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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 27102
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Assistant: How can I help? We have a problem regarding an 11

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Hello
Assistant: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: We have a problem regarding an 11 month fixed term tenancy contract
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: we have not filed anything, we tried to talk to the agency to come to an acceptable agreement but theyre not being helpful
Assistant: Where is the property located?
Customer: Oxford
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: one of us is an international who has 6 month visa and is currently legally homeless
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
The contract was signed before any right to rent checks were taken place for either tenant. The contract is joint and liable
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
In the contract it states that the tenancy will not commence without right to rent checks taking place
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
We want to terminate as we realised after that right to rent meant one of us will not have the right to rent past 6 months into the contract
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
They are being unhelpful and we could not come to an agreement
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
They said that they let us sign the contract in goodwill
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
We are now looking to check if this case could be taken to court with a good chance of winning as they are claiming we’re liable for the rent
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
One of us is legally homeless aa if 9am and needs to register her new address with home office
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Should she sign another contract in the meantime to give her somewhere to live a
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
This one is for 6 months and relevant checks have been done
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
We do not want to continue with this agency for 6 months if offered as they have failed to preform their legal obligations and are trying to make us liable
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
When asking for a contract copy this is what we were provided
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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years experience.

May I clarify if you have actually moved in to the property at this point?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
No we haven’t
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
They also do not have documentation proving out identity or visas
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
It says in section G1 that obligations commence once aigned and dated but in section B that the tenancy does not commence until right to rent checks have taken place
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
We interpereted this to mean the start date or tenancy, aka the validity of the contract and start date
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
It is not specified that it means anything else
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
From reading ive done i was under the impression that in a court the contract will be considered with and without the term if the term is under dispute and how this effects the contract
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
In unfair terms i think
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
We signed on the third of this month and it was dated to begin inhabiting the property on the 9th
  1. Thank you. So do I understand correctly that you wish to cancel the agreement?
  2. If so, is the issue that the landlord is unwilling?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
we want to cancel and they have so far been unwilling when talking to the agency
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I think the agency is responsible as the gov website says the landlord listed is a dissolved company that dissolved the day we signed
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
They are saying we are liable for rent and finding replacement tenants and we’re saying we’re not and want to cancel the contract
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
cannot be liable because the tenancy has not commenced as right to rent checks have not been done
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Plus in the contract one of the terms stated the deposit must be paid one month before the listed start date and that is impossible in the time frame, dont know if thats relevant

thank you. There are a number of issues here:

  1. if the landlord company has been dissolved, and I have confirmed as you say that a company called SPP was dissolved as you say on 3 September, though the tenancy agreement does not make clear it is a limited company, then the there is no other party to enforce the terms of the contract. In addition, the Court of Appeal has held in the case of Cotronic (UK) Ltd v Dezonie, t/a Wendaland Builders Ltd Court of Appeal 25th February, 1991 that a contract entered into in the name of the dissolved company after its dissolution is null and void. Accordingly, if you are able to confirm that the landlord is one and the same as the company that has been dissolved, then on the force of that decisions alone, it is null and void.
  2. The above may be sufficient on its own to render the contract void and therefore of no effect. However subject as above, the following may also be of use.
  3. the immigration act 2014 requires landlords to carry out right to rent checks to ensure that all prospective tenants have at least 12 months right to reside in the UK. From what you say, in this case, the landlord has failed to do so. This in and of itself does not make the contract void (this does not affect paragraph 1 above which you can still rely on on its own) but the Home Office does have powers to end tenancy agreements where they have been entered into where the landlord has not carried out the required checks. It is also possible for the landlord to be prosecuted and fined for failing to carry out such checks. Accordingly, whilst you cannot enforce this directly as a means to end the contract, in addition to the above, you can advise the landlord that notwithstanding paragraph 1 above, if necessary you will be happy to contact the Home Office to notify them that they have entered into a tenancy agreement with you and your cotenant without carrying out the appropriate right to rent cheques and that one of you does not have 12 months right to rent which will expose the landlord both to the possibility of a fine and also the Home Office ending the tenancy agreement. If you choose to do this you can do so here:

https://www.ending-a-tenancy.homeoffice.gov.uk/what

On the basis that the landlord was dissolved the same day the contract was entered into, the simplest approach is likely to be simply stating that the contract is null and void on the basis that it was entered into with a dissolved company under the authority of the above court decision.

Does the above answer all your questions? If it does, I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen before you leave JA today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
How does the dissolution work. Does it matter the time of day etc.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Is the agency onliged to answer us if was ask if it is the same company
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
obliged

If the contract was entered into on the same day of dissolution then it would be null and void under the above decision. Yes - agent must provide you with full name and address of landlord by under s48 Landlord and Tenant Act. No rent can be demanded under a tenancy until they do. You can also easily find out yourself for £3 by obtaining the title register from the Land Registry here:

https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thankyou very much, will we be able to get in touch with you via the same platform again?

I'm glad it was of some assistance. If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click a rating to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen before you leave JA today. I am very grateful to receive any feedback. the question will save to your account and you are welcome to return at any time if you have any follow-up questions. There is no further charge for follow up questions.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
We looked, which one is relevant the freehold or leasehold. Leaseholder is Robert Swailes and lenders are paragon mortgages unlimited which was changed on the 4th of May 2018. The address is 120m (the house we are talking about) but theres also a freehold for 120/120a for which the owner is robin swailes and that title was changed on 13th july 2007 at 9.39am
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Will 120 count as all houses starting with that number?

It will be the leasehold. From what you say the landlord is not the owner - it is possible the owner (Robert Swailes) uses a limited company to rent the property. Robin Swailes is a joint shareholder in the company so it suggests this is the correct company and accordingly it would seem in order for you to declare that the contract is null and void as above.

Has the above answered your questions satisfactorily?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
thankyou, in your opinion what is the best way to approach this? Shall we email them asking or should we state this or what?

I think email rather than verbal would be better as it puts it on record and in writing. Verbal conversations with agents are open to dispute as to who said what and when. I would simply quote the above as per paragraph 1 above and state that you consider your obligations under the contract are at an end.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Shall we ask forour holdong deposit back? And what if they don’t reply? As one of us has to move in some where today as she is right now legally homeless. So can she sign a contract somewhere else? And can they change the contract?

You we have a basis to us for the return of your holding deposit on the basis that the contract has not been satisified - the agents were not capable of renting the property to you as the landlord has been dissolved. If you have any difficulties with the agent, you can raise a complaint to them and if necessary escalate up to the Property Ombudsman (the must be a member of one of the following by law). It is a free service.

https://www.tpos.co.uk/consumers/how-to-make-a-complaint

https://www.theprs.co.uk/Consumer

Joshua and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thankyou very much you’re a life saver

A pleasure - I hope you are able to resolve the matter swiftly

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
The company on the contract still is in existence according to them but we cannot find them anywhere
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Where do we find information on that?
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
We have asked them about it but