My partner and I rent a house under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy which is due to expire on 1 July. Our Landlord is looking to sell the house. We have made an offer on a property for sale nearby and hope that the sale completes in time but if not, we might have to stay in the rented house for a bit longer.
I have a few questions and concerns regarding where we might stand if we don’t leave at the end of the tenancy….
Firstly when we moved into the property our deposit was not put into a Government protection scheme. Following research I now know that this means any S.21 notice is invalidated so we can use this to buy more time in the house if necessary. In order for LL to serve a valid notice, I think they would have to give back the deposit. Does the deposit have to be returned in full? I think this could buy us an extra 4 months after expriy of the tenancy.
Secondly no inventory was done when we moved into the house. Does this mean any claim for disrepair would not be valid as LL cannot back it up with evidence? Who has the responsibility of proving whether the damage was done by us as the current tenant or already there? We have actually looked after the house quite well considering it’s run down state (see point 3) and even made some improvements eg decorated and put in new flooring but this was without LLs consent, so I’m worried they might try and use this as a quick method to evict us using s.8 notice?
Thirdly , the house is actually technically unfit to occupy. There is mould, no central heating, subsidence and water leaks through the ceiling when it rains. It was like this when we moved in. I am worried that LL might try and claim these are problems we should have addressed and try and charge us for something like repair or neglect or something. Is this something they could do? Would anyone recommend me contacting Environmental Health as a back up if LL does become difficult or would this just stir the hornets nest?
Apologies for the big list of questions, any help is very much appreciated.