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Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16732
Experience:  Solicitor
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My mother has lived in a property and was originally friends

Customer Question

Hi my mother has lived in a property and was originally friends with the owner since 1974 we believed she was a protected tenant prior 1985 act , a few years back the owner died and the family got involved with the property. Recently there has been some pressure suggesting to move but not said directly. She is 73 years old and remembered signing something when the rent was increased in 2012. We have found the document and it appears to be a 1 page assured shorthold tenancy agreement, nothing has been signed since or prior to that. Has she given up her rights as a protected tenant? She believed she was signing for the rent to be increased and not giving up protected status since it had not been put up for several years. I am not sure if this makes a difference but the area is Manchester. Kind Regards, Richard.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 2 years ago.

Hello, Richard, my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Just to be clear, the only document signed is this AST?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi there , yes we believe that was the only document signed , thanks
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 2 years ago.

It is bad news then I am afraid. If the AST has been signed and there is no other document, then it would appear she has an AST and that is the only standing.

She can not be protected if there is no evidence of the same. If the only document which exists shows she is an AST then sadly there is nothing more which can be done.

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want, nor the one I want to give you, but I have a duty, to be honest.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, There is a rent book showing she has lived in the property since 1974 , what kind of document would we be looking for ? The original tenancy agreement from 1974 if there is one ? We feel she has been tricked as why would someone give up thier rights to increase the rent. I have also read elsewhere that she needs to have explicitly sign a document giving up the protected tenancy , surely an AST is not such a document ? Thanks for your reply.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 2 years ago.

It would be a tenancy agreement. She would need to sign a document making it clear that she was giving it up.

However, you would need the original document in order to advance that argument.

Does that assist?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks there is definitely no document explicitly stating she is giving up protected tenant , the AST also states at the bottom in the fine print “if you currently occupy the tenancy as protected tenant and give it up for same or other property offered by landlord that cannot be AST and this document is not appropriate” surely there is no dispute she is a protected tenant since she can prove she lived there and can show rent paid as far back as 1973?Our plan is to buy it for her but we need some time to get the deposit together hence the urgency should the landlord not give time to do this.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 2 years ago.

There may be a dispute, you need to speak with the landlord. The landlord would need a court order to evict anything and in that case a defence could be filed saying protected.

I’m not sure how much that would hold without the agreement.

Does that clairfy?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you the landlord is not being helpful and keeping whatever plan they have to themselves but has indicated that she can’t stay there. From what I have read a tenant does not need a written tenancy agreement and one is created if it can be proved the rent was paid to the private landlord each month since 1973 . Since a protected tenant is one which started a tenancy before 1989 The AST is surely invalid as I have also read “A tennancy won’t become an AST if the tenancy started on or before 15th January 1989” which I am guessing is why that is also written on the ast itself.If an eviction notice was served I am assuming the above is all open to interpretation by the judge but would appear she would have a strong case ?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 2 years ago.

I would agree, yes

Does that assist?