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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 20902
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Hello, I rented a flat in London on March 7 for a one-year

Customer Question

Hello,
I rented a flat in London on March 7 for a one-year lease. My fianc�, cosigner on the lease, died accidently April 12. As he was the primary earner, I had to leaveand notified the agency of the emergency situation. The rent was paid through May 7. They said Early Termination would cost �2000 pounds, to repay the landlord, which I (reluctantly) agreed to pay. They put a clause in this agreement saying that I would nonetheless remain responsible for the rent until another tenant was found. Two months have gone by and they now want to keep the deposit to pay for �unpaid rent." How is it possible to have both terminated a lease and also remain responsible for rent? I stand to lose over �4000. Thank you for any help, advice you can provide.

Lisa Davidson
Submitted: 1 year ago via Tenancy Agreement Service.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High
Street practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008.
During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions
from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other
users, I might not always respond in
minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that
case

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me
while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully.

What type of agreement do you have?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm not sure what you mean, it was an assured shorthold tenancy


 


 

Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.




Yes, thank you.
That was what I wanted to know.

What an
unsympathetic lot they are



How much is the
monthly rent?



When did you leave?



Is the property
occupied now or not by another tenant?



Are they trying to
get another tenant?



How much deposit
did you pay?



I am online and off-line
each day. So please bear with me if I do not get back to you within
nanoseconds.



Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX friendly sympathy goes a long way.


 


The rent was £1538.33 per month


Deposit: £2130


They say they have not found another tenant, hence my responsibility to keep paying, although I have not paid after May 7, having paid £2000 for Early Termination. It feels like an Orwellian situation, having paid to terminate but still being held responsible for the rent. They want to keep the deposit in lieu of this "rent due".

Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.




Thank you. I
obviously cannot deal with the emotional bits or their complete and utter lack
of sympathy. I can give you the legalities.

Legally, you have
to pay the rent until the end of the term, or until they get another tenant.
They are under a duty to attempt to get another tenant, and in this respect, if
you continue to pay the rent, there are attempts are probably going to be
half-hearted. I would therefore be reluctant to pay anything else unless they
issue proceedings or you get a letter from a solicitor.



If they accepted £2000
per month for early termination, they would only do that if they had another
tenant who was likely to going which means that they would have made a bit of a
windfall of £500 over and above the normal monthly rent.



At this stage in
time, I would see a solicitor and get a solicitor to write to the landlord
telling them that, there was an agreement whereby they took £2000 (which was
paid) in order to terminate the tenancy and therefore you are no longer
indebted to them.



If there was a
clause in the agreement, saying that you are responsible for the rent until
another tenant is found or until the end of the term, it begs the question as
to what the £2000 was for.



The solicitor can
also ask them what attempts they have made to get another tenant in because, as
I said, they are under a duty to mitigate their loss and to try to get another
tenant.



At this stage, they
are due rent in respect of May and June and July (you say that you paid until
the beginning of May).



That would be
£4500, taking away the £2000 you paid already, and ignoring what it was for
allegedly, and taking away the deposit, they are virtually paid up to date.



As I said earlier,
you have actually not got a defence to the payment of the rent, but what you
can do is allege you vacated the property at the end of April and they have not
even been trying to get a tenant and therefore they are responsible for their
own losses and if this proceeds to court, you were raised that in defence.



I wish there was a
definitive answer to this but I am afraid that there is not.



What you are going
to have to do is bluff this one out a little.



I wish I could be
the bearer of better news, but least you have some ideas. I appreciate that it
is not the answer you wanted but there is no point in me misleading you. I have
a duty to advise you truthfully and honestly, even if that answer is
unfavourable.






Does
that answer the question? Can I help further? Can I answer any specific points?

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positively rate my answer service even if it was not what you wanted to hear. You
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If in ratings you feel that you expected more or it only helped a little,
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The thread does remain open for me to answer follow-up questions after rating
my answer.





Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 20902
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
Stuart J and other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you very much for your extra effort. As I have returned to France, where I am now living, it just may be too much effort and money to continue to fight this, as the outcome doesn't sound too optimistic.


 


best regards and thanks


 

Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.
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Stuart J
Stuart J
Solicitor
3170 Satisfied Customers
PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice