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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7609
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I have a rental property and Foxtons found tenants who signed

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I have a rental property and Foxtons found tenants who signed a 2 year lease with no break clause. The tenants are now being a nightmare and Foxtons no help. Is there any overriding law regarding a break clause or a way to remove them from the property?

Are they in arrears with their rent?

Have they paid rent late?

Have they used the property not in a teXXXXX XXXXXke manner?

Have they caused damage to the property?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No to the first three but the flat was let as furnished and the moved a large amount of stuff out the day they moved in which incurred me cost and they have now asked an unqualified handyman how to restart a boiler. He said boast the pressure so they left the mains pressure valve open and the pressure went up from the 1 - 1.5 bar operating threshold to over 2.5bar causing the boiler to fail beyond economic repair. I have had this confirm by two qualified heating engineers and we are now disputing who should pay the cost of the new boiler. The lease suggests that they did it so they should pay but quite frankly I just want them out. The money I have spent on it including the Foxtons fee means I am out of pocket and the stress it places on my wife and I isn't worth it. It was my wife primary residence and a standard clause in the lease says we can revoke it if we wish to sell but lawyers I've spoken to in the past have said it will be hard to get them out. Every two weeks we have another problem with them.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

They also booked a service call on the boiler on Monday by pretending to be my wife and authorising the payment for it.


Thanks for your patience.

There is no statutory break clause implied in to the contract.

You can only get them out if one of the grounds under s8 of the Housing Act 1988. If they are not in arrears with the rent or have not paid their rent late then the most sure-fire ways to evict under s8 are not available to you.

If the tenant causes damages to the property then you can potentially serve a S8 Ground 13 Housing Act, however the damage really does have to be extreme.

The Tenants might be a paid but your repair responsibilities are quite clear here. Please refer to the following link for guidance on this:-

If they complain about something that does not fall within your repair responsibilities then you can just say so and ignore them

The repair responsibilities are yours though, they are not the tenants so the tenants should not be instructed “professionals” to carry out repairs. They should inform you of the disrepair and then it is for you to act within a reasonable time. You should warn them not to instruct other professionals because it is your responsibility.

Their instructing a professional is not enough to serve a notice for possession though.

You are going to have to keep a close eye on them and see if they materially breach their tenancy agreement (ground 12) or cause damage to the property (ground 13).

Sorry I could not have better news for you.

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Kind regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

But as for the fact that it was their actions that have led to the boiler failing because they asked an unqualified handyman for advice without our authority who pays the bill. Both qualified engineers said it may have been a £50, £100 or £150 fix but because they left the valve open they have lunched the boiler. They have admitted that they called the unqualified guy with out our say so and admitted opening they valve until the pressure exceeded 2.5bar in the hope this might work.


If the boiler has broken down because of their actions and there is a clause in their tenancy which binds them to use the property "in a tenant-like manner" then by using a handyman for a boiler it is probably a breach of contract.

This means that you may be able to sue them for the damages you have suffered. If you can prove that a new boiler was required directly as a result of their non-tenant like behaviour then you may be able to recover the costs from them.

If the boiler was damaged as a result then you could potentially attempt to go for possession on the basis ground 13. You can serve the notice and see if they leave. If they do then it's problem solved.

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