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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6444
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hi, I have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for a 6 month period

Customer Question

Hi, I have an 'Assured Shorthold Tenancy' for a 6 month period which ended yesterday. I am still in the property and have not received any specific notice to leave.
I have tried to pay my rent but the agency I signed with seems to be closed down (I was paying in person till now). I also have no contact details for the landlord.

So I need to know:

i) In principle do I have to leave the property, or does this kind of tenancy continue under statutory rights until a formal notice is served?
ii) What can I do about paying the rent?! I would not like to be accused of not paying - is there some third party I can pay it to or should I send some sort of recorded letter to the agency to prove I tried to pay my rent?

Thanks!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

The tenancy is now a staturoty periodic tenancy, which means that the tenancy continues on the same terms but from one rent period to the next (so month to month if you pay your rent monthly).

 

You are not under an obligation to leave the property until you have received a s21 notice from the agent/landlord giving you two months notice to vacate. The notice period must expire on the final day of a rent period otherwise it is invalid and the landlord would not get an order for possession from Court which they would need to effect eviction legally.

 

Write to them anyway and send by registered post stating that you require details of to whom to pay your rent and that you are aware of your continuing rental obligations and wish to fulfill these.

 

Download a copy of the land registry registered title from the following site for a fee of £4:-

https://www.landregistry.gov.uk/wps/portal/Property_Search

 

It should contain an address for service for the owner of the property, this will be be your landlord and you should write to him (registered post) stating the above and detail of the situation and request that he contact you urgently to arrange an alternative method of meeting your rental obligations.

 

If this is useful please click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. YOu will be free to ask follow up questions.


Kind regards,

 

Tom

 

 

Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6444
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Thomas and 3 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Great, thanks a lot!
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
You're welcome, thanks for your kind accept.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi, sorry to bother you again. We just got the land registry papers and we found that the flat is owned by 'The Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Enfield'!

So it would appear that the landlord and/or agency have been renting this to me without the rights to do so! (supposedly the landlord is a private individual that I never met - the agency told me they live out of the country)

So what would you recommend we do next?
Should we will still write to the agency asking how to pay the rent and just forget about the council issue?
Should we write to the council informing them of the situation?
Should we just do nothing and enjoy a free flat?!

Also, could you tell me if I have done anything wrong? And also do I have any rights now? Do I still have statutory tenancy rights? Is the 'landlord'/agency able to serve notice to me on a house they do not have the right to rent? Could the council serve notice to me at any time even though I have no tenancy agreement with them?

Thanks a lot! We'll leave an extra tip for the further time.
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Do the papers you have downloaded refer to the freehold title?

 

The flat will be registered as a leasehold title.


Tom

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Part A of the title says 'Property Register.... the FREEHOLD land shown edged red.....being 1 toXXXXX.....'

Part B says 'Proprietorship Register.... Title absolute.... the mayor and burgesses of the London Borough of.....'

Part C seems to refer to leases (see below). So does this mean that there could be different leaseholders and they are not registered with the land registry? If so then maybe there is nothing suspicious here and we just need to go ahead with your first advice....





C: Charges Register
This register contains any charges and other matters
that affect the land.
1 The Leases specified in the Schedule of Leases hereto which were
made pursuant to Chapter 1 of Part I of the Housing Act 1980 took
effect with the benefit of and subject to the easements and other
rights prescribed by paragraph 2 of Schedule 2 of that
Act....................... 23acg.
2 The leases specified in the schedule of leases hereto which were
made pursuant to Part V of the Housing Act 1985 took effect with
the benefit of and subject to the easements and other rights
specified in paragraph 2 of Schedule 6 of the Housing Act 1985.
3 The parts of the land affected thereby are subject to the leases
set out in the schedule of leases hereto.
The leases grant and reserve easements as therein mentioned.
Schedule of notices of leases

....THEN A LIST OF VARIOUS SUB ADDRESSES OF THE PROPERTY....

Thanks
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

That's the freehold title. If you rent a flat in a block then the flat will be listed under the schedule of leases and refer to the separate leasehold title to the flat. That is the title register you require.


Kind regards,


Tom

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The document I told you about IS the leasehold according to the land registry site! We are clicking and buying 'leasehold title', but the doc we get is what I told you - the freehold, with a list of leasholds, but without their owners.

Does this mean the leaseholders are not actually registered? Or that there are no leaseholders at the moment? Or that the land registry have an error on their site?

Thanks
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
OK, cancel that. We found a problem on their site and managed to get the REAL leasehold!

So the lease owner IS the correct person but their address is listed as the property itself! So we cannot contact them. Is it legal for them to not update the address when they moved out.

Also, in the Charges Register, the proprietor is listed as 'SANTANDER UK', dated February 2010. The sale to the 'owner' is dated 2005 so does that mean it was repossessed in 2010?

Sorry for the extra questions. We will leave another £10!

Thanks
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Yes, they can list whatever address they want.

 

In that case write to the agents as above. In all probability the landlord will come to know of the apparent closure of the agent when he does not get his rent and contact you directly to make alternative arrangements.

 

You could, I suppose write to the lender submitting the copy of the register and ask that they write to the landlord and ask them to contact you. The danger is if he has been naughty and taken a residential mortgage and let the propriety where he should have taken a buy to let mortgage. This will cause him difficulty in that he will probably have to pay some fees to convert, or in the worst case scenario the lender may take repossession action. It's a risk

 

It's a difficult situation but one would hope the landlord would be understanding in that it has effectively frustrated you from performing your contractual obgliation.

 

Kind regards,


Tom

Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6444
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Thomas and 3 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok thanks, XXXXX XXXXX don't think the dates are significant? Why would the 'proprietor' be listed in 2010 as the Santander bank, if the 'owner' bought the place in 2005? Could it have been repossessed already this year?
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

The entry in the charges register listing Santander as "Proprietor" simply means that they are the holder of the charge over the title. It does not mean they are the proprietor of the actual title. As long as your landlord is listed in the Proprietorship register (preceding the Charges register) as proprietor this means he owns the leasehold title to the flat and is therefore your bona fide landlord.


Thanks for your accept.

Kind regards,


Tom

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Tom, I am also considering moving out as I am not really happy with the whole situation. What should I do in order to follow the correct legal process? Should I simply send a registered letter to the agency's address giving 1 month's notice on the date that the monthly payment is due? Or is there something else I can do to ensure I will not have any problems after I leave?

Thanks,

James
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Hi again James,

 

When the does rent period run from? from the 1st of the month to the end of the month, or some other date?

 

What day do you pay your rent?


Tom

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I pay on the 15th of the month, so I would have to give notice before the 15th Jan and move out on the 15th Feb I guess?
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks lot.
I cannot click 'accept answer' as this would bill me the full amount that I first paid again. So I clicked 'add bonus' above instead and just topped up the total to £45. Hope that's OK.

Thanks again for all the help. James
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

James,


Thank you very much. Merry Christmas.


Tom

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