Legality of "Residential House / Flat share agreement (Non resident landlord) England & Wales

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M
Mr Millet
101 Posts
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Hi, I have several queries regarding my business and the way I have been managing it. The majority of my prospective tenants do not wish to enter into an agreement in which they are bound to stay for 6 months, also, I would prefer to have the ability to ask them to leave sooner if they are problematic, particularly as I rent by the room and not whole property and they may cause my other good tenants to leave. As a result I use a Residential House / Flat share agreement (Non resident landlord) (England and Wales).

I've been informed by the city council that the contract I am using is invalid and that it automatically becomes a AST as a result, (even though the first line in the text of the contract states "There is no intention on behalf of the landlord or the tenant to create an Assured Shorthold Tenancy".

Firstly, is this true and if so, is it acceptable to use this contract instead of issuing new contracts on the assumption it becomes an AST anyway and provided I issue notices etc as an AST?

Secondly, I have been charging "advance rent" instead of taking a deposit. Recently a tenant left and claims I owe him the advance rent he paid, even though the bills he has not paid (and agreed to pay in the House /flat share agreement above) amount to more than double the advance rent he paid. The council tell me that this will be treated as a deposit and I should have put this into the deposit protection scheme (DPS). Do I have to repay this and then take him to court to retreive the additional sums, is it possible to put the sum I owe him in the DPS after he has left and ask them to adjudicate on whether it must be repaid, or is a visit to the courts the best solution?

24/03/2011 00:00

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