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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70535
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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my fiance is 3months pregnant with twins and we want to break

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my fiance is 3months pregnant with twins and we want to break our contract early, we have just gone past the 6months stage and our contract states we can only terminate the contract at either 6 or 12months, the flat is at the top of 3 flights of stairs and as a health hazard we want to move out to a property still giving two months notice as from tomorrow. Our agent said they wouldnt be able to hhelp and we have to stay until the end of term. the issue is that the end of our contract is when our babies are due to be born meaning we will have to move at a point when our babies are due to be born which will be a very unsettling situation for us. we have been excelletn tenants, both very professional people earning in excess of �140k per annum. just to give you an idea. we pay �1700 pcm in rent and we love our home except now our circumstances have changed we want to be able to move out to somewhere more suitable for us. can we threaten to stop paying rent and just move out anyway,ideas?

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

What type of contract do you have?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Its a standard AST agreement

When should it end?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

it should end 13th October 2012 the 6 months break would have been 13th April 2013 but we would have had to give the two months notice prior. we just didnt realise that it was either 6 or 12 months, we assumed (big mkistake) that it meant you could break the contract at 6 months or any time after giving two months notice.

I know this isn’t going to be the answer you want to hear, and it’s certainly not what I want to tell you. However, I wish to be completely honest with you, so I feel obligated to not give you false hope.

I am sorry but thats bad news I’m afraid. ASTs are very hard to escape and what basically amounts to a change in circumstances would not be a ground.

I had been hoping that the break clause would assist but clearly it does not.

Unfortunately, if you give notice now then you will be acting unlawfully and the landlord will have a claim against you for the remaining months due under the contract. However, he is under a duty to mitigate his loss by seeking another tenant and he does not get forever to achieve that. Usually one to two months is the amount of time a landlord is granted. You will only be liable up until the landlord can find a replacement tenant.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

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