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Category: UK Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My son is renting a property in Birmingham through Belvoir

Customer Question

My son is renting a property in Birmingham through Belvoir Lettings. He is sharing the house with another person. He has to move to London with his job. He spoke to Belvoir this morning and asked for their advice. They were very unhelpful and said that he had signed a legal document for 12 months and he was obligated by law. I called them and spoke to the owner. He was extremely abrupt not allowing me to explain the situation. I told him that I was phoning to see if we could resolve the issue and ask him for his advise. I asked him if he could help me or was he going to take the attitude of 'tough shit' it is not his problem.    He told me that as i had sworn at him that he viewed that as verbal abuse and he was ending the call. I called back immediately and was told that they would not speak to me and anything I had to say would now have to be put in writing. My son has to move to London and cannot afford the rent on 2 properties. Any suggestions as to where I go from here?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

Customer,

 

Thanks for your question.

 

Although unhelpful, the agent was correct in that unless he signed the tenancy agreement under duress or the property is unfit for human habitation then he will be bound by the full term of the tenancy agreement.

 

The landlord is under a duty not to unreasonably refuse a replacement tenant. Your focus now should be on finding that replacement tenant. Speak to the agent again, apologise for the previous phone call (you do not have to mean it after all) and ask if he will help to find a replacement tenant or would object to you bringing one to him.

 

If the does not then you can use http://www.gumtree.co.uk/ to attempt to find one, landlords frequently use it so that they do not have to use agents. You could take a replacement directly to the landlord or agent.

 

If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my efforts. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.

Kind regards,

Tom

 

Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 6647
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Thomas and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your help. The contract was signed with the letting agent and not directly with the landlord. If the agency are not willing to play ball can we request the landlords contact details? I am wondering if they would be more understanding.

Can my son give notice and request that they find another tenant? The other problem we have is that the person he shares with (who is a best friend and does not have an issue with someone else renting the room) cannot afford to pay the bills on his own if my son is not there.

You say that 'The landlord is under a duty not to unreasonably refuse a replacement tenant' so if my son finds a replacement can they refuse to accept this?

Thank you
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

You can try and get in touch with the landlord. The Lettings agent will probably not be too keen to his contact details but you can download a copy of the registered title to the flat/property by using the Land Registry's online service:-

http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/wps/portal/Property_Search

 

You will have to pay a £4.00 fee, use the "detailed search" option, if there are a few result listed and you can call the Land Registry and ask them to confirm which title number relates to the flat and pay for them to send you a copy of the register. It will list the owner in the Proprietorship Register and will have an address at which he can be reached.

 

You son can only give the notice permitted in his tenancy agreement. Check it to see if he has a break clause in it. Otherwise he will be bound by the term and the relevant notice period listed.

 

They can only reasonably refuse a replacement. If you can bring them a person with references who is able to prove he can meet the rent obligations under the tenancy then they would not be able to refuse that person as a replacement.

 

As to bills, your son is likely liable to pay half. He should attempt to pay his share until he finds a replacement or else attempt to come to an agreement with his co-tenant.

 

Thank you for your kind accept and good luck.

 

Tom



Edited by Thomas on 3/2/2010 at 9:36 PM EST
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
thank you
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

You're welcome.

 

Tom.

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