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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I was wondering if i understand legal side of the expired tenancy

Customer Question

I was wondering if i understand legal side of the expired tenancy agreement. As i understand i have Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement for fixed term (12 months), which expired in 12th February. When wanted to terminate my contract i was told that i still have to live there for another two months, which was stated in the contract. However, i have read that after Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement expires and new contract is not signed it is automatically becomes Periodic agreement. Which in my understanding is based on monthly payment basis, and as i understand i can move out after a month and do not have to live for two as previously stated in the contract. Do i understand it correctly and can i pressure my flat's manager to release our contract early?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 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 :

May I ask when ideally you would like to leave please?

Joshua :

On what date each month is the rent payable?

Customer:

We gave our notice almost a month ago (31st of January), and i would like to leave in a week or two time, ideally.

Customer:

We pay rent on third day of each calendar month.

Joshua :

Thanks

Joshua :

this is a common misconception on the part of letting agents. Sometimes it is no doubt innocent pay my suspicion is sometimes they know full well that they are wrong and provide this advice in the hope that tenants will remain longer than the otherwise need to.

Joshua :

The position is that once the fixed term of the tenancy agreement expires the tenancy contract comes to an end and the housing act overrides and replaces terms relating to the length of tenancy and notice that is required and provides a statutory provision in this respect.

Joshua :

What this means is that if you so chose, you could leave at any time prior to be expiry of the fixed tenancy period without giving any notice at all in fact providing you have fully vacated and return the keys for the end of the fixed period. If you remain in the property beyond the fixed period expiry date then the tenancy automatically converts into a statutory periodic tenancy whether housing act replaces and governs the term as referred to above

Joshua :

what this means in practice is that from what you say you have remained in the property beyond the expiry of the fixed term of the tenancy and therefore the tenancy has converted into a statutory periodic tenancy. The housing act provides that in order to end a statutory periodic tenancy, a landlord must give two months notice ending the day before rent is payable but a tenant need only give one months notice, again which must end the day before rent is payable. It is of no consequence as to what the tenancy agreement itself says in respect of notice required as this no longer applies for the above reasons

Joshua :

May I ask what date you said you would be leaving in your notice?

Customer:

well, i gave notice on 31st January without stating a leaving day

Customer:

because i have asked to stay another week in marck

Customer:

then i have received an answer that i have to stay for two months

Customer:

and they have send me a letter that my release day is 31st of march

Joshua :

based upon what you say,the agreement expired on 12th of February and you gave notice on 31st February and therefore the soonest date you could move out of the property is the next date which falls the day before rent is payable having given one clear months notice which here would be 2nd March. providing you have a copy of the notice you gave to the agent, providing you have moved out and returned the keys for the end of 2nd March you will have no further liability for rent

Customer:

i gave noticeon 31st of January

Joshua :

The agents have no authority for holding you for two months and you may consider reverting to them advising them to refer to the housing act on the basis that the tenancy is a statutory periodic tenancy and the relevant period of notice you are required to give is one month not two months and that you will be leaving on or before 2nd March

Joshua :

If the agent protests otherwise, the leading housing Charity SHELTER has some clear guidance on the matter here:
https://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/private_renting/ending_a_tenancy/ending_a_periodic_agreement

Joshua :

Based on what you say your leaving date can be 2nd March if you wish

Customer:

thank you for your help, i will try to contact them right away, however, since i found out about this pariodic agreement quick late in a month, could they give me another week to stay on a property, could i somehow blame them on misinformation?

Joshua :

Is 2nd March too early to move out for you now?

Customer:

well just few days left

Joshua :

you can insist that you will exercise your right to and the tenancy on second March as per your notice however you will be willing to remain a few days longer paying a pro rata daily rent. you will need to be slightly cautious with this. your notice is effective in ending the tenancy at second March whether they like it or not however, if you can do not leave on or before that date, the landlord can as a consequence charge you double the rent for each day you remain in place beyond the date insist you have a right on which to leave

Customer:

thank you

Customer:

i believe this has great weight

Joshua :

he has the right to charge double the rent by virtue of section 18 of the Distress for Rent Act 1737 however it is quite possible that the letting agents or may nothing about this right as most letting agents have relatively little legal training but beware of the risk

Customer:

alright, i will be , thank you

Joshua :

A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.

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 though please reply back to me though.

Customer:

sure..

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