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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69366
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Our landlord had renewed to agreed our tenancy and we (the

Customer Question

Our landlord had renewed to agreed our tenancy and we (the tenants) have signed the contract. The landlord (2 weeks before the end of the tenancy) has then decided to sell the house and has declared the new agreement null and avoid. Could we argue that a contract is in the place as the terms of the lease were agreed upfront and it was decided that we were going to renew?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Is this an AST?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes this is an AST

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Has the landlord signed the contract?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The landlord has not signed his side of the contract, however, the renewal conditions were agreed with the managing agent. Only the tenants have signed the contract.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Did the managing agents create the tenancy agreement?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, the tenancy agreement was created by the managing agent.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Is the agent willing to provide a statement saying that landlord asked for the AST to be renewed or is it just that they acted without his agreement?

If you don't know offhand then can you call them and ask?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They have told me by phone that the landlord did ask for it, and I have emails. I spoke to them this morning and they said that they would have not sent out the contract without the landlord knowing about it. So I'm sure this could be obtained.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ok.

A renewal AST does generally have to be a signed contract. You cannot infer a renewal from circumstances.

You could try to argue here, however, that the AST is made out because the agents acted upon the landlord's instruction which proves his intention. In those circumstances you could try to rely on the AST that you signed.

Hope this helps. Please rate my answer OK SERVICE or above and I can answer your related questions.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69366
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How would a judge view this?


 


When you say "try to argue" does that mean unlikely to succeed?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
It would turn upon the evidence of the case and certainly unless you can get confirmation from the agents its a pointless challenge.

Overall though, I've had cases succeed.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can you confirm what is required for a contract to me in place and how we meet the legal definition. I think the following:


 


Intention to make a legally binding agreement - the contracts were issued


 


Consideration - the contract includes a cash payment for rent


 


Acceptance - both parties agreed to the terms that are in the contract


 


Offer - The landlord offered was to renew to the contract and we accepted on his same terms

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Those are the ingredients but that isn't the problem here.

Clearly there is an agreement because you are living there and paying rent. The question is what type of agreement.

To show its an AST not a periodic you have to normally show signed writing.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can you expand further - are you saying that because it was an AST (that's what the front cover on the contract says) that he did not sign, we do not have a legal argument to stand on?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No, its as I've said above really. I'm not sure it will improve through repetition.



A renewal AST does generally have to be a signed contract. You cannot infer a renewal from circumstances.

You could try to argue here, however, that the AST is made out because the agents acted upon the landlord's instruction which proves his intention. In those circumstances you could try to rely on the AST that you signed.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm sorry but your answer isn't coherent and is contradictory


 


1. You cannot infer a renewal from circumstances


 


2. because the agents acted upon the landlord's instructions which proves his intention


 


To me these two point contradict? As you said, you have one cases like this before....how did you get around point 1?


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I really don't think I can add much to this

I can't copy and paste because Im on the ipad and your question has been answered above

You could try to try to rely on the AST in the way I have described early
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The way you described - is that:


 


a) Proving the landlord asked for the tenancy agreement to be drawn up and sent out


 


b) Proving the landlord asked the agents to sign the tenancy on his behalf


 


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I will opt out to see if others can explain it more clearly.

I can't think of a way of making it clearer.

Normally you would not have a challenge. Here you could try to rely in the points above.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.




I have been asked to look at this for
you. I can confirm that my colleagues answer is correct. However, cannot rely
on unsigned contract because clearly, it was intended that the contract be
signed in order to make the binding.

At present, you are holding go over on
the original tenancy agreement which has now become periodic. He has to give
you two months notice. You may want to consider going quiet and letting him
serve you a section 21 note. That has to give two months from when it served.
If you then decide to sit tight, he has to apply to court for possession and if
you sit tight even further, he then asked apply to evict you. He is entitled to
get the core costs back from you if he gets the order but it could buy you for
months, probably six months.



The tenants could simply sign an
agreement and say that is it, there would be no point in having a landlord sign
at all.



I can see no way, and agree with my
colleague, you can enforce the contract which was always intended to be signed by
the landlord, was not.



I am sure that you would feel exactly
the same if you changed your mind.

You would be arguing that you have no tenancy because the landlord had not signed it.





By all means go to court and if you
win, you will have created new law!




Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.




Incidentally, if the agent will support
you and say that they were acting on landlord's instructions you might have a
slim chance of enforcing.

However the landlords are agent's bread
and butter so unlikley to do that. But the LL might just have annoyed the agent
so it is worth a go



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