Rolling contract advice

Discussion in 'benefits and housing' started by mr steev, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. mr steev

    mr steev unkempt clacker

    Can anyone give me any advice?

    My house is divided into two flats. Mine being the ground floor and upstairs is a separate 2 bed flat. When I first moved in about 13 years ago I was on a 12 month contract. about 6 years ago the woman upstairs moved out and two of my mates moved in also on a 12 month contract. Over the time I've been living here the landlord has let the house fall into disrepair - a constant battle to get him to do any maintenance (a battle lost by me on the most part, as he has done fuck all) about 3 years ago the landlord wanted to put the rent up. I told him I would be happy with an increase as soon as he had done some of the repairs - so he put me on a rolling contract and the repairs still haven't been done (and have now got to the point that they have become huge jobs - window frame replacements, underpinning etc)

    One of my mates upstairs gave his notice at the beginning of the month to leave at the end of the month (without giving the other tennant any notice!) The other tennant was hoping that the landlord would accept half rent for a while (as the flat is in too bad a state to get anyone else to move in) whilst he sorts himself out and finds somewhere else. After conversations with the letting agent he received a message today saying that the landlord will not accept half rent... there is no way my mate can afford the full rent, so in essence he has been given 3 weeks notice... is this legal?

    I am also very concerned that he is now going to serve me notice! I came into an inheritance recently and will soon (but not quite yet) be in a position to buy somewhere. The last thing I need at the moment is to have to put me and my daughter into temporary accommodation. What rights (if any) do I have?
     
  2. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    Notice is two months notice from the next monthly renewal date* after you're served with a S21 notice, which needs to be correct and properly served, and then if you refuse to leave, some more time (likely months) before you get evicted by court order.

    Separately from this, someone is failing to pay the rent. Whether that's effectively your mate depends on whether they have a joint tenancy agreement with the departed tenant or separate ones. They can't be served notice to quit any faster than the above but, if it is a joint tenancy, they are collectively liable for the rent under the contract.

    *on tenancies taken out more recently, it's two months from the date on which it's served
     
  3. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    It depends very much on what the tenancy agreement says.

    Did mate A (who's pissing off) and mate B (who's staying put) each have a separate tenancy agreement with landlord, covering their room/s and shared use of the rest of the place, or did mates A and B have a joint tenancy agreement for the flat? Or is / was the tenancy in the name of one of the two?

    if it's separate tenancies, then it's landlord's problem to find a new tenant for mate A's room. and B would not be liable for anything that's not in his tenancy agreement.

    if it's a joint tenancy, then B has a problem - he could legally be responsible for full rent (and utility bills etc) if A has pissed off. There might be grounds for county court claim against A, but this may or may not be practical.

    is B in a position to find someone else to move in in the short term? in theory, this would probably result in seeking a new tenancy agreement.

    If the tenancy is in A's name (and he's buggered off) and B was a sub-tenant then B is potentially in the shit with no legal agreement between him and landlord (although arguably no legal obligation to pay full rent to landlord)

    If tenancy is in B's name then he may have the right to find a new lodger but will be liable to pay full rent to landlord anyway.

    Legally speaking, your tenancy for your flat shouldn't be affected by whatever goes on in another flat in the building, but some landlords can be cunts.

    If you're now at the 'periodic tenancy' stage, then landlord can give 2 months' notice any time he feels like it, and for any reason - doesn't have to be any fault on the part of the tenant. and if so, not really a lot you can do about it.

    This (Shelter) has more about legal processes around evictions.

    May be worth you / mate talking to their advice line.

    And in any private tenancy, the other question is whether landlord is the sort who believes in serving proper notice and going through proper legal process, or is the sort to take more direct action (if you know what i mean).

    in theory, tenants have legal redress against illegal eviction / harrasment, but not sure it's always easy to do this, especially after the event.

    All the above assumes you're in England. Housing law is different around the UK.

    And subject to the disclaimer that I'm not a lawyer or anything resembling one.

    Best of luck...
     
    equationgirl and mauvais like this.
  4. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    and the other angle, repairs and so on - this (again, shelter) has more about landlords' responsibilities, but it can be a sod trying to get them to do anything.

    again in theory, tenants do have some legal redress if landlords fail to maintain a place properly, and there is some sort of protection against landlords giving notice ('revenge eviction') if you ask for repairs to be done. the latter is a fairly new bit of law and i don't know how it works in practice.
     
  5. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    Thinking around this more broadly... you should consider whether the landlord owns the property outright or is mortgaged. Chances are strong that after 13 years of you in it, they own it. Their options would be leave it alone, repair, sale or attempt to re-let as-is.

    Repair is probably the most likely to cause you to be evicted as their best bet would be a cheap gutting and wholesale refurbishment of an empty property, rather than carrying out smaller repairs with you in situ. Obviously this requires capital.

    Sale is actually less likely to involve immediate servicing of notice as sales can drag on for months and a void is a loss of income, so many will only serve it once they've got a buyer. But, on the flip side, be aware that it will probably take you months to complete on any purchase you make. I would say about four months is normal.

    Re-let carries similar risks and is unlikely to be attractive unless there really is a queue of people to rent even a dilapidated property where you are.

    You can get six month tenancies that you may then expect to turn into rolling ones, so if you feel that you might be struck with a sudden notice in the midsts of trying to buy a house, it could be argued that jumping before you're pushed is wise. However that's a judgement you need to make yourself based on your assessment of it.
     
    UnderAnOpenSky likes this.
  6. mr steev

    mr steev unkempt clacker

    Cheers both. Yeah, I'm in England.

    I'm not sure if they had a joint tennancy or individual ones. I'm inclined to think it is joint as letters from the letting agent are addressed to both of them. It's a shitter for my mate who wanted to stay for a bit. He is going to move to his girlfriends (which was his ultimate plan) but after he'd learnt to drive as she lives a fair distance away and now he's looking at a few hours commute every day on the bus so he can get to his night shift.

    Regarding my tenancy. Could my landlord give me 2 months notice tomorrow (he's finally coming round tomorrow morning to unblock a drain that has been backing up all over the path by my back door for the last month!) or will he have to wait until my next rent is due the beginning of next month?
     
  7. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    The latter, almost. He can physically serve it as early as he likes (within certain limits), but because yours is an older tenancy, the effective date has to be next rent due date plus two months. Fairly sure but might be worth confirming.
     
  8. mr steev

    mr steev unkempt clacker

    He owns the house... He inherited it off his dad when he died (his dad was the original landlord of the woman who lived here when I moved in). When I moved in his dad went into a hospice and he took on being a landlord, then inherited the house when his dad died shortly after.
    The way he has acted over the last decade or so seems to show he just views it as a cash cow. It should be a beautiful big old victorian semi and worth a small fortune if he'd bothered maintaining it, but he just doesn't seem to care... which is why me and my mate presumed he would be happy getting half rent rather than nothing.
    To bring it up to scratch (albeit losing a most of the original features as he has let them go too far) it needs completely gutting - which is why I'm a bit concerned that he will want the house empty.
    Maybe he will sell it and thinks it will be easier to sell with one tenant rather than three, and perhaps thinks it will be easier with me as I am a single parent as opposed to two blokes and me. At least now I know he can't just give me 4 weeks notice as I was concerned he could. :)
     
    equationgirl and mauvais like this.
  9. mr steev

    mr steev unkempt clacker

    Well it looks like I'm not getting evicted :) he didn't even mention me moving out... Just put off fixing my drain until next week! I wonder what his excuse will be then :hmm:
     
  10. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    :)

    although :mad: that it even warrants a :) if you see what i mean
     
    mr steev likes this.
  11. MrSki

    MrSki Who am I to say you're wrong

    Glad you are not getting evicted but the fucker should sort it out so it is at least fit for human habitation. :( What is wrong with some people that makes them happy to rent out somewhere that is not fit to live in?
     
    mr steev likes this.

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