London LPT: Never sign a "License to Occupy" Agreement

The author of the social network Reddit  the_gregor_samsa wrote an article to warn foreigners  moving to the UK for the first time who are looking for a job. Here what he wrote:

"Thought I'd share some advice that I had to go through the pain of finding out the hard way :)

This might be obvious to British people, but all you foreigners moving to the UK for the first time - Beware of the type of tenancy agreement you sign.

My SO and I got caught off guard. On paper the agreement seemed solid. Decent price rent, house in relatively good condition, 1 year contract with a break clause after 6 months. Bills + cleaning service included.

So what's wrong with that? - This.

A License to Occupy is not a tenancy agreement. Essentially it confers you zero rights or protection under the law besides the right not to be raped or murdered. You are, under the law, a lodger - i.e. a guest in a hostel/hotel. You are not a tenant. You can be kicked out of your home without any prior notice. Your landlord/lady can enter your home/room without your permission. He/she can make changes to the property at a whim or even move you somewhere else if he decides to paint the walls. You don't even have legal protection against thievery of any possessions you leave outside of your room. One of our housemates had her brand new sneakers stolen by somebody unknown (perhaps a cleaning person or agent) and she had no recourse because, technically speaking she left them downstairs, outside of her room, and they became the property of the agency.

Finally, our "break clause" after 6 months was this. After 6 months of occupation, we are allowed to give our notice on the first day of the 6th month - not before or after. This "break" is 1 day. Which means, we could have given our notice to leave on April 1st. But not on April 2nd or March 31st. So if you forgot to send out that notice letter - you are stuck. As we are. Our house is infested with mice and after 9 months of notifying the property agents that they were there prior to our moving in, there still has been no action taken from their end.

Always ALWAYS sign a tenancy agreement and NEVER a License.

Good luck and happy hunting! "

Read also vacancies of London on our site.

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