UK Property Law
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The postiion is that you can only terminate the tenancy early if there is a break clause entitling you to do so or if the property is unfit for human habitation (for which you would need documentary evidence in order to confidently terminate.
You are bound to pay the rent until the expiry of the term or until you find a replacement tenancy to take over the remaining temr of the tenancy agrement. Landlords have a duty not to refuse a reasonably replacement tenant so I would focus on finding one to produce to the landlord and let him know what you plan to do.
You can use gumtree as a starting point.
Alternatively you could ask the landllord to surrender to the tenancy. THis is where both you and he agree that the tenancy should cease. In all probability he will want some money to do this though so you may have to negotiate. You would also have to get the surrender in writing and make sure you both sign a copy each of it.
If you simply hand him back the keys then he will sue you for the remaining rent under the tenancy agreement. He would probably get judgement on the rent you would have paid from the date you left until the date at which he could have relet the property.
Sorry it could not be better news.
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how likely is it that the landlord will sue me ?
I have been a tenant with this landlord for 5 years and never missed a payment (always in cash) . do you think my 5 years good payment record would stop them prseing me if I just left the keys and went home...the amount I owe untill June is about 4k
Suing someone is very easy. He could use the government's online service www.moneyclaim.gov.uk to do this and probably will.
It depends on the landlord I'm afraid. There is nothing in law that reduces the likelihood of him suing you. The fact is that if you leave without paying rent then he has a cause of action against you. You are probably in a better position to judge how to deal practically with the landlord because you know him.
My advice would be to engage with him now rather than spring it on him and see if in the first place he is willing to surrender the tenancy for no money, if he's not then ask if you can negotiate a sum or find a replacement tenant.
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