Here is a question to the blog clinic from Claire who is a tenant:
I am seeking advice on how to deal with my landlady.
I have a one year tenancy agreement which ends in april 2013.
My problems started when some repairs needed doing to the house. I contacted the landlady and she expressed her concern for herself not being able to afford the repairs on the house.
Then she phoned me and said she is having financial trouble and would have to sell the house.
She offered for me to buy the house but considering the repairs that need to be carried out, we declined.
She then proceeded to send round two different estate agents to value the property. A short time after this she phoned me to tell me that I have two options, buy the house or she is giving me two months notice to leave the property!
I said I wanted it in writing and that I would be seeking my own legal advice. I then emailed her to explain that she is not within her rights to do this because there have been no breech of contract abut I will leave the property anyway because now the landlord/tenant relationship in an uncomfortable one.
I have not had contact with her since, I have reported her to my local authority and found somewhere else to live. I sent her emails to ask when i am expected to leave the property but still she has refused to contact me.
I found another property and paid fees for references etc and she replied to the reference agency telling them that I have never paid the rent on time and I have breeched the contract (both of which are completely untrue and I have proof in the form of bank statements) so now i have lost the chance of moving out and the money I have paid to do so.
She sounds a singularly difficult landlord! My advice is just to stay put. Even if she does sell the property, this does not mean you have to move out – it just means that the identity of your landlord will change.
You can only be forced, legally, to vacate the property after your landlord has obtained an order for possession through the courts. Even after the fixed term has ended, you are legally entitled to stay on as statute creates a new ‘periodic tenancy‘ which runs on after the fixed term one ends.
If your landlord complains and wants you to go, you can tell her that it is her own fault. However it is possible she she may have changed her mind about selling the property and may have given the false references as she did not want to lose you as a tenant.