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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We are landlords of a flat and we have a tenant who has signed

Resolved Question:

We are landlords of a flat and we have a tenant who has signed a Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement (signed by the tenants daughter as Power of Attorney). The agreement expires on 7/5/2015. It is our intention to sell the property and have found a potential buyer.
As landlords we alerted the tenant by text on 1/2/2015 that we we were going to sell the flat. On 22/2/2015 under the terms of Tenancy agreement we then hand delivered to the tenant the required written notice giving the tenant 2 and half months notice that the tenancy cease on 7/5/2015. The tenant is a sick and elderly lady and the monthly rent is paid on a monthly basis on a private basis via the tenants power of attorney - who is her daughter. We believe that part of the rent is made up of monies received by the tenant from Social Services.
We have today (3/3/2015) received an email communication from the tenants daughter advising that they have sought legal advice which states that her mother (the tenant) has a right to stay in the property until such time as alternative suitable accommodation is found for her. The daughter has assured us that they are making attempts to find alternative suitable accommodation but that the tenant is worried and depressed at the thought of having to leave.
As we intend to sell the property and have a potential buyer (who has already commenced with the necessary pre contract / search enquiries in respect of the purchase), please advise on the following :-
1)What are our rights in terms of ensuring that the tenant adheres to the signed tenancy agreement and leaves on the expiry date of 7/5/2015. ?
2)How should we respond to the tenants communication of today (3/3/2015) ?
3)Does the tenant have a right to stay longer than 7/5/2015 and if so how long can they stay?
4)What action should we take in response to the above?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

What date (or thereabouts) was the AST first signed please?

Alex Watts :

Do they say on what legal basis the mother has a right to stay?

Customer:

Can I please respond to any of your questions in about 30mins ?

Alex Watts :

Sure

Customer:

Hello are you there ?

Customer:

Sorry for the delay

Customer:

The AST was signed on 8/5/2014

Customer:

They do not refer to any legal basis

Customer:

Hello - can you please reply

Alex Watts :

Thanks. Sorry I was just having a snack!

Alex Watts :

An AST has a right to be terminated.

Alex Watts :

They only have limited rights.

Alex Watts :

As Landlord you have more rights. Once an agreement has expired (or is close to expiring) you only need to give 2 months notice, as you have done.

Alex Watts :

If the tenant refuses to move then you can issue proceedings for possession

Alex Watts :

There is no right to remain until alternative accommodation is found

Alex Watts :

The grounds for evicting in this case are set out in the Housing Act 1985

Alex Watts :

This includes for obtaining the property back

Customer:

Does it make a difference if part of the rent is paid through social services even though they pay the rent privately ?

Alex Watts :

None

Alex Watts :

If it was the case she was being evicted because you had not paid the mortgage then she could extend it by 2 months

Alex Watts :

But on the basis of an AST there is no right to remain for alternative accommodation

Alex Watts :

There might have been if it was an assured tenancy. But its an AST

Alex Watts :

There is no right to stay once the fixed period is up

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

How do you advise we respond ?

Alex Watts :

Ask on what legal basis they make their assertion

Alex Watts :

There is none

Customer:

i.e. respond to the tenant?

Alex Watts :

You have given notice, if they do not move then you can issue proceedings for possession

Alex Watts :

Yes

Customer:

Therefore on the basis of your advice I presume we can rely of the terms of the written / agreed AST

Alex Watts :

Yes

Customer:

Are you aware any possible legal basis which supports their proposed action ?

Alex Watts :

I can't think of anything. Only if the mortgage lender is repossessing and then it extends 2 months

Customer:

Is her state of health / age / disability relevant ?

Alex Watts :

No. But you may want to consider morally your position too and see if you can help make any transition easier

Customer:

Thank you - can I get in touch with this service if there are any further communications ?

Alex Watts :

Yes, just put any future questions for ALEX W - then I can pick them up

Customer:

Should I respond to the tenants email of today or leave it be

Alex Watts :

I would leave it and send a letter formally setting out the position

Customer:

Thank you for your help

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

Not at the moment - but I will get back to you after sending out the formal letter

Alex Watts :

Great. If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

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