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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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I am here in London on a tier 2 work visa which expires

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Hello, I am here in London on a tier 2 work visa which expires on 8 Dec 2015. I entered into a 12 month Assured Short hold tenancy agreement on 20th Mar 2015 with a Break clause from 20th July.
At the time of taking the lease, I had given a copy of my passport and informed the letting agent of my visa expiry in Dec. The LA had told me that 12 months is the minimum lease period but in any case the tenancy will expire with the expiry of visa. The agreement has a two month notice period.
I served the notice for termination on 9th Nov 2015 and will be vacating the house by end of November. I will be paying the notice period (rent till 8th Jan 2016). My questions are:
1. The LA has informed me that I can handover the keys and pay the notice period but the tenancy will continue till 8th Jan. I want clarity whether I can hold the lease even after my visa expires?
2. If we go with the above arrangement, then what is my liability in terms of use (or misuse) of the property in my absence and the responsibility of council tax, upkeep, safety, maintenance of furniture and fixtures - after I have handed over the possession of the house to the LA. Since I will not be residing in UK, should I obtain a handover acknowledgement from the LA or Landlord which should state this explicitly, so that my liabilities are protected. Also, what happens if the LA / Landlord refuses to give such acknowledgement of the handover of possession, what are my rights as a tenant in such a case (considering the special circumstance of not having leave to remain in the country for the period)
3. The LA has indicated that the Security Deposit will be released in DPS only post 8th Jan. What are my rights to ensure a faster settlement in the light of the fact that I am handing over possession of the house paying the entire notice period upfront.
Your opinion will be of great help.
Thanks in advance.
Manish Kumar
1. Dear Manish, the first thing you should be aware of is that you have a 28 day grace period after the expiry of a Tier 2 visa before you have to leave the UK. So the first thing I would say to you is that you can stay in the UK almost up until the end of the lease on 8th January. The second thing is that there is no rule of law in the UK that a lease has to end co-terminously with the end of a visa. It is not the law that a person can only hold a lease if they hold a visa. There are many rentals to foreigners in London which include periods when that person does not have a valid visa for all the lease. So you can hold the lease even after your visa expires. Secondly, you will be responsible for all outgoings, such as Council tax, upkeep, safety and maintenance until the lease actually ends on 8th January. Until your notice period runs out, you do not actually have ended the lease. So whilst you can hand over the keys, this act does not bring the lease to an end or end your liability. So if the landlord will not give an acknowledgement that the lease has ended, your liability will still continue. Finally, you have no rights to a faster settlment, I regret to say. You are effectively seeking an indulgence from the Local authority to allow you to end your liabilities any time before 8th January. 2. Please RATE the Answer as unless you RATE the Answer, your Expert receives no part of the monies you have paid the website so there is no incentive to answer any further questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Your facts are incorrect - My 3 year visa is from 9th Nov 2012 to 8th December 2015 - Which fundamentally means that it does include the 28 days grace period which you are referring - so technically I cannot overstay beyond 8th December.Irrespective - if after the handover the responsibility is not with the landlord then what does the handover mean. If the landlord has possession of the house, how can the tenant ensure safety and security of the property.How can the Council expect council tax from a non resident who does not even have a right to stay in the country.I think your suggestions are themselves suggesting "unfair practice" by the council or the landlord. There is no logic to what you have stated in your response.Your answer seems to suggest that a person whose visa expires cannot leave the country - just because he has a tenancy agreement. Would homeoffice give me leave to remain till my tenancy agreement ends?I am highly dissatisfied with your response.
Hello Manish,
I would respond to your queries as follows:
1) the duration of your visa is not tied to the duration of your tenancy agreement. Your tenancy agreement is a private matter between you and your landlord whereas your visa is a separate matter between you and the government. Your visa governs how long you may stay in the UK, your tenancy agreement may say it is valid for 15 years, that does not mean that your visa will be valid for 15 years, just to give you an example.
So yes, your tenancy agreement may still be ongoing even though your visa has expired. There is no correlation between the two.
2) once you hand over the keys to the property, you would not be liable for the state of the property as long as you return the property in good condition in line with any inventory taken at the time you moved in. You would normally alert the local authority that you are no longer in occupation of the property and are leaving the UK and your council tax liability would end on that day when you vacate the property, same for your utilities. You have already agreed to pay rent to cover the notice period.
3) as long as there is no dispute about any retentions from your deposit, you should normally be returned the deposit within a reasonable period after your tenancy ends. This may be the earlier date when you leave the UK or the date when your tenancy notice ends. There are no set rules here and I would suggest that you contact the DPS after 8 Jan. Alternatively, you may ask your landlord to set off the deposit against final payment due to them.
May I help further?
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience: English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your response. One further clarification, since my tenancy is going to continue till 8 Jan, do I need to pay the entire balance rent before I leave or can pay the rent on the regular due dates (which fall on 20th of the month).A quick response will help. Thank you.