I have received the following cry for help from Sudheer via the Landord Law Blog clinic:
My tenant has been with me for last 3 terms of 6 months, renewed as ‘six months- no break’.
He requested me to go for a six months renewal again in December ’10, which I agreed to and then I forgot about it like in past.
Last week I was shocked to receive a call from him that he was vacating the property on one month notice. I told him that it was six months contract and he should check with my letting agency. He,instead went to the agency and said that he had given me a notice and that I had accepted it, so they accepted his notice.
Now I chased with the agency how could he give one month notice and I was told that it happens automatically if the contract is not renewed in a specific period after the first one expires. Agency had not kept me informed . I see that agency had sent three letters to the tenant but he did not respond. So it seems that he knew about this loophole about jumping into one month notice -a rolling contract.
I also have a copy of letter from my agncy to my tenant which says that if he did not sign a new agreement in seven days after that letter, then the new contract would be made as per the landlord’s request.
Can I take him to CAB? Can I provide the proof that he desisted from signing a new contract because he had these intentions. OR is he a defaluter that he continued to stay in my property without a proper agreement?
Any help will be highly appreciated.
If the tenant did not sign a new contract, then the tenancy would have continued on a rolling month by month basis, and he is entitled to end this on a months notice. This happens automatically under the provisions of the Housing Act 1988. See here for more details.
Your tenant has not done anything improper. Once a tenant is in situ you cannot force them to sign a new tenancy agreement if they do not want to. It is perhaps unfortunate that your agents did not explain this to you.
So I am afraid you will have to grin and bear it, and just hope you get a new tenant soon. However on the bright side, there is a general shortage of good properties about nowadays so your agents should hopefully not have much difficulty in re-letting.