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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3844
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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i have been on licence agreement since 1st feb 2013,my landlord

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i have been on licence agreement since 1st feb 2013,my landlord is putting rent up another 20% from 1st feb 2015,so i have given him notice of termination to be out by 31st jan.during a conversation from him, he has overlooked the licence agreement has never been signed by myself. i have been paying my rent on time and will continue to pay until termination date.he is adament that i sign this licence agreement.i didnt sign it in the 1st place as i didnt agree with some of the conditions.i.e. it should have a 3year fixed rate.he said yesterday to me if i did not sign the licence,he would terminate it immediatly.can he do this to me if i dont sign?.i am a pensioner with a joinery shop retireing and he will change the locks.he said he wants it signed promptly,and i dont trust him one bit as he's told me lies previously.can you give me any idea what i should do?.thanking you trevor smith.

Thank you for your question and welcome.

My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.

Other than the licence do you have anything else in writing that says a 3 year fixed term was agreed?

How frequently do you pay the rent? Monthly or quaterly?

Kind regards

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hi AJ, i've been here since 1997,i was on a 5yr lease from previous landlord.this new landlord bought the premises with 5 other workshops @ end of 2009.he was bound by my existing lease which he terminated on 31st jan 2013.he offered me a landlord's proposals for a new tenancy as follows. [ we propose a new FRI lease for a term of 3 years at an annual rent of £9,360 exc vat]dated 12/7/2012.this was negotiable.on 10/9/2012 he wrote a letter to me stating the annual rent would be £9,000 exc vat,but he put a clause stating [the licence fee shall be fixed for a minimum period of two years] of which i discussed with him when he was down @ the premise's.he said he would sort it out,he never did.i have been paying my rent quarterly ,inc vat £2,700.on 10th june he sent me a letter stating[from 1st feb 2015 the quarterly fee will be £2,700 plus vat,equating to £3,240.which i cannot afford as i'm only a one man also states the licence shall be outside the 1954 landlord i sign this licence and hope he dont rip me off. thanking you trevor


Thank you.

What the landlord cannot do is either unilaterally raise the rent to include VAT or terminate without giving at least a quarters notice. He also cannot force you sign the licence.

This situation is complex, because the rules on leases and licences are clear under Street v Mountford, it is not what the document says it is how the parties behave in practice. If you have exclusive possession of the unit and you were previously on a lease and nothing has changed then technically you are probably still are on a lease not a licence.

I personally would get a solicitor (must be a solicitor as the headed paper will give it gravitas and show you have been advised and know your rights) to contact the landlord and say that you believe you are still on a lease are not prepared to sign the licence as it is worded. You will agree a new licence with a property notice period so long as you can stay in the property until at least January 2015 and confirm that the rent will not be increased before then.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

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