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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 20069
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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I am an AST tenant of 2 years. My fixed term (year) ends 17/11/13,

Resolved Question:

I am an AST tenant of 2 years. My fixed term (year) ends 17/11/13, and I intend to quit. I gave verbal notice to my landlord yesterday.
Two months ago I signed an 'intention to extend' form, but I have not yet signed the 'renewal memorandum'. My situation has now changed.
My landlord says, because I signed the 'intention to extend' form, I am therefore liable to give 2 months' notice (as normal under the tenancy agreement). He has put the property on the market, and if he lets it within the month, he says I will no longer be liable for the second month of notice.
I dispute my liability for 2 months' notice, as my current AST expires in 1 month, and I have not yet signed the renewal memorandum. Furthermore, the 'intention to extend' form I signed contains the following proviso: 'Please note this letter is to ascertain your intentions, it is not documentation of extension of the tenancy.'
I am suspicious that his advice suits him perfectly, and I am unsure of my rights. Arthur
Submitted: 11 months ago via Tenancy Agreement Service.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your question here on Just answer. It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me if I need to ask for any further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully. My name isXXXXX and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case. I will be online and off-line all day most weekdays and weekends.

Do you have a specific question please?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Sorry, I thought the question was implicit in my original piece.


To wit: am I liable to pay my landlord 1 months' notice or 2?


 

Expert:  Stuart J replied 11 months ago.




And I agree with you. One months notice.

You are not
bound to any new agreement unless you signed it.



An intention
to extend is simply that. The landlord was always at liberty to refuse. If he
accepted by giving you the renewal memorandum which you then signed, it would
be different.



Indeed, I
think the landlord is trying to manipulate the paperwork because the last
sentence of your post quite clearly states exactly what your understanding is.



He is entitled
to one months notice but do give it to him in writing. Please note it is one
calendar month and not four weeks.

 

Show the landlord of this answer from a solicitor if you wish.



Does that answer the question? Can I assist further or answer
any specific queries?





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Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thank you. That helps clarify my position.


 


As you say, I must give him notice in writing, either today or tomorrow.


However he asked me yesterday to include an acknowledgement of the 2 month notice period, which I am not comfortable doing.


 


If I write to him detailing 1 month notice, I am wary of entering an overt dispute with him, as he holds 6 weeks deposit - 150% of my potential saving. He could make it very difficult for me to get this back, eg: being extremely detailed in finding fault on his final inspection of the property.


 


I acknowledge that he is willing to try to let the property within the first month, and it would be a shame to lose this goodwill. But I would rather not find myself comitted to paying a second months' notice, and I hope to have my full deposit returned without complication.


 


Please could you recommend my best course of action regarding my written notice?

Expert:  Stuart J replied 11 months ago.
I get drawn into correspondence.
I would refer to previous conversations I confirm that you have spoken to someone about this and they have confirmed that in view of the wording of the intention to extend form (and give him the wording) there is no extension of the tenancy and therefore you are only giving him one months notice which here it is.
Of course, if he wants to argue to try and keep proportion of your deposit, you are then faced with
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

There seemed to be a problem with your last message. It ended abruptly with "you are then faced with ..."


 


Please could you repeat the rest of the ending?

Expert:  Stuart J replied 11 months ago.

Error with cut-and-paste!

 

... You are then faced with filing a dispute either with the tenants deposit scheme or issuing proceedings in the County Court for return of the deposit .

there is no easy way of confronting this without actually confronting him

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Just one more...


 


When you say, "in writing", am I correct that legally these days an Email is regarded as sufficient?


Or might the landlord be able to claim that I didn't give notice correctly if it wasn't on paper and signed?

Expert:  Stuart J replied 11 months ago.

Email is sufficient provided he acknowledges it. He may not turn his computer on for a week!

I would follow it up in writing at the same time

Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 20069
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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