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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6376
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Good Morning, I started renting apartment 3 weeks ago. Contract

Customer Question

Good Morning, I started renting apartment 3 weeks ago. Contract is based on Assured Shorthold Tenancy and it fixed term agreement for 12 months with 60 days notice after 12 months. There is penalty 2600 pounds for breaking contract before one year. Flat is brand new and comfortable however street noise is problematic. I've lived close to bigger street and it was much less nuisance because of good windows. Current street is SE London and seemed normal but in reality it is quite high traffic full 24 hours (even on night there are cars every 3-5 seconds) and I blame thin walls and windows for that. Can I finish agreement before one year because of noise nuisance without paying penalty? Does landlord have to change windows to better if there is noise above some level? If yes, what level of noise does it need to be? What options do I have?
Submitted: 1 year ago via Tenancy Agreement Service.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi

When does the fixed term expire please?

Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

In contract it is:


 


A fixed term of 12 months
Commencing on and including 23 Feb 2013
To and including 28 Feb 2014

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

Unless the landlord has specifically included a contractual provision which relates to the level of noise (unlikely) then I cannot see that you could terminate early on this basis.

The landlord’s responsibilities under statute are quite well articulated on the following link:-
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/renting_and_leasehold/rights_and_responsibilities/landlords_responsibilities

There is no low level of noise that the landlord is to guarantee. In the absence of any contractual provision covering this the only way that I could see that you could argue that you should not face a claim upon early termination is if the landlord had misrepresented to you before you executed the tenancy that there was no or minimal noise.

On the basis that there is no such contractual provision or misrepresentation then I’m afraid you would not have the right to terminate early.

However, landlords are generally under a duty not to unreasonably refuse a suitable tenant and your focus now should be on finding one. If the landlord acted through agents then you should explain your situation to them and press them (and continue to press them) to find you a replacement tenant. If the landlord acted on his own then you should speak to him to check that he would be amenable to your finding a replacement tenant. You can then use www.gumtree.co.uk to find a tenant (private landlords frequently use this service.

If the landlord unreasonably refuses your replacement tenant and yo have documented evidence of this then you could terminate on this basis being confident of a defence to any claim that they might issue against you.

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Kind regards,


Tom
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6376
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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