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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70179
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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We have an assured shorthold tenancy agreement and due to neighbours,

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We have an assured shorthold tenancy agreement and due to neighbours, noise, violence and birth of our grandson who lives with us we wish to move house. However our landladies father is being very intimidating and says we will have to pay rent untilend of agreement which is November and we will have to pay estate agents fee to advertise for new tenant. Only my husband is in work and our current rent is November�800/month. We are worriec sick and living a nightmare with these neighbours and the landladys father. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you

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

Is there no break clause in your agreement at all?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


No there doednt appear to be one and we never actually signed the agreement

Unfortunately it makes no difference whether you signed or not. They can prove an AST by the fact of your living there and the existence of an AST document.

I am sorry but its bad news although the liability may not be as bad as you think.

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.

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. Another acceptable reason would be that a person's life is in immediate danger like a gas leak.

I'm afraid that things like change of circumstances of the tenant or the fact that the premises is not salubrious is not sufficient.

You could try to negotiate with the landlord. Sometimes they will agree to allow tenants to leave as its in their interests too on occasions. I realise that her father is being aggressive but it actually isn't anything to do with him. I wouldn't even waste your time negotiating with him. Its got nothing to do with him and he has no bargaining power.

If its not possible here to negotiate even with her then I'm afraid you will be acting unlawfully if you leave early. 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.

Sorry thats probably not the answer you wanted but it is the position that you have and I have a duty to give you truthful and accurate information even though its not what I want to say.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your response, one last question, are we liable for the estate agents fee to re-let the property at a cost of r£480?

I know that some agents say that you are and there is no direct case law covering it but if you went to Court I do not think a Court would make you liable as they would have to pay the agents at some point anyway either now or in November so its not a loss you directly caused.
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