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Letting agent

Letting agent

Postby Boo » Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:15 pm

I'm trying to guide a client with a dilemma.

Should a letting agent acknowledge in writing the ending of a joint tenancy?
Relationship has broken down. x has moved out and given the correct notice as per the tenancy.

Joint tenancy; 6 month fixed term tenancy - non renewal - rolling tenancy.

X quoted http://swarb.co.uk/hammersmith-and-fulh ... -dec-1991/ ;) and provided links from Shelter's site and sent this to the agent.

It appears the tenancy was not ended or renewed for y.

Letting agent has now given x and y notice for vacant possession (2 months)- without acknowledging x's NTQ. This letter was dated the same day the NTQ expired.

How can I x proceed now?
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Re: Letting agent

Postby theycantdothat » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:47 pm

Assuming the notice was valid...

X asks agent why he has served notice when the tenancy has ended.
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Re: Letting agent

Postby Boo » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:17 pm

That question has been asked. They have chosen not to answer it.

They are refusing to respond any emails relating to x's NTQ. Which is valid.
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Re: Letting agent

Postby dls » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:33 am

Should a letting agent acknowledge in writing the ending of a joint tenancy?

He has no obligation to.

Such situations are often unclear, and it can make sense for the agent to serve a notice which catches the situation if the tenant's notice is challenged.
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Re: Letting agent

Postby theycantdothat » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:26 am

Just spotted you said: "x has moved out and given the correct notice as per the tenancy." "Correct notice as per the tenancy (agreement)" is not necessarily a valid notice.

A few questions:

1. Was the tenancy granted as a straight fixed term (i.e. using words such as "for a term of six months from 10th March 2016" or "for a term starting on 6th March 2016 and ending on 5 October 2016" without further elaboration) or as a fixed term which continues as periodic (i.e. using words such as "for a term of six months from 10th March 2016 and thereafter from month to month" or "for a term of six months from 10th March 2016 continuing as a monthly periodic tenancy)?

2. If the tenancy was granted for a straight fixed term, was the notice served before or after the fixed term ended?

3. If the tenancy was granted for a straight fixed term, what are the terms for serving notice as set out in the tenancy?

4.If the tenancy was granted for a straight fixed term, did the notice expire on the first or last day of a period of the tenancy? The correct date for a common law notice to quit to expire is calculated with reference to when the fixed term ended, not when rent is payable. If the fixed term ended on the fifth of the month the periods of the tenancy are from the sixth to the fifth of every month, both days inclusive.

5. If the tenancy was granted for a straight fixed term, was the other joint tenant in residence when the notice was served?

6. Just for the record, we are talking about an assured shorthold tenancy?
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Re: Letting agent

Postby Boo » Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:28 pm

1. At the end of the term* of this tenancy agreement, it is agreed that the tenancy shall continue as a monthly periodic tenancy until terminated by either party.
*for the term of 6 months commencing on 00/00/00 - no end date written on tenancy agreement.

2. After.

3. To terminate this tenancy the tenants shall give the landlord or landlord's agent on a date to coincide with the commencement of the tenancy no less than one months written notice.

4. x gave notice mid term (of periodic month), not on 00 of month. Rent paid on separate date.

5. Yes

6. Yes, AST.

If x has given an incorrect date to end the tenancy, would it be good practice to let them know their NTQ isn't valid?
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Re: Letting agent

Postby theycantdothat » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:57 pm

The above means that when the fixed period expired the tenancy continued as a contractual periodic tenancy. Accordingly, the common law rules on notices to quit apply except to the extent that they are modfied by the terms of the tenancy. Ignoring for a moment the wording quoted under 3 (and assuming there is nothing else relevant in the agreement) there is nothing to oust the common law rules and so at least one month's notice must be given which expires on the last or first day of a tenancy period.

Unfortunately we have the words quoted under 3:

To terminate this tenancy the tenants shall give the landlord or landlord's agent on a date to coincide with the commencement of the tenancy no less than one months written notice.

It is the sort of drafting which can kindly be described as wholly inadequate. First, it specifies a date on which a notice must be given, which is never a good idea. More importantly though, the date on which the notice is to be given is the date on which the tenancy commenced. "Coincide" can only mean "happen at the same time". We can speculate on what was intended, but are left with what we have. What we have has to be void because otherwise there is no way for the tenant to end the periodic tenancy if the specifed date is missed. Accordingly, the wording can be ignored.

Whilst it may be considered sporting to let the other party know if you consider a notice is invalid, there is no requirement to do so.
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Re: Letting agent

Postby dls » Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:38 pm

Clause three is indeed sorrowful. Can such a clause prevail over the statutory conditions for such a notice?
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Re: Letting agent

Postby theycantdothat » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:57 am

I think the point has to be that a periodic tenancy must be capable of being ended at regular intervals ascertainable at the outset of the tenancy. It cannot be the case that there is only one opportunity for the tenant to end such a tenancy.
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Re: Letting agent

Postby Boo » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:09 pm

Thanks a lot. Much appreciated.
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