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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 69364
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hi, I am a tenant and have been residing within the same property for nearly 7 years. Our

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Hi, I am a tenant and have been residing within the same property for nearly 7 years. Our Current tenancy agreement was made for 3 years and expires in the end of February 2014.
Due to personal reasons we need to leave early and the landlord agreed this if she can find another tenant; and would be liable until the next Tennant takes on the property.
My concern and question is that she has out the rent up by 16% (�125pcm); and the estate agents she used have been nothing but useless. After 3 weeks they have yet advertised the property online or in the paper (I presume to save money).

Are we liable when then rent has been increased and no reasonable effort was made to find another tenant? We leave in 2 weeks and would not of committed to the new property should we of known the landlord would of made it so hard.

Many thanks
Hi

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Is this an assured shorthold tenancy agreement please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes it is.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello?


 


Jo?

Unfortunately ASTs are very hard to escape. You pretty much have to show that the property is gutted by fire damage or flooding and so you cannot live in it.

However the landlord is under a duty to mitigate his loss by seeking a replacement tenant and he will not get forever to achieve that. Realistically, if a landlord is really trying, most properties can be let to another tenant comfortably within a month. You will only be liable up until the time that the landlord is able to replace you which will be nothing like the remaining months due under the contract.

Of course, there is a risk that the landlord will not be able to find a replacement. If so, the Court will ask him to prove that he has looked for a replacement. If he is able to do so to the Court's satisfaction then you would be liable for that period but that is very unlikely.

She will not get away with racking up the rent so that the property is not competitive or not properly advertising it in order to increase your liability.

You may have to go to court and argue it but that will be the outcome.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Jo,


 


Is there a way of resolving it without court - I am on the brink of bankruptcy personally (have been of work for a prolonged time following a spinal injury) - and having to cover cost of court fees would not be possible.


 


Thanks

Costs will not be onerous. This is a small claims court sum.

In terms of avoiding court though, the only way to guarantee that is to pay in full. If you do not then you are taking the risk that the landlord will sue.

Of course, they may not but there is a risk.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can they take the rent owed from the deposit?


 


Say it took 4 weeks until the new tenant moved in - can she take 4 weeks rent from ny deposit - or must she return that in full when the house is left in an acceptable state (it is immaculate!)


 


thanks again

Yes, they can. Probably that will be their response. It may not cover the entirety of the claim though. If so, there is a risk of being sued.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The deposit was 2 months rent - Can she withhold it until a tenant is found then?


What if a tenant is found and their application is agreed - but then they pull out before paying the deposit/ first months rent etc? Is there a defined point in which I am no longer liable?

Yes, she could do that.

You are liable, I'm afraid, up until a new tenant moves in and takes over unless you can argue that the landlord isn't looking properly.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry Jo !


 


Last question (I hope)


 


I cannot find anything on the tenancy agreement regarding my requirements around notice. Is this normal? It only has a line about the landlord ending it early.


 


 

Yes, thats normal.

The reason for that is that you cannot lawfully give notice as this is an AST and you are locked in until the end of the agreement.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I see.


 


Thank you for your advice - sadly I thought the same but was hoping for some legal standing before it goes as far as court!


 


Good night

No problem and all the best.

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