Do I have any legal standing at all?

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    Do I have any legal standing at all?

    I currently live in a 4 bed professional house share. We are all responsible for paying for our individual rooms and I am currently 3 months into a 6 month fixed term tenancy. My room is a big room/ with en suite.

    I was recently headhunted for a dream job in a new city. I will be relocating over four hours away and will need to rent in the new city. Although it was unexpected, the offer was brilliant and I decided to take it. Before house sharing, I've lived independently in flats by myself and I've always paid rent ahead of time.

    I spoke to my landlady about the new job and told her that I would be vacating the room. I would of course have kept paying for the room for the final 3 months, however I asked her if I could perhaps find someone to take over the tenancy as paying two rents would be extremely tight. She replied in writing that she was happy for me to find someone to take over the room, as she did not want the room empty and sent me photos to set up a spareroom account.

    My housemate who is on a rolling month to month contract, and is currently in a box room, came forward and asked me if she could take my room as she needed more space and she'd recently had a pay rise and could afford the extra. We approached the landlady who agreed to this and Landlady said that housemate could take over my room in writing. Housemate has since given in her notice. I was delighted and have since prepared to leave.

    Now landlady has come back demanding that although housemate has taken over my room, I need to pay the remaining three months rent for the housemates box room which is now empty. Landlady says I have played things at her expense she is unhappy etc. Although previously she agreed to the swap.

    I'm unsure of how to proceed. As I see it, I found someone to take over my room as agreed (and someone who the landlords know is financially reliable and a good tenant) and the box room is their's to sort out as its nothing to do with me? I understand their dissapointment to

    I just feel uncomfortable paying for a room, I have no contract for, that has nothing to do with me, and that as I will be living 4 hours away, I'm unsure would be used by someone else. Is there any legal standing to make me pay this? (I could really do without it as double rent again, but I don't want a CCJ either after years of being a good tenant).

    Landlady is currently threatening to withhold deposit too.

    Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Grace

    #2
    Most of this to my mind hinges upon the "exchanges in writing" you had with the landlady.

    From your paraphrasing, my immediate response is that the landlady has no claim. However this will be wholly dependant upon the specific wording agreed in writing.

    I do actually see a lot of the landlords perspective in this one, although ultimately it was their responsibility to either agree this or not so its really their own fault. I would have made very clear prior to agreeing the swap what my position was.
    Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

    Comment


      #3
      I would agree with Mr Shed that it seems the landlady has no claim. You did your bit in finding a tenant for the more expensive room. The landlady agreed to this so she must find somebody for the cheaper room. You have no tenancy agreement for the cheaper room.

      If I were you I'd put in a claim for your deposit, not pay anymore rent and see what move the Landlady makes.

      Let's see what other people think.

      Comment


        #4
        I'd pay the three months rent on the box room.

        I think the landlord will feel slightly cheated because, while you did what you agreed, it does look like a bit of a trick.

        The alternative is that the friend moving rooms sorts out her own three months with the landlord, because she really has the same issue.

        Or work something out, but it does seem unfair that the landlord should be out of pocket - and that doesn't seem their fault (they were quite flexible) and isn't, from the sound of it, what you intended to happen either.
        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


          #5
          I had a letting agent try this nonsense when I had an office building. They tried to get me to pay a letting fee when one of my existing tenants wanted to move to another suite. I told them they weren't on.

          Comment


            #6
            Does the house has HMO licence?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
              I'd pay the three months rent on the box room.

              I think the landlord will feel slightly cheated because, while you did what you agreed, it does look like a bit of a trick.

              The alternative is that the friend moving rooms sorts out her own three months with the landlord, because she really has the same issue.

              Or work something out, but it does seem unfair that the landlord should be out of pocket - and that doesn't seem their fault (they were quite flexible) and isn't, from the sound of it, what you intended to happen either.
              I had at first reading thought this jp... But I had missed that the friend was not on a fixed term but on a month to month. As such there certainly can be no claim that she has lost three months rent as there was no contract that would have guaranteed it.
              Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

              Comment


                #8
                OP there's a part you mention in your original post missing in your reply which is crucial :



                My housemate who is on a rolling month to month contract, and is currently in a box room, came forward and asked me if she could take my room as she needed more space and she'd recently had a pay rise and could afford the extra. We approached the landlady who agreed to this and Landlady said that housemate could take over my room in writing. Housemate has since given in her notice. I was delighted and have since prepared to leave.
                ​​​​​

                ​​​
                Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by MrShed View Post
                  I had at first reading thought this jp... But I had missed that the friend was not on a fixed term but on a month to month. As such there certainly can be no claim that she has lost three months rent as there was no contract that would have guaranteed it.
                  I had missed that, but it hasn't changed my view (and it is just that, a view).
                  The tenant wanted to end their tenancy early because their situation had changed.
                  The landlord agreed if a replacement was found,

                  Neither side of that agreement expected that the replacement would be an existing tenant of the landlord.
                  I don't see how the landlord might have expected that and, if the leaving tenant did expect it, they would have been acting in bad faith (and there's no evidence of that).

                  So the fairest outcome (again, in my mind) is that the leaving tenant gets a reduced three months outlay, the landlord is in the same position as they would have been for the three months and the moving in tenant is nothing to do with this.

                  From a legal point of view, the landlord could simply decline the arrangement.
                  From a very technical point of view there might be an issue with them going back on what they agreed, but I don't think it was in the contemplation of either party that the replacement would be an existing tenant, and, had it been, I think the landlord might have declined anyway (or come to the arrangement that I have proposed).

                  If the box room tenant had simply served notice that would need a month and to the end of a rental period, which is likely to be half of the period anyway.

                  And possibly the landlord could be persuaded to end the arrangement if they manage to re-let the box room sooner.
                  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


                    #10
                    From a legal point of view, the landlord could simply decline the arrangement.

                    Agreed. The implication from the OP is that they knew who the replacement tenant was and agreed the arrangement. If that is the case then I would say its wholly unfair of the landlord to then revert this arrangement. However that is solely if that was the case. If this wasn't known to the landlord then absolutely they would be within their rights to seek their financial loss.

                    Hopefully the OP will return soon to clarify that part, as certainly the mail from the landlord today implies that this wasn't an explicit agreement.

                    ​​
                    Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hi,

                      just to clarify- a few outside people came to view the room and declined it

                      only then did housemate come forward and say she wanted the room. Landlady agreed via whatsapp that housemate could take the room

                      but went back on her word later on saying it had to either be an outside person or pay the downfall of the box room.

                      im a bit frustrated as if it was an outside person she wouldn’t mind them taking the lease and the box room would still be empty as housemate has given notice.

                      she would be in the exact same position if it wasn’t housemate taking the room. She would have someone to cover my current room and a empty box room.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        OP cannot give Notice during her fixed Term unless the proposed replacement is acceptable to LL.
                        It is possible that new employer may be willing to pay some/all rent outstanding to faciliate start date, otherwise OP will have to pay 3 months rent & provide LLwith valid NTQ.

                        Comment

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