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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70412
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have been renting a flat from an acquaintance who

Customer Question

Hello,
I have been renting a flat from an acquaintance who initially promised us a long term tenancy. After 3 months she said that she wanted to sell and gave us 3 months to leave. We don't have a tenancy agreement and paid £1000 deposit but it has not been put in one of the schemes to our knowledge. We are now buying a property and are waiting for contracts to be ready so need a bit more time than we have been given (should move out on 3/10). The landlady is suggesting that she can give us a few extra weeks but wants to move in with us all together so that she can refurbish the property and put it on the market. We are not happy with it as it would no longer be a peaceful place to live. What are our rights as tenants? Is the notice she served valid (it was done in an email) given the deposit has not been protected? Thanks for your help
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Is she sharing the house with you?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No we never shared the house together, we share with other 2 people who are moving out. The landladuly is suggesting we could share the flat with her and her partner if we cannot move by the date she suggested. If she moves in I suppose it would also affect our rights as tenants
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

It depends. I suppose you don't have a formal AST agreement?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Do you share a bathroom and kitchen with the other tenants ? Or are you self contained?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We share both bathroom and kitchen with the other tenants
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

You are on a periodic tenancy agreement. The disadvantage of that is that she doesn't have to secure your deposit so the fact that she has not is not helpful.

However, she does have to give you proper notice. That demand a S21 notice on or before the rent date giving you no less than 2 months notice. In fairness, 3 months notice was almost certainly adequate but whether or not the notice she used is sufficient is another matter.

To get you out she would need a possession order although that doesn't seem to be her intention.

To do work while you are there is more complicated. She is entitled to 'reasonable access' which can include remedial work like decorative work. If she is denying you access to rooms that you pay though then you are entitled to a reduction in rent. It may not be enormous but it would be there. The other alternative is to just refuse access but whether she would accept that is another matter.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your response. Just to clarify, the two people who are moving out are paying rent to me and I pay rent to the landlady so technically the tenancy is mine for the whole flat and they are not separate ones (she is fully aware of how many people live in the property). We don't mind her doing some necessary work in the parts of the flat we won't be using or giving access to the property for viewings at reasonable times, we just don't want to live with her. From what you said it sounds like we could say to her that we don't want her to move in? Or is this something we are obliged to allow?Another clarification, how would I know if what she did is a proper notice? There is an email saying that she wants to move back in the flat on the 3/10, is this enough?Thanks for your time
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

You will need to let her in for viewings. If you don't she can force entry.

In terms of her moving back in, you cannot stop that. What she cannot do is exclude you without lawful authority.