How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Thomas Your Own Question

Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6523
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
28732269
Type Your UK Property Law Question Here...
Thomas is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hi there, I would like to move out of a 3 year fixed term

Resolved Question:

Hi there,

I would like to move out of a 3 year fixed term AST in the next 2 or 3 months. I moved in on 14th January 2012 and the end date is 14th January 2015. My father has become ill, so I need to leave the area.

I was originally rushed to sign the contract and was told, in front of a witness (my friend), that I could give 2 months notice on the property if I wanted to move out, but there is no break clause in the written contract. Is that witness / verbal agreement enough to get me out of the contract early?

I spoke to the estate agent property manager for my flat and she basically said that "this is the written contract, it doesn't allow you to break out of it, if you want to move out you have to find someone to take over the contract".
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

What have the agents said about your suggestion that they said you could move out on 2 months notice?

Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Tom,


 


They really didn't give me much time to talk about it / weren't prepared to listen. They just kept repeating that "this is what is in the contract, so I can't break out of it"... despite the fact that I know they said it and my witness confirms it as well.

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Drafting your answer now. 5 mins.

Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok, thank you.

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

Where there is a written contract your right to leave the property is generally governed by what the written contract says. If the contract does not have a break clause in it then the assumption will be that you are not entitled to terminate the contract.

To be quite honest I would not advise relying on your oral discussions prior to signing the contract. The problem is that although you felt rushed in to signing the contract there was no form of legal duress preventing you from saying that you will not sign until you had read the contract. Had you done so, you would have seen that there was no break clause.

If you wished to attempt to proceed on the basis of your oral discussions then you would effectively be alleging misrepresentation by the agent. The problem with this is that you would have been able to establish the terms of the contract by reading it, which a court would view that any reasonable person would do.

In practical terms, you can attempt to make as much noise about their misrepresentation in correspondence to them stating that you will sue (which I would not be too confident of) and complain to the property ombudsmen (who are not likely to provide a practical solution to you) to see if they choke and offer to release you.

Landlords are generally under a duty not to unreasonably refuse a suitable tenant and your focus now should be on finding one. You can then use www.gumtree.co.uk to find a tenant (private landlords frequently use this service. If they refuse a reasonable replacement tenant that you bring to them then you can document this in writing through your correspondence with them and then use this as a defence to any claim that they issue for the rent.

If you cannot find any tenants and wish to get out quickly then you can invite them to offer you a surrender of tenancy, whereby you agree in writing to release eachother from the tenancy subject (usually, unless they are massively sympathetic) to payment of a surrender fee to the landlord. You can attempt to negotiate from here.




Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE or above if you are satisfied that you have received the correct legal advice (even if it is not the answer you wanted to hear), otherwise I do not receive any credit for answering your question.

If you are not willing to rate my answer as OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE then allow me to assist further by replying asking what clarification you require rather than rating my answer at levels below.

If you wish for me to provide you with further guidance on any question you may have in the future then please submit a further question to the board requesting me either by my profile or by marking your question. “FAO Tom”.

Kind regards,


Tom
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6523
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Thomas and other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick Leeds, UK
< Last | Next >
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick Leeds, UK
  • I did not know a French Law service existed and I was very impressed with the speed of reply --- very professional. Many thanks! Ms. Baker Alfafar, Spain
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie USA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    4433
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/Josh2010/2012-4-29_19490_GettyImages80121770B.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    4433
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TO/touchwoodsden/JA.64x64.jpg Law Denning's Avatar

    Law Denning

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    2289
    PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/Remus2004/2012-4-22_93111_2bigstockPortraitOfConfidentFemaleL6943985.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    2244
    Over 5 years in practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TG/TGraham12/2012-7-17_81212_bigstockBusinessHandshake508163.64x64.jpg Thomas's Avatar

    Thomas

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1198
    BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CH/chathamchamber/2011-4-24_191833_1.64x64.jpg INC's Avatar

    INC

    Solicitor-Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    809
    LL.B, Pg.Dip, LL.M, M.B.A (Pending), Solicitor-Advocate. UK Practising Certificate issued by SRA., DIFC Courts Registered (Dubai)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AJ/ajlaj01/2012-5-9_14051_Profile1.64x64.jpg Alex J.'s Avatar

    Alex J.

    Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    400
    LPC, 2 Years Conveyancing
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    212
    Barrister 17 years experience