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Chris_H
Chris_H, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1082
Experience:  Solicitor with 10 years experience in Commercial, Property and Consumer Legal Isssues
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I dont want to get caught out again in a tenancy agreement

Customer Question

I don't want to get caught out again in a tenancy agreement like last time where I wasn't able to renew my contract because the agent didn't put in an 'option to renew'. Foxton's recently told me that I would be limited to 3 years with a fixed inflation increase. 1. Is that correct or negotiable depending on the landlord? I'm looking for a long let of at least 3 years. 2. Do assured tenancies still exist or do you have to take a shorthold assured tenancy?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Chris_H replied 2 years ago.

Chris_H :

Hello and welcome to justanswer. In answer to your questions:

Chris_H :

1. It's entirely a matter of negotiation between you and your landlord; and

Chris_H :

2. Assured tenancies do still exist but in my experience the landlord would be highly unlikely to offer this as most landlords would consider the difficulty of evicting a tenant under this type of tenancy too risky.

Customer:

Foxton's made it seem as though there was no other option other than 3 years with a fixed inflation increase. Should an increase be capped as they say or do landlords (nice ones who like their tenant) not raise the rent sometimes?

Chris_H :

As I say, it's a matter of negotiation. There is no reason why the increase should not be capped - or a fixed rent agreed for 3 years.

Chris_H :

The benefit to the landlord is that they will not experience any periods where they're not earning rent throughout that period.

Customer:

Ok, so I could ask for the rent to be fixed?! Me likey! Is it worth getting a property lawyer to read a contract before signing it? I found it tricky last time not knowing anything about renting. I used to be a home owner before my alcoholic banker husband ruined the good life we had. Now I'm at the mercy of sharks.

Expert:  Chris_H replied 2 years ago.
Hello, yes there is no harm in asking and negotiating with the letting agent. If you have concerns then it would certainly worth asking someone to look at the tenancy agreement.
Chris_H, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1082
Experience: Solicitor with 10 years experience in Commercial, Property and Consumer Legal Isssues
Chris_H and 2 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello again!


I need two bits of information.


1. Are landlords legally required to put smoke alarms in flats and on landings in dwellings with 4 flats?


 


2. I am so distressed, depressed and anxious about this move my landlord has forced me to make that I sometimes feel like I'm going to have a breakdown. The agents knew when 'I' first found this flat that I wanted to stay for 5 years and as I may have said already they did nothing to help me achieve that. Can I have some kind of law suit against them for the distress and upheaval they have forced upon my son and I?

Expert:  Chris_H replied 2 years ago.

Hello. In relation to you questions:

 

1. It depends on whether the property is classified as an HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) i.e. at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household; and you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants). If so, then there is a specific obligation to provide smoke alarms in the rooms and common areas. If not then there is no specific obligation.

 

2. Claims for stress related injury are very difficult to bring because a. you'd need to prove a specific medical psychiatric injury; b. you'd need to show that this was directly caused by the actions of your landlord; c. you'd need to show that the landlord owed you a duty of care and breached that duty. I suspect this would be very difficult to prove. In particular the landlord would be likely to argue their actions were in the normal course of negotiations and within the law. I suspect it would only be if you could prove some specific acts of harassment (which I note you haven't specifically mentioned) that you could bring a claim.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Could you bring a case against the agents?

Expert:  Chris_H replied 2 years ago.
What would you allege that they have done wrong specifically that you think may give rise to a legal case against them?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Maybe I'm grasping at straws, but when I was taken to see the flat, I specifically said I would like to stay for 5 years. They said no problem. The landlord didn't have a mortgage, blah, blah, blah. I had never rented before and didn't know anything about tenancy agreements. They led me to believe that this would be fine with the landlord. The agent did not advise me to put in an 'option to renew' clause so that I could continue to renew year upon year. When it came time to renew the contract this time, they said the landlord didn't want to renew and they refused to negotiate me staying longer. So they gave me no choice whatsoever. They gave me no reason why I had to move. It think that is extremely unfair to a good tenant.

Expert:  Chris_H replied 2 years ago.
I do appreciate how distressing this must have been. However, I think it would be very difficult to bring a claim for this. The letting agents would inevitably argue that it was always subject to the written terms of contract you signed. Sorry I can't give different advice on this.

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