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Matt Jones
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  I am a qualified and practising Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
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I believe that I have been frauded by my landlord as I

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Hi, I believe that I have been frauded by my landlord as I have been tricked into thinking that I have been given a tenency agreement whilst, in effect, I have just found out that my agreement may classifly as "Excluded Tenancy". The contract is in fact entitled "Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement" but the description of the property states: "The large front room on the street level floor forming part of the building known as x x address, London, together with shared use of the kitchen and bathroom on the street level floor".
I received notice two months ago by the landlord that asked me to leave. The deadline of the notice, however, came at the most inconvenient time of all (4th January 2016) and I asked the landlord whether he could extend the notice until the end of January 2016.
The landlord refused and so I called the Shelter UK to get some advice. I read the contract to the Shelter employee and they confirmed that my contract was a Shorthold Tenancy and as such, I did not have to leave the premises by the deadline provided me by the landlord but my the termination fo the agreement stated in the contract (24th April 2016), and if the landlord wanted to evict us, they would need a Court Order to do so.
Yesterday, I foudn out, by physically walking into the City Council, that one of the employees there said that actually, despite my contract having the title of Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, in effect is a secluded tenancy and as such, I have no other option than leave the premises by the deadline requested by the landlord.
I haven't figured out anywhere to live at this stage because I was assured two months ago by whom I believed were qualified people, that, as an "Assured Shorthold Tenant", I did not have to leave by the date requested by the landlord.
I therefore foudn out that as an Excluded Tenant, my Landlord does not have to apply for a Court Order to evict me but can just do so by himself.
Please advise, I am getting really scared and concerned!
Thank you so much!
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 11 months ago.
Hi can you just confirm, is the end date on the contract 24th April 2016? Also does the landlord live in the same property as you?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi there, thank you ever so much for this.The agreement's expiry date has been set for 24th April 2016.I occupy the ground floor of a 5 storey Victorian house whose upper 4 floors are occupied by the landlord. Their house is huge, including several bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms and a very large kitchen.The landlords' entrance is SEPARATE from our own entrance which is on the ground floor (the landlord's entrance is on the first floor).The ground floor comprises of 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 kitchen, 1 living room and 1 room which s locked at all times because it is the landlord's wine cellar.However, the ground floor (where we live) is connected to the First Floor by means of an internal staircase which has a door a the very top which is constantly locked by the landlord as it would give access to their living space.So, in short, the answer is that, physically, the landlord do not live with us on this floor, although they made us sign a Tenancy agreement that mentions that we only occupy certain rooms and "share use of the kitchen and bathroom on this floor". The landlord explained to us that they may just occasionally need to come downstairs to access their wine cellar.Below is the copy of the contract that we were given (this is actually the first contract, which expired in October but we were given another agreement, exactly the same as this one, to sig in October, which we did. Unfortunately, I left that agreement on my desk in my office. So I am just sending you the first agreement that we signed. As I said, the only difference is the expiration date which in the new version has been set at 24th April 2016.which mentions clearly Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement etc.I shall be most grateful if you could please tell me if, from the Legal point of view, we can be considered Assured Shorthold Tenants and as such, if the owners want to evict us before the expiration date of the agreement.TENANCY AGREEMENTfor letting furnished premises on an assured shorthold tenancy under Part 1 of the Housing Act 1988DATE 16TH April, 2015PARTIES 1. THE LandlordNAME and ADDRESS xxx2. THE Tenants of xxxxxxPROPERTY The large front room on the street level floor forming part of the building known as xxxxxx together with shared use of the kitchen and bathroom on the street level floor (subject to the exceptions variations and additions in B below) Together with the Fixtures Furniture and Effects therein
TERM Until 15th September, 2015, from 18th April, 2015, with the right on either side to break the tenancy on giving two clear Calendar months’ notice.RENT One thousand five hundred and twenty pounds for every month of the term, (all subject as provided in the Letting Provisions and clear of all deductions).PAYABLE in advance by equal monthly instalments on the last day of each month and the first payment is due on 16th April, 2015, and will amount to seven hundred pounds. Any period of less than or more than a calendar month is to be payable at the rate of three hundred and fifty pounds per week until the end of the term of this agreement.FIRST Payment of £600.00 has been made on 16th April, 2015A. The Landlord lets and the Tenants take the Property for the Term at the Rent payable as aboveB. The Agreement incorporates the Letting Provisions attached with the following exceptions variations and additions:The Tenants agree not to take in lodgers or paying guests and for the avoidance of doubt the Tenants agree not to sublet through AirBnB or any similar agency. The Landlord reserves the right to (a) access to the meter cupboards and main stop-cock (b) the use of the kitchen on the street level floor (c) the use of the bathroom on the street level floor (d) the right of access at all times to the said meter cupboards, stop-cock, kitchen and bathroom whether with or without workmen and others. The Tenants will deposit one thousand five hundred and twenty pounds on account of their share of any electricity or gas consumed in the premises and on account of any breakages deficiencies or damage to the furniture and effects for which the Tenants may become liable to the Landlord PROVIDED that the Landlord shall return such deposit on settlement of all liabilities arising out of the TenancyThis agreement is intended to create an assured shorthold tenancy as defined in Section 20 of the Housing Act 1988 and the provisions for the recovery of possession by the Landlord in Section 21 thereof applySIGNED by the above-named
(the Landlord)SIGNED by the above-named
(the Tenants)
LETTING PROVISIONSINTERPRETATION 1. WHERE the context admits-
(a) "The Landlord" includes the persons for the time being entitled in reversion expectant on the tenancy
(b) "The Tenant" or “Tenants” includes
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 11 months ago.
Hi. It says you have replied but I can't see it. Can you try again?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi there, thank you ever so much for this.The agreement's expiry date has been set for 24th April 2016.I occupy the ground floor of a 5 storey Victorian house whose upper 4 floors are occupied by the landlord. Their house is huge, including several bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms and a very large kitchen.The landlords' entrance is SEPARATE from our own entrance which is on the ground floor (the landlord's entrance is on the first floor).The ground floor comprises of 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 kitchen, 1 living room and 1 room which s locked at all times because it is the landlord's wine cellar.However, the ground floor (where we live) is connected to the First Floor by means of an internal staircase which has a door a the very top which is constantly locked by the landlord as it would give access to their living space.So, in short, the answer is that, physically, the landlord do not live with us on this floor, although they made us sign a Tenancy agreement that mentions that we only occupy certain rooms and "share use of the kitchen and bathroom on this floor". The landlord explained to us that they may just occasionally need to come downstairs to access their wine cellar.Below is the copy of the contract that we were given (this is actually the first contract, which expired in October but we were given another agreement, exactly the same as this one, to sig in October, which we did. Unfortunately, I left that agreement on my desk in my office. So I am just sending you the first agreement that we signed. As I said, the only difference is the expiration date which in the new version has been set at 24th April 2016.which mentions clearly Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement etc.I shall be most grateful if you could please tell me if, from the Legal point of view, we can be considered Assured Shorthold Tenants and as such, if the owners want to evict us before the expiration date of the agreement.TENANCY AGREEMENTfor letting furnished premises on an assured shorthold tenancy under Part 1 of the Housing Act 1988DATE 16TH April, 2015PARTIES 1. THE LandlordNAME and ADDRESS xxx2. THE Tenants of xxxxxxPROPERTY The large front room on the street level floor forming part of the building known as xxxxxx together with shared use of the kitchen and bathroom on the street level floor (subject to the exceptions variations and additions in B below) Together with the Fixtures Furniture and Effects thereinTERM Until 15th September, 2015, from 18th April, 2015, with the right on either side to break the tenancy on giving two clear Calendar months’ notice.RENT One thousand five hundred and twenty pounds for every month of the term, (all subject as provided in the Letting Provisions and clear of all deductions).PAYABLE in advance by equal monthly instalments on the last day of each month and the first payment is due on 16th April, 2015, and will amount to seven hundred pounds. Any period of less than or more than a calendar month is to be payable at the rate of three hundred and fifty pounds per week until the end of the term of this agreement.FIRST Payment of £600.00 has been made on 16th April, 2015A. The Landlord lets and the Tenants take the Property for the Term at the Rent payable as aboveB. The Agreement incorporates the Letting Provisions attached with the following exceptions variations and additions:The Tenants agree not to take in lodgers or paying guests and for the avoidance of doubt the Tenants agree not to sublet through AirBnB or any similar agency. The Landlord reserves the right to (a) access to the meter cupboards and main stop-cock (b) the use of the kitchen on the street level floor (c) the use of the bathroom on the street level floor (d) the right of access at all times to the said meter cupboards, stop-cock, kitchen and bathroom whether with or without workmen and others. The Tenants will deposit one thousand five hundred and twenty pounds on account of their share of any electricity or gas consumed in the premises and on account of any breakages deficiencies or damage to the furniture and effects for which the Tenants may become liable to the Landlord PROVIDED that the Landlord shall return such deposit on settlement of all liabilities arising out of the TenancyThis agreement is intended to create an assured shorthold tenancy as defined in Section 20 of the Housing Act 1988 and the provisions for the recovery of possession by the Landlord in Section 21 thereof applySIGNED by the above-named
(the Landlord)SIGNED by the above-named
(the Tenants)
LETTING PROVISIONSINTERPRETATION 1. WHERE the context admits-
(a) "The Landlord" includes the persons for the time being entitled in reversion expectant on the tenancy
(b) "The Tenant" or “Tenants” includes
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 11 months ago.
So the landlord does seem to live at the same address is that correct?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The landlords live in the same building as they own it in its entirety but they physically only live on the upper 4 floors, we occupy the ground floor.The 4 floors of the property in which the landlords live has a very large kitchen, several bathrooms and living rooms.They only can access their cellar where they keep their wine, despite it is mentioned in the contract that there is a shade use of the bathroom and kitchen on our floor.
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 11 months ago.
Ok thanks. There seems to be a number of conflicting issues with the tenancy agreement. On the one hand it states that it is intended to be an assured shorthold tenancy however 1 of the key elements of an AST is that the tenant has exclusive possession (I.e. the landlord doesn't live in the same building). It would be up to a judge to decide weather what type of agreement it was but I think on balance he might be persuaded that it was AST as it makes the statement. The exclusive possession part could be seen to be the lower ground floor which you occupy. The next part of note is that the agreement is for six months tenancy allows the term to be ended during that period with two months notice. Again another key part of an ast is that it has to be a minimum of 6 months. On the basis that this is an AST you are are protected under the protection from eviction act 1977. This provides that you cannot be Removed from your place of residence without a court order. Therefore in order for your landlord to remove you will have to apply to court your defence to any application will be that the agreement is an AST and that it should and can only be ended after April 2016
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 11 months ago.
I hope this helps. If so please leave positive feedback so I can be paid for my time. The question won't close and you can ask any follow up questions
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi there, thank you for your help. In truth, I was just hoping that you would be able to tell me of the nature of my tenancy, i.e. am I a short hold tenant or not? Because if I am not, then I need to question about what may happen if I decide to stay at the property beyond the 4th January, deadline which was served to me by the landlord two months ago. But If I am an Assured Shorthold Tenant, I know that the landlord cannot claim possession of the property by 4th January unless he has a Court Order. Because I still do not know of the nature of my tenancy, I need to know what will happen to me on the 4th of January (next Monday) as I will surely have no other option than remaining at the property since I will be moving into my new property on January 28th. Can the landlord change the lock of the apartment on the 4th January? If so, how will I be able to enter the property? I have a cat, some furniture and a lot os belongings! But beyond this, I do not believe the landlords will be behaving illegally if they were to change the lock or force me out of the property on the 4th, am I right? Than you so much!
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 11 months ago.
Hi as I say on balance I believe you are an ast tenant. If the landlord were to force you out or change the locks this could potentially be a breach of the protection from eviction act. This could mean the landlord is both criminally and civilly liable. You could call the police and ask them to intervene and then sue for damages.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi there, thank you ever so much for your kind response. May I only have one clarification on this issue: because I have been believing all along that I was given a short hold tenancy agreement, I know that one of the right of an AST is to remain at the property for a minimum of six months if you are not prepared to leave earlier.It was only the day before yesterday that someone from the Citizen Advice Bureau raised the issue that maybe, I was an Excluded Tenant, and as such, I would not have any right to stay at the property after the 2 months leaving notice expired, (it is due to expire on the 4th January). Had I known that that was the case two months ago, I would have provisions to leave this property on the 4th and move into another one at that time.But I was assured by the Citizen Advice Bureau that as an AST, I did not have to leave by the time the landlord asks me to leave, which is the most inconvenient time for me in the entire year (I have frequently been out of the UK for work reasons these past two months). So I was able to relax a little, knowing that if I failed to find a new property by the 4th January, I could have stayed at my current property a bit longer.Now, under the light of the recent developments, I would definitely want to take a legal action with the landlords as I believe that I have been mistreated by them and tricked into thinking that I had a certain protection as an AST, whilst in fact, they had no intention from the beginning of treating me as such as they are indeed convinced theta they do not need a Court Order to evict me on the 4th.Would you think that there are sufficient premises for me to take legal action against the landlords about the facts explained above?Thank you so much for your help!
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 11 months ago.
It is difficult to say whether action would be possible as you have of course signed the agreement. In addition you have to prove "loss" in any action you took against the landlord, which may be tricky if you have moved to another property.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi, thank you very much . I am still unclear regarding the action to take in the event that the landlord put a new lock on the door after the 4th of January- the final day of the notice to vacate the property, which he served to us. If i do find a new lock on the door, could you please explain what I should do in order to get back into the property? Thank you and happy new year!
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 11 months ago.
Hi and happy new year to you too. If the landlord goes to the extent of changing the locks then really you should go to the local police station and ask them to attend the property with you. At the very least this will allow you to collect your items. If you are deprived of your property in this way this will lead to the "loss" I spoke of above. You should then instruct a solicitor to sue for damages.
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 11 months ago.
HI there. Can I help further on this matter? has your landlord changed the locks?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi there! Thank you so much for the above and many apologies for not responding earlier, we have just been dealing with the landlords who have just agreed to extend our tenancy tilt he end of January. Thank you very much for your valued support! How do submit my rating now? Thank you ever so much, once again, and best wishes!
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 10 months ago.
I am very glad that this appears to have concluded successfully for you. if you could click on the "Feedback" bar to leave me positive feed back (3, 4 or 5 I believe) then I can be paid for my time. All the best and if you require further assistance do ask any additional questions.

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