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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Good morning, i have an assured shorthold tenancy agreement

Resolved Question:

Good morning, i have an assured shorthold tenancy agreement that is now in its periodic period and my landlord has served me with a Section 21 for repossesion. In the last couple of days he is asking to show potential new tenants around the property now (not conducive to my working day, evenings are fine but he wants 11:00 and 14:00). I am happy that he enters the property to do a pre-exit inspection now, but my contract states that viewings for new tenants can be conducted within the last month of the term. Having received 2 months notice, can i reasonably assume that the clause ive mentioned is valid under the Section 21 and to ask him to not arrange any more viewings until that last month?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

Before I address the main substance of your question, may I confirm whether you are in principle content to leave the property or whether you would prefer to stay please - at least for a while longer?

Customer:

I would prfer to stay for awhile longer yet

Joshua :

Thanks. In that case it would be worth first looking at whether the s21 notice is valid. Could you tell me whether the s21 notice was served before or after the expiry of the fixed period. I think from what you say it may have been afterwards, but for the avoidance of doubt?

Customer:

My belief is the Section 21 is invlaid. I have written to them regarding the deposit which i believe is not with a scheme as far as my serackes of the databases are concerned.

Customer:

My contrat expired 26/01/2014. The section 21 was dated 23 Feb 2014 with an expriy of the 30th APril

Joshua :

Thanks - on what date is rent payable under the tenancy each month?

Customer:

my first years contract had a receipt deposit attahced to it saying the deposit would be held by the landlord. It was an assured shorthold tenancy under the houding act 0f 88. No specific clauses were conatined within re deposit. The follow contrcat this year does have such clauses in it as amneded by the act in 1996

Customer:

Payable on the 1st

Joshua :

Thanks. ON the face of it the s21 is correctly drawn and therefore subject as follows is valid. However if your deposit is not protected then the s21 is automatically invalid.

Customer:

ok, and can he view now? or am i reasonable to ask that that be the last monthe of the served 21

Joshua :

It should have been protected at the time you paid it to the landlord but in any event it should have been protected within 30 days of April 2012 (this was the date the law changed and became strengthened in respect of deposit protection rules). If it was not then this is a breach and the landlord must repay the same, irrespective of damage to the property, together with up to 3 times the amount in compensation, being the penalty for non compliance. If you are uncertain whether it is protected, you can check online with one of the four schemes that it could be registered with:

Joshua :

http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/tenants/get-started/check-your-deposit
https://www.depositprotection.com/is-my-deposit-protected
https://www.thedisputeservice.co.uk/is-my-deposit-registered.html
https://www.capita-tdp.co.uk/

Joshua :

If it has not been protected as you suspect then you can issue a claim in the county court for the return of your deposit and a claim for up to three times the amount in compensation (judge has discretion as to whether to award between 1 and 3 times compensation depending upon landlady's conduct) under the provisions of the Housing Act as amended by the Localism Act.

Customer:

ive checcked l of those

Customer:

hence my letetr for them to clarify and/or lodge my deposit with the scheme now

Joshua :

You may consider asking the landlord for evidence of its protection on the basis you believe it is not protected warning that you reserve your above rights. If it is not protected you can also ignore the s21 notice as it is invalid.

Customer:

thats what i thought

Customer:

i have adraft letter to send

Joshua :

In terms of viewing notwithstanding the above which may serve to make the landlords requests for viewing redundant, if there is a provision in your tenancy agreement that states he can enter for viewings this is a useful provision for him because he can give you notice and if you do not object he can then rely on the provision to enter.

Customer:

can he view now though or must he abide by clause 1.1 of my contrcat which says last month

Joshua :

However if he enters against your permission (i.e. you object) the position is very different. He may be guilty inter alia of a breach of contract under common law, an offence under both the Protection Against Eviction Act and the protection from Harassment Act (the latter if he repeatedly enters against your permission).

Customer:

im unsure f this applies to the fixed term or the periodic given 2 momnths on the s21

Joshua :

The OFT also advise that they would consider a term giving the landlord a right to enter against the tenants permission to be unfair under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts - see below:



3.32 We would object to a provision giving the landlord an excessive right to enter the rented property. Under any kind of lease or tenancy, a landlord is required by common law to allow his tenants ‘exclusive possession’ and ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the premises during the tenancy. In other words, tenants must be free from unwarranted intrusion by anyone, including the landlord. Landlords are unfairly disregarding that basic obligation if they reserve a right to enter the property without giving reasonable notice or getting the tenant’s consent, except for good reason.


Customer:

Thanks joshua im also aware of that

Joshua :

Therefore any such terms in tenancy agreements are very fragile. As above they have some value in that in signing the same you agree to such access (ie. in default of an express refusal) but the landlord cannot hold you to that if ultimately you do not wish to give access. If you refuse he cannot enter and commits a criminal offence in so doing.

Joshua :

THe above applies to both fixed term contracts and periodic tenancies.

Customer:

his position is as long as he gives me 24 hours notice in wroting he cna enter

Customer:

now

Joshua :

If you object and refuse permission to enter then irrespective of any clause in the tenancy he may not enter except in the case of a genuine emergency - e.g. gas leak etc. If he ignores your refusal he commits a criminal offence.

Customer:

my view is thats fine for the pre exit but i ex[pect to be left alone until the last month before any viewings happen and any furhter inspection he might wish to do except for a need to enter for repairs if they arise. Is that a reasonable view?

Joshua :

It is - though it actually doesn't matter if it is reasonable or not. If you refuse he cannot enter as confirmed by OFT advice. It is as simple as that.

Customer:

im trying to be reasonable but will not tolerate what i see as hararssement

Customer:

ok thnaks Joshua, youve answered my question. I understand if they did do the deposit wth 30 days i can sue?

Customer:

small claims court?

Joshua :

Quite. You have a number of approaches as above. You can if you wish threaten to involve the local authority's housing officer who can prosecute in the case of harrassment.

Customer:

*did not do

Joshua :

In deed - www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

Customer:

can i do this prior to vacating or must it be afterwards?

Joshua :

You have a right to a minimum of 1 times the deposit value in compensation and up to 3 times at the discretion of the judge.

Joshua :

You can do this at any time before or after.

Customer:

Thats great, thnak you very much you have been agreat help

Joshua :

A great pleasure. Good luck with the landlord.

Customer:

thnak you

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