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  • Housing or legal advice?

    Hi everyone

    Hope you're all well. I thought I'd put this on here as everyone on the forum is always so helpful there might be someone who has any tips on the following.

    My boyfriend and I are currently living in a flat which has loads of problems. The boiler is constantly on the blink, the flat is generally falling apart, and worst of all we have two sets of really noisy (student) neighbours who keep us awake at least 2 -3 times a week with loud music.

    We've signed a professional contract which ends in June but we are absolutely sick of living in the flat and want to move out now. We have been told by the estate agent that we can give one month's notice and can move out *if* they are able to find new tenants.

    We've seen a lovely new place we really want to move into as well.

    The current estate agents are therefore now advertising our flat to try and find new tenants. But, they say that we are liable to pay the rent until the end of the contract (June) if no new tenants are found.

    Does anyone else agree with me that this is ridiculous? Either we can end our contract or we can't. They're saying that we can get out of it, but only if someone new is found. Yet we can't get out of it if they don't. I have no idea if they will find someone new, but the house we want to move into is almost certainly going to get snapped up by someone else in the near future as it's so nice.

    If anyone has been in a similar situation, or can offer any type of advice, I will be eternally grateful!!


    Helen x

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  • #2
    As far as I know you DO have to give a months notice, if you still have your contract read through it and if there is no mention of staying till the lease runs out then I don't think that they can leagally do that. I could be wrong though/

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    • #3
      Its probably not what you want to hear but you signed a legally binding contract and you have to honour it.

      Your landlord is being lenient by allowing you to "get out" of paying up to June if they can get new tennants. The best you can hope for is that they manage to find someone.

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
      Last edited by auntynet; 09-02-2009, 03:24 PM.

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      • #4
        I think if you have signed a contract till end of June what the agent is saying is correct. But I would argue that a contract is a 2 way thing and if you have problems that havn't been sorted out then the landlord isn't keeping to his side of the contract either!!

        Why not try citizans advise they might help you negotiate the terms of contract.

        Hope you get it sorted, let us know how you get on xx


        • #5
          I have rented for years and by law you would be liable for the rent if you leave and no other tenant is found but I agree with previous posts maybe you should seek advice if they are not fulfilling their half of the contract there may be something you could do about it. Citizens advice would be the best course of action as they are free and they could point you in the right direction.

          Hope this helps
          Nat x


          • #6
            I think you have to have a very good read of your contract. It should state exactly what your responsibilities are.
            Unfortunately I think generally you would be liable to pay until your contract runs out but it depends on the contract.

            I've read some crazy contracts over the years renting (i'm the person who reads the small print whilst my other half is signing his name...)
            Often there are stupid conditions on both sides i.e. the landlord should be doing repairs but you might not be fuflilling your end etc. I read a contract a few years ago that said we as tenants were responsible for cleaning all the windows inside and out once a week. (it was a third floor flat with dormers and would have involved climbing around on the roof dicing with death!!) The point I'm trying to make is that if you try to get out of your contract on small print so can the landlord.

            If I were you I would read the contract carefully, advertise for new tenants yourself (there is no incentive for the estate agents/landlords to do this if you are already paying whether you live there or not) and try to move out as quickly as possible - noone wants to live where they aren't happy.

            Good Luck I hope you get it sorted.


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            • #7

              Surely the flat must be "fit for purpose", landlords have obligations to keep their premises well maintained etc.

              You could have a counter claim - I would suggest taking your contract to a solicitor or your local Citizens Advice centre, also check with your local housing authority.

              Hope it goes well

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              • #8
                As a senior legal pa/secretary in my pre-children life and as a secure tenant, I can confirm with 100% conviction that you are legally obliged to pay all rent due up to the expiration of your tenancy. However, as there are several repair issues you should contact your local Environmental office and get them to do an inspection ASAP, if you can prove that the agents/landlord have failed to keep the property in good and tenantable repair you can haggle for a waive of the rent, stating that you are only moving because they have failed to keep to the contract signed and therefore your moving out is not a breach of the tenancy as they had already breached it.

                It will all depend on how much they want to haggle back, I did this with a previous agent/landlord over a leaking roof when I had 10mths of my contract left. I ended up forfeiting my deposit of £500 but that was far less than the £1,000s I would have had to have found.

                Good luck.

                Sorry if I have repeated anyone else's advice as I did not read them all (trying to cook tea at the same time!)
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                • #9
                  Try reading through this link, there should be something in there after all, it's a government site (if that means anything?)
                  Gail x

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                  • #10
                    Thanks very much for your replies everyone!

                    We have decided to be as patient as we can for the next week or so and see if they managed to find any new tenants. Then we can just go and find a new place with no worries.

                    I'll keep you posted!

                    Helen x

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                    Etsy shop: