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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69268
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Dear Solicitor Upon retirement I sold my property and moved

Customer Question

Dear Solicitor

Upon retirement I sold my property and moved via a renting agency into temporary rental accommodation, the contract was a six months fixed term Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement from the 8th July 2013 to the 7th January 2014. I also mentioned that after the six months I might want to continue renting on a monthly basis, which the agency said would not be a problem.

On the 19th December I visited the agents office to notify them that I would probably be staying for another month to which the reply was - “you are fine to stay at the property even though you will have finished your fixed term and to let us know when you will be leaving”. As I had never rented accommodation before, I enquired as to whether there was any documentation that I should have or sign regarding the extended periodic arrangement, to which I received the reply - no you have just told me.

On or about the 26th February I phoned the agency to let them know that I had purchased a property and would be moving out on the 7th March 2014 to which they replied - you need to give one months notice in writing to take effect from the 8th March and pay rent through to the 7th April 2014.

Nowhere in the 25 page six month fixed term Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement is there any mention or reference about periodic rental or terms regarding giving a months notice in writing, neither have I received any correspondence or documentation stating this. When pointing this out to the agency they replied - The Housing Act is statute law and this states that you need to give one month’s notice in line with your term date. Statute law overrides the contract therefore where the contract is silent the statute law is the point of reference.

My query is – Did the agency have a professional obligation and duty of care to ensure I was informed about the requirement to give a months notice in writing? Further, was the agency negligent in not providing this information on the basis that it is reasonable to see that a tenant could incur a financial loss if not informed of this requirement? I have been asked to pay rent for the period in dispute but have not paid? The rent is £1,100 per month so is not an insubstantial sum. Do I have grounds to take my case to the Small Claims Court for resolution?

Many thanks

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

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

When did the original AST end please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

7th January 2014

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
They are correct that notice must be in writing.

They are the agent of the landlord and not the agent of you so they have no duty of care to you.

You can either pay this money under duress and sue the landlord to get it back or simply not pay the final months rent and move out as you had planned and if the landlord decides to sue you, defend his claim in the small claims court.

If the landlord gets another tenant, meanwhile he is only entitled to rent until he gets a new tenant.
I can tell you what is probably happened here.

The agent took your verbal notice and did not tell you that it needed to be right in writing on purpose.

They have then looked for a new tenant to replace you at the end of the notice period and a failed to get one.

What they have then done to buy themselves another month at least, is to then tell you that the notice must be in writing.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69268
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo


Thank you for your response.




Could you clarify whether the agent upon the completion of the fixed six months rental period after which I moved into periodic monthly rental, was required to provide/inform me about terms and conditions relating to periodic rental, in particular that one months notice is required to be given in writing. I have had sight of other agency contracts where this information is very clearly shown so removing any possible ambiguity.



Do you have any advice on what would be the best grounds I could argue my case in the small claims court.






Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No, there is no statutory requirement for that.

The original contract just rolls over.

It is good practice to have it in the original tenancy agreement which states what happens at the end but there is no reason to do so.

I think the best thing that you can say in the Small Claims Court would be to say that you relied on the agent saying that they did not need it in writing

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