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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7602
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My daughter has signed a contract to rent a room in a shared

Customer Question

<p>My daughter has signed a contract to rent a room in a shared accomodation house and her first payment is due on July 1st 2011. She has sent a letter to the landlord, dated 30th March 2011, saying that she is now dropping out of University and no longer requires the room. She has paid a £200 deposit and the rental for the room was due to be £80 per week. Does she still have to pay the rent?</p><p>She is trying to find someone else to fill the vacancy but I need to know how liable, if at all, she may be for the cost if she doesnt find anyone.</p>
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.



How long was the fixed term of her tenancy please?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I have cut and pasted this from the contract.

It doesnt appear very gramatically correct by the landlord and he has even put the date of first rental payment as the 1st July 2010!


'FIXED TERM The tenancy shall start from the 1ST JULY 2011 day of 30TH JUNE 2012'

'RENT The total rent of £2487.33 payable in advance every calendar month. The first full payment of rent shall be paid on the 1st day of JULY 2010 and thereafter the rent shall be payable on the 1ST day of the month'.

Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.




Thanks for your reply.


I'm afriad she will be bound by the full term of the tenancy agreement unless there is a break clause in it entitling her terminate during the term or the property is unfit for human habitation (which would also entitle her to terminate provided she could prove the same).


However, landlords are under a duty not to unreasonably refuse a suitable tenant and her focus now should be on finding one. If the landlord acted through agents then she should explain her situation to them and press them (and continue to press them) to find she finds a replacement tenant. You can then use to find a tenant (private landlords frequently use this service.


The alternative is to offer the landlord a sum of money to in order to execute a surrender of her part of the tenancy. This would be where both parties confirm in writing that the tenancy has come to an end.


If she does not pay the rent then it will be for the landlord to sue her for the remaining rent. Landlord's usually obtain judgement on rents owed from the date the payments ceased until the point at which the landlord could have been reasonably expected to find a replacement tenant for that tenancy. That there are only a few months left does not help - there will not be a huge market for a 3 month tenancy.


If he sued he would probably get judgement on all or most of the money she would have paid until the end of the term.


Sorry it could not be better news.


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Kind regards,


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

You have commented about a 3 month tenancy which I dont understand and also about her terminating during the term.


She has not moved into the accomodation yet.


Her tenancy is due to start on the 1st July 2011.

Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

I am terribly sorry, I'm afraid I read it as 1st July 2010.


This is more difficult for her unforunately. If she has signed the tenancy agreement already then she will be bound by the entire term of the tenancy regardless of whether she moves in or not. That she is not to start the new term is not relevant to the tenancy contract.


The above advice still stands in that she now needs to find a replacement tenant. She should make sure that the landlord is not resistant to this just because it will make it easier for her. He is under a duty not to refuse a reasonably replacement though.

In a sense, it may be easier for her to find a replacement tenant because there will be more people interested in a tenancy of that length than a mere three months (ie. when I mistakenly thought that the tenancy was to expire on 30th June 2011). She shoudl contact the housing department at her university and see if they advertise rooms. If they do she should put an advert in. She should also search through gumtree.


If sued the landlord would probably get judgement on 2-3 months worth of rent.


Her focus must be on either finding a replacement tenant or negotiating a surrender if the search for a replacement does not go well.


Kind regards,


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