Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement

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The information in this post applies to England and Wales tenancy agreements.

What is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement?

A tenancy agreement is 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 Tenancy Agreement?

Tenancy Agreements are 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 from a reputable supplier, which specifies how the document was compiled.

A large number of suppliers, especially the ones which offer free tenancy agreements, often supply out-of-date and poorly formatted tenancy agreements. They often also 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 tenancy agreements without checking if the clause(s) are enforceable by law.

It is important to note that any tenancy agreement 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 tenancy agreement 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 ‘Assured Shorthold Tenancy’ is the most commonly used tenancy agreement when letting residential properties. This type of agreement is also often referred to as an ‘AST’ or ‘Shorthold Tenancy’.

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).
A tenancy agreement 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 agreement 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 agreement 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 agreement 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 (before 6 months of the tenancy agreement has elapsed), 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 Tenancy Agreement?

There is no legal requirement for this issue. However, it’s advised that both landlord and tenant each have their own copy of the tenancy agreement, which should be signed by both.

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

What’s in a Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement?

As already discuss, Tenancy Agreements can range from 2 pages to more than 20, so the contents of them can drastically vary. However, for the most part, a lot of them contain the same core contents.

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
  • Prescribed information about the tenancy deposit scheme.

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

A tenancy agreement 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 tenancy agreement.

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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333 Comments - join the conversation...

Showing 284 - 333 comments (out of 333)
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Cardifflandlord2012-03-20 12:06:40

Just tried to input my companies criteria for wear and tear v beyond normal wear and tear but it won't format correctly. Will try to sort it another way but you should be able to find reasonable examples on the net somewhere.

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Anne2012-03-20 12:23:12

I am beside myself with worry.

I have an assured shorthold tenancy which was signed back in 2009 with my current agents. Prior to this agent the property was in the hands of an agent which went bust and took my deposit down with them. I have been in the property nearly 6 years in total. Until last week all was fine.

I have always had a very good relationship with my landlord from day 1. He has always said to me that as long as I do not devalue the property I may decorate and carry out any jobs that I deem necessary to my family home to improve it. When I moved in to the property it was in a shabby state as it had been previously rented to students; paintwork was very tired and carpets were very cheap cord with a few cigarette burns.

I have decorated and furnished most rooms to a high standard, even replacing kitchen worktops, tiling, a few new cupboards, 2 new carpets and £2.5k of landscaping work in the garden (last Sept).

I have now received a notice to quit from the agents. They are saying that due to me not signing a new contract they want possession of the property. I have asked to signed a new contract and they have said no. The agents are USELESS. I have never had any jobs done that have been requested during any inspections; I have not been approached by them to renew the contract since the first one expired with them in 2009.

I am worried that if I leave the property, taking new carpets with me (which are axminster so no way am I leaving them), I am going to be requested to replace the carpets etc.

Can I claim any of the expense which I have paid for myself from the landlord. All work done must be in the region of £6000.

I have also tried to locate another property to rent which is my main concern at the moment. When I first moved into this property I was on benefits which included housing benefit. This was all acceptable. My major problem now is that I work part time; only earning £7500, being in receipt of working and child tax credits and a little housing benefit. A few new agents which I have approached have told me that to rent with them I must have a guarantor and that when considering my financial ability of a new property only my salary can be taken into account, and not any of the WTC CTC or housing benefit. Is this correct? I do not know anyone that can help with being a guarantor (earning more than £20k so I am told) only my parents who are both retired and only in receipt of state pension.

Can anyone help with any comments on either or both issues please

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Cardifflandlord2012-03-20 12:39:44

Anne - your original tenancy agreement is still in force even though it will now be a periodic tennancy. As such even if the Agents want you out you do not have to move - they will then have to go to court to get a court order and then only court appointed bailiffs can get you out. You can then explain to the magistrate your predicament - they are usually very fair to tenants.

Have you spoken to the Landlord to see why he wants you out?

If the agent went bust then the Landlord is responsible for returning your deposit. He will say he is not but he is.

As a last resort you could try writing to the Landlord stating that you will be seeking compensation for the works you have had done in the property but you are on quite dodgy ground unless you have his agreement in writing. I would, without delay, contact your local Citizens Advice Centre or someone such as Shelter or even your local authority housing office - someone should be able to help particularly with the second issue regarding guarantors etc.

Hope this helps!

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Anne2012-03-20 13:12:05

Thank you Cardifflandlord, I much appreciate your comments. I will try and speak with our local CAB.

I have tried to contact the landlord but he is ignoring my phone calls and messages and I dont understand why.

He purchased the house as a buy to let property just 4 days prior to me taking the initial tenancy, he really fell on his feet with me. It really p***s me off that after shelling out nearly £40k in rent over the period that I have been here I am being treated like this. My family are really settled and I have never missed a rent or bill payment EVER. There should be a law that protects tenants like me - if there is one that I dont know about please let me know.

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Sian2012-03-20 17:54:46

Hello, we signed an AST for 12 months, but shortly after agreed we were not happy here and after five months gave one months notice to terminate our agreement. Our LL accepted this but asked that we pay agents fees to re-rent it, we agreed this and was told it should be around £300. On check out the LL agreed that the house was in good condition and everyone went away happy. Nearly two weeks later we are still chasing our deposit. Today we are informed that the fees are £480 and they are also with holding £135 for carpet cleaning. The carpets were not cleaned when we moved in and this has not been mentioned before. There does not appear to be a six month break in the agreement, do we have to pay all these costs.

Thanks

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Shabana2012-03-20 18:22:46

Thanks CardiffLandlord for your advice. The rug doctor we hired to clean the carpets did a very good job and as the carpets are beige and not of good quality most of the marks (bearing in mind no stain guard was used on the carpets) came out. We have to children so there are going to be the odd little mark. The landlord has claimed that it has cost him £100 to get a professional company in to steam clean the carpets but we are arguing that we had them cleaned best that we could and the landlord will have to just accept what he paid out as his maintenance and duty of care to his property. We maintain that it's fair wear and tear after 3 and half years of living at the property. We lived in the property for 3 and half years and the letting agency/landlord never once contacted us for an inspection in the whole time we were there, paid our rent on time and all bills and never complained. That's why i'm so p***ed off that he is trying to claim £300 of our deposit money on painting and carpet cleaning!

Cheers

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JessicaK2012-03-30 12:00:33

Hello, ive been renting a student house with 2 others, and the contract will end in June 16th 2012. We dont know whether summer rent is applicable as 1 wants to stay and the other 2 want to leave, but all 3 want to come back in september and stay for another year. The landlord insists that the person staying pay full rent, when others say it should be 1/2 rent. any advice?
Thank you

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Jeremy2012-03-30 21:50:25

Hello JessicaK,

Student retainer rent is by convention 1/2 price for when the property is unoccupied. So the person staying paying full the the other two paying half would be "normal" in my experience. I'm sure there are ther deals out there which can work just as well for everyone.

As the level of rent is not legally controlled, it's up to you and the landlord to negotiate something you can all agree with.

This may not be the most wonderful advice you've ever had, but I hope it helps.

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Morgan2012-04-10 17:34:37

I hope you can help me. My wife and i signed a AST for 1 YEAR with a 6 months breakout clause.This contract is about to end in 2 weeks time. A new contract ( for a nother year ) has been offred. My wife has asked me to move out (she may wanto keep the house ). My question is,because i am the only breadwinner in the contract, will i be liable for any costs because i have not given notice that i am leaving?

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CAH1772012-04-11 12:13:16

If your name is on that agreement then you are jointly liable with your wife whether you live there or not.

Plus if you are not living there and your name is on the agreement then the agreement needs to be a Non Housing Act tenancy agreement (not an AST) as it is not your main and principle home i believe.

Also, if you go to rent another property and are referenced, you may fail the referencing as you are tied into a contract already.

I suggest that you have a discussion with the agent and/or landlord and explain the situation to them. I imagine that you don't want to be hassled for any rent arrears or damage costs (if any) at the end of the tenancy...?

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Sian2012-09-22 22:13:53

Hi there,
My boyfriend and I are in a flatshare with 1 other couple. We gave out landlords 26 days notice of us leaving. We have found new tenants for our room but the landlord has come back saying that we can not swap people in and out of a tenancy agreement (which is exactly what we did and the other housemates before us did too). We are leaving the flat in 7 days time. We have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement which we signed when we moved in, 6 months down the line the landlord sends us a renewal of the agreement but with a rent increase. We have a serious damp problem and they have taken months to do something about it and actually there are still problems that haven't been dealt with (which have been logged by us and our landlord). None of us in the house have signed the new contract and agreed with the landlord that we wouldn't until repairs have been done. Are we in any position to be charged for breaking the contract even though we have not signed the renewal?

Thank you for you help in advance.

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Jeremy2012-09-23 21:23:13

Hello Sian,

You'll have read on other blogs on thsi site that an assured shorthold agreement remains in place beyond the oringal termination date unless one of the following things happens:
1 - Your landlord issues a Section 21 (or 8) notice;
2 - You provide your landlord with minimum one month's notice you are leaving.

You have provided 26 days notice, not at least one month. So the landlord is within his rights to assume the contract moves onto a statutory periodic tenancy. So he's entitled to assume he will continue to be paid rent.

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Angie2012-09-27 02:30:47

Help Please,i signed my first ast on 19-10-2008 , and signed my last one on19-10-2009 ,both 1 year terms and have not had another one since . I have split from my partner and was due to move out on the 7-10-2012 as i had given noticed and my x partner was going to take on the house.I paid a bond of £411.66 .On sunday just gone on returning home my partner became abusive,pushed me around,kicked a whole in the door and told me to get out.I was so scared i did and got a family member to pick me up and take me to stay with my son.I have paid the rent up till the 7-10-2012 and still have items in the house,i have credit on electric and gas,i have asked the landlord about the 2 weeks rent as i had to leave the house and he is living there and my bond she first said that she transferred the tenancy to my x already and i would lose some of my bond because of wax on a carpet had to be replaced,and when i asked if i would get my 2 weeks rent back as she had given him the house already he should pay it,i was told by text to sort it out with him,what do i do next ?

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Angie2012-09-27 03:17:41

The tenancy was solely in my name

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cardifflandlord2012-09-28 09:32:41

Angie,

Sorry to hear about your troubles.

1. How much of the carpet had to be replaced? OK - if there was wax on the carpet then you are liable BUT they cannot replace the entire carpet with new UNLESS it was brand new when you rented it. They can only charge you for bringing the carpet back to the same condition it was when you moved in. Anyway, I have had wax on a carpet and it was successfully cleaned by a decent carpet cleaning company and it did not leave a mark.

2. The landlord is not allowed to just transfer a tenancy - it's complicated and depends on the dates you gave notice, when the last day of your tenancy was etc.

3. If your x kicked a hole in the door then make sure you are not charged for the damage (even though you technically are responsible for the behaviour of your friends etc under most AST's). He has caused criminal damage and should be reported the the appropriate authority and given the fact he has assaulted you you should get the complaint lodged.

You really need to take some legal advice about this via either a solicitor (the first hours consultation is free) or the citizens advice centres.

Good luck and hope this helps.

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Joe2012-11-18 02:42:46

Hi,

I'm a international student and live in a share house with three other younger English students. The cohabitation is not going well mainly because they have no idea of what clean means. I want to live but the landlord told me I had to find a new roomer otherwise I will have to pay until the end of the tenancy which is in June. I'm trying but can't obviously answer to people seeking a tidy house. Do I really have to pay until the end if I leave? The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements with our four name on it and with the rent for the whole house on it. Does it not mean that if I leave they will have to pay for my room? I don't want to seek revenge on them but if I leave and still pay my room I know they will not try to find another roomate.

Thanks for your help,

Joe

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Harry2012-12-04 15:08:48

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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Jeremy2012-12-04 21:26:30

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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Becca2012-12-27 22:09:16

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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Jeremy2012-12-27 23:05:09

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 kenyon2013-02-01 15:24:03

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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Jeremy2013-02-03 14:02:11

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 Popple2013-02-24 17:19:33

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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Andy2013-03-19 01:17:21

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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Shona2013-03-21 09:57:18

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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Jeremy2013-03-31 11:49:19

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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Megan2013-04-05 19:53:06

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.

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Benji2013-04-06 17:47:48

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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Ula2013-04-10 22:41:47

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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Susan2013-04-21 21:25:53

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?

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Papil2013-05-01 12:52:59

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!

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aras19762013-08-12 19:27:27

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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Lee2013-09-08 20:53:43

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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Angela2013-09-15 08:12:16

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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Jeff2013-11-02 05:10:04

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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Michael2013-11-07 19:23:48

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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Nicole2013-11-13 14:37:09

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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Paul2013-11-15 09:12:52

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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bob2014-01-23 21:44:00

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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AML2014-01-27 11:28:32

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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julien2014-02-10 20:43:46

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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naz2014-02-20 22:30:11

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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Heath2014-02-21 16:22:16

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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somi2014-02-22 16:14:23

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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Benji2014-02-22 17:58:16

@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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somi2014-02-22 21:06:15

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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Lisa2014-02-28 15:58:57

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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STEPHEN2014-03-02 16:09:13

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 Smith2014-03-04 23:00:22

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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ashley2014-04-08 12:46:33

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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