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Landlord now won't sign tenancy agreement, demanding higher rent!!

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Tenancy agreement, landlord will not sign, valid reason?
Hi, Three friends and I are renting a house, through a letting agency. We were advised by the manager of the lettings agency, which is supposed to be reputable, that we can add the fourth person at a latter stage, in the presence of one of my friends and I when we agreed verbally the bases of the tenancy terms. The tenancy agreement was then issued, with a fourth space for the fourth person. The fourth person, wished to view the property themselves, which was done and gave his details to the lettings agency. While we the original three signed, went through the credit referencing process, which we comfortably passed, and returned all details to the lettings agency, we were informed as a matter of process the landlord would have to confirm that he was willing to have a fourth person in the house. While this was queried at that time, as this was a condition already agreed , we were informed that this was normal procedure... Today a representative of the lettings agency rang to say that the landlord now only wanted to 3 tenants or a fourth at a higher rent. The agency rep had no idea of what extra figure was being considered by the landlord, and as the landlord had not signed the tenancy with four spaces( three already signed), the rep informed us no contract at present existed. If the higher rent was not agreeable, which he was now going to try and contact the landlord about to get this figure, then the property was going back on the market. the house presently has four tenants. Is the present tenancy agreement which is made out for four tenants a totally void contract, despite I and my friend being present when the manager advised us of no issue in adding a fourth person? What rights is any do my friends and I have in this matter? Any help/advice greatly appreciated in this matter, which is a serious example of dishonesty by both the landlord, and probably the letting agency also!

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Probably best to speak to shelter, or wait for someone who knows what they are taking about, but the three person agreement should still be in force.

    While having a forth person will increase the "wear and tear" on the house, and utility bills (are bills included, or do you pay for them?) and so a small increase in rent may be appropriate, you should still end up paying less than you are - per person at the moment..

    That there was verbal agreement that a forth person could be added as "a formality" means that you may have a case against the agency should you need to move to four person accommodation, but other than moving expenses and a samll consideration for the disruption you're not going to get much out of that - except piss them off as much as you're pissed off. On the other hand, If you tell them you're not happy, that you wanted four person accommodation of that quality at that price, ask them to find you something suitable, and that you expect them to take care of transferring the deposit, as it was their mistake.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for reply BG...

    Hey BG, thanks for the reply :-), you talk sense!! And I guess I did sound pissed,,,, and deserve to be....pure anger, at the way this has developed... so un professional!

    We will pay all utility bills, and despite being informed by rep yesterday, and promised a call back to-day by the agency, I still have no idea what extra fee we are to expect if we decide to take the house.

    I should talk to Shelter,thanks, and the manager only intervended when in final negotiations in the agency office to state we can add any person as the fourth tenant at any stage, on which bases we decided to take the house. It may make the agency do something pro-active if I advised them of this ... post contacting Shelter! many thanks again....and I glanced at your other posts, so hope you arefeeling better, life will improve and new better memories will be created....isn't that what life is about! :-)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey there fishingfortrout24 and welcome to the boards. Thanks for posting your question.

    This situation is clearly frustrating. Do you now know how much more rent the landlord wants for the fourth tenant?

    Tenancy agreements can be verbal or in writing and clauses of written tenancy agreements can be verbal. The problem is that it is hard to prove what was agreed if there was no confirmation in writing. It seems like the agency agreed here on behalf of the landlord; the landlord was probably informed afterwards and wants more rent for 4 people, resulting in this situation.

    It might be an idea to write to the agency explaining the problem with details of who and when you spoke to them about the fourth tenant. Also confirm the agreed rent and state that you wish the fourth tenant to be included in the tenancy agreement at this agreed rent, as already agreed. This ensures that they have your side of the story in writing.

    It is important to have all communication with the agency, in future, in writing so that everything can be evidenced if necessary.

    In the meantime as Big Gay suggests, Shelter can offer you more specialised advice on this matter (0808 800 4444).

    Hope you get this resolved soon and feel free to post any other questions you may have on the boards.

    :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi, Thanks for reply, frustration isnt the word! The house presently has three people residing in it. When we put our offer in, which was agreed in the agency offices as described above, we were advised that the fourth person could be added at any time by the agency, but there was always going to be four people in the house. The agency then we to the landlord to advised of our offer, number of peopel etc, as we have gotten a tenancy agreement with four people. the landlord aggreed to our offer, so I doubt if the agency is a fault in that regard.

    I do have to say though, we paid our deposit then, This was the 16th June!! The house agreement is due to start on the 1/9/11, and due to two people travelling, and not having ready access to IT equipment, we were advised that signing, scanning and printing the tenancy agreement would suffice by the agency. This took until the first week of July. On reciept, despite the agency saying in the agreement, that a scanned copy had full legal tender, which it does, we were than informed that an original cpy would also be needed! The whole thing has been a bit slipshod, by the agency, but I guess as we dont have four people mentioned as occupying the house mentioned in the tenancy agreement- only four spaces at the end to sign- we are snookered. Many thanks again!!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A tenancy agreement can be made verbally or in writing and the fact that the fourth person has not signed the agreement does not, in itself, stop the agreement being binding on the landlord for all four of you. The fact that the original has not yet been provided to the agency also doesn't prevent the agreement being legally binding.

    The house cannot go back on the market because the three of you have a legally binding tenancy agreement for the property. You and the landlord can negotiate to leave the contract if you so wish, but the three of you have a binding tenancy agreement and are legally entitled to move in. If a fourth person moves in the landlord will need to go to court to evict you on the basis that you have sublet the property and he'll need to prove that you have broken the tenancy agreement. If the rent is listed as being paid for the whole property, and if you are listed as being joint and severally liable, the landlord will struggle to argue that you have broken the tenancy agreement if you pay the rent as agreed.

    If your tenancy agreement is for the whole property then you have the right to use all the rooms in the house. I'd be tempted to move the fourth person in and just not tell anyone. The landlord would need to go to court to evict you and I don't think the court would give a possession order. However that is a risk and you should be aware of it. If the tenancy agreement is for specific rooms in the house then you can't do this as you don't legally have the right to move someone into the other bedroom.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi Artic Roll,

    Many thanks for the reply! What you say is interesting, but as I mentioned in my first post, the landlord has not signed the tenancy, a month after reciept of us signing! And though only a scanned copy that is binding (on us). We all have passed all checks etc, since early July! The tenancy was for the whole property, and not specific rooms.... We signed, in good faith, the tenancy which is for four people (four tenants signatures spaces needed on the aggreement) , but since the landlord did not, that what you say will stand up though. The agency says as he hasn't signed we are effectivly over a log..... Many thanks a again, and if you like to add to my tread bearing, the above points in mind , please do :-)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just to correct a point in a previous post, the house currently has FOUR people residing in it!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A tenancy agreement does NOT have to be written down for it to be legally binding on both parties. The fact that he hasn't signed is largely irrelevant if he has accepted your deposit- there's a clear intention to contract.

    The spaces on the agreement are irrelevant as most letting agents use a proforma tenancy agreement. The issue is what you intended to contract to and what he intended to contract to. I think he's trying to manipulate more money out of you, but you have a valid tenancy agreement for at least the three of you. The fourth one might do or might not, it depends on exactly what was said. If he doesn't and moves in anyway, it's up to the landlord to take legal action to evict you all for breaching your agreement, and I think that would be unlikely.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A tenancy agreement does NOT have to be written down for it to be legally binding on both parties. The fact that he hasn't signed is largely irrelevant if he has accepted your deposit- there's a clear intention to contract.

    The spaces on the agreement are irrelevant as most letting agents use a proforma tenancy agreement. The issue is what you intended to contract to and what he intended to contract to. I think he's trying to manipulate more money out of you, but you have a valid tenancy agreement for at least the three of you. The fourth one might do or might not, it depends on exactly what was said. If he doesn't and moves in anyway, it's up to the landlord to take legal action to evict you all for breaching your agreement, and I think that would be unlikely.

    Does this mean that a lease agreement is not as big of a worry to get signed by both parties as long as there has been a deposit that has been paid then the contract has been entered by both parties?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey there nathaniello,

    Welcome to the boards. :wave:

    Although it's great you're getting involved in the community here, this post brings up a really old thread. On the discussion boards we don't like bringing up old threads as the issue has normally been resolved, and the original poster will not want it being brought up again.

    Therefore I am going to close this thread now, but if you'd like to discuss anything, please start a new thread. You can also ask a specific question at askTheSite (http://www.thesite.org/community/askthesite). Your question will be answered by an expert. Just follow the links to submit your question online.

    Please feel free to send me a Private Message if you don't understand any of this.

    :)
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