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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I have just recently handed in my notice at my old house. My

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I have just recently handed in my notice at my old house. My work has moved 400 miles and I have had to find somewhere closer. My tenacy for my old house ended on the 6th April 2011 but in January 2011 I had signed for a further year, meaning that when I left my old house I was breaking my tanacy agreement! I gave the required amount of notice and paid over £800 for Agency fees to end the contract! I have had to pay rent for the whole month of May even though I had only spent the first week in the house and then moved to my new address and I will have to pay rent for every month that the property is empty until they find new tenants! My problem is that I cant afford to pay rent on 2 properties and would like to know if there is any way to avoid this?
Thank you


Thanks for your question.

To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following:-

  • 1. The Tenancy agreement you signed in January was it's fixed term from 7th April 2011-6th April 2012
  • 2. Did it contain any break clauses
  • 3. When did you serve notice to terminate

Kind regards.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Hi Tom,


1. The tenancy agreement we signed was indeed from the 6th Aprill 2011 - 6th April 2012

2. I am not sure what a break clause is!

3. We served notice on the 3rd April 2011


Kind Regards




When did the notice state you would leave the property?


When do the agency state that the tenancy agreement 2011/2012 was completed (ie. executed by them/landlord)?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.



Here is a copy of what I sent to them!


To whom it may concern,


We are writing to inform you of our intention to vacate the above mentioned property. We have not stated a specific date to leave the property as would like to discuss with you first, the best way to re-occupy the house, once we have left. Please contact us at your earliest convenience to discuss the process.

The agreement was completed on the 20th of January 2011





Thanks for your reply.


The key issue is whether the new tenancy is binding upon you. If you signed the tenancy agreement and the agent/landlord signed/date it then it will be legally binding from the date your previous tenancy finishes I'm afraid.


If the new tenancy agreement was not signed/completed by the landlord then you tenancy would have become a stautory periodic tenancy if you stayed in the property after the expiry of the previous tenancy (which I believe you did. This means you would have had to have give the landlord one months notice in writing with such notice to expire at the end of a rent period (ie. which I assume was 6th of the month), so the notice you have actually served is not an effective notice.

No doubt the agent will say the new tenancy has been completed. Ask for a copy of it. If it has then you are bound to pay the rent until you can terminate (see if there is a "break" clause permitting early termination) or until a replacement tenancy is found. Landlord's are under a duty not to refuse a unreasonably replacement tenant.

If the new tenancy agreement was completed then you should either focus on finding a replacement tenant to produce to the agent (ie. perhaps offering to pay the new tenant's pre-contract agency fees) or offering the agent some money in order to get them to surrender the new tenancy (ie. mutual agreement to terminate the tenancy - which you would need in writing) in the hope that they will take the opportunity to take your money and get another tenant in there in order to effectively earn double rent for a short period of time.


If the new tenancy is binding and you don't pay then they will probably sue you for the debt and would likely receive judgement on the amount of rent they would have earned in rent until they could have resonably found a replacement tenant (usually two months or so)


Sorry it could not be better news.



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Kind regards,



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