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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7432
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hello. My family and me (3 adults and a 15 year old daughter)

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My family and me (3 adults and a 15 year old daughter) have been renting a house from an agency for 5 years. Two months ago they told us that we have to move out of the house. With this sort notice we tried to find another place to move to. The agency we rent from now, offered us another house, we left the deposit but a couple of days later they called us informing that someone offered a much higher price, from another agency, so we were left without a house again. Then around 2 weeks ago they offered us another house, we left the deposit again and brought in the documents for the check. We have not signed the contract. Yesterday we got a call from them saying that the landlord of that house is not able to finish the works on the house and we can not move into the house, but we have to move out of the house we live in now tomorrow.
As we have no place to move to whatsoever, what rights to we have to just stay in the house we are in when the deadline passes? What can the agency do? Was a 2month notice not too sort (there is no contract signed for the last year we live in the house)?
thank you.
Thanks for your question.
To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following:-
1. You had a fixed term tenancy agreement which expired the previous year and now have no tenancy agreement – correct?
2. Was the previous tenancy an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement
3. Did you receive written notice stating that the landlord required possession within 2 months?
Kind regards.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
1. yes for the last 4years we used to have a contract for one year which started every year June 2nd. However, last year we did not sign one.
2 and 3. I am not sure about this however, I assume it is because the later we for two months before we had to move out stated a Housing Act 1988 s21(4)(a) which is for assured shorthold tenancy.


Thanks for your question.

A s21(4)(a) Housing Act 1988 is the correct form of notice to be used in this scenario, so provided you were served the notice and the two month notice period expires on the last day of a rent period then it will be valid for the purposes of obtaining an order for possession.

If you do not move out on the day the notice period expires then they will not be able to evict you straightaway – they must apply for an order for possession from country court first. If they use the accelerated possession procedure this would probably take around 2-3 weeks, possibly more. If they do not use the accelerated possession procedure then it will take 4-6 weeks and you will have to have a hearing which you are free to defend.

You will remain liable for the monthly rent for the period in which you are in actual occupation of the property and they can add their legal fees to the amount they claim from you at court.

The important thing is that they can just evict you straightaway.

As frustrating as your dealings have been with the agency in terms of finding another property have been unfortunately it remains your responsibility to secure alternative accommodation unfortunately, though you may be able to appeal to their sense of fairness if they have been less than satisfactory in finding you a new property and perhaps buy you a short period of grace before they apply to court.

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Kind regards,

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