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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am a student, have signed a tenancy agreement next

Customer Question

I am a student, have signed a tenancy agreement for the next academic year September 1 2015-June 2016. I have paid the equivalent of a months deposit and now realise the agreement states I have to pay rent in May, June, July and August all before the tenancy starts. Is this legal?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Did you not realise this when you signed it please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Alex,
To be honest I didn't as I've never experienced this before as a student.i am not going to continue at university in the next academic year and appreciate that unless I can find someone to take my room I will need to pay rent. However, my point is that the tenancy agreement states in addition to the deposits already paid, I have to pay 4 full months rent ( in May, June, July and August) before the tenancy agreement actually starts on 1 September 2015. The tenancy ends 30 June 2016. There are 5 of us and so a total of £7400 will be paid before the tenancy starts . That's 36% of the total annual rent. I am concerned about the security of this money, what would happen if the landlord died / goes bankrupt or for any reason the property can't be occupied . I don't think the agreement can be lawful. Do you? Thanks
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Will the Landlord know where you move to when you go out?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Alex
The tenancy doesn't start until 1 September 2015 and I will be paying my existing landlord until 31 August 2015.
I haven't met my new landlord as the property is let through an agent. I don't even know if the landlord gets the money I will pay the agency before the tenancy starts .
I do accept if I don't find someone I am liable for the tent from 1 September but am concerned about the legality of lying 4 months rent before the tenant starts .
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Did anyone say it was only for the period Sept 15 - June 16? If so who?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry Alex I don't really understand your question. It's a student property and we were looking for accommodation for the next academic year, so it was always going to be from 1 September and of course universities finished by the end of June 2016 .
We were in a panic trying to get a property as it's in Bath and there is a huge demand, and they were great for anything we could get. As I said I don't have a problem paying the rent from 1 September but don't think it's fair to have to pay 4 full months rent before the tenancy even starts. We feel this makes it very vulnerable as it's a huge sum of money which is un- protected in the event for whatever reason, the tenancy does not proceed.please note this summers in addition to the deposit which is a full months rent. I have asked the letting agent what the security of the money is and they have advised the property is insured, but clearly this does not address the question. Thank you
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Does the agreement state when you are due to pay from? If so, did you not read it? Did anyone tell you it would start early?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well I didn't really understand and was desperate for somewhere . The logistics of lying that before the nancy agreement starts and also before my maintenance grant would have been issued didn't occur to me .
Also can you please confirm that I haven't paid more than £38 in total for this ?
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
I can confirm its a one off fee.
Are you saying you didn't read it or that you do not have capacity?

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