told until a good while after I'd moved in. My job contract was extended for a year so I stayed.

The flat I currently rent now is with one of the people I moved in with. We move in on November 10th 2012 and we have a 6 month break clause. I've become really miserable and lonely since I moved, and have been advised by doctors to return home as I'm making myself ill being here alone. I've asked the Estate Agents about leaving and they've said if I hand my notice in now that I can leave on June 10th. They've said my flatmate will then become liable for the rest of the rent if we can't have anyone else move in to replace me (Landlord's decision).

However, my flatmate has said that unless he gives his permission to me to move out, I have to continue paying rent until he leaves or the contract ends (whichever comes first). Is this true? As far as I know we have a standard AST agreement in place. I'm not sure if my Estate Agents have got it wrong, or if my flatmate is wrong and trying to scare me out of leaving.

Another reason I want to leave is because he's terrible with paying bills that are all in his name. We've just received a court summons for our late council tax. I pay all my bills to him as soon as we received them. I really can't continue to live with this stress.

If anyone can help I'd really appreciate it. I need to get out fast!

Thanks.

309
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Benji 6th April, 2013 @ 17:47

Megan,

I make the 6 months to be 10th of May, in which case you need to give notice before 10th of April (this month).

I suggest you contact the citizens advice bureau on monday (the 8th) and run it past them.

http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

Ask them about the court summons for council tax at the same time.

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Ula 10th April, 2013 @ 22:41

Hello

Hopefully sb can help me here.
My situation: I have had ATS for 3 months, moved out after 20 days (reasonable claim below), paid in advance deposit 700, rent 700 and 70 pounds of bills (council tax, broadband ( not included electricity and gas)etc)
- landlord accepted verbally (refused to accept in written)
- landlord rented room 2 days after I left ( could have rented the very same day but was too "busy"
- landlord decided to keep the rest of my rent ( that will be around 320 pounds (?) because according to her I breached the contract - can she do that given she did not almost any gap in rent and she agreed to surrender ?
- landlord is now withholding my deposit until I pay electricity bill which I am happy to do under the proof of bills, it took her 2.5 weeks to calculate it and in the end she came up with almost 100 bills and refusing to give me proof of bills + ignoring my emails on that.

Could you please advise what to do in this situation?

DETAILED DESCRIPTION:
.I have signed ATS for 3 month with the Landlord and paid 700 pounds holding deposit to secure the tenancy. On the move in I have paid 700 pounds rent in advance and 70 pounds of bills in advance covering council tax, etc. My landlord lives in the same house and have a baby ( 8 yrs old), house has 4 rooms, 1 occupied by landlord and the baby and 3 others by tenants. After 2 weeks (20 days in total) I have decide to move out
Reasons
- landlord accepted another tenant with a baby, friend of hers (said baby is going to be there only 1 per week during week but I ve seen it unlikely to happen and given 1 kid in the property already thats was just too much)
- landlord was notoriously late with making repairs like to bathroom doors ( no lock), front doors one of the locks missing
- landlord was notoriously unclear about bills and reluctant to put anything in writing,
- landlord stated clearly that is is her house and she will do and set rules as she wishes contrary to her previous statement that it is shared house and all have same rights, but at the same time expecting to share in the all expenses including bulbs, bags for hoover etc

I have notified her that I do want to move out because of above reasons ( I was never asked about my opinion about tenant with the baby), and as she had 1 more person interested in the room I told her look I want to move about and you have person interested in the room so you will have sb able to move immediately and you will not loose any money. She agreed.
She told me she will keep the rest of my rent ( I moved in 9th of MArch and was moving out around 27th) so basically that she will keep it ( 350 pounds plus bills I paid) but will do me a favour and do not charge me for electricity which was to be calculated per usage and I paid 20 pinds already. I did not say anything as was not sure if this is ok by law etc and wanted to check that first.

WE agreed on moving out date 28th, then next day she was out of house and send me text that 28th she is busy and cannot do move out but she can 29th ( i already told her I am going on holidays 29th as this was planned before I moved in) and proposed 27th then to be flexible. Then she responded that she is exetremly busy this week and she has no titme to talk about it and she ask for favour not ta talk about it (?). Once she was back from weekend I tried to talk with her in the kitchen. SHe has had already received holding deposit from new tenant. I said the other person paid you deposit you have sb moving in 29th can we please solve key etc? it takes 10 MIN. She went extremly defensive and me that accused me that I am causing her stress and she is not goign to talk about it and basically she turned back and walked out of me.

Then she send me 1 mile long email saying basically that I am bad person and she is not going to do anything about deposit till 29th and she will not pay it back until I give the key back.

In the offer of good will I gave her key on Wed 27th when I moved out.
ON 29th March she told me - due to my behaviour (?)she is going to charge me for electricity and gas, ( obviously she will keep the rest of the rent) and she will charge me for consumables.
I said happy to pay the bills upon the proof of bills and the usage.
She responded that as I have breached the contract she choose not to give me any proof of bills)
After 2 weeks of interchange of emails finally she gave me bills : for 20 days of me staying in this house ( not even 20 as I was out of weekends) she came up with
electricity bill:
- 180 pounds (electricity)
- 100 pounds (gas)
*75 per person
- 10 pounds for consumables (?) for 2 weeks( that gives 20 pounds per moth, and if you say 4 ppl pays that that is 100 pounds per month ( I used my own powder,bought toilet paper, in the kitchen used only detergent to wash dishes and only thing I can think of is cleaning bathroom staff which does not amount to 100 pounds of bills per month)
- 7 punds of cleaner ( comes on Mondays I moved out on WEd so ti=his is disputable fro me as well)

SHe refuses to give me proof of the bills and explain how she came up with hte above amounts.

Could you please advice what can I do in this situation? I Think she will withhold the rest of my rent + 95 pounds out of my deposit ( she refused to take into account the has already 30 pounds of 70 pounds of bills I paid at the beginning of the tenancy)

Would appreciate advice on that!

Big Thanks
Ulek

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Susan 21st April, 2013 @ 21:25

Hi I received an eviction notice from l.Lord he wants to sell house he was supposed to be in it for long term...
If BEEN offered a council house and can move quick but I can't afford the two rents but when I ask for letter from l.Lord to say I moved out he don't reply the agents told me not to deal with him but them yet he contacts me over selling and viewings for house. So now council want letter and they not cooperating what should I do?

312
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Papil 1st May, 2013 @ 12:52

Hi everyone,

We moved out and at inventory check, we were asked if we had our carpets professionally cleaned. We did, but it wasn't steam cleaned, and the letting agent said we must because it's in the contract.

We went through the contract together, and it only says that we must leave the carpets in the same state as when we found them, and that they must be clean. Well we didn't know they were steam cleaned!

But only now have we been told that the previous tenants had it steamcleaned and that they can show us an invoice.

Do you think, under the agreement, we need to pay for steam cleaning? Or is this a grey area?

It is very clean by all means, and even the letting agent said the whole place has been cleaned impeccably.

Thanks!

313
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aras1976 12th August, 2013 @ 19:27

I have given my tenants 2 months notice (actually 4 being nice) that I would not be renewing tenancy and that I will be placing the house up for sale. I am paying for full management & prior to resigning tenancy I had confirmation from management co that I would be able to market & carry out viewings in the 2 month notice period. This is what assured me to provide another 6 month tenancy. Now I am trying to access house for an agent to take pictures & management co say tenant has said no. This is part of marketing as I see it & am very upset as the management co do not seem to be working on my behalf at all. I wonder (if I can get any viewings) whether the tenants will continue to be difficult & what rights I have. Also can I make the management company responsible for any losses during this period?

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Lee 8th September, 2013 @ 20:53

Hi I was just looking for some help first of I started rents private direct with a landlord at 6 months at a time. The agrement had a break clause that we could give a 28days(4 weeks) notice to leave which he confirmed with us that was back in 2008 and after the first 6 months we agreed with the landlord we would go on a rolling agreement ie not singing anymore agreements but sticking to the original but then in 2011 our landlord switched over to a agency which we had to sign the contract or be out we weren't given another options now we are looking to move and after looking over the agreements they do not state anything about us having to stay till the end of the agreement or if we can leave early. also nothing about us paying any rent left over in the agreement or fees if we were to leave early. So after all that my question can they make me stay or can I pull up the fact of the original agreement stating only one months notice has to be given.

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Angela 15th September, 2013 @ 08:12

We have been renting for 6 month on a one year contract. The landlord wants to return to the property and has given us 2 months notice. We are not in a financial position to move. Is it reasonable to ask for our deposit back before we move so we have funds to put a deposit down on a new property?

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Jeff 2nd November, 2013 @ 05:10

Hi guys, we have payed our bond and two weeks rent up front plus signed our tenancy agreement which has a move in date, last Wednesday, but we are still not moved in and the real estate don't know when we will be able to move in because it's a new unit and apparently the tiles had to be replaced. This is proving very frustrating for us as we have just moved to Australia from the uk and are staying with family.This is a big inconvenience to us all as we had arranged for furniture to be delivered there but now we have had to store it all in a shed at a friends place. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Michael 7th November, 2013 @ 19:23

I originally signed a 6 month lease with a private landlord via an agency. In the lease was a clause advising that notice to leave needs to be given on the rent day, in this case the 15th as that is the date the tenancy started. The notice period is 30 days.
The 6 month lease ended on 15th October and at that point the tenancy moved onto a periodical monthly contract although no new agreement was signed and there was no stipulation in the original lease with regards to how the tenancy was to continue.
On the 31st October I gave 30 days notice in writing (notice was given due to relocation for work)and advised that my last day would be 30th November but I have been advised I am liable to pay rent up to the 15th December due to the 'rent day' clause. Is this a)reasonable or b)legal. How does a periodical lease work?
I look forward to the replies. Thanks in advance.

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Nicole 13th November, 2013 @ 14:37

I need some advice. I'm currently trying to get out of a contract. I signed an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, as I was attending university. It was with a private accommodation company.
I've dropped out of my course and now need to get out of this contract. These contracts seem very difficult to get out of.
In the contract, it said that if the student no longer was a student, then it was up to the company to decide whether they would terminate the contract. Obviously, they haven't done this.
Basically, I need to find some loopholes in the contract. What lawyers specifically deal with this sort of thing, read over the contract?
Do you have any recommendations?

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Paul 15th November, 2013 @ 09:12

Hi,

I am on AST for 12 months with 5 months past already. Since I moved in I have issues with boiler. Before signing agreement I was promised kitchen floor change and was told that property has valid gas safety certificate and boiler was just inspected. The boiler does not give warm water therefore even though property has 2 showers that can't be used as water temp keeps changing from very hot to cold and so on. The property has maintenance contract with British Gas. When BGas engineer was called, he said that boiler is obsolete and is not worth fixing it - he recommended changing it. I passed details of his inspection to the letting agent and of course they didn't agree with this opinion, they sent their own engineer and according to him boiler works fine. When asked for explanation why there is no warm water his answer was "i don't really know but the boiler is working as expected". Five months passed and after numerous complaints to letting agent and landlord none of reported issues in property were solved and promises made before signing agreement appeared to be true. The property didn't have gas safety certificate, now it has issued by their engineer (he made apparently inspection during his visit without even going to the loft checking flue). Still floor is not changed and still don't have any proof of boiler inspection or gas safety certificate. I asked for it many times to determine whether was true or not what I was told - still haven't received anything. I said that I want to move out from the property earlier because of these issues and other personal ones. The property was advertised but I was told I can't move out until they find new tenant. It is already 2 months advertised with no viewings at all (for me they don't care then because they have paying tenant especially that other properties of the same size in area were let out at that time). Now for questions about issues reported I get answer 'why do i care if i am moving out'. I wanted to know if above described issues can be reason to terminate agreement early without being liable for rent to the end of tenancy since it appears nothing what was told to me (floor change, boiler inspection, gas certificate) is true and the letting agent don't see any problem with the boiler. I told them to come and check themselves, they do not bother. They didn't even come for their 3 months property check. Any advise would be appreciated.

Paul

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bob 23rd January, 2014 @ 21:44

I'm 3 months into a 12 month AST agreement. It contains a break clause in which i can put 2 month notice in at anytime from the 4th month. So earliest i could leave is the 6th month.

I have noticed there is a section titled deed of surrender. It goes on to mention if the tenant breaks the agreement early then they are liable to pay 7% of the monthly rental amount for the remaining term plus VAT.

I have asked the landlord if i can leave early, (before the 4th month) exercising the deed of surrender and he has said i'm required to pay rent till the 6th month. So in other words said no.

He has said i can put 2 months notice in on the 4th month and leave on the 6th. Which is fine. However he has also said that we must pay 50% of the charges the agency charge him for putting us in the property.

We said we cannot see this in the agrrement and all we can see is the 7% under the deed of surrender, his reply is: thats what the charge is.

My question is: If i exercise the break clause does this bring the deed of surrender into play aswell? Or is the deed of surrender in case you need to leave before the 4th month or are unable to stay for the 2 months notice?

Thank you for your patience.

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AML 27th January, 2014 @ 11:28

Hi,

Does anyone know what a letting agent's legal obligations are with regards to explaining tenancy amendment procedures?

I'm living in a flat with a friend and asked my letting agent what the procedure and fees would be if I were to move out and find a replacement. They pointed me in the direction of my AST (where the fees for tenancy amendments are detailed). They led me to believe that it was a simple case of paying them and giving them the details of the new person. They said that once I had a date for the amendments to take place they would contact my landlord for 'formal confirmation'. As it turns out my landlord has not agreed to the amendment, and I now have to pay the rest of the rent (3 months left of current tenancy agreement) even though I'm moving out. If my letting agents had told my that legally the landlord has to agree, I would have requested permission before arranging to move out! I am making a complaint to the letting agent, but I don't know if legally they were obliged to give me more info and explain the process correctly and in full?

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julien 10th February, 2014 @ 20:43

Hi
I've a 2 bed flat with 3 young professional sharers( 1 uses the lounge as a bedroom) - I am trying to remortgage but having 3 names on the assured shorthold tenancy agreement seems to be putting some companies off (The Coventry and The Skipton BS) the sharers know each other and the rent is paid from one account
Am I best getting 2 sharers when their agreement is up next month will should most lenders only be worried about the rent covering 125% of the interest only mortgage rate?

thank you

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naz 20th February, 2014 @ 22:30

Hi a friend of mine has been renting the same property since 1978. His landlord has now moved into the same building occupying one of the vacant flats in the buiding. Can anyone tell me what my friends tenancy is now recognised as. Before the landlord moven myd wasas a regulated tenant. Has this now.changed. My friend does not share any living space with his landlord.
Would appreciate some clarification.
Thanks
Naz

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Heath 21st February, 2014 @ 16:22

Can any body let me know what the longest lease is you can have on a private rented property and what it's called
Thanks

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somi 22nd February, 2014 @ 16:14

hi i am renting my house from private land lord its long term tenancy ending 2015 .my land lord got bank curropt .he remortgage house not paid his mortgage i am upto date rent paying .ive received notice of eviction from building society got 4 children .cant find any other accomodation in 3 weeks havent got money for deposit n agent fees can someone help whats my position land lord is happy with me but bank is taking over property ?

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Benji 22nd February, 2014 @ 17:58

@Somi,

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/housing_e/housing_renting_a_home_e/repossession_by_your_landlord_s_mortgage_lender.htm

Do you have a right to stay

If your landlord falls behind with their mortgage payments, their mortgage lender could take them to court to get possession of the property. This will usually give them permission to evict anyone who lives there, including tenants.

In most cases, if the mortgage lender has been granted a possession order, you will have no right to stay in your home.

You may however, have some rights if your tenancy is binding on the landlord's mortgage lender. Your tenancy may be binding if:

the landlord’s lender agreed to the tenancy, or
you were living in the property when your landlord’s mortgage was granted, or
the landlord's lender has recognised your tenancy in some way, for example, by asking you to pay them rent.
If your tenancy is not binding on the landlord's mortgage lender, you can apply to delay possession of your home by up to two months. This could give you more time to find a new place to live.

If you think your tenancy may be binding on your landlord's mortgage lender, or you need help to try and delay the repossession of your home, you should get advice. You can get advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau.

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somi 22nd February, 2014 @ 21:06

Thank you so much for your kind response it has really helped me to clear my position I really appreciate this now I can act accordingly and find some help from CAB .Thanksss a million :)

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Lisa 28th February, 2014 @ 15:58

can someone give me advice!

i have lived in my private let for a few years and only signed a contract at the start(6 months)i am currently trying to move as i sleep in my living room and my kids have the 2 bedrooms, it was a short assured tenancy. my letting agency said i need to give two months notice even though i haven't signed another contract as it rolls on to a 2 months lease.

i would appreciate the help.

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STEPHEN 2nd March, 2014 @ 16:09

I have rented my flat out on a 12 month shorthold tenancy but want to try and re-occupy before the full 12 months expire as I really need to live there now due to change of personal circumstances . Is there an exception allowing for 2 months notice to the tenant after the first six months has lapsed? She is a good tenant and no ASB etc.

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Mr Smith 4th March, 2014 @ 23:00

Hello I have received a council tax summons (for the whole of 2014 at my life long address where i have lived for over 20 years saying I own 1 years council tax as some agents have said to the council, I have never heard of
and the property I havn't even stepped foot in actually i have never even been near that property
bailiffs are on hold until an investigation is being done by the council
its stressing me out a lot
what advice can you give thank you

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ashley 8th April, 2014 @ 12:46

I have a joint tenancy with my sister but when I entered into an assured shorthold tenancy agreement to rent out our flat I only put in my name as the landlord. This was because my sister is pregnant and wanted me to manage the whole tenant process. Is the contract still valid just with me name on it?

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Bonnie Londime 25th April, 2014 @ 13:22

My tenant signed a tenancy agreement in 1992 with the landlord. In 2007 he surrendered the tenancy when I bought the house. The next day, I entered into a new agreement with the same tenant. Now I have been told that he is a sitting tenant since he moved into the property in 1992 and I can not prove that section 20 was served on to him when he first moved in in 1992. Is this legally true?

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EJ Tedds 7th May, 2014 @ 16:10

Please advise….

My current tenant is on a 12 month contract, expires in August, in this time they have never looked after the garden so it looks a eyesore, plus I have now found out they have gone back to France for 2 months. Are they allowed to do this?? I am not keen on the property being left unoccupied for this amount of time. Surely this is breaking the terms of the agreement. They do not reply to any messages/calls from me or the agent. Am I allowed to check on my property inside whilst they are not there?? It is let on a fully furnished basis as this is my home and I will be moving back into in August so you can see why I want to protect my investment.

Thanks in advance for any advice given.

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sarah 14th May, 2014 @ 19:28

i am a tenant and rent a house through a letting agency, the property has a room at the front which is a shop front and i was running a business but have stopped that now, the landlord knew about it and said she didn't mind and i registered as a ltd the only thing i didn't do was ask the council to change the property from residential to commercial, now i want to move in a few months and wander could i let the room out to a business and then when i move allow them to apply for the tenancy of the house from the letting agency? or would i be breaking the law? i just want to get enough money from it so i can move

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michel 18th May, 2014 @ 03:05

Would you please like to help, me and my husband is renting a private house. In the beginning we were not told that the house was up for sale, before we were sitting with the contract to sign, and no other home to return to.
The agent said that he's been trying to sell without any success, and that he didn't think, that it could be sold. It's close to a main road, and we later found out by rejected surveys from interested buyers, that it's a crack through the wall, and that the house is moving too, by the traffic.

He's been trying to sell this house for eighteen months, with all the hassle it's been for us. With directly rude and non respecting agents, of privacy and peaceful enjoyment, where we were directly told, by the agent, that they could enforce entry, without permission. Of course we put our boundaries down, and ll said he agreed with us. Only to try and help the agents to push the topic. It stopped a while and started again.

The landlord promised us a new contract for another year to be signed in January. It's not happened, but we were told by the former agency that fixed us the house, that we were on a rolling one. Like a assured short hold tenancy. When we had agreed to sign a full year. Can he do that to us without our consent, change it like this? It might not look like the big difference, but that's what's agreed. He further again promised us to sign after he comes back from CHINA. In July or something! We've been promised several times since January and several times he's lied.

Now he wants the new agent to sell the house. The landlords promised to us that he's only interested in selling the house to investors, due to he wants a higher price. That's what former agents said as well.

The ll promised not to put a sell sign outside the house due to the fact. It's what the new agents done. Now we're getting really unsure, whether the landlords lied to us all the time about investors only.

Now we've already got a call about a viewing, and the sign post was put up yesterday, and yesterday we were told, that he's having a new agent, because the other agent couldn't sell the house. There was a buyer, that made sure he would buy the house, for sure. But, he backed out. After the survey. It's highly likely it was the cracks. I wonder, if the ll will try to dry it on us. But it's coming from the outside in. It's the road.

So now the new agents asked to take pictures as well. There already lays pictures, because we saw them, before we moved in. Is it really necessary to take new pictures?
Can we refuse have inside pictures taken?
This is quite traumatic for me, being from another country, where something like pictures and this tenant system doesn't exist. And I'm a very private person.

We have a feeling, that they're gonna push us hard. And we have circumstances and things we can't just move around either, that might not fall in their taste as clutter free. And, I suffer illness as well.
What are the rules in uk for letting agents and viewers in in our situation?

In the middle of the winter our boiler that was over thirty years old broke down. We had to wait over a month to get it fixed, with some helpfulness from an environment health officer. The ll tried to wiggle himself out of that too at first. He's been otherwise doing, what he should've - kinda. But he keeps prolonging things more now, and the house hasnt been looked after, at all. We had to enforce gas/elec/boiler check as well. Actually!now when thinking about it. The stove hasn't been checked. And we saw no papers of either that or the boiler, when we moved in.

We're now looking to find somewhere else to live. My health can't take all this. And we don't trust him anymore. What do you say it sounds like? And what's your advice?

Thank you so very much, for your time and effort. We don't really know what to do, and we're desperate.
Michel

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Laura Howes 25th May, 2014 @ 10:07

I signed an ast for this June 2014, haven't even moved in yet but I have been diagnosed bipolar, I haven't got a job anymore and finding even dady to day living impossible. Asked landlord to surrender, no dice. They want all the rent for the year plus deposit. I don't know what to do, please help me

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Jeanette 27th May, 2014 @ 06:05

I am a regulated tenant ,the tenancy is in my name.my friend has been living with me for the past 16 years.If something happened to me where would she stand?

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Louise 28th May, 2014 @ 20:57

I used to live with my boyfriend but we split up and he removed my name from the original tenancy agreement. He has now moved out am i entitled to the half of the deposit i paid at the beginning?

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Nicky 12th June, 2014 @ 11:30

I am renting as part of a houseshare with two other people. We signed a 12mnth fixed-term contract 12 March 2014 with a 6mnth break clause where landlord/tenants are required to give 2mnths notice to end the tenancy after 6mnths. So technically, we cannot serve notice until 12 July, with the 6mth mark being 12 September.

However, one of my housemates now wants/needs to move out at the end of July (which only takes us just over the 4mnth mark). We don't want to end the tenancy in its entirety and have someone who can replace him.

The agreement does not mention being able (or unable) to make a change on one of the three named tenants on the agreement.

Prior to March we were on a periodic tenancy basis and previous tenants were swapped in and out (as I was), so the landlord has been open to this in the past.

Contractually or by agreement with the landlord:
1. Can we swap one named tenant for another during the term of the contract (before or at 6mnth break clause)?

2. Will the outgoing tenant still be liable for rent until the full 6mnths has passed regardless of whether there is someone to replace them? Or indeed will myself and the remaining named tenant be liable for their part? (we pay the rent to the landlord as one sum from a joint account).

Thanks

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stacey 14th June, 2014 @ 09:08

hi me and my partner r moving into our first flat soon our landlord sorted the tenancy agreement out on line which he did wednesday but he wont let us move in untill signed does anybidy know how long it takes for it to come tgrough post thanks x

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shes a pain 1st August, 2014 @ 12:57

I've been renting a property for over 2 years with another girl and we signed a joint agreement for 6 mths and then its been going on a rolling monthly agreement where we did not sign another agreement so either person has a mths notice to give to the landlord.

I've been having a number of problems with my flatmate and really want her to leave but I don't think I can ask her. Would I have to ask my landlord to ask her to leave ? She's very sneaky and someone I can't trust and there's so much tension in the flat now. She brings random men over and at times leaves them in the flat on their own. She very rarely cleans unless I tell her too. Ive been warned by a number of individuals that she can't be trusted so i need to find out how I can get her to leave.

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Lucy 27th August, 2014 @ 08:33

Hi
I have come to the end of a contract between 2 people for 12 months. The person i used to live with moved out months ago. I haven't moved out...can I continue living in the place after end of contract? Will i need to pay the other persons deposit? Can I be kicked out?

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matt hunt 30th August, 2014 @ 08:44

Hi. Can someone help me and clarify the following?
I have a tenant on a six month AST. In the contract, provided by a letting agent, it states, "If the tenant intends to vacate the property at the end of the tenancy he must give at lease five weeks notice to the landlord in writing to expire the day before the rent is due date." This point I highlighted to the tenant six weeks before the end,via email which he acknowledged receipt of. However, he has just given me notice, one week before the six months is up, that he is leaving stating that as he did not ask to stay beyond the six month duration the contract ends at the end of the sixth month. Is this right? I thought if he didnt give notice (clearly presented in the contract) that it would run into a periodic contract. In this case with his one weeks notice, he would have to pay for the following month.
Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks

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Benji 31st August, 2014 @ 08:54

@Matt,
Yep, he is right.
Dirty trick to pull though.
I expect you'll remember it if he ever needs a reference.
If he goes one day over however, it becomes periodic and a different ball game.

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matt hunt 31st August, 2014 @ 09:13

Thanks Benji. Seems a waste of time having a notice period in the contract then! I live and I learn.
Cheers

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Suzy 1st September, 2014 @ 15:59

I am in a flatshare with 2 others and am leaving (they are staying). For the past 4.5 years since I moved in, when people leave before tenancy is up they do a tenant swap.

I gave my notice that I was leaving on 28 July, stating my final day in the property would be 20 September. I have now paid rent up until 30 September. I have found someone to take my place and they were in the process of passing reference checks when our landlord informed the letting agent that they would not be continuing the tenancy after it expires in December. This means that the person I have found to fill the room does not want it any more, and I am not convinced I will be able to fill it given that the tenancy expires so soon.

Am I liable to pay rent for a room I am not occupying given that I did find someone to fill the room, and also gave the necessary 2 months' notice saying I was leaving?

Many thanks

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Becka 30th October, 2014 @ 21:19

Hi,

I'm desperate for further advise.
I live in a house share with 2 others on a 12month AST agreement. We moved into the property on the 13th September 2014. But there have been numerous clauses breached in the contract and numerous problems by the Landlord. One in particular not giving us the information required about the Tenancy Deposit Scheme used and also a copy of a signed certificate as proof that our deposits are protected. When we asked him for this he said "I will chase them up". It has been over 56 days since he received the deposit from me. His dad lets himself in nearly every week without prior notice and walks around the house. The first thing that rang alarm bells for me (which I should have realised sooner) was when the landlord asked us to contact the estate agents who we organised the house viewing with and tell them we are no longer interested in the house, and to sign with the landlord instead. This was because the house we liked was 4 bedroomed (even though it is listed as a three bedroom because the 4th is tiny and inadequate) he would be losing out on money, and so he asked us to do this so he didn't have to pay the agents their fee's.
We do not have any contact details for our landlord apart from his mobile number which will not let us ring...it just beeps and cuts us off.
Blatant harassment for rent money. We have done the mistake by with-holding the first rent payment, we know we don't have a right to do this but we felt uncomfortable paying him until we had the information about the TDS, eventually we felt we had no choice but to pay him the rent. £1300 from my friend (full-time student), £1000 from myself (just managed to secure a part-time minimum wage job!) and £325 from my other housemate (on benefits, currently looking for a job). Landlord agreed on these amounts although it is supposed to be £1300 each three times over the contract term (so its 4 months in advance) saying once this has been paid he will come to the property to have a chat about who can pay what- we are still waiting, nothing has happened yet. He did no kind of background check on us. He has numerous company names and our house is advertised cheaper elsewhere than what we are paying! He also likes to go away on holiday and at the moment he has just bought himself a flash Motor home (only know this because he is bragging on open profile Facebook) and going to France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco just before Christmas. So he is abroad as we speak. All of this has happened, by the way, within DAYS of us paying him all of that money- and even when he asked for that money he was abroad, we know this because of my housemates phone bill which he got charged for taking the landlords call. When speaking to a friend of mine who is an ex police officer he looked into the contract and a few of the problems and he found that the landlords company may not be a registered company at all. We have spoken to citizens advice and they basically told us what we already know. We also seeked help from a solicitor who overlooked the contract and the problems and said that there are a lot of grey areas in the contract. I also wrote up a notice to quit letter for the landlord which is signed by all 3 tenants. We also showed this to the solicitor and he advised that there is no harm in serving this letter to him and if there are any further problems or if the landlord wishes to discuss matters further then he can contact the solicitor (but we would obviously have to pay, which we don't mind). To cut a long story short everyone we have spoken to (either professional or knows a lot about the subject and its laws/legislations) have said that there is something dodgy going on. Other than withholding rent (which we ended up paying substantial amounts of money to him in the end) there have been no problems from ourselves.

Together we have found 5 clauses he has breached within the contract.

Basically we want out. I have mental health problems and where I am living at the moment I am very limited to the help I can get. Whereas where I am wanting to move to, I can get as much help as possible that I need. (I also still have all of my doctors and therapists letters, so if the landlord thinks I'm bluffing, I am not ashamed to show him these). I am going out of my mind with stress and I hate it here, I am miserable and almost crying all of the time, the whole situation is dragging me down. Another housemate suffer anxiety which the situation isn't helping with his university studies either.

What do I do if the landlord doesn't agree to the notice to quit?
I believe we are going the right way about things, as we could have just packed our stuff and moved out, although we would be still liable to pay our rent, which we don't want. We want to leave on amicable terms with no disputes and as quietly as possible with no repercussions on ourselves.

Sorry about all of this being long-winded.

Thanks for your time...I'm hoping someone can help.

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