House letting contract - Advice needed - HotUKDeals
We use cookie files to improve site functionality and personalisation. By continuing to use HUKD, you accept our cookie and privacy policy.
Get the HUKD app free at Google Play

Search Error

An error occurred when searching, please try again!

Login / Sign UpSubmit

House letting contract - Advice needed

jjharvey Avatar
8y, 7m agoPosted 8 years, 7 months ago
Hi all,

I'm going to be leaving the property I have let in July and there is a dispute between myself and the landlord regarding this. There is no stipulation in the contract RE leaving the tenancy early other than "s192 of the law of property act" (reasonable time etc). I have given him two months notice (actually more than that verbally) and he has 'bargained' with me that if he finds new tenants he will 'let' me leave. However...

The landlord has broken the law several times, most recently installing a new fuse box for the house by himself; needless to say it went wrong, and he asked me to take a look at it to diagnose the problem! I was then informed by the electrician who came to sort out the mess he had made, that this was VERY illegal. As I said, this is only one of a number of things he has done.

My question is, regardless of what the contract says, if the landlord has committed an act which is highly dangerous & illegal, is this clause for getting out of the contract early?
jjharvey Avatar
8y, 7m agoPosted 8 years, 7 months ago
Options

All Comments

(28) Jump to unreadPost a comment
Comments/page:
#1
You could leave on the grounds that you feel the property is unsafe to live in...

Though an electrician has been in now, so maybe you have missed your chance...

Try citizens advice and see what they say...

Why do you want to leave so quickly?

How long are you contracted to stay?

If it's a 2 month notice, why is the landlord preventing you leaving?
#2
After telling the landlord that I was going to be leaving in a couple of months to move back to the westcountry, I then found a new place to rent (which has all gone through). The contract says a year but there is no stipulation on the notice I have to give. However, the letting agent that originally found the property for me said that all I had to give was a month and the landlord two, a fact that the landlord is denying; despite the contract mentioning the "S192 of the law of property act".

I'm not particularly rushing to leave, it's just that my Uni course is over and no longer need to live around here. The landlord is trying to prevent me leaving because they want to go travelling again. I've been more than fair with this guy, but I still feel like I'm getting messed around.
#3
Jeez sounds like our previous landlord, he had let the tenancy expire without renewing, started using dodgy workmen, poor diy, he was actually one of the best landlords in our area at one time owning around 40+ houses and maintaining good standards and being fair so dont know what happened there, but he started telling the council left tenants where still in propertys to avoid council tax liabilty himself, trying all sorts of tricks when we left witholding the bond saying we didnt give notice in accordance with our tenancy (which was void as it had lapsed), when we informed the council who knew full well we had left the previous property as we where then in a council property they investigated him and he has been left with massive council tax bills to the extent he has had to sell around 25% of his property stock at huge losses below market values as they went to auction just to cover the bills! As a guide our property had been valued at £95,000 and sold for £51,500 at auction. He is facing prosecution too for employing tenants who he knew where benefits claimants knowing they where still claiming, normally I would not have reported this but he pushed us too far and pushed the wrong people.

Two months notice is more than adequate as we checked when leaving ours and told under the statutory laws with tenancys is 14 days.
Check that all gas safety checks are up to date and all other legal requirements and use anything you can against him, find out who he employs and see what can be used against him, harsh but people like this really annoy me.
banned#4
jjharvey;2179612
After telling the landlord that I was going to be leaving in a couple of months to move back to the westcountry, I then found a new place to rent (which has all gone through). The contract says a year but there is no stipulation on the notice I have to give. However, the letting agent that originally found the property for me said that all I had to give was a month and the landlord two, a fact that the landlord is denying; despite the contract mentioning the "S192 of the law of property act".

I'm not particularly rushing to leave, it's just that my Uni course is over and no longer need to live around here. The landlord is trying to prevent me leaving because they want to go travelling again. I've been more than fair with this guy, but I still feel like I'm getting messed around.

just stop paying the rent
#5
Give the notice in writing and pay up to the date you leave...

Go through the small claims Court online @ £30 to get your deposit back(Claim will get all £s +costs back)...

Don't be bullied by your landlord...

Leave blogs all over the internet about your landlord and the address...

Hide raw raw fish all over the property the day you leave...
#6
harlzter
Jeez sounds like our previous landlord, he had let the tenancy expire without renewing, started using dodgy workmen, poor diy, he was actually one of the best landlords in our area at one time owning around 40+ houses and maintaining good standards and being fair so dont know what happened there, but he started telling the council left tenants where still in propertys to avoid council tax liabilty himself, trying all sorts of tricks when we left witholding the bond saying we didnt give notice in accordance with our tenancy (which was void as it had lapsed), when we informed the council who knew full well we had left the previous property as we where then in a council property they investigated him and he has been left with massive council tax bills to the extent he has had to sell around 25% of his property stock at huge losses below market values as they went to auction just to cover the bills! As a guide our property had been valued at £95,000 and sold for £51,500 at auction. He is facing prosecution too for employing tenants who he knew where benefits claimants knowing they where still claiming, normally I would not have reported this but he pushed us too far and pushed the wrong people.

Two months notice is more than adequate as we checked when leaving ours and told under the statutory laws with tenancys is 14 days.
Check that all gas safety checks are up to date and all other legal requirements and use anything you can against him, find out who he employs and see what can be used against him, harsh but people like this really annoy me.



Wow sounds like a real PITA! I don't want to have to really sour things with the landlord as he is a nice enough guy, but he has done things wrong. Also for the amount of people living here, he needs a Multiple occupancy licence, which he hasn't got. I have advised him in the letter I sent that all money transfers will cease after the payment in June (from me and my housemates). Obviously I don't want this to come to small claims court, but if he tries to mess us around for leaving I guess it will have to!
#7
jjharvey
Wow sounds like a real PITA! I don't want to have to really sour things with the landlord as he is a nice enough guy, but he has done things wrong. Also for the amount of people living here, he needs a Multiple occupancy licence, which he hasn't got. I have advised him in the letter I sent that all money transfers will cease after the payment in June (from me and my housemates). Obviously I don't want this to come to small claims court, but if he tries to mess us around for leaving I guess it will have to!


Multiple occupancy...

I'm sure there should be fire alarms fitted etc...

You should contact the council...

Your landlord is only nice because he is getting paid for shoddy standards which can cost lives...
#8
forharry
Multiple occupancy...

I'm sure there should be fire alarms fitted etc...

You should contact the council...

Your landlord is only nice because he is getting paid for shoddy standards which can cost lives...



There should be a fire exit and regularly checked alarms (we have alarms which I check!). I know that landlord is only being nice because he has easy going tenants and he has broken tenancy laws; however I don't want to be guilty of blackmailing him. Basically I need to know that I am not breaking the law by simply leaving the place and not paying him. It's really stressing me out. Like the idea of the raw fish around the house, he doesn't like people to have pets! :-D
#9
Hide the fish where it can't be found...

Shell fish are best under floorboards and anywhere hidden... (Great smell that really lasts...)

You are not breaking the law by giving notice...

I just have a feeling if he is being a pain about you going...

You will be in the Court to get deposit back...
#10
You're probably right about the going to court; thing is (I was told this by the letting agent), I can claim back my entire two years worth of rent from the landlord for his lack of a M.O.L, so he would be wise not to try taking me to court, as I would be very tempted to mess him around as much as he has me!

My OH's father reckons we should tell him to take our last months rent from the deposit and simply honour any damages, might be a wise move.
#11
The law on shorthold tenancies has changed rather a lot in the last 20yrs but i beleive its still as follows Normal occupation is 6mths and if not renewed it is generally assumed to be considered renewed on that basis ie 6mths at a time do you fall into those dates? if so and you gave him notice within 5mths 30 days that is plenty and he can't do much about it
It is a tough one so speak to the CAB they will have the most experience of this and save any leverage gained as a useful tool in court don't go showing him your hand too early.
1 Like #12
1st place to start looking for your rights has to be here here

With regards to your landlord conducting electrical repairs. Please see PDF here

In our local area it is a legal requirement that all landlords have a Electricity safety test conducted and any appliances are PAT tested annualy.

Hope you get things sorted :thumbsup:
#13
maddogb
The law on shorthold tenancies has changed rather a lot in the last 20yrs but i beleive its still as follows Normal occupation is 6mths and if not renewed it is generally assumed to be considered renewed on that basis ie 6mths at a time do you fall into those dates? if so and you gave him notice within 5mths 30 days that is plenty and he can't do much about it
It is a tough one so speak to the CAB they will have the most experience of this and save any leverage gained as a useful tool in court don't go showing him your hand too early.


Well our contract says that our tenancy is for a year, but this differs with what the letting agent originally told us. I think he has broken terms in the contract which in my opinion makes it null & void and gives us good reason to cancel it, you're right though, it is a tough one!

Thanks to all of you so far for your help/opinions by the way! :thumbsup:
#14
if your contract states a year and you leave any time up to that you have to pay what is left on the contract to run - irrelevant of how much notice you give.
#15
Law of Property act
196.--
(1) Any notice required or authorised to be served or given by this Act shall be in writing.
(2) Any notice required or authorisd by this Act to be served on a lessee or mortgagor
(3) Any notice required or authorised by this Act to be served shall be sufficiently served if it is left at the last-known place of abode or business in the United Kingdom of the lessee, lessor, mortgagee, mortgagor, or other person to be served, or, in case of a notice required or authorised to be served on a lessee or mortgagor, is affixed or left for him on the land or any house or building comprised in the lease or mortgage, or, in case of a mining lease, is left for the lessee at the office or counting-house of the mine.
(4) Any notice required or authorised by this Act to be served shall also be sufficiently served, if it is sent by post in a registered letter addressed to the lessee, lessor, mortgagee, mortgagor, or other person to be served, by name, at the aforesaid place of abode or business, office, or counting-house, and if that letter is not returned through the post-office undelivered; and that service shall be deemed to be made at the time at which the registered letter would in the ordinary course be delivered.


This is included in the contract, so if I'm not allowed to serve notice, then surely they shouldn't have included it. As I said, it is not clear what the guideline for leaving is, therefore I have given them plenty of notice. Plus from all the contractual obligations they have broken, I surely am entitled to leave without problem.

If your phone company wrote you a contract for a year, but the phone turned out to be unuseable, you could give up that contract (just an example, but you get my point).
#16
In short, if you have a 12 month minimum contract, you are required to pay rent for 12 months.
But I'm confused. You suggest you've been there 2 years. Now either you agreed to a second minimum term or you automatically acquired a statutory periodic tenancy.
If you agreed to a second term, you must abide by it. If not you are on a month by month contract.
So providing you are not within a minimum term, you can give written notice of at least 1 month, such notice terminating on the day before your rent is due (so time it wrong and it could be just under 2 months)
In regards to the property being unusable, well it's not a phone contract, it's an assured shorthold tenancy agreement. Under those terms, the landlord could be held responsible if the property becomes uninhabitable, (e.g. gutted by fire) providing such damage was not caused by the tenant.
In this case, the property is habitable so does not apply.
If you are worried as to the safety of the electrical system, then you should formally advise the landlord of your concern. If the landlord fails to rectify any fault, you may be able to have the corrective work undertaken yourself and deduct the cost from rent due. But you cannot terminate the contract.
I would seek legal advice before incurring any expense such as remedial work if the landlord is not prepared to have the work carried out himself.

The above assumes you have an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, the most common type of tenancy agreement where renting of housing from private landlords in concerned. If it doesn't say what type of tenancy agreement it is, then by default it is an ASTA.
#17
Premier;2181408
In short, if you have a 12month minimum contract, you are required to pay rent for 12 months.
But I'm confused. You suggest you've been there 2 years. Now either you agreed to a second minimum term ore you automatically aquired a statutory periodic tenancy.
If you agreed to a second term, you must abide by it. If not you are on a month by month contract.
So providing you are not within a minimum term, you can give written notice of at least 1 month, such notice terminating on the day before your rent is due (so time it wrong and it could be just under 2 months)
In regards to the property being unusable, well it's not a phone contract, it's an assured shorthold tenancy agreement. Under those terms, the landlord could be held responsible if the property becomes uninhabitable, (e.g. gutted by fire) providing such damage was not caused by the tenant.
In this case, the property is habitable so does not apply.
If you are worried as to the safety of the electrical system, then you should formally advise the landlord of your concern. If the landlord fails to rectify any fault, you may be able to have the corrective work undertaken yourself and deduct the cost from rent due. But you cannot terminate the contract.
I would seek legal advice before incurring any expense such as remedial work if the landlord is not prepared to have the work carried out himself.

The above assumes you have an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, the most common type of tenancy agreement where renting of housing from private landlords in concerned. If it doesn't say what type of tenancy agreement it is, then by default it is an ASTA.


Agreed :thumbsup:
Any notices you send to the landlord should be sent via a recorded method in case of any problems later where you have to prove they were given. And for rectification work, I was lead to believe only such emergency work as to make the place habitable (i.e. not small jobs which most obviously make little difference to your immediate comfort) was allowable by a tenant, and chargeable to the landlord. And then only if nothing was done after a reasonable amount of time.
#18
From what I understand, if you are still in your 1 year contract, the landlord have the right to keep demanding payment from you. He is giving you the option to leave ONLY if he can find a new tenant which is quite fair.

I can't commend on the unsafe part though.
#19
Last few posters don't seem to understand that he has breached his own contract for several reasons.
Here's a list of stuff that hasn't been handled properly (off the top of my head).

Lack of HMO (criminal offence w/ up to £20k fine)
No electrical safety testing.
Left us without a working oven for about a week, then delivered a cheap 2nd hand electric oven which he then expected me to install.
Didn't fix our tumble drier until I phoned the letting agent to check that he had too.
In a recent visit by the sparky to fix our fuse board (which was very dangerous) I was informed that the house should've been tested as there were unsafe electrics (ie the lights in the bathroom).
Our fence fell down last year and it took over four months for him to turn up and fix (couldn't get the parts apparently!)
Still hasn't fixed the toilet seat after our previous housemate broke it.
Asked me to hang on to the previous housemates deposit and only paid it back after 7 months!

The HMO thing would be enough to be a breach of contract guys. However, as I have said in previous posts, I do not wish to fall out with these people and I have been very easy going with a lot of things; but now when I want a 'favour' they're suddenly being sticklers for the rules.
#20
do you have proof of all these things - ie dates / times / witnesses / correspondence between yourself and the ladlord - if not - you do not have a leg to stand on
#21
We are just commenting on the contract which the landlord is in the right.

As for all the other "unsafe" things that you want to bring up in order to terminate your contract immediately, you should seek your letting agent's advice which you probably have already. For professional advice on this, you should seek help from your council. They must have a department to handle housing enquiries.
#22
I'm going to the CAB tommorow morning and yes I have witnesses, photos etc.
[mod]#23
jjharvey
Last few posters don't seem to understand that he has breached his own contract for several reasons.
Here's a list of stuff that hasn't been handled properly (off the top of my head).

Lack of HMO (criminal offence w/ up to £20k fine)
No electrical safety testing.
Left us without a working oven for about a week, then delivered a cheap 2nd hand electric oven which he then expected me to install.
Didn't fix our tumble drier until I phoned the letting agent to check that he had too.
In a recent visit by the sparky to fix our fuse board (which was very dangerous) I was informed that the house should've been tested as there were unsafe electrics (ie the lights in the bathroom).
Our fence fell down last year and it took over four months for him to turn up and fix (couldn't get the parts apparently!)
Still hasn't fixed the toilet seat after our previous housemate broke it.
Asked me to hang on to the previous housemates deposit and only paid it back after 7 months!

The HMO thing would be enough to be a breach of contract guys. However, as I have said in previous posts, I do not wish to fall out with these people and I have been very easy going with a lot of things; but now when I want a 'favour' they're suddenly being sticklers for the rules.


Lack of a HMO is HUGE. Absolutely massive. He should know this.
#24
HMO is only applicable in certain circumstances - and as the OP said house, it would not usually be applicable unless there are 5+ people living there separately.
[mod]#25
...but the OP said that there is a lack of HMO...so if he knows the criteria for having one he wouldnt have mentioned it.
#26
In hertfordshire it's 3 non-related people. The original letting agent assured me that this property needed one if we were going to have three people living here.
#27
jjharvey;2182111
Last few posters don't seem to understand that he has breached his own contract for several reasons.
Here's a list of stuff that hasn't been handled properly (off the top of my head).

Lack of HMO (criminal offence w/ up to £20k fine)
No electrical safety testing.
Left us without a working oven for about a week, then delivered a cheap 2nd hand electric oven which he then expected me to install.
Didn't fix our tumble drier until I phoned the letting agent to check that he had too.
In a recent visit by the sparky to fix our fuse board (which was very dangerous) I was informed that the house should've been tested as there were unsafe electrics (ie the lights in the bathroom).
Our fence fell down last year and it took over four months for him to turn up and fix (couldn't get the parts apparently!)
Still hasn't fixed the toilet seat after our previous housemate broke it.
Asked me to hang on to the previous housemates deposit and only paid it back after 7 months!

The HMO thing would be enough to be a breach of contract guys. However, as I have said in previous posts, I do not wish to fall out with these people and I have been very easy going with a lot of things; but now when I want a 'favour' they're suddenly being sticklers for the rules.

Allow me to address these allegations individually
Lack of HMO (criminal offence w/ up to £20k fine)
If you believe this to be the case (and if so why have you waited 2 years before bringing up the matter), you should report it to the appropriate authorities to investigate. Until proven, I wouldn't suggest you alone find find the landlord guilty and assume any breach of tenancy agreement has taken place. Fyi, irrespective of what you have otherwise been informed, 3 unrelated people who opt to rent a house together does not necessarily make the property a HMO requiring a licence; it depends in part on how the tenancy agreement is set up. You having the ability to hold onto an ex-housemates deposit (referred to later) suggests it is infact not a HMO.
Take legal advice & inform the appropriate authorities first. Only if/when the landlord is proven guilty might you have any grounds for a dispute.
No electrical safety testing.
Unlike gas installations, there is no legal requirement for a private landlord to have electrical installations formally inspected.
Left us without a working oven for about a week, then delivered a cheap 2nd hand electric oven which he then expected me to install.
The fact you were left for a week without a working oven is tough; they do occasionally breakdown, you seemed to have survived, get over it. The fact it was a cheap 2nd hand oven is also tough, get over it. The landlord should not have expected you to install it. I'm not condoning the landlord's behaviour in not arranging for the oven to be installed, but if you couldn't agree otherwise, you could/should have gave notice that you would employ a competent electrician to carry out the work and deduct the incurred cost from the rent due.
Didn't fix our tumble drier until I phoned the letting agent to check that he had too.
Like the oven, tough, get over it. A landlord cannot necessarily know of any corrective action required to be undertaken unless a tenant advises of such problem. If there was a delay, tough. Hang your washing out to dry naturally or take it to the launderette and stick it in a dryer for a pound or two. If you have a receipt from the launderette for any reasonable expense incurred, you could try asking the landlord for reimbursement, but you haven't so tough, get over it.
In a recent visit by the sparky to fix our fuse board (which was very dangerous) I was informed that the house should've been tested as there were unsafe electrics (ie the lights in the bathroom).
As I mentioned earlier, there is no legal requirement for electrical installation safety checks to be made. However, the landlord does have a duty to ensure elctrical installations are safe. If you believe they are not, inform the landlord of the remedial work required. If he fails to act, as I've already told you, give notice that you will have the remedial work undertaken yourself and deduct the cost from rent due.
Our fence fell down last year and it took over four months for him to turn up and fix (couldn't get the parts apparently!)
There is no obligation on a landlord (or houseowner) to repair a broken fence.
Still hasn't fixed the toilet seat after our previous housemate broke it.
Err...you state your previous housemate broke it. That suggest they are responsible for its repair, not the landlord. Even if it could be proved it was the landlord's responsibility to repair, (a) advise the landlord, (b) if necessary give notice that you will purchase a replacement seat/fittings and deduct the cost from rent due if the repair is not carried out in a reasonable time. (cost of toilet seat, about £10, cost of fittings less than £5)
Asked me to hang on to the previous housemates deposit and only paid it back after 7 months!
I don't quite follow this. Why were you holding the deposit? The fact that you had access to the deposit suggests that the property may not be a HMO.
Whatever the facts, the landlord is now acknowledged as having repaid the deposit to the departed housemate and so no alleged breach of contract in this respect can by definition continue to exist.

In summary, I don't believe anything you have said is grounds for terminating the tenancy agreement early and without the required notice. It is good that you are seeking independent advice before you do anything that could put you in breach of the tenancy agreement you have agreed to.
#28
jjharvey;2182945
In hertfordshire it's 3 non-related people. The original letting agent assured me that this property needed one if we were going to have three people living here.

So why did you agree to rent the property originally? If there were not 3 individuals orginally renting the property, why did you not ensure whatever action you think needed to be taken to comply with HMO regulations took place before you agreed to accept the 3rd tenant.?
You're on a hiding to nothing if you think you can use this now as an excuse to end the tenancy agreement you seem to have been happy to accept for the past 2 years, simply because you have ended your student course and no longer need the property you undertook to rent.

Post a Comment

You don't need an account to leave a comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.

...OR log in with your social account

...OR comment using your social account

Thanks for your comment! Keep it up!
We just need to have a quick look and it will be live soon.
The community is happy to hear your opinion! Keep contributing!