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Ross Miller
Ross Miller,
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 743
Experience:  Director (Litigation and Mediation) at Hilltop Solutions
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I would have a question. Is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy

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Good afternoon. I would have a question. Is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement legally binding if the landlord never signed it, never met with me in person, never sent me a copy of the contract with her signature on it?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: Good evening*
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: Rowcross Street, Astley House, SE1 5HT
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Yes, I only lived in the property for about 2 weeks until I was harassed on the street and inside the building, decided to move out and currently, the landlady is threatening me that she will contact bailiffs and take this matter into court.

Hello my name is Jamie and I will help you. I am just reviewing your question. This is an email service so there may be delays when responding.

Have you paid any rent?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Yes. My ex partner and I have paid £800 as the rent for only one month and also the deposit which was £800 as well. We are/were joint tenants

If you have paid rent and moved in then you do have a tenancy.

Otherwise, if there is no tenancy the Landlord would not accept rent and you would not be living there.

Who is harassing you on the street?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
But the landlady never actually signed the contract
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I am not currently living there anymore
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Would you be kind to answer my question? Is the AST legally binding if she never signed the contract? Can she take the case into court?

That AST, no.

But you do have an agreement as you have paid rent.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
What type of agreement?

Just a licence. So you can terminate with a months notice.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Not really
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Can she take other actions and take this case into court so she can retrieve the full 12 months rent from me and my ex partner if the AST was never signed by her?

Yes she can try. Whether she would be successful is another matter.

She doesn't have a signed contract by her.

As such she cant claim the whole period.

Does that assist?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Yes, thank you very much for your help. I wish you a lovely evening!

Hello

Good evening

How can I help you today?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Good evening.

I would like to know if an Assured Tenancy Agreement is legally binding if the joint tenants were the only ones signing the contract.

Also if the landlady can successfully take the case into court in order to retrieve the rent from a 10 months period.

The contract has no breaking clause, but again, was never signed by the landlady. She sent me a PDF of the agreement which I have printed out and my ex partner and I signed it. I then took pictures of it and sent it back to her on Whatsapp. We never met her in person, she never sent us a a contract signed by her back.

My ex partner and I moved into the accommodation on the 14th of September, payed an amount of £800 serving as deposit and also an amount of £800 serving as rent for the first month.

Since moving into the flat, the circumstances changed, my safety was threatened as a man harassed me in front of the building in which I was living. Situation that made me seek accommodation at some of my friends’ places.

Moreover, my partner and I have decided to part. He left the country and I found another accommodation.

I need to specify that we only lived in that accommodation for a period of 2-3 weeks.
I gave the landlady notice only yesterday after both my ex partner and I have moved our belongings and evacuated the room.

She is now threatening me that she will take other measures as taking the case into court and contacting a bailiff, which would have serious consequences on me and will affect my current living situation and my studies, if I will not accept to make her a payment worth £800 for the month ahead.

I tried to explain her that my current situation is critical as I was chased on the street in that area, I have parted with my ex partner, my financial situation is poor and my health is affected and on too of everything I am a third year student who is going through a lot. She told me that I am bluffing and that I will either pay her the £800 or she would discuss the case in court.

I would like to know if she can do anything towards me if the contract was never signed by her even if it doesn’t have a breaking clause, taking into consideration that the rent for the first month is paid and also the deposit?

Thank you.

Hello my name is Ross and I can help with this matter if you are still looking for help,

 

please note there may be delays between messages as the experts on this website are all third party and are not on here full time.

 

Thank you.

 

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Good evening Mr Miller,

Yes, that would be great. I am still looking for help.

Thank you.

Hello thanks for waiting. So given that you have paid rent and the deposit, you have a legally binding contract with the land lady, however, that does not mean that the agreement she has in hand is the one you are bound to. I highly doubt she will be able to get 12 months rent out of you. However, you should, under the tenancy laws, have given her one months notice to quit. So in reality you probably owe her £800 and not 12 months rent. The only way she could get 12 months would be if somehow she could show that you agreed to the contract which states that you are liable to pay the full 12 months but she would find this probably impossible to do, so I wouldn't worry about that aspect of it. What you should do is just email her telling he that you don't accept the 12 month and to be honest she would spend more money chasing you than she would win. The best thing to do is set up a line of communication, the reality is that you do have an agreement but she would only be able to claim for the statutory minimum as you have not signed any other documents. I hope this information helps.

I would be obliged if you could Click to “accept” the answer and leave me a 5 star rating (this will not cost any extra). This will tell the website that I have responded to your question, you can, of course, continue to ask any follow up questions free of charge.

 

Kind regards

 

Ross

 

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for your response. I feel like I would have some more questions. Yes, I am aware I owe her £800, but how far she can take the case if I do not have that amount of money and I refuse to make her the payment? Taking into consideration the fact that I only lived in the accommodation for 3 weeks, she has the rent for the first month and the deposit paid as well? Also, is the AST valid if she signs it after the move in date or if only I signed it? I apologise for giving you a hard time. I am trying to comprehend how much leverage she has over this. Furthermore, I lack the funds to pay her another month of the rent.

Thank you.

Well the reality is that she will probably keep the deposit to cover the rent owed and then that will be the end of it. However, worst case scenario would be that she makes a small claims action against you. Lets just say she won the 12 months (although I Cant see this being the case) then the court would order you to pay. However, you could make an application for time to pay and you would be able to make instalments. However the reality is that the contract came into force the day you started renting so it really doesn't matter if she signs some document now, the court wouldn't entertain this as evidence. I think what is likely to happen is that she will keep the deposit and that will be it. I wouldn't worry too much about her taking you to court over this and even if she did I don't think she would have a chance of winning 12 months rent. I hope this answered your questions. I would be grateful if you could rate me 5 stars above and you can still follow up with questions if needed.

Ross Miller,
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 743
Experience: Director (Litigation and Mediation) at Hilltop Solutions
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