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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71031
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My wife and I have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy on a retirement

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My wife and I have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy on a retirement flat which ends December 2015. The Bank has foreclosed on the loan to the developer/landlord and the block of flats is in the hands of a receiver. Our questions are:
1) Is the tenancy secure till the end of the agreement?
2) Can the receiver or in due course the new owner vary the agreement, in particular the written clause in the tenancy agreement permitting our cat?
3) What rights of access do the receiver, bank, potential buyers, etc have to our flat? This is particularly important because of the cat and also my wife is severely disabled, visually impaired and bedridden.
4) We will need to find alternative accommodation. What notice do we have to give? The original landlord said it was 2 months on our side but this is not in writing. (AST is fixed term of 60 months from December 2010). Are we correct that the receiver cannot release us from the agreement?

Before replying, I would be most grateful if you could send me details of your Fees.

Many thanks,
Yours faithfully,
Dr John W Frank [email protected]

On your specific points.

1 They can apply for possession but you can rely on the AST to remain. If your rent is up to date and you are not the cause of the difficulties of the landlord the Court would allow it. You can probably negotiate with the lender to pay your rent directly them anyway.

2 No. If you have an AST allowing a cat then it cannot be varied.

3 The same as the landlord really if they gain possession. 'Reasonable access'. That can be for a variety of reasons but unless there is actually an immediate safety issue you should get 48 hours notice by some received means. Lenders don't generally come round and inspect houses anyway.

4 The receiver cannot himself release you from the agreement but if they take possession of the house then the game changes. If the AST allows you to give two months notice then you can exercise that. Most ASTs do not allow two months notice at any time. There is case law that suggests that two months notice is an unfair term because no landlord or a letting agent will hold a property for two months and so this would lead a tenant to have to pay rent on two premises. Courts will generally accept one months' notice from a tenant. However, it would be safer to comply with the agreement.

Hope this helps. Please rate my answer OK SERVICE or above and I can answer your related questions.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Thank you very much for your excellent and prompt reply. We are passing details of this service to other family members.


Dr John W Frank

No problem!

If you want me you can always entitle it 'For Jomo1972'.