Back in late 2016, three people rent a brand new flat in London (UK). Then, during the years, we had a few contract renewals (AST) with new names (as we had one person being replaced every year).
This September, before our AST expired, one person got replaced and this time the agency didn't send us to sign an AST renewal. They sent the deposit money back to the leaving tenant (although it was a joint tenancy), they got the deposit money from the new tenant and then sent us to sign a tenancy renewal. No notice period is mentioned in the paper.
Some days ago, the agency came back informing us that the agent got fired and that our house owner didn't have an HMO. The agency told us that means that we have to decide whether we want to keep the house with a decreased rent for 2 people only in a new contract or just a give a notice of 2 months.
Latest Update from the agency
They are asking us to renew the contract with an increased rent (200 pounds more).
The fact that the house is a brand new house and that fact that they don't have an HMO now, means that they have never gotten an HMO. My questions are:
1) Are we covered regarding the (at least) 2 month notice period. Note that the AST had the name of the tenant who left. We have never signed an AST with the three names of the current tenants. We have only signed a tenancy renewal.
2) Are we entitled to a compensation for paying a rent although the agent didn't have an HMO licence. The agent have never mentioned that the HMO was missing. We have saved all the past emails.
PS: Our names are signed in the council borough.
*HMO is the Houses In Multiple Occupation and it is required in our case - according to the agent - as we are three unrelated tenants.