How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Joshua Your Own Question

Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
35043042
Type Your Law Question Here...
Joshua is online now

We have just been given notice to vacate the house we rent

Customer Question

We have just been given notice to vacate the house we rent by our landlord, 18 months or so into a two year tenancy. The rental agents have advised him that he can get a much higher rental with the sudden rise in market values in London, and he has based his notice on the fact that we have been a couple of days late paying rent two or three times since November. We admit to having been between 2 and 9 days late on occasion owing to my husband's employers making late payments to him, but have always kept the Landlord appraised of the situation at the time. We have had to accept the notice but are unhappy with the fact that the agent is not giving us reasonable notice of viewings for prospective new tenants. Within two days of reluctantly agreeing that we will leave we have been inundated with advice of viewings and for an official photographer to take pictures. So far, the photographer turned up earlier than the agreed time, and some of the viewings have been booked well less than a day in advance - often 2 or 3 different viewings a day. Surely this is not fair? The lease agreement states that "reasonable" notice should be given. We wish to be present for all viewings as we have 2 pedigree cats in the house and don't wish for them to escape, and we also can't bear the thought of 2 months of this constant invasion. What are our rights in this case, and what is deemed "reasonable?" We would be most grateful for advice.
Kind regards,
Claire Friedlander
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 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 :

Would I be correct to assume the landlord has served on you a s8 notice to leave please? If so can you tell me what ground numbers he has cited?

JACUSTOMER-5pc1rijs- :

I am not sure about what type of notice was served, but seem to recall S21? He has sited "late payments" as the grounds for early termination of our 2 year contract.

Joshua :

Thanks. So you remember roughly when the notice was served and the eviction date specified in the notice?

JACUSTOMER-5pc1rijs- :

Notice has been served within the last couple of days, and eviction date is 7th July.

Joshua :

Thanks and your term runs until November roughly? Are there any break clauses in the tenancy?

JACUSTOMER-5pc1rijs- :

Our term was to run to November 17th. There was a one-year break clause in the lease at the tenant's behest (we didn't see any break clauses favouring the Landlord)

Joshua :

Thanks. On that basis the landlord has served on you is invalid and can be ignored.

Joshua :

A s21 can only be served to expire after the end of your tenancy not before.

Joshua :

The landlord can exploit any break clause in his favour in the tenancy but from what you say there is none.

Joshua :

accordingly, the section 21 notice what you say can be ignored and you do not have to leave the property despite what you may have agreed to. the landlord cannot enforce an invalid notice

JACUSTOMER-5pc1rijs- :

Thank you so much for this advice. It has all become so sour, though, that we will probably vacate on the 7th July. We are more concerned at this stage about the enduring inconvenience of multiple viewings at random times, and would really love to know our rights on this issue.

Joshua :

the landlord is entitled to serve something called a section 8 notice upon you for persistent late rent payments however eviction on these grounds would be a discretion of a judge and it is highly highly unlikely that a court would order a late rent payment eviction based on two late rent payments.

Joshua :

if the landlord is harassing you, this is a criminal offence and you can report the matter to the local authority's housing officer who can warn the landlord and seek prosecution. You can also claim civil damages in the County Court

Joshua :

you do not have to allow access for viewings or for any other purpose other than repairs or emergencies and any provision of the tenancy agreement that says otherwise has been deemed to be an unfair contract terms under the unfair terms in consumer contracts regulations by the office of fair trading

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

JACUSTOMER-5pc1rijs- :

That sounds only fair. The landlord insists that letting this house is "a business" for him, and we are positive that the motivation is the higher rent he can now achieve. A major worry for us will be reference from the current rental agent (Marsh and Parsons) for 'late rental payments' (actually probably about 4 times in all, but seriously never more than 9 days and mostly only 3 days late on average). We are worried that this will have a negative affect on us trying to rent elsewhere. I believe that the lease agreement did state that the agent would be permitted access for viewings for prospective future tenants, but that they should give us "reasonable" notice of these viewings. I just want to know what is considered "reasonable." How much notice? How often? Very vague wording…. Can I otherwise get access to information about the Consumer contracts from the Office of Fair trading, which you mention above?

Joshua :

Yes certainly. Just a moment...

Joshua :

See para 3.32

Joshua :

http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/reports/unfair_contract_terms/oft356.pdf

Joshua :

And 3.33

Joshua :

since you have no obligation to leave the property, you could contact the lettings agents and advise that, if you are still willing to leave, you will not believe in the property unless and until you are able to find suitable replacement accommodation and they will wish to bear this in mind when providing a reference for you. since you have no obligation to leave based on what you say, if they provide you with a bad reference preventing you renting elsewhere you do not have to leave so this should motivate them to ensure that an appropriate reference is given.

Joshua :

is there anything else I can help you with?

JACUSTOMER-5pc1rijs- :

Hugely helpful, thank you! I will pass this on via the agents, and it will hopefully give me some authority in limiting the overwhelming "viewings" situation. Many thanks, indeed.

Joshua :

Quite so. Based on what you say the landlord is on the back foot as he is entirely reliant on your good graces to move out. Accordingly you should be able to effectively control proceedings.

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though.

JACUSTOMER-5pc1rijs- :

No problem. I will get the rating done now, but how do I reach you again if I do need to?

Joshua :

You can contact me at any time using the following link and/or asking for me in the first line of any question:

Joshua :

http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-joshua/

Joshua :

Many thanks

JACUSTOMER-5pc1rijs- :

Thank you so much. I am feeling greatly empowered by all this, which is gratifying as I know that we have been exemplary tenants, bar a couple of marginally late payments for which we have communicated more than adequately with the Landlord. Many thanks again. Great service!!!

Joshua :

Many thanks. Good luck with your move if you decide to go through with it.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice