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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I have rented a property for 3 years under an assured shorthold

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I have rented a property for 3 years under an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, I have always paid my rent and all bills on time and looked after the property well. I have had a number of disputes with my landlord over the years regarding repairs these have taken him 2 years to have done. the ongoing problem is the boiler, I have to attach the refill pipe every time it needs topping up and also reset the overheat button twice a week. this means the heating does not always come on automatically. I have the opportunity to rent somewhere else for less and wish to move out 2 months prior to the minimum 6 months Clause 8.1. I am 60 years old and live on my own and feel very weary by all this, last winter in January the heating broke down and it took me 3 days to get hold of him as he is always out of the country. do I have grounds to end my tenancy without penalty?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

Can you confirm when the term of the current tenancy agreement expires?

 

Did you give a deposit to the landlord when you moved in and has this been protected in a tenancy deposit scheme?

 

Tom

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no deposit was paid however I paid the last months rent at the beginning of the tenancy

 

the current tenancy ends 29th June 2011, the six months ends 29th December 2010

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

" the six months ends 29th December 2010"

 

Do you refer to the 6 month ending because there is a break clause permitting you to terminate?

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
yes
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Right.

 

In order for you to terminate the tenancy prior to the expiry of fixed term or break clause you would have to show that the landlord has committed a repudiatory breach of contract which is so serious that it goes to the root of the contract to deny you all or substantially all of the benefit of the contract. Effectively this must mean that the property is unfit for human habitation.

 

Your difficulties with the boiler are, in my view, not sufficient to constitute such breach because you are still able to have heating/ho water. Were you to unilaterally terminate then the landlord would probably be able to sue you for the remaining rent up until the point at which he could relet the property.

 

You do have a right to a boiler in repair and you can enforce this by writing to the landlord specifying the disrepair and asking that he repairs it within 14 days otherwise you will pay for the repairs yourself and then seek to claim the expense from him using www.moneyclaim.gov.uk though I accept that this does not help in getting out of the tenancy.

 

If you suspect that the landlord would not sue you for the rent or would not realise that the boiler problems are not sufficient to entitle you to terminate then I suppose you could take a risk and terminate in the hope he would not sue, but this seems too big a risk considering that you have the option of a break clause coming up.

 

Better in my view, to make sure you exercise the break clause OR perhaps offering to leave early and pay a fraction of the rent for time remaining until break so he can attempt to relet immediately to make a small profit.


Obviously though you should write to him as above stated in respect of the disrepair.

 

If this is useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. 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: 6395
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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