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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 814
Experience:  Experienced solicitor
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I have signed a tenancy and paid all money to my agent but

Customer Question

I have signed a tenancy and paid all money to my agent but the landlord has decided he wants to change the contract to a six month tenancy and is stuttering about going ahead. What are my rights?
Submitted: 23 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 23 days ago.

Hello, I am a solicitor with more than 15 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.

What sort of deposit did you pay?

If the tenancy has been signed by both sides then the landlord can not mess around. If he is messing around with the terms of the tenancy in contradiction of terms that were the subject of representations then you should be able to pull out and get your deposit back. You will not be able to force any terms on the landlord if the tenancy has not been signed yet.

Customer: replied 23 days ago.
The tenancy has been signed and all monies have been paid, the landlord is refusing to accept the money from the agent and will not issue keys. What rights do I have to go into the property?
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 23 days ago.

It sounds like a clear breach of contract and you could threaten to commence legal action seeking an order for specific performance of the contract. I assume that the landlord is shortening the length of the tenancy and the length of the tenancy is important to you.

If the contact i signed and the money paid to his agent (who presumably is authorised to accept payment on his behalf).

When is the commencement date of the tenancy?

Customer: replied 23 days ago.
Customer: replied 23 days ago.
Hi, the commencement date of the tenancy is on the 1st of December. The landlord is refusing to accept the funds from the agent but I have made arrangements to take the property and really do want it. I have paid ALL of the funds to the agent so the rent and deposit. Please advise.
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 23 days ago.

OK so you want to physically enter the premises even without the keys on 1st December?

Customer: replied 23 days ago.
I just want to move in to the property. What are my rights? Can I force entry?
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 23 days ago.

If the tenancy has been signed by both sides by an authorised person, if the deposit has been paid and the first instalment of rent has been paid to someone who can accept it then you have the right to commence occupation on day 1 of the tenancy.

You could enter by forcing entry but if there is any break int the chain above then you will not have the right to do so.

There would be a risk of an allegation of criminal damage against you.

If you do this you will probably want a locksmith to change the locks for you.

You might want to put in writing that you consider that there is a binding tenancy and that you will be moving in on the day. Further, that if you need to incur locksmiths costs then you will expect the landlord to pay those costs.

On the other hand do you really want this guy to be your landlord when he is trying to go back on the agreement already?

Customer: replied 23 days ago.
I have paid all of my monies to the agent and I definitely want the property due to the location. If the landlord refuses to accept the funds from the agent, where does that leave us?
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 23 days ago.

You need to check what paperwork you have to make sure that the Agent was properly instructed. They probably are but look for them telling you in writing that they are the agents authorised to accept payments on behalf of the landlord.

This may be in the tenancy agreement or in correspondence, look for a clause in the tenancy stating who notices can be served on as well.

Customer: replied 23 days ago.
The agents have shown me an agreement showing that they have authority to take payments.
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 23 days ago.

You are probably OK to enter the property then but warn them of your intentions in advance.

Customer: replied 23 days ago.
At this point, what rights does the landlord have to come in, change the locks and evict me?
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 22 days ago.

None, assuming the points set out above.

Customer: replied 22 days ago.
Lastly, what if he does exactly that? If he comes in, changes the lock and throws my stuff out, where does that leave me?
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 22 days ago.

He will have committed a criminal offence of unlawful eviction and you should call the police. Alternatively you can bring an action for unlawful eviction in the county court to seek an injunction to get back in and for compensation.

Customer: replied 22 days ago.
Hi, the landlord is now claiming he has a concurrent contract at the same property (which is not true according to the agents).He is basically drafting a fake contract before the start date of mine to try and nullify my tenancy. What do I do?
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 20 days ago.

This could make things more messy and you should not exercise your self help remedy. This could be impossible to sort out except at great expense before you want to move in. It may be that the best thing to do would be to walk away from this crook.