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tenancy agreements

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447 views 3 replies latest reply: 25 January 2014

My landlord knew when I moved in that I would be claiming housing benefit as I’m a single mum of a 2yr old. I started getting my benefit and now a month and a half on it has been suspended awaiting a tenancy agreement that the landlord won’t provide. I’ve even been out and bought one and gave it to him to sign. I can’t afford my rent without it…. What’s going on? Anybody have any ideas please…


Hi there, Tracey.

I’m sorry this is happening to you and other than this, I hope yourself and your child are well.

Do you have any emails / texts from your landlord as written proof he has agreed for you to live in the property?

He may be unwilling to sign an agreement as it give you more rights, however, if a tenant pays less than 100k per year in rent, moved into the property on or after 28th February 1997, is renting from a private landlord and has rights to have privacy in the property where the landlord cannot enter the property without mutual agreement, then an Assured Shorthold Tenancy is automatically created, with or without a signed tenancy agreement.

It would be a good idea if you send him that information in an email, and explain to him that as you have an automatic ‘Assured Shorthold Tenancy’ he is legally required to provide you with 2 month’s notice of eviction.

Also explain that if you do not have the agreement in writing, you cannot claim the money to pay him rent, and he will be looking at AT LEAST 2 months without rent for the property.

Try to be calm and friendly with your choice of words and add a little message at the end along the lines of: “This is turning into more of a struggle than it needs to be and I in no way mean this offensively, I’m just trying to avoid moving to another property and leaving you without rent for months. I’m sure you can appreciate where I am coming from and I look forward to hearing from you soon.”

Could you let me know what the landlord has told you regarding the agreement, and why he is refusing to sign one?

Let me know if you need any more help or advice. I’m here often so I will respond as quickly as possible.

Best of luck.


My landlord is in India and won’t be back till April but he has a kind of agent that comes on his behalf to collect the rent and put it into his bank… The agent said the landlord won’t sign the agreement and that he has his reasons. I don’t have an e-mail address or a phone number and I don’t even have a receipt for the deposit!! Only had a week to sort everything out before he went to India. I have said to the agent that obviously the landlord won’t get any rent until he can prove how much rent I pay and what is included in that. He’s got 500 deposit plus 3 weeks in advance so he’s got something to fall back on…


I noticed your reply but it won’t let me comment on your reply, so I’m posting it here.

First off, you are entitled to the ADDRESS of your landlord (this must be in England or Wales). If you cannot contact him directly, tell his ‘agent’ that he / she has 21 days to provide this information or you will take the landlord to court and he will face fines. Also, explain AGAIN that you cannot continue to pay rent until you have a tenancy agreement.

Bare in mind, refusing rent is always a tricky situation, and I would not recommend it at all…BUT of course, if you can’t claim your benefits, then you can’t pay anyway.

Unfortunately, it sounds like your best course of action is to send a written request via email to your landlord for the ‘terms of your tenancy’ then he has 28 days from receipt of request in which to produce it or be liable for a fine.

Terms of agreement is NOT a tenancy agreement.
Terms of agreement are:

1. The date the tenancy originally started
2. The amount of rent and when it is payable
3. Details of any rent review procedure
4. Where the tenancy is a fixed term; the length of that term.

It seems you are in a difficult situation dear, and I hope I have been of some assistance.

If you want my opinion and not legal facts, I would say get out now. Yourself and your child deserve stability and with no written tenancy agreement, (I would not usually tell someone to do this but it may be your best bet) you could just skip out of the property into somewhere better, the landlord will not have proof that you stayed there so cannot take you to court….but then you will lose the money you already paid.

The receipt for the deposit is a big question here too. Here’s a website where you can check if your bond as been paid into a Deposit Protection Scheme:

As it says on the website, if he has not protected it and you can prove that money went from you to him, upon giving notice and leaving the property, you could take him to court and receive up to THREE times the amount of the deposit.

As you understand, this is a bad situation to find yourself in and I hope you see the positive in all of this. At least now you have a horror story in letting and can look out for warning signs next time.

If you need any more help, just let me know. 🙂

Good luck!

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