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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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. I own a 3 bed flat that i have been letting out on a room

Customer Question

Hi. I own a 3 bed flat that i have been letting out on a room by room basis. I originally gave out rent a room/lodger agreements set to expire march 28th. For one reason or another signed copies never came back to me. Later on i put forward an ast for a 6 month term for a shared tenancy , the tenants had no previous relationship. I am now struggling to get the rent and would like at least one of the 3 out to set an example. i am now not sure of legal status under these circumstances.
Other relevant info
They all have pet dogs totalling 4 in the 3 bed flat
One tenant is also letting a storage room and off rd parking space which isnt mentioned specifically in agreements which i am considering withdrawing to apply pressure
I do not live at the property
Tenants are respectively 3 weeks / 3 weeks / 6 weeks in arrears and i am pessimistic about them recovering
Please advise on staus and steps to apply pressure etc
Thank you
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 :

for the avoidance of doubt, Mayor clarify that you do not have signed lodger or tenancy agreements from any of the tenants that are presently occupying the property or do you have signed agreements for some but not others?

Joshua :

in respect of any tenant for whom you do not have signed documentation, do you have conclusive evidence of the date that individual tenant of tenants moved in - e.g. by payment of deposit or first rent payment, emails etc?

Joshua :

Have you received any deposits and if so, have you protected them in an approved deposit scheme?

Customer :

Hi. No siged agreements in the poasession of myself or any tenants. Yes i have emails / texts / direct transfer payment records.

Customer :

The emails will state expiry date of 28th march 2015 original terms as well as start dates. I have partial deposits , i asked for 2 weeks but do not have the full amount yet from anyif the 3 and i have not put them in approvedscheme yet for that reason . I have 40 out of 160 / 120 out of 170 / 145 out of 170 respectively

Joshua :

Thanks. Is it clear that the above sums are partial deposits as opposed to rent or could the payments be rent and the deposits were never received at all?

Customer :

For the 40 out of 160 arguably no deposit. With the others definitely deposit

Joshua :

Thank you. okay the position here is that in the absence of signed or agreed documentation, each individual tenant will have an implied six month assured short hold tenancy agreement commencing on the earlier of the date they paid rent all the date they took up occupation and rent will be payable each month as evidenced by the initial date and amount rent was initially paid.

Customer :

They are willing to transfer deposit as part of rent arrears catch upmif that helps. A watto apply pressure will probably be good enough if that helps. Ae any of the unsigned agreements relevant? I gave one tenant a signed letter outlining terms tohelp withhousinf benefit claim

Customer :

Can the fraudulent rent paid claim beused to speed things up

Joshua :

Your majr headache is going to be the deposits potentially. Unfortunately the fact that the deposits have not been protected does not comply with the legal requirements on you as landlord to protect the deposit following the introduction of the Localism Act. The law requires any money held from time to time as a deposit to be protected within 30 days and protecting late no longer serves as rectification. It is no defence to point to the fact that only partial deposits have been received. Any money whether it is the full amount of deposit or any partial deposit payment must be protected within 30 days in order to be compliant.

The deposit regulations provide if a landlord fails to protect adeposit within 30 days of receipt, by installment or otherwise a court can order up to 3 times the amount of deposit in compensation. In addition a s21 or s8 notice to evict is not valid until the failure to protect is rectified. It cannot be rectified by simply protecting the deposit at this stage unfortunately. In order to serve a valid eviction notice the Act provides that either a) the parties must have agreed settlement b) the courts have determined the matter or c) the deposit must be returned to the tenant in full.

Customer :

Wouldthe implied ast be oneeach or a shared one onwhole property as they moved in at different times paying different weekly amounts? I didnt think you could have an ast ona room

Joshua :

the first step is therefore necessarily to regularise the position with regards ***** ***** deposit in each case. You will be keen to avoid court action and therefore the likely best options for you will be to either obtain a written signed agreement from the tenant as to what is to happen with regards ***** ***** respective deposits or to consider returning the deposits to the tenants. once you have either of these, you can then attend to the arrears of rent.

Joshua :

regarding your last post, there will be an implied six-month assured short hold tenancy for each individual tenant separately in the circumstances rather than a joint tenancy implied agreement. It is quite possible and in fact very common to have individual assured short hold tenancy is for a room in the property sharing common facilities

Customer :

Ok so return deposits and get written receipt. What do i do about getting a proper signed agreement?

Joshua :

or alternatively rather than returning the deposit if you can seek agreement from the tenants in each case that you can use the deposits for rent arrears and you get a signed agreement to that effect that would also be satisfactory

Customer :

If i get new signed agreements starting 28th march will that void any previous

Joshua :

having either return the deposit in each case or reached agreement with the tenants as above, you can then attend to the rent arrears. iif any of the individual tenancies have run for more than four months, you can simply elect to evict those respective tenants. You do not have to give a reason for eviction in the circumstances. If any of the tenancies have run for less than four months, you can only evict if they are more than eight weeks in arrears. could you tell me of any of the tenancies have run for less than four months?

Customer :

Thank you i will try that. Is the fraudulent rent paid claim of any use? Also can i withdraw the use of car park space and storage room withput comeback

Customer :

Yes 1 of the 3 is less than 3 months . How do i go about that please

Joshua :

thank you. For a tenancy that has run for more than four months, you can simply issue a section 21 notice in respect of that tenant. You must give a clear two months notice to that tenant and the notice may only come to an end the day before rent is customarily payable by that tenant. It is also important to note that you must issue a different section 21 notice depending upon whether the tenancy is less or more than six months old at the time you issue the section 21 notice. The easiest way to make sure you get your notices right is by using an online service such as the following:

Joshua :

http://www.lawdepot.co.uk/contracts/eviction-notice-forms/

Joshua :

Chose periodic term if the tenancy is more than six months old at the time of issue or fixed term from the drop-down box if the tenancy is less than six months old at the time of issue

Customer :

Thank you . That has been very helpful. I think that is all i need for now

Joshua :

in respect of the tenancy that is less than four months old, you can either elect to wait until it has past the four-month marker and then proceed as above or you can issue a section until it passes this point8 notice for arrears of rent if arrears are more than eight weeks behind. if the tenancy is nearing the form of market, there could well be an argument for waiting until it passes this point and then using the section 21 route as above

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