have a question relating to the wording of my AST, so I will ask my questions first and type up the relevant clauses in my contract. Hope you can help! I’m terribly worried and anxious.
I moved into my flat in Dec 2014. As I am long term sick and don’t have a guarantor, I paid the full 6 month term in advance. It is an AST.
When I moved, the agent told me after signing that if I wished to “renew” the tenancy (is that referring to another fixed term, not a periodic?) I’d need to either pay 6 months rent in advance again, or be referenced and find a guarantor. However, if neither the landlord or agent get in touch, and the 11th June comes around, would I assume it’s lapsed into a periodic*, or would I assume they can knock at the door and ask me why I’ve not packed up and left? Even though it’s a 6 month fixed term, if they want me to leave on June 11th, do they need to issue a section 21 or is that not necessary – is it a given that I must leave?
*and if it’s a periodic, am I to pay month by month as is standard, and mentioned in clause 2? Or am I to pay a 6 monthly sum as mentioned in clause 3?
Regarding a s21, my understanding is that it’s served monthly (2 from LL, 1 from tenant, although the contract states I must give 2 months) because rent is usually paid monthly. If it’s paid 6 monthly, does that require a section 21 served in 6 month increments?
I have never had this type of agreement before with paying the entire fixed term upfront. In the past, I signed in for 6 month ASTs which lapsed onto periodic for years – but I had either a job or guarantor. I’m now a benefit claimant (ESA and DLA, and HB under application).
If they must serve notice, must they do this by April 10th? This is fast approaching, and I’m ever so worried and would like to know where I stand.
Relevant clauses of my AST:
2: “The tenancy shall be from and including the 12th December 2014 (“the Commencement Date”) to and including 11 June 2015 (“the Expiration Date”) and thereafter from month to month until the tenancy hereby created shall be determined by the Landlord serving on the Tenant two months notice in writing or the Tenant serving on the Landlord two months notice in writing expiring upon the 11th day of the month.”
3: “The Tenant shall to the Landlord or the Landlord’s Agent by way of rent the amount of £XXXX for 6 months in advance exclusive of Council Tax payable on the 12th day during the Term the first such payment to be made on the signing of this Agreement for the period from the Commencement Date.”
“This Agreement is intended to create an Assured Tenancy as defined by Section 19A of the Housing Act 1988 as amended and shall take effect subject to the provisions for recovery of possession provided for by virtue of Section 21 of that Act.”
Then in the bit headed “Notices”:
“The Landlord notifies the Tenant pursuant to Sections 47 and 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 that the address at which notices may be served…(agent’s address)”
“For the avoidance of doubt if the Tenant wishes to terminate the Tenancy at the end of the fixed term then written notice must be given to the Landlord no later than 11 June 2015.”
I don’t want to approach my landord or agent yet in case I jeapardise the situation (I am aiming for a periodic, month by month – and if I learn that they need to serve me with a s21 by April 11th and they forget to, I’ll assume I can stay on a periodic – unless the advice is that the wording of the contract means I must leave by June 11th as default) without fully understanding where I currently stand given the wording of the contract.
I would like to stay a ittle while longer and would like to eventually leave on good terms with the landlord and agent. I’ve never missed a rent payment in my entire renting life.
I’m guessing that they’ll not forget to get in touch given that I paid 6 months in advance and have no job. I assume that income from Housing Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance won’t class as an income? I wasn’t claiming them at the start of my tenancy.
Hope to hear from you soon, terribly worried & anxious and don’t know if I ought to be flat-hunting and packing in the next couple of months, or if the agent will start showing people around shortly, thank you so much in advance!