Exiting tenancy

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    Exiting tenancy

    Hi all,

    I'll try to keep this as short as possible. Essentially my issue for this post is that the letting agent are not allowing myself and my flatmate move out of our flat at the same time.

    Context: we signed a 26 month lease with no break clause. It ends June 2021. We were hesitant to sign this as we did not plan on staying the entire tenancy, but we were repeatedly told by multiple people from the agent - prior to signing it - that we could exit the tenancy at any time, but would just have to find replacement tenants to take over the contract ourselves. Before signing the agreement, I questioned one particular clause in the contract (via email), which states if we wish to surrender the tenancy, we would be liable for 11% of the remaining rent + landlord's fees + VAT. If we are to move out when we want to (April) this would total to just under £3000. I had a response (via email) from the letting agent that we would only be liable for this fee if we had left the property without finding replacement tenants. We proceeded to sign the agreement on the basis that as long as we found replacement tenants to take over the contract, we could leave without paying this fee.

    When I called the agent to explain our plans on moving out in April, and to gather any more details, they said that we cannot find the tenants ourselves, as they are paid to do this by the landlady. They also said we are liable for this enormous fee.

    We have negotiated with the agent and so far it's been relatively amicable. The agent have been understanding that we feel we have been led to believe we can leave the property without fees and can find replacement tenants. They have offered us 2 options:
    1. We pay 5% of remaining rent + landlord fees + VAT. Agent will find tenants for us. Total would amount to £1825 (!!)
    2. We find replacement tenants and pay £300 each for the name changeover. BUT we have to have 3 months between us leaving. This is a massive catch for us as we need to leave the property at the same time.

    The second option is obviously more attractive, but the point of this post is to try and ascertain why they are requiring 3 months between us leaving the property. My instinct, and my research, tells me there's no real reason why we would need to do this, and they are trying to leverage the fact we want to leave at the same time to make us pay the £1825. I have gone back to the agent and asked for their reasons behind this requirement so that we can pass this to our legal adviser to get a view. I want to keep things amicable and we are prepared to pay some money, just not the £1825 because this is just extortionate.

    They have not yet responded and in the meantime I thought I would do some more digging around this.

    Any info would be highly appreciated.

    You can leave any time you like but jointly will owe rent to end tenancy. EACH of you will be liable for ALL the rent.

    Negotiation essential, you have little or no power, sorry
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


      This is a duplicate thread.
      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).


        Can you give us the exact wording of the email, suitably redacted to avoid naming anyone?


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