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Q: UK Letting Laws ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: UK Letting Laws
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: badoshi-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 08 Aug 2002 03:48 PDT
Expires: 07 Sep 2002 03:48 PDT
Question ID: 52104
a bit complicated this one....

I rent a house with two others, and our contract expired on the 31st
July 2002.

To date, we are still living in the house, but the Letting Agents have
not drawn up a new  contract for us to sign. We did however send them
a letter stating that we wanted to rent the house on a month-by-month
basis, assuming we'd have to sign another contract - but they keep

I decided I have to leave the property at the end of August, and
submitted my notice on the 5th Aug 2002.

I've now been told that I have to pay till the end of September,
because my one month notice carries on into september.

Are the Letting Agents allowed to do this, considering we haven't
signed a new contract?

My notice ends on the 5th September....can I pay for the extra five
days ad leave after that?
Subject: Re: UK Letting Laws
Answered By: purplecat-ga on 09 Aug 2002 09:18 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
The fact that they have not drawn up a new contract for you is
irrelevant in this instance. The fact that you have continued to pay
rent which they have continued to accept, forms a contract regardless
of the absence of an agreement in writing. In UK law, a contract
consists of two basic elements, an offer and an acceptance. When both
elements are present, a contract is said to exist. Your payment of
rent is the offer, the letting agency's acceptance is evidenced by
their acceptance of the rent. As you have communicated your wish to
continue your tenancy on a month to month basis, the fact that the
letting agency have continued to accept rent after receiving this
communication, implies acceptance of these terms by the letting
agency. You have what is known as an implied periodic tenancy, as per
Lord Justice Nicholls in the case of:

Javad v. Mohammed Aqil [1991] 1 WLR 1007 at 1012E-G.

As you now have an implied monthly tenancy, the appropriate amount of
notice you should give ought to be 1 calendar month. Notice was given
on the 5th of August - you should normally only have to pay until 5th
September. Presumably the landlord was told of your desire to remain
in the house on a month by month basis prior to July 31st. If your new
contract can be held to commence on 1st August, your first monthly
rent payment under the new contract is from August 1st - 28th. Your
next monthly payment is August 29th - September 25th. So the longest
you would have to pay up until is September 25th. But as you have
given a clear month's notice as required by law, you have given the
letting agency sufficient time to find a new tenant to take over your
part of the lease. Although strict application of the law may require
you to pay until 25-09-02, a court may take a more liberal view and
insist you pay only until your notice period expires.

It would appear that you need not pay beyond September 5th. However,
to be doubly certain, either contact your local Citizens Advice
Bureau, or better still, check with some local solicitors to see if
you are entitled to an hour's free legal consultation under the Green
Form Scheme. The CAB rarely have qualified legal staff and it can take
weeks to get an appointment due to understaffing. It certainly appears
that you need not pay beyond 25-09-02, but only a qualified solicitor
can 100% confirm this. It seems as if the letting agency may still be
trying to hold you to the terms of your original contract with them,
which, since their implied acceptance of new contractual terms, they
are probably not entitled to do.

I hope this information is of assistance.


Clarification of Answer by purplecat-ga on 10 Aug 2002 00:19 PDT
Apologies, the dates below which are listed as 1-28 August and 29
August to 25th of September, should, of course read 1-31st August and
1-30 September. Although strict application of statutory law may
require you to pay until the end of September, in the UK we also have
a system known as equity. Equity is part of common law i.e. judge made
law. Equity frequently steps in where strict application of the law
would result in unfairness to a party. This is why it appears you
should only be required to pay until 5th September. But to be 100%
certain, check with a solicitor or with a local law centre. Also, some
solicitors offer free legal surgeries e.g. on a Saturday morning - a
browse through Yellow Pages may identify one who does so in your local
badoshi-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
excellent answer, just what I needed - what a lifesaver!

Subject: Re: UK Letting Laws
From: tehuti-ga on 08 Aug 2002 03:51 PDT

It might be worth going to your local Citizens' Advice Bureau, where
they should have information about tenants' rights.
Subject: Re: UK Letting Laws
From: jem-ga on 08 Aug 2002 04:20 PDT

you might also want to have a look at the following site:

which will give you info such as who and where your nearest Citizens'
Advice Bureau is, whether legal advice you are seeking will cost
anything (usually, it doesn't if you go to a Citizens' Advice Bureau)
and whether you can get financial help.
Subject: Re: UK Letting Laws
From: owain-ga on 08 Aug 2002 15:40 PDT
It is likely, especially if the tenancy is an Assured Shorthold
Tenancy, that the tenancy will continue indefinately on a one month
notice basis, once the original period of the tenancy has expired.
However, you need to refer to the exact conditions of the tenancy
agreement. As you told the Letting Agents you wished to continue
renting the property on a month-by-month basis, that month-by-month
would have started after the end of the existing period of the tenancy
ie from 1 August.

As you did not give notice prior to 31 July that you wished to quit at
the end of August, you have agreed to rent the flat to the end of
August, up until which time you have the option of giving a month's
notice ie to leave at the end of Sept. Saying now you wish to quit is,
in effect, only giving 5 days notice because you were committed to
renting to the end of August anyway.

From a practical point of view, if the Letting Agents hold a month's
rent as deposit, they are unlikely to return it, which will put you
down a month's rent *plus* the five days of Sept you propose to pay.
They will probably also refuse to give you any form of reference,
which may make it awkward to get accommodation in future. So, it could
prove cheaper just to continue the tenancy to the end of Sept and get
your deposit back. (Especially if you find someone who's looking for a
room just for that couple of weeks.)

The question does not make it clear whether it is you singly or the
group who wishes to leave early; if only you and if the group is
jointly and severally liable the Agents will probably withhold
*everyone's* deposit, which might make you rather unpopular with your

Careful reading of the exact terms of the agreement, and a visit to
the CAB, is probably advised.


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