Query regarding LL transitioning to an estate agent managing tenancy


Hope someone can advise me.

I’ve been on here before and been ever so grateful for everyone’s help regarding my tenancy queries.

To provide context to my query, I’ve been in a rental for almost 13 years, always paid rent on time and maintained the property very well, often at my own expense.

The LL has never carried out gas safety checks, carbon monoxide detectors etc - everything to do with regulatory compliance hasn’t been taken care of.

The current energy efficiency rating on the gov website rates the property a G. There’s no insulation in 2/3’s of the loft space and one room is just so cold that we can’t use it. With the heat on for several hours, the temp can’t get above 14. There’s black mould and rising damp and the landlord has disregarded my complaints. Since 2015, I’ve often been told to ‘get the xxxx out of my property’. Every six months or so, this happens and then quietens down for a while. Protecting my wife and kids from this has been tough as I contracted a severe pneumonia which incapacitated me for 13 months and almost killed me.

On Friday, an estate phoned me and said he was taking over the MGMT of the property, that the LL still wanted to rent the property and ‘I’m here to put things right’. He wants to visit the property and make some kind of audit.

Frankly, I don’t trust them.

I’m on a periodic tenancy which renews on a ‘year to year basis’ at April 1st.

Do I trust or do I proceed with caution?

proceed with caution and if nothing good comes of it, see the Local council and register all these complaints You should not have put up with this for such a long time

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Thank you, Colin.

Legally, I already have a tenancy agreement? Is there any requirement for me to sign a new one?

when a tenancy expires it just rolls on called a periodic tenancy. Once he takes the rent he has an obligation to keep the checks on the place up to date. keep paying the rent .if landlord has not had boiler checked every year he is in deep trouble with the law.

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You’ve probably already agreed through the tenancy agreement that the property can be inspected periodically by the landlord or his agent. Even if you haven’t, this is a right under the Housing Act 1985. It would therefore be unwise to refuse entry to the agent and I think you should probably take things at face value and cooperate as much as possible. As long as you are paying your rent and not breaching the contract, then neither the agent nor the landlord can evict you as they have not done the things required to use s21, so you are not at any immediate risk. If there was no gas safety cert when you moved in, s21 can never be used.

I assume that there is some reason why you are hanging onto a property that is clearly unsuitable for your family and potentially affecting their health, such as cheap rent? If that is the case then with a new agent on the scene things may change. If work is done on the property to improve the insulation and EPC and to address the other issues you mention, then I guess the next step will be to increase the rent. Either way it seems unlikely that things are going to remain as they’ve been and at some point you may have to find somewhere else to live anyway,

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Estate agent called me this week and I asked him to put in writing the intentions of the Landlord. He told me I was being unreasonable requesting this in writing and he said has been appointed to bring the property up to regulatory standard and that I have to sign a new contract going forward.

Without being rude in any way, I pointed out that we’ve had 13 years without regulatory compliance (no GSC, no loft insulation, no carbon monoxide detectors etc) and that I was worried they wanted to fix those problems and issue a new tenancy which gives me less protections and so that’s it’s more expedient or easier for them to evict me.

He said ‘well, you’re only on a month to month periodic tenancy’. When I pointed out that my tenancy is actually year to year, he quickly moved on.

I actually think he was trying to deceive me by omission of the actual terms of my tenancy. Equally, I think he wants a new contract in place which would give him the appropriate preconditions for a straightforward section 21 eviction.

I was very surprised as he is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and this obfuscation is potentially a breach of the code of conduct.

My own preference is that he brings me and the Landlord together to find a mutually satisfying roadmap out of this discord.

Generally, I found him to be condescending and to some extent, quite aggressive.

As I said, I think cooperation and not making unreasonable requests and not resisting repairs is your best strategy. You have no obligation to sign a new tenancy agreement, but it seems likely that they will eventually evict you if you dont.

Yes, their real intention is to evict me - despite paying rent on time for 13 years they told me in person that they wish to sell the property.

I’d happily buy it but need a year to save a deposit after being severely impacted by the Covid pandemic.

I’m not being unreasonable by requesting information on their intentions prior to any inspection. The agent tells me they wish to continue renting the property to me but judging by his manner, it’s obvious the intention is to bring the property up to regulatory requirements thus avoiding any potential penalties and change the tenancy agreement to terms more favourable to the Landlord to expedite up the eviction process.

A RICS registered agent surely shouldn’t be acting in this way?

Equally, work is at year end, I often work away and I’m super busy; I only asked to hold off for just over a week.

I do not intend to sign a new tenancy as the present one affords me more security.

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