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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70281
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have been living in my privately rented property for 3 years

Customer Question

I have been living in my privately rented property for 3 years and have been paying in arrears. My contract actually ran out about year ago and hasn't been renewed (it doesn't say on there that I've been paying in arrears) but the landlord has just told me via text that I have to start paying in advance in 3 weeks time when my next payments due. So instead of paying £640 I have to pay £1280 in 3 weeks time. Can he legally do this?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Can I presume you are not in arrears of any kind?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No we're not.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

You do normally have to pay in advance with rental contracts. However, if your contract originally was silent on the point and he has been allowing you to pay in arrears then you could argue that is the term of the contract.

If it is the term of the contract then he cannot just vary it without your agreement.

What he can do though is give notice. He cannot just do it without proper notice of course. He needs to serve a proper S21 notice upon you and give you no less than two months notice. You will be on a periodic tenancy agreement now and you do have rights to remain. he hasn't done that so far but he could if he wished and you cannot hide from that.

Overall though, a Court would probably accept its unreasonable to expect this sum in such a short period of time.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Jo