Ending Tennancy Question

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    Ending Tennancy Question

    Hi

    Apologies if this is confusing.

    Basically, me and my flat mate needed to end an AST early due to a change in circumstances. We asked the agency and were told this was fine as long as new tenants were found. Regardless of whether they were found, we were leaving the property on 9th March.

    We received the following email from the agency when I asked how the viewings for new tenants were going:


    Hi Alex,

    Viewings went well and we have an offer form a lady, only thing is she would like to move in on the 15th Feb – Is this a problem for you guys?

    Kind regards,



    After discussing with my flatmate, we decided to leave early to allow the lady to move in, I informed the agent and we received the following email after querying what our final rent would be:

    Perfect I will make the necessary arrangements for her to move in on 15th February. We will also release you from the contract on this date, meaning that there will just be a small pro rata payment from 10th-14th which totals £144.65 for the 4 days. Calculated as £1100 x 12 / 365 = £36.16 per day.

    We then subsequently found alternative accommodation and signed tenancies elsewhere, but we were then emailed this two days before her moving in date:


    Good morning Alex,

    I just wanted to let you know that the tenant we have lined up for (address withheld) has now gone cold. We are unable to get in touch with her so have proceeded to market the property again.



    We replied to this stating that we had moved out so they would not need our permission for viewings, they did not mention anything about needing to continue paying rent.

    We received an email yesterday stating that we owe £2200 in rent arrears, even though we received the email above giving us a termination date and a final rent payment.

    Would our situation class as an implied surrender from both parties, and do we have a basis to complain and potentially take further to the ombudsman?

    Kind Regards

    Alex











    #2
    There's no automatic "right" to end a tenancy early, and, based on what you have written, the early termination was conditional on there being new tenants.

    When the tenancy ends will depend on a lot of things, such as when the landlord resumed possession.

    The process of surrender is that you offer a surrender (or one can be reasonably implied) and that the landlord (or their agent) accepts it.
    If the agent and landlord didn't accept the surrender, it didn't happen.

    They can accept a surrender by their actions, by taking control of the property again, for example - letting it again, coming in and cleaning it or taking over the council tax and utility liability.
    But it's not going to be black and white unless you have some evidence that you definitely offered the surrender and someone definitely accepted it.

    If you don't pay, the agent may take you to court or they may not.
    If you do go to court, you would be able to make your case.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      I see, so when the agent sends an email asking us to move out by the 15th, and we agree to it, this may be considered implied surrender?

      What I struggle to come to terms with is that when asked to move out by the 15th, we had no other option but to get tenancies elsewhere, how can we be notified 48 hours before this date telling us that it wont be going ahead. Surely the agency should have got the new tenant to sign a contract before sending us such a conclusive email as the one stating our date of contract termination.

      Cheers for your help

      Comment


        #4
        I might also need to add, when I say we were leaving the property on 9th March, I am aware that we would need to pay rent until new tenants were found, but 9th March was when we NEEDED to be elsewhere in the country.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by alexjamesgoodenough View Post
          After discussing with my flatmate, we decided to leave early to allow the lady to move in, I informed the agent and we received the following email after querying what our final rent would be:

          Perfect I will make the necessary arrangements for her to move in on 15th February. We will also release you from the contract on this date, meaning that there will just be a small pro rata payment from 10th-14th which totals £144.65 for the 4 days. Calculated as £1100 x 12 / 365 = £36.16 per day.
          Interestingly, in the Agent's email, the second sentence is not conditional on the first but whether a claim that the Agent had therefore agreed a surrender on the expressed terms on 15 February would stand up in Court I don't know

          Comment


            #6
            Its certainly confusing me, it wouldn't even be as much of an issue if we hadn't got tenancies elsewhere. But as per the email, I read it as being fairly conclusive that the tenant would be moving in and we WOULD be relieved of our contractual agreement on 15th Feb. To make things worse, we weren't actually wanting to move out until the 9th March, we were actually asked to leave early.

            Comment


              #7
              If the agent sent an email asking you to move out, with no conditions, it depends how you responded and what went before it.

              The agent can't end the tenancy on their own, although asking you to move out would strongly imply they're accepting your surrender (if there was anything prior to that which constitutes an offer to surrender).

              The issue is that the whole thing is a matter of fact.
              The underlying law creates a framework which the facts either meet or they don't.

              You've asked to end the tenancy early and the agent has said yes, with a condition.
              They seem to have accepted that the condition had been met, asked you to move out which you then agreed to.
              But they subsequently claimed the condition hadn't been met, but, didn't actually say that the agreement to end the tenancy was now undone, You could argue that they simply told you that they were now remarketing the property again.
              Whether you should have inferred from that that the tenancy was ongoing is a matter of opinion.

              You'd have to go through exactly who said and agreed what.
              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

              Comment


                #8
                Hi Alex,

                I am emailing in connection with the conversation you had with my colleague Rob on Monday 14th January 2019, from what I gather personal circumstances have changed and you need to vacate the property before the end of your agreement.

                Your email to David states you are wanting to vacate on the 9th March 2019, 2 months before your contract officially terminates. We will remarket the property in search of new tenants, and you will officially be released from your contract the day new tenants move in. I am confident we can find tenants before the end of your agreement, but please be aware you will be liable for rent until the final date of your tenancy if tenants are not found.

                I will be in touch with Hugo regarding viewings, would it be possible for us to visit and take some up to date photos?



                This is the email that came before that, I see they stated we would be released from contract on the day the new tenant moves in, similar to the other email. Where it gets difficult I suppose is that the tone of the email stating that we need to leave by 15th Feb is written with such certainty.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you all for your help, I'll sit tight and see how it plays out

                  Alex

                  Comment


                    #10
                    But the new T did not occupy on the 9th or later, so you remain liable for Property & rent, It appears you did not supply valid NTQ nor implied Surrender that was accepted by LL.
                    .You suggest you agreed to 9 Mar to benefit the proposed new T, yet sub sLLA comms suggest it was you who needed to another part of the country.. What is the truth?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      "We will also release you from the contract on this date,"
                      Is, I think, pretty clear evidence of an agreement to end the tenancy - there are no explicit conditions attached to that acceptance.

                      .You suggest you agreed to 9 Mar to benefit the proposed new T, yet sub sLLA comms suggest it was you who needed to another part of the country.. What is the truth?
                      Try reading it again - that isn't what it says.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Ted.E.Bear View Post
                        Try reading it again - that isn't what it says.
                        I've noticed that mariner has a tendency to reply without having absorbed all the information provided

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Ted.E.Bear View Post
                          "We will also release you from the contract on this date,"
                          Is, I think, pretty clear evidence of an agreement to end the tenancy - there are no explicit conditions attached to that acceptance.
                          I would agree that it is reasonable for T to assume that this email is stating that they believe that the conditions of the earlier email have been met.

                          Comment

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